Announcement

Collapse

Philosophy 201 Guidelines

Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

The Abortion Debate and Its Philosophical Underpinnings

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Abortion Debate and Its Philosophical Underpinnings

    Given the ever hot topic of abortion, I think a thread dedicated to the issues surrounding abortion would be interesting to flesh out the nuances of the debate.

    To serve as an example of what I'd like this thread to be I will give my position.



    I believe that what gives human beings moral and political consideration is based on, as a species, our higher brain functions, capacity for mental states, and overall, the general concept of being a "person". I believe that this is analogous to the Christian concept of the Imago Dei, just in a property dualistic sense and not a substance dualistic sense

    I do not believe that merely having human genetic content is sufficient to constitute a "human being" or sufficient to entail moral and political consideration even if the human genetic content meets the biological criteria for being "alive". For example, chimerism is document in humans where a single individual has two unique sets of genetic material (either from birth or through bone marrow transplants). I don't believe that these individuals are multiple persons or multiple "human beings". Also, a corpse would be human despite being not alive and not being a "human being". In light of congenital insensitivity to pain, I would be hesitant to use the ability to feel pain as necessary criterion to be a "human being". In light of brain dead patients, the aptly named "heart in a box", and artificial hearts, I would similarly hesitant to use a beating heart as a sufficient criterion for "human being".

    In light of the Sorites paradox, I personally accept foetal personhood after the 2nd Trimester as development of the neurological correlates to higher brain functions, mental states, etc becomes less distinguishable.than in the 1st Trimester.

    Since I don't believe the zygote, embryo, foetus is a person, I don't believe that the government has any reason to interfere with an abortion outside of the typical issue of medical licensing, other general medical requirements like with surgical environments, or emergencies. Starting with the 2nd Trimester, I believe the government has the prerogative to limit abortions for serious or immediate medical reasons and that the government does not have the prerogative to ban abortions for emergency use.

    Of course, the best way to prevent abortion would be through a wide variety of birth control methods (which would include drug avoidance [including alcohol], abstinence, condoms, and vasectomies) and sex education about those methods. Given that Plan B is designed to prevent implantation, I would consider it more along the lines of contraception rather than abortion.
    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    -Ghandi (Disputed)

  • #2
    I have mixed feelings about the concept of life beginning at conception, although I can appreciate several of the arguments in support of it. For me, it is definitely and unarguably a distinct, separate life around the sixth week which is when the baby has a heartbeat and brain activity. As for the level of brain activity, FWIU, it is often more than what we find in someone in deep comas and we don't have any problem considering them as human.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
      I have mixed feelings about the concept of life beginning at conception, although I can appreciate several of the arguments in support of it.
      I don't have much issue with the zygote being biologically alive.



      For me, it is definitely and unarguably a distinct, separate life around the sixth week which is when the baby has a heartbeat and brain activity. As for the level of brain activity, FWIU, it is often more than what we find in someone in deep comas and we don't have any problem considering them as human.
      The neural development by 6 weeks is rather primitive. There does seem to be measurable activity, but the structure of cerebrum hasn't developed.
      “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

      -Ghandi (Disputed)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
        I have mixed feelings about the concept of life beginning at conception, although I can appreciate several of the arguments in support of it. For me, it is definitely and unarguably a distinct, separate life around the sixth week which is when the baby has a heartbeat and brain activity. As for the level of brain activity, FWIU, it is often more than what we find in someone in deep comas and we don't have any problem considering them as human.
        The strongest point I learned just in the last 10 years was that the newly conceived life has its very own unique DNA --- that there's a living 'something' with its own unique DNA was pretty powerful to me.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
          I have mixed feelings about the concept of life beginning at conception, although I can appreciate several of the arguments in support of it. For me, it is definitely and unarguably a distinct, separate life around the sixth week which is when the baby has a heartbeat and brain activity. As for the level of brain activity, FWIU, it is often more than what we find in someone in deep comas and we don't have any problem considering them as human.
          As I am sure you know, murder in the written word of God has to do humans being made in the image of God.

          Now it is my understanding by and after 17th day of conception, the unborn have their own blood separate from their mother.

          Genesis 9:5-6
          . . . And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.


          Forensically by or after the 17 day of conception murder could be proven.
          Last edited by 37818; 03-13-2021, 10:52 AM.
          . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

          . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

          Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 37818 View Post

            As I am sure you know, murder in the written word of God has to do humans being made in the image of God.

            What is the Imago Dei in humans and when do humans obtain it?

            “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

            -Ghandi (Disputed)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post


              What is the Imago Dei in humans and when do humans obtain it?
              My understanding is that God made humans in His image from the beginning, Genesis 1:26-31.
              Humans being the only "animal" who actually designs and builds things by a design that was made by them. Humans are humans from conception. And an individual or individuals some time between conception and the day that person or persons has his or her own blood.
              . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

              . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

              Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 37818 View Post

                My understanding is that God made humans in His image from the beginning, Genesis 1:26-31.

                What is the Imago Dei though? Since God is not a physical being, the physical aspect of humans wouldn't be the Imago Dei.


                Humans being the only "animal" who actually designs and builds things by a design that was made by them.
                Tool usage and tool modification is found in other animals and other primates. Though, agreed, no other animal has access to CAD or a 3D printer.


                Humans are humans from conception.
                I never suggested otherwise.


                And an individual or individuals some time between conception and the day that person or persons has his or her own blood.
                Individuals with bone marrow transplants can have blood with the DNA of the donor but such an individual would not be considered two unique persons. There are also cases of tetragametic chimerism that deal with a merger of two separate fertilised eggs. There's also mosaic chimiersm where an individual, like Foekje Dillema, can have XX cells and XY cells. If being a human being/person is a merely a matter of unique DNA, then you have the absurd situation of these individuals being multiple human beings/persons.

