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When Does Life Begin?


Noggy
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Life has a timeline, and with time t starting at 0, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, and the end being death, when do you consider the creature to be alive?

 

Is it as soon as the timeline begins?

 

During gestation?

 

When it has a heartbeat?

 

When we detect brainwaves?

 

When it can sense pain?

 

After birth?

 

Upon gaining self awareness?

 

There are lots of opinions, I suggest we have a good philosophical debate on this subject instead of just referencing laws of countries as our guidelines on what is right.

 

________

 

 

My 2 cents: I believe that in mammals in particular, that the life begins as soon as it is able to survive outside of its mother. When a fetus is inside the woman, it is a parasite for a very long time. But at some point, which is different for every child, there comes a point where the child can survive when outside of the mother. However, it is still developing some lesser functions, and continues to be inside the mother. I feel that this is the time that something becomes a "life" and becomes important enough that it should have the right to live.

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My opinion is when the fetus can "survive" without the mother. By survive I mean Breathe, heartbeat, excrete, etc.

 

This would usually occur in the third trimester.

 

The ancients always said when the baby was out and took its first breath. There were some civilizations that said it was a month after the baby was born that they were considered a person.

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There's no bright line except maybe conception and birth. And for lots of purposes these aren't really acceptable.

 

I mean when you get right down to it, a new individual life began even before conception. Those sperm and eggs are very much alive. And they're already genetically differentiated from the parent to some extent. So as Monty Python put it, Every Sperm is Sacred.

 

But of what use is that?

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A pregnancy begins at conception, the cluster of dividing cells is known as a zygote

 

It becomes a fetus at a later stage.

 

It becomes a baby at birth.

 

Gestation is 40 weeks give or take a week.

 

Life is thus when a baby takes its first breath.

 

Prem babies survive b/c we have the technology to enable it.

 

W/o that they are dead. A perm birth is ess. a miscarriage.

 

It is only pro lifers and religious woos that wish to redefine the terms and definitions of when life begins.

 

Is your birthday when your folks did it or when you popped out?

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A pregnancy begins at conception, the cluster of dividing cells is known as a zygote

 

It becomes a fetus at a later stage.

 

It becomes a baby at birth.

 

Gestation is 40 weeks give or take a week.

 

Life is thus when a baby takes its first breath.

 

Prem babies survive b/c we have the technology to enable it.

 

W/o that they are dead. A perm birth is ess. a miscarriage.

 

It is only pro lifers and religious woos that wish to redefine the terms and definitions of when life begins.

 

Is your birthday when your folks did it or when you popped out?

 

It was the day of my birth, bro. Thats why its called a "birthday". You haven't given a reason for why life and birth have to coincide. And when the baby takes its first breath is (partially) the choice of the mother. If the baby has the ability to take a breath, but is unable to because it is trapped in a womb, how does that excuse killing it?

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It was the day of my birth, bro. Thats why its called a "birthday". You haven't given a reason for why life and birth have to coincide. And when the baby takes its first breath is (partially) the choice of the mother. If the baby has the ability to take a breath, but is unable to because it is trapped in a womb, how does that excuse killing it?

The choice of the mother - really? Where the fuck did you go to school?

 

The fetus is not trapped in the womb, it is there b/c it is not ready to do the basics on its own. It does not eat, drink, shit or pee in the womb, that is why it has an umbilical cord.

 

Lastly a women becomes a mother at birth.

 

You are a woo. You use the exact same arguments they do.

 

Why do doctors try and stop premature labor? If your frigging stance is so fucking scientific, then all labor no matter the gestation period should be allowed to happen naturally w/o medical intervention.

 

You are anyway doing what the woos do, appealing to concept of a decision to procreate as opposed not deciding to procreate making the whole idea of procreation a fuck lottery.

 

To give you a hint, when we decided to have children, the MUTUAL decision was my wife stop the pill and both my kids were conceived the same month she stopped. We monitored temperature to get the ovulation cycle and fucked when it went up. No magic skydaddy was needed and she did not once have a period while off the pill.

 

Then she took special care so as not to do anything that would endanger the fetus, like no alcohol, regular check ups etc.

 

I have never had to worry about abortion as she never missed the pill once. The only times I used condoms is when she breast fed the infants.

 

It is pretty simple, women that want babies fuck to have them. Most women fuck b/c it is nice and do it for pleasure. A married woman if she missed a pill probably would not simply then abort if she had an unplanned pregnancy.

