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A Conception's Right To Life

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Chip, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Chip

    Chip New Member

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    Recently I have read here at forum that some think the foundational right to life should apply only to post-natal human beings, that some think it should apply to pre-natal human beings closer to birth, and that some think it should apply to pre-natal human beings from the moment of conception.

    Indeed, this is a hot topic in U.S. politics, and has been for some time.

    But when discussing their perspective, people often return to the foundational matter of what is a human and when does a human begin to be.

    These are good questions.

    There seems to be just as many different answers given among posters as there are posters, however, and all of those answers can't be objectively correct, I would rationally conclude.

    So if we were to try to obtain the correct objective answer to the question of what is a human and when does a human begin to be, rather than appeal to religion, or idiosyncracies of the various posters, or biased groups and the lot, it would seem reasonable that we modern people appeal to science.

    So, what does science say on the matter?

    Geneticists of respected DNA science say that to be human, to be a human cell or collection of cells, that each cell must be a diploid cell with two sets of 23 sets of chromosomes, each set received from one parent, and that the genetic content of those chromosomes can be identified to uniquely present the species of that cell to be human.

    But, of course, though that's one of the requirements for being a human being, that's not enough to be a human being, as a brain cell, for instance, meets the aforementioned human criteria, but is certainly not by itself a human being.

    So let's proceed further.

    To be a human being, one must be an individual, standing apart from others of the same species.

    Geneticists of respected DNA science also say that in addition to being able to tell the species of an entity from its chromosome's genetic code, that they can also differentiate individual entities within species the same way.

    Geneticists of respected DNA science also say that though a cell may meet the human species qualifier, that within "the body" of an entity, if the single cell or all the cells are (all) of the same entity, then there is only one human present.

    Geneticists of respected DNA science then go on to say that if, however, there are, by genetic chromosome observation, different human entities within the observed body, then, in reality, there is more than one distinct human within that body ... as in the fact that immediately prior to birth, there is what will within minutes become a birthed "baby" inside of the mother, thus inside the mother's body there is a separate human, by DNA observation, and thus there are two human entities within the skin of the mother: the mother herself, and the human who will soon be her baby.

    Okay, so now we know how to identify a human, from DNA science's perspective, and how to differentiate between different individual humans from DNA science's perspective.

    And yes, some of this is an obvious reality to us intuitively, but that's not the point. The point is that it is also respected modern-day science.

    So the next question is when does a cell(s) of a unique identifiable human become a living human being?

    Let's start with the first appearance of a different human: conception.

    Geneticists of respected DNA science tell us that the first cell to become completely human is the cell of conception. Immediately after the haploid cells (half the chromosomes necessary to be a human) of sperm and egg unite, whether in the womb or a dish, that they begin to transform into and soon do become, before the first cellular division of growth, a complete diploid 23-chromosome human cell, of the human species. The process of egg and sperm uniting is called conception, and the result of that unity is likewise called a conception.

    Geneticists of respected DNA science also tell us that the newly conceived human cell is unique from any other human being's cells with respect to genetic identification of the DNA presenting a cell of a uniquely separate human. Thus, if the conception takes place within the mother's womb, there is then from that point two separate sets of cells within the mother's skin: the cells that are "her's", with respect to her individual entity, and the cells which belong to the newly conceived human within her.

    Now again, I know that all this is intuitively accepted by us, but the scientific presentation is important here, so please bear with me.

    Okay, so now we know from respected DNA science's perspective that a newly conceived cell is a unique entity of the human species.

    But, is it a living being?

    To determine if it is a living being, we must first determine if it is alive. If it passes the "is it alive" test, then by virtue of it already being a unique entity of the human species, the scientifically logical conclusion is that it is a living being.

    Enter respected life science.

    Life scientists have created a consensually accepted conventional multi-criteria test for determining if an entity is a living being. Here are the criteria, and an entity must meet all or reasonably most of the criteria:

    1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment to maintain a constant state; for example, electrolyte concentration or sweating to reduce temperature.

