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When does life begin?

Adam_Godzilla
Posts: 2,487
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5/1/2016 1:56:13 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation.
Taking the biological perspective, it's the moment where the sperm reaches the egg. But I think you're not really a live organism till you start feeding off of something, whatever stage that is in the womb.
New episode of OUTSIDERS: http://www.debate.org...
Episode 4 - They walk among us
keithprosser
Posts: 2,056
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5/1/2016 2:35:54 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Does that mean a sperm or egg cell is dead prior to fusing? The question may be badly phrased and could be recast as 'when does a new living organism begin?'.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/1/2016 4:15:28 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Never. It doesn't exist.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
oo00
Posts: 134
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5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.
ILoveSitarMusic
Posts: 225
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5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves?
keithprosser
Posts: 2,056
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5/1/2016 6:46:50 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Imagine a movie of the whole thing. It could start with a sepatater sperm and egg cell. The meetup and fuse, and the zygotic cell starts to divide, forming 2 cells, then 4 cells and so on. Slowly the embryo grows and takes form. At some point something like a heart is formed, then a brain. At a later stages the heart begins to beat and the brain to show activity.

If we run that movie, where do we stop it and say what came before is not a life, what comes after is? You can find a reason to explain making the cut anywhere, but no reason is specially privileged to be the right one to choose.

When does a journey become long? When does a mountain become high? When does a foetus become alive? If you are walking a journey of 200 miles is a long one, but its very short for an airliner. So is a 200 mile journey a long one or a short one? Is a 64 cell blastula alive or dead? Ben Nevis is 1300 meters. Is it a high mountain?
Is a foetus with a formed but not active brain alive or dead?

The reality is a foetus develops from two separate cells into a viable baby over a period of 9 months. Any division of that period into alive and not alive can be nothing other than arbitrary and a quibble over words.

For legal and practical purposes it might be neccessary to draw such an arbitrary line, but thats all it can be - a line for legal purposes only. You can even have different lines for different purposes. As that is a matter of public policy rather than philosophy it could be debated in the politics section rather than the philosophy one.
oo00
Posts: 134
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5/1/2016 6:49:31 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves? : :

Invisible waves is who we are long before we observe ourselves in a body.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/1/2016 6:52:43 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 6:46:50 PM, keithprosser wrote:
For legal and practical purposes it might be neccessary to draw such an arbitrary line, but thats all it can be - a line for legal purposes only. You can even have different lines for different purposes. As that is a matter of public policy rather than philosophy it could be debated in the politics section rather than the philosophy one.

No let's have fun with this one. This is the philosophy section, so I'll just say that there is no such thing as life, because it doesn't exist.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
ILoveSitarMusic
Posts: 225
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5/1/2016 7:15:41 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 6:49:31 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves? : :

Invisible waves is who we are long before we observe ourselves in a body.
Fair enough. That sounds logical.
oo00
Posts: 134
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5/1/2016 7:26:36 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 7:15:41 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:49:31 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves? : :

Invisible waves is who we are long before we observe ourselves in a body.
Fair enough. That sounds logical. : :

An open mind will hear the Truth spoken into it but only if it's in our Creator's will.
ILoveSitarMusic
Posts: 225
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5/1/2016 7:59:48 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 7:26:36 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 7:15:41 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:49:31 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves? : :

Invisible waves is who we are long before we observe ourselves in a body.
Fair enough. That sounds logical. : :

An open mind will hear the Truth spoken into it but only if it's in our Creator's will.
I am not good at religion. :(
keithprosser
Posts: 2,056
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5/1/2016 8:07:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
@user13579

I was going to watch a movie, but I'm game! When you say life doesn't exist, are you saying there is no difference between a living person and their corpse? I don't think you do, so what do you mean?
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/1/2016 8:18:37 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Life doesn't exist at all. Just a pile of chemicals!
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
keithprosser
Posts: 2,056
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5/1/2016 9:16:30 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
in the spirit of what I wrote befire l,i,f and e is a group of four letters and e,x,i,s,t is another group of letters. What they refer to when assembled into words is not set in stone, or even in the laws of physics. They mean what their users - such as Humpty Dumpty - intend them to mean. Unfortunately the hearers of those words take them to mean what their personal interpretation is, which is not always the same!

Intuitively, there is a significant difference between a rock and a cat although both are 'just chemicals'. If we sit down to pin down the objective criteria we intuitively apply to our intuitive living/non-living distinction we might come up with, well, cats move around, they feed, they reproduce, they leave piles of mess behind the sofa which rocks (by and large) do not. Once we have cast our criteria as a rule then we can apply that rule and classify objects in the world as 'living' and 'non-living'.

In that way we can say 'life' is the common feature of objects in the set of living things defined by our rule. So all living things are all 'just chemicals' but not all things that are 'just chemicals' (ie just about everything concrete) are alive, or 'have life'.