 

You really need to look at the age groups to see where the highest number of abortions are taking place. It is with teens.

 

Most women I know planned their pregnancies and wanted children at that particular time. There are of course couples that try for years w/o getting pregnant but most do not battle with getting pregnant.

 

Abortions cater for the unlucky few that do not take BC properly or were under the shame and influence of abstinence only aka a fuck lottery mindset.

 

Fortunately, my stance is backed by medical science, yours is only backed by appeals to emotion.

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Life begins at conception. I don't believe women should be reduced to backyard abortions but neither do I believe abortion should be used as a form of contraception. Use birth control or keep your fucking legs together. It's not rocket science, just another manifestation of human self centredness and stupidity.

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The religioustolerance.org article ess. states my views on the matter and I am probably in the Jewish camp that sees life beginning at birth.

 

From their site

Overview:

We feel that this is the most important essay in this website's entire section on abortion access. The above two questions represent the core problems that fuel conflict between pro-lifers and pro-choicers.

 

Dialogue between pro-life and pro-choice supporters is almost non-existent. Even face-to-face debating is rare. One reason is the lack of consensus on the precise timing of the beginning of human personhood. That is, when during pregnancy does a new human being exist with full civil rights -- including is the most important right of all: the right to live?

 

Concerning personhood:

 

  • Some say that it begins at conception;

  • Some say that it begins circa 25 weeks gestation when the fetus becomes sentient -- that is, its higher brain functions first turn on and the fetus becomes conscious and at least partly aware of its surroundings;
  • A few say it only begins when the newborn is separated from her/his mother and breathing on its own.

  • Peter Singer, a professor at Princeton University, believes that personhood only comes weeks after birth.

  • Many others point to a time between conception and birth. Another reason for the lack of dialogue is that supporters of the various belief systems assign different meanings to common words, such as life, human life, pregnancy, human personhood, baby, child, unborn, etc.

And so, the conflict continues. There is little hope of resolution because of the fundamental disagreements between the two sides.

 

  • Some say that having an abortion under a specific set of circumstances is immoral.

  • Others say that preventing a woman from having an abortion under those identical circumstances is immoral. Don't look for a consensus or near consensus any time soon.

What the pro-life and pro-choice movements agree on:

The media, religious leaders, and others often emphasize uncompromising conflicts between pro-life and pro-choice groups. This is often reflected in their terminology:

  • Many pro-life supporters refer to abortion as the murder of an unborn child or baby. Some equate abortion to the Nazi Holocaust. They associate abortion clinics with Nazi death camps such as Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen.

  • Many pro-choicers refer to a pre-embryo or embryo as "
    products of conception
    " or as a simple blob of tissue. Some feel that pro-lifers' main motivation is a desire to control women, and/or to punish single women for engaging in sexual behavior.

In reality, there exists many
broad agreements
by the two opposing sides:

  • A common belief among pro-lifers and pro-choicers is that an ovum is alive. Thus, because it contains human DNA, they consider it to be a form of human life. According to some scientists' extremely restrictive definition of "life," an ovum is not actually alive. But the public almost universally agrees that they are a form of human life.

  • An ovum is
    not
    considered a human person.

  • Similarly a spermatozoon is considered a form of human life by almost everyone.

  • A spermatozoon is
    not
    viewed to be a human person. A man produces thousands every second between puberty and death. All but perhaps one or two die without fertilizing an ovum.
    We have never found anyone who worries about that.

The fact that not all conceptions result in a human being tells us there are many factors that govern this simple act of procreation.

 

When one tries to draw a line in the sand and say that's it, you have to have considered all the possible scenarios and we plebs here are not medical literate if we are honest.

 

Fetuses self abort, we cannot stop that. Should we? Can we?

 

Women miscarry. Can we stop that? Should we?

 

When laws are enacted to abolish abortion, there is always a work-around. Just like illegal drugs, they are still "freely" available.

 

The only way to make an objective decision on this matter is to lose all emotional attachment.

 

When it came to my kids, I was 100% emotionally committed to the pregnancy b/c it was planned. There was no putting stuff off or any unplanned adjustments to be made, we went out bought the baby stuff like cots, cradles, etc. We had made a positive decision to copulate.

 

Now with my kids of breeding age (both out of school), their decision is final if any of them get pregnant as to how they will deal with it. I keep reminding them that they are not ready yet and should use protection but I can no way enforce that. They are both adults by definition of the law. They pretty much have their heads on right and are in the phase of preparation to become independent adults.