                “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

                -Ghandi (Disputed)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Diogenes View Post


                  What is the Imago Dei though? Since God is not a physical being, the physical aspect of humans wouldn't be the Imago Dei.




                  Tool usage and tool modification is found in other animals and other primates. Though, agreed, no other animal has access to CAD or a 3D printer.
                  <snip>

                  Individuals with bone marrow transplants can have blood with the DNA of the donor but such an individual would not be considered two unique persons. There are also cases of tetragametic chimerism that deal with a merger of two separate fertilised eggs. There's also mosaic chimiersm where an individual, like Foekje Dillema, can have XX cells and XY cells. If being a human being/person is a merely a matter of unique DNA, then you have the absurd situation of these individuals being multiple human beings/persons.
                  Again, it is my understanding other animals do not design and so do not build from a design, that we know about. And it is, as I understand it, natural for the conceived humans by about the 17 day to have their own blood distinct from their mother - even if it is the same blood type. The DNA has its distinctions from the mother.
                  . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

                  . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

                  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 37818 View Post

                    Again, it is my understanding other animals do not design and so do not build from a design, that we know about.
                    So cognitive functions are a criterion for being a human being?


                    And it is, as I understand it, natural for the conceived humans by about the 17 day to have their own blood distinct from their mother - even if it is the same blood type. The DNA has its distinctions from the mother.
                    Individuals with chimerism can have the formation of blood cellular components (haematopoiesis) that has bone marrow donor DNA mixed in with blood cellular components that have their DNA. Also, individuals can have mosaic chimerism and tetragametic chimerism. Are such individuals two human beings given that they have two separate and unique DNA?
                    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

                    -Ghandi (Disputed)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      A human being is a complete and distinct living organism of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens at any stage of its life from conception to death. I would argue that a corpse is also a human being, just a dead one, but that goes beyond the purpose of this discussion.

                      We talk about having a distinct DNA as an indication of being distinctly a different organism from the mother, but the DNA isn't the only criteria, a zygote can split into two or more organisms with the same DNA (Identical Twins, Triplets, etc) and then you have two human beings. Each one is a complete and distinct life form from the mother and from each other, as they each are self-contained and will continue to grow separately.

                      Every one of us was once a single celled organism. It was still "us" and we have a continuous existence that can be traced from that moment to the present. If at any time that wasn't the case the we wouldn't be here.

                      When that continuous chain of existence is interrupted, whether by miscarriage, accident, or abortion, a human life is extinguished and will never grow up, make an impact on the world, have their own children.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                        A human being is a complete and distinct living organism of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens at any stage of its life from conception to death. I would argue that a corpse is also a human being, just a dead one, but that goes beyond the purpose of this discussion.
                        There are actually laws against the mistreatment of a corpse because it is, indeed, a human being, albeit a deceased one.
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

                          So cognitive functions are a criterion for being a human being?
                          It would seem so.

                          Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
                          Individuals with chimerism can have the formation of blood cellular components (haematopoiesis) that has bone marrow donor DNA mixed in with blood cellular components that have their DNA. Also, individuals can have mosaic chimerism and tetragametic chimerism. Are such individuals two human beings given that they have two separate and unique DNA?
                          I do not think so.

                          . . . the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . . -- Romans 1:16 KJV

                          . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV

                          Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1 KJV

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post


                            What is the Imago Dei though? Since God is not a physical being, the physical aspect of humans wouldn't be the Imago Dei.
                            The Canaanite deity El was represented in a physical form.


                            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sparko View Post
                              A human being is a complete and distinct living organism of the species Homo Sapiens Sapiens at any stage of its life from conception to death. I would argue that a corpse is also a human being, just a dead one, but that goes beyond the purpose of this discussion.
                              If this were the case, there would be no human beings in Heaven or Hell, but surely there are "human beings" in Heaven and Hell as man is a living soul. Even as far back as Boethius is a "person" considered a "individual substance of rational substance". In Christian theology, the physical aspect of humans would constitute a rational substance. If you're going to equivocate between "human being" and physicality, you're necessarily going to lose the man being created "in the image, in the likeness" of Elohim. I would not consider a human corpse a human being as it lacks both life and personhood. I don't think that's beyond the scope of this discussion as it pertains to "what is a human being" which is fundamental to the abortion debate.

                              We talk about having a distinct DNA as an indication of being distinctly a different organism from the mother, but the DNA isn't the only criteria, a zygote can split into two or more organisms with the same DNA (Identical Twins, Triplets, etc) and then you have two human beings. Each one is a complete and distinct life form from the mother and from each other, as they each are self-contained and will continue to grow separately.

                              Every one of us was once a single celled organism. It was still "us" and we have a continuous existence that can be traced from that moment to the present. If at any time that wasn't the case the we wouldn't be here.

                              When that continuous chain of existence is interrupted, whether by miscarriage, accident, or abortion, a human life is extinguished and will never grow up, make an impact on the world, have their own children.
                              I have no trouble recognising a zygote et al is an organism, alive, and has distinct human genetic content. These are all biological facts. The issue is why it should be legal or illegal to destroy an organism that is both alive and has distinct human genetic content. Gen 9:6 gives the reason for the proscription against shedding the blood of man due to man being creating in the image of God. So, how is a zygote, embryo, foetus made in the image of God so as to prohibit it's destruction? Sans evidence for a soul, the runner-up would be the neurological correlates to mental states, cognition, and personhood in general. The differentiation of the cerebrum, midbrain, and cerebellum isn't present starting about 11 weeks.
                              “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

                              -Ghandi (Disputed)

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by Machinist, 01-30-2021, 10:14 AM
                              141 responses
                              932 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post Machinist  
                              Working...
                              X