    2. Organization: Being composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.

    3. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components (anabolism) and decomposing organic matter (catabolism). Living things require energy to maintain internal organization (homeostasis) and to produce the other phenomena associated with life.

    4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.

    (Continued in next post as there is a 10,000 character restriction per post.)
     
  2. Chip

    Chip New Member

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    (Continued from first post as there is a 10,000 character restriction per post.)

    5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment. This ability is fundamental to the process of evolution and is determined by the organism's heredity as well as the composition of metabolized substances, and external factors present.

    6. Response to stimuli: A response can take many forms, from the contraction of a unicellular organism to external chemicals, to complex reactions involving all the senses of higher animals. A response is often expressed by motion, for example, the leaves of a plant turning toward the sun (phototropism) and chemotaxis.

    7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.

    Life scientists have applied their criteria to a new unique human conception as follows:

    1. Yes, the conception does reflect homeostasis, the conception does regulate its internal environment.

    2. Yes, the conception is an organization, composed of one and, soon thereafter, more of the same entity cells.

    3. Yes, the conception does reflect metabolic activity from the onset, exhibiting catabolism and anabolism as it changes.

    4. Yes, the conception does grow, beginning the cellular division process from the moment conception completes.

    5. Yes, the conception does adapt (see six below), though if conception takes place in the womb, the womb is already so hospitable that most of the adaptation is merely changes in chemical properties of its immediately developed shell or "skin".

    6. Yes, the conception responds to external stimuli, immediately in many ways, such as thickening its skin as soon as possible to prevent additional external sperm from penetrating it and to begin providing a place of attachment to the uterus.

    7. Yes, the conception meets the criterion of growth by virtue of its immediate commencing of the cellular division process, and though, no, it can't reproduce like a teenaged-reached human can, it's not expected to, just like a five year-old isn't expected to and is still a living human being.

    Thus a conception, according to respected life science, meets all of the criteria for being alive.

    Now, we couple DNA science's individual human conclusion with life science's life conclusion and we realize that a conception is an individual human life, or, in reality thereby, an individual human being.

    Some then ask the question about the conception, which is scientifically determined to be an individual human being: is the newly conceived unique individual human being a person?

    Well, the foundational definition of "person" is a human being. Everyone knows this to be true.

    Thus there seems to be no scientific or definitive propriety doubt at all that a conception is a person, a unique individual human being.

    By respecting science and definitive propriety, we rationally with common sense in this modern day world leave behind our superstitions, religious bias, pre-conceived ideological coping mechanisms ... and embrace science and the scientific method and definitive propriety in working with the relevant terms as the rationally agreed upon objective determiner of the personhood of the newly conceived unique individual human being.

    Or ... do we?

    Not everyone does.

    And not everyone does for many of the aforementioned reasons.

    And the issue is, obviously, a critical issue in U.S. politics, indeed in world politics as far as the application of the right to life is recognized.

    So ... let's discuss the matter.

    I have decided to take the position of definitive propriety and respected DNA and life science and, as my time allows and I deem necessary, elaborate and defend it, and yes, the psychology of we posters and our reasons for supporting and rejecting this obvious reality is fair game.

    So I will begin by saying that I psychologically accept the scientific method as the determiner that a unique individual human being begins to live at the moment of conception because it respects both sentient observed reality and intuitively obvious reality, it describes and presents processes and conclusions that jibe with other known material facts of matter and energy, and thus respects the axioms of physics and chemistry ... and thus comes the closest to if not actually does present the truth in the matter ... and the truth is important to me, because facing the truth, no matter how hard it is, expands my awareness and makes me all the more likely to live a truly fulfilled life.

    Thus I believe, understandably, that the right to life does rightly apply to a human being from the moment of conception.

    So ... what say ye?
     
  3. oceanenvy

    oceanenvy New Member

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    To me, it's more about about superceding rights than defining when life begins. Think about your summary from a legal standpoint. If a being had rights at the moment of conception, ALL forms of birth control except barrier methods or spermicides would be, by logic, illegal. The birth control pill does not prevent fertilization or conception, but rather implantation. Therefore, if a fertilized egg had rights, and we did not allow it to implant, out goes the birth control pill.