 

Now if my neighbor's daughter who is still at school gets knocked up, I really do not give a shit what they as a family decide. The fact that abortion is there if needed is suffice in that this is a choice they can make. I am not going to assert my preferences on them and neither will they do it to me. Seeing we are both atheists, I reckon they had the same birds and bees talks that I had and are not pretending that 16 yo do not experiment.

 

Girls here can get BCP from 16 yo w/o a parents permission from the local PP clinic, boys can get free condoms at schools w/o their parents knowledge. Most dads that work at the mines give their sons condoms they get for free at the workplace. This is all govt subsidized.

 

When an unwanted child is born, it becomes a burden on the state child protective services and as adoption agencies are not mills matching the next baby to the next couple, many end up as wards of the state for their entire childhood. The govt foots the bill for these cases, IOW your taxes and mine. This is the right thing for the govt to do as they would be inhuman not to do so. But these unfortunate kids grow up on welfare and as such when folk start bitching about welfare, they bear the brunt of the burden when laws are passed to minimize their well being.

 

What is the alternative? Force parents to give up their kids to the state so that they all will become equal automatons?

 

Punish the poor for having unprotected sex?

 

The issue is far too complex to simply reduce to a few laws. Choice should and always must remain the default position.

 

At the end of the day, passing restrictive abortion laws are anyway going to be very hard to police. The best we can do is posit guidelines that all parties can sign off on and leave it up to the professionals who by all intents and purposes are in their profession to care for us plebs and have sworn to do no willful harm.

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Why do you call the fetus a parasite, Noggy?

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parasite <---------- Thats why

Noggy, that isn't an answer, and I'd like one because I also object to characterizing a fetus as a parasite. Before you answer, consider how no one has ever referred to a fetus as a parasite outside of an abortion debate and how medical professionals woould never characterize a fetus as a parasite.

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I don't disagree that a blastocycst is biologically alive; it is busy reproducing, taking in nutrients, expelling its waste. Its DNA is human. However, I don't use that sense of "alive" as equal to "human with rights" for the same reason that I have no moral issue with pulling the plug on someone who's gone brain-dead (if they can recover and have a human existence to go back to, it's worth waiting for a person in a coma to wake up. But a fetus has nothing to go back to because it has never been fully human). A fetus is not a sentient being.

 

I also disagree with the idea that terminating a pregnancy is the same as snuffing out a life before it has the chance to get started, because that potential life has no guarantee of becoming a viable, born baby. The idea that the natural result of pregnancy is a baby that will grow to adulthood seem to me to be an mid-to-upper class first world delusion. Many DNA combinations produce non-viable humans; if the blastocycst/fetus is lucky, a spontaneous abortion happens before the poor thing develops enough to feel the pain of its death. If the mother is lucky, a spontaneous abortion happens before it uses her body's resources on something that can never become a child. Sometimes it's not bad DNA, it's a fluke in the development, trauma to the mother's body, or just incompatibly between the mother and the fetus. Some of that we're now able to treat with medicine. Sometimes the first pregnancy is fine, but by the next one the mother's immune system sees the foreign DNA/blood type as a dangerous invader and starts to fight it. Miscarriages are common even today, in healthy people with good prenatal care. Then there's stillbirths, premies, and babies born so messed up that all they're going to do is feel pain then die. Sometimes the pregnancy goes well, but the delivery doesn't and someone dies, is permanently damaged, or the baby looses oxygen for so long that it will be brain damaged. So even getting the pregnancy successfully to a birth isn't a guarantee of having a health human baby and a living woman. And complications are not the tragic edge case, they are incredibly common.

 

Pregnancy is a crap shoot on whether or not there will be a viable baby at the end. It's also a crap shoot on how much damage it will do to the mother and whether or not she will survive. I find it immoral to force fully human women to gamble with their bodies for the chance that not-yet-human may become human. This is what I mean when I "dehumanize" a fetus. I mean I'm not sure that left "alone" it will ever become a sentient being. I'm not even sure that with a careful mother and prenatal care that it will ever become a sentient being. This is why a woman's right to her own body trumps the rights of a potential baby.

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"When does life begin?" That is a loaded qusetion. It creates a false dichotomy. There is not inanimate matter one instant then life the next. Every individual, in fact every cell of every individual, is part of a continuous chain of life that goes back at least 3.9 billion years. Any point you set for the formation of a new human is arbitrary.