That - I hope - shows that life is 'abstract', or rather what I use the word 'life' to denote is absract. What you mean by l-i-f-e may or may not be the same. At the moment only you know that - I will know only after you tell me!

I could do the same for e-x-i-s-t. I could invent a rule that summarises my intuition about the distinction between things that exist and don't exist, but I won't do that now. Suffice to say that according to my rule, life (as I defined it above) would satisfy my rule for things that exist, because my rule does not automatically exclude abstracts. Now your rule for existence may exclude abstracts so that would cause an apparent disagreement, but what appears as an argument over a fact is revealed to be a disagreement over definition of terms - a quibble over words, not about facts.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/1/2016 9:27:56 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 9:16:30 PM, keithprosser wrote:
in the spirit of what I wrote befire l,i,f and e is a group of four letters and e,x,i,s,t is another group of letters. What they refer to when assembled into words is not set in stone, or even in the laws of physics. They mean what their users - such as Humpty Dumpty - intend them to mean. Unfortunately the hearers of those words take them to mean what their personal interpretation is, which is not always the same!

Intuitively, there is a significant difference between a rock and a cat although both are 'just chemicals'. If we sit down to pin down the objective criteria we intuitively apply to our intuitive living/non-living distinction we might come up with, well, cats move around, they feed, they reproduce, they leave piles of mess behind the sofa which rocks (by and large) do not. Once we have cast our criteria as a rule then we can apply that rule and classify objects in the world as 'living' and 'non-living'.

In that way we can say 'life' is the common feature of objects in the set of living things defined by our rule. So all living things are all 'just chemicals' but not all things that are 'just chemicals' (ie just about everything concrete) are alive, or 'have life'.

That - I hope - shows that life is 'abstract', or rather what I use the word 'life' to denote is absract. What you mean by l-i-f-e may or may not be the same. At the moment only you know that - I will know only after you tell me!

There's a problem in you telling me what you mean by "life". You have to explain it using other words, but then how do you know that those other words mean the same thing for both of us?
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
oo00
Posts: 134
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5/1/2016 10:42:04 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 7:59:48 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 7:26:36 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 7:15:41 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:49:31 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 6:00:03 PM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
At 5/1/2016 4:28:15 PM, oo00 wrote:
At 5/1/2016 2:46:51 AM, ILoveSitarMusic wrote:
I believe that life begins at implantation. : :

Life begins when you start experiencing life within your mind. Since life experiences will go on forever, we will lose interest in when life began.

Would it be fair to say that you believe that life begins when the fetus has brainwaves? : :

Invisible waves is who we are long before we observe ourselves in a body.
Fair enough. That sounds logical. : :

An open mind will hear the Truth spoken into it but only if it's in our Creator's will.
I am not good at religion. :( : :

No religious person knows what the Truth is. They all think it has something to do with religion and reading their holy books. There's nothing to worry about because all God's people will know the Truth in the future.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,056
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5/1/2016 11:01:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Of course I don't know that you what you think my words mean is what I think my words mean. Words are defined in terms of other words so how can we ever know we mean the same thing by the same word? If were in the same place I could point a something and say 'tree' and you would know what I mean by 'tree' wordlessly, but as it is I can only assume that 'tree' means the same to you as it does to me.

A degree of commonality in the way we map words to things has to be simply assumed, at least initially. If that commonaliy does not exist - as is would be the case if I only knew Swahili and you only knew English - it would soon become clear the comms channel was not working. But suppose we spoke different dialects of the same language. In my dialect (K) people use the word 'exist' to include abstracts. In your dialect (U) people use the word exist only for concrete objects, using a different word (uxists) for the 'existential state' of abstracts and fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes. It might take a while in that case to discover that we both agree about the existential status of life (ie it is abstract) because we disagree about the word to use to denote that state.

Philosophically, you might have misunderstood everything I have written but in practice all we need to do is be alive to the possibility that what appears to be a dispute over facts is only a disagreement over definitions.

To connect that to the OP, I think that applies to the case of when an egg/embryo/foetus/baby becomed 'alive'. It isn't a matter of fact but of arbitrary definition.
geniusseeker
Posts: 1
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5/3/2016 3:32:06 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/1/2016 8:18:37 PM, user13579 wrote:
Life doesn't exist at all. Just a pile of chemicals!
life does exist: I think therefore I am. How can I be conscious but dead.
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/3/2016 3:36:58 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
That doesn't mean your alive. That only means you exist. Maybe your imagination just makes you think you're alive.
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."
user13579
Posts: 822
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5/3/2016 3:40:52 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
Maybe you're just a computer programmed to say "I am alive."
Science in a nutshell:
"Facts are neither true nor false. They simply are."
"All scientific knowledge is provisional. Even facts are provisional."
"We can be absolutely certain that we have a moon, we can be absolutely certain that water is made out of H2O, and we can be absolutely certain that the Earth is a sphere!"
"Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty -- some most unsure, some nearly sure, none absolutely certain."