    A bill to define human rights at conception was introduced here in Colorado and we voted on it this November. It lost overwhelmingly.
     
  4. Unite Our Nation

    Unite Our Nation New Member

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    "So...what say ye?"

    I love this line!! ;)

    Great post and very well written. The problem is, humans often make decisions based upon what they think is best for them. Agree? If you do, you will see that no amount of proving life at conception will work because you can't get humans past WHAT IS BEST FOR THEM. Most believe it is choice.

    Interestingly, when what's "best for them" isn't involved, humans do make the correct decision. For instance. Our laws protect bald eagle eggs. In fact, there are people in jail for harming the eggs.
     
  5. Chip

    Chip New Member

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    Yes, that is what it would mean.


    Again, you are correct both on your presentation of how these methods can function and what that would mean if the right to life was legally bestowed on newly conceived people.


    Yes, again true.

    But I find the fact that the bill existed and was voted on to be absolutely amazing in its historic beginning as a breakthrough proposition.

    This means that we're finally addressing at the polls the crux of the matter germane to this thread.


    First of all, let's think of it from a scientific standpoint.

    Could there be any other rational conclusion than that a unique individual human being begins to live at the moment of conception?

    Not really.

    Thus, and with respect to the reality of rights, the newly conceived human being deserves equal protection under the law.

    As far as superceding rights are concerned, I'm sure that monarchs felt that way about their "special" rights when the people presented the Magna Charta and The English Bill of Rights to them telling the monarchs that they were in error about those special rights of being able to imprison anyone and punish them any way they want for any reason, but the monarchs quickly realized the irrationality of "superceding rights" in the face of a compelling argument. :cool:

    When we learn something new, that does indeed change, not only the way we view that something, but how we must immediately begin respecting it from our new and accurate view of reality, and all the behaviors which were set in precedent of old erroneous information must now be quickly corrected.

    And, granted, that will be a huge task, but it is a task we are humanely compelled to undertake.

    For example, there are pharmaeceutical companies presently testing new generation state-of-the-art conception prevention chemicals that lop off the tails of sperms and thicken to impenetrability the outer membrane of released eggs, among other methods.

    There are three philosophies at play here: ontological, epistemological, utilitarian.

    It may indeed require all three to be ready to accept the truth of this matter that science presents, especially with regard to utilitarians, as they are more interested in what works for them than in what is the truth and what is right.
     
  6. Chip

    Chip New Member

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    Yeah, there's nothing like a little old English to invite discussion.


    Thank you.

    I admit I took extra care with this one.


    Yes, I do, as I presented near the end of my previous post, to Oceanenvy.


    True, sometimes trying to change others can be a codependent waste of our time.

    But I won't try here so much to get them to get past what is best for them.

    The question of whether a unique individual human being begins to live at the moment of conception is really all that I'll likely pursue ... as once they acknowledge the rational common sense of it, the rest of the changes will happen automatically from within them in their own time.


    Yes, many do, though I wonder if that many is "most".

    Regardless, "most" of those do so with statements like "it's not a human being until it is born" or " it's not a human being until the final trimester" or "it's not a human being until it has a heartbeat" or "it's not a human being until it has a brain nearly formed" or "it's not a human being until I say it is", those kind of statements.

    Let's see what happens when their past coping mechanisms meet present-day scientific reality.


    Indeed, when something personally afflicts people, it can momentarily blind them from seeing the whole matter clearly.

    They make a utilitarian "best for them" choice that they wouldn't make on another matter not so close to them.
     
  7. Unite Our Nation

    Unite Our Nation New Member

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    Chip,

    I would hope that the human race would someday mature far enough to hold every life as valuable. The problem is, it appears we are moving in the opposite direction.

    Gangs kill one another with a coldness not seen a meer 30 years ago.

    Children kill others without showing regret or shock.