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"When does life begin?" That is a loaded qusetion. It creates a false dichotomy. There is not inanimate matter one instant then life the next. Every individual, in fact every cell of every individual, is part of a continuous chain of life that goes back at least 3.9 billion years. Any point you set for the formation of a new human is arbitrary.

That was quite nice in my opinion. I'm fond of telling people that I am 4 billion years old.

 

My take is this... A human life begins at conception. At that point, we have an organism with a full genome and a phenotype. However, I think the mother's discretion should trump the collective will up to the point of viability or about 20 - 24 weeks of pregnancy. That is, she should have the right to kill during this window of time.

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Life has a timeline, and with time t starting at 0, when the sperm fertilizes the egg, and the end being death, when do you consider the creature to be alive?

There is not beginning or end. Only transformations. Life becomes life. Only the expression of a bundle of life comes and goes, but life continues. An ova or a sperm is not dead, they're both alive. We are continuous life, becoming, all-changing life, which not ever really is "born" or "dead." Those are just words of certain stages of change.

 

And if we come to the question of our mind and consciousness, you're never the same. You change every day, every second. You're not the same person, mentally, as you were when you were 1 year old or new born. And you will not be the same person at the end of this journey. Life is just the continuous process of change. And death is just the step from one form to another.

 

(end of my rant. :grin:)

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"When does life begin?" That is a loaded qusetion. It creates a false dichotomy. There is not inanimate matter one instant then life the next. Every individual, in fact every cell of every individual, is part of a continuous chain of life that goes back at least 3.9 billion years. Any point you set for the formation of a new human is arbitrary.

Damn it!

 

I just saw your post. :HaHa:

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What is "life"? Hell even plants are technically alive, we just value that life differently. I guess when is a fetus human?, would be a better question.

 

Nail on the head, buddy.

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In the words of George Carlin:

 

People say life begins at conception, I say life began about a billion years ago and it's a continuous process.

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Use birth control or keep your fucking legs together. It's not rocket science, just another manifestation of human self centredness and stupidity.

 

So what do you call women who use birth control but it fails on them?

 

And where exactly do people even get the idea that abortion is used as birth control? Talk aboout expensive and time-consuming.

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"When does life begin?" isn't a helpful question in the abortion debate. That debate is really about a seeming conflict between the rights of the woman and the rights of what she's gestating. To me, the meaningful question then becomes, "When are rights able to be exercised, bestowed or enforced?" The obvious answer is that nothing locked within the body of a human with rights has rights. Rights can't be acted upon by anything locked in another body. Nor can rights be granted to or protected for anything locked within a person with rights -- that would have as much meaning as would rights being granted to a kidney.

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"When does life begin?" isn't a helpful question in the abortion debate. That debate is really about a seeming conflict between the rights of the woman and the rights of what she's gestating. To me, the meaningful question then becomes, "When are rights able to be exercised, bestowed or enforced?" The obvious answer is that nothing locked within the body of a human with rights has rights. Rights can't be acted upon by anything locked in another body. Nor can rights be granted to or protected for anything locked within a person with rights -- that would have as much meaning as would rights being granted to a kidney.

Not to be snarky, but then how do you explain conjoined twins? : /

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The obvious answer is that nothing locked within the body of a human with rights has rights. Rights can't be acted upon by anything locked in another body. Nor can rights be granted to or protected for anything locked within a person with rights -- that would have as much meaning as would rights being granted to a kidney.

 

The real problem is that that doesn't seem to be obvious. Have you heard the case of the famous violinist?

 

 

You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [if he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.

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"When does life begin?" isn't a helpful question in the abortion debate. That debate is really about a seeming conflict between the rights of the woman and the rights of what she's gestating. To me, the meaningful question then becomes, "When are rights able to be exercised, bestowed or enforced?" The obvious answer is that nothing locked within the body of a human with rights has rights. Rights can't be acted upon by anything locked in another body. Nor can rights be granted to or protected for anything locked within a person with rights -- that would have as much meaning as would rights being granted to a kidney.

Not to be snarky, but then how do you explain conjoined twins? : /

 

Easy. Equality of status. "Joined together" is not "locked within."

 

Noggy, the case of the famous violinist is a sophomoric construct, useless as a parallel to the very real complexities faced by a pregnant woman.

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