    Abortion increases yearly...especially the "repeaters". (1995 approx. 1.2Million - 2008 approx 1.6Million

    The key to stopping so many abortions is birth control of course. The key to girls using birth control is their parents. You see the disconnect I'm referring to...
     
  8. Chip

    Chip New Member

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    Yes, I too sense we've become more utilitarian as a symptom of increasing disaffection.

    I believe the problem began to ramp up in the sixties when moms were taken out of the home and placed in the workforce in greater numbers.

    This helped make them more of a thinker ... and less of a feeler.

    So, between kids being without their mom, and the mom they did get when she was available becoming less of a feeler, subtlties in disaffection began to creep into the home.

    After a couple of generations of increasingly more of that, we now have a lot more affectively detached people running around.

    Such people have more of a utilitarian foundation, whatever seems to work for them, even if it ignores how things truly are and disrespects the rights of others.

    I don't know what the solution to this is.

    But I'm hoping that someway we can correct this mistake in direction and make a u-turn to a return to traditional motherhood that should help reverse this sad situation and that people might once again be more ontologically based and utilitarian a distant third after an epistemological second, which reflects respect for the way we're made.
     
  9. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    Don't forget about "conservatives" who trumped-up excuses for War.

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Chip, you are not being honest with us. You copied and pasted your criteria out of context from Wikipedia and didn't give credit to that source, and what the thrust of the article was really about.
    http://www.wikipediaondvd.com/nav/art/t/7.html
    That article used the term "life" to define it at a species level not at a particular level of development of a particular entity. For example viruses do not metabolize and thus do not qualify as life under certain definitions.

    The "consensually accepted conventional multi-criteria test" was misused. The criteria that they gave tells us that the human zygote is a homosapien life form. The criteria was never meant to say that the undeveloped zygote is "alive."
     
  11. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    There is always the question of "best for whom". Does the right of the host disappear at the instant of conception? In cases of rape? Incest? Birth defect? Who gets to decide whose right takes precedence?

    In matters of a persons being secure in themselves, I have to come down on the side of woman deciding the fate of her offspring as long as it is inside her, living as a parasite in her body, and unable to live outside of her. Once viability is reached, then it becomes a person. The early Christian church argued that only at birth did a soul enter the body and it became a person. Their reasoning was that such a huge percentage of conceptions ended in no birth that it didn't make any sense for God to instill a soul until the baby was born (viability from their perspective). I am not a fan of abortion, but I am also not a fan of telling women what they can do with their bodies and the contents of their bodies. It's a tough call and the only real way to solve it is for us to find better ways of preventing pregnancy.
     
  12. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Thank you, when a poster is being disingenuous it's a good thing to know.
     
  13. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you got that backwards.

    The article said that these criteria define life but there are exceptions. All of the exceptions are examples where organisms do not meet the criteria but are still considered to be life. Not the other way around. So viruses are considered to be life even though they don't meet all the criteria.

    Additionally while the criteria was not intended to address specifically the undeveloped zygote it was intended to address every single organism on the planet which would necessarily include all the developmental stages of every species.

    You may all read the article and see for yourselves.
     
  14. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    Well done, Chip.
     
  15. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    I did not see that in the article. I maintain that you got it backwards. The virus example was given by the authors to show how narrower or broader definitions may include or exclude different life forms.

    Wiki quote: "...viruses and aberrant prion proteins are often considered replicators rather than forms of life..."

    I'm sorry, but the article was intended to specifically address every single potential species, NOT every single organism. Chip was using the Wikipedia criteria to ask "is it alive" presumably to argue that killing a zygote is unethical.

    The article was asking the question of whether some specific species or replicating entity is a form of life.
    Wiki quote: "It is important to note that life is a definition that applies primarily at the level of species..."

    That is very clearly stated. You are misinterpreting "species" to apply to a specific exemplar of development, e.g. a zygote.

    Please be aware that I am not arguing an ethical issue, I am arguing a scientific issue -- an errant interpretation.
     
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