When does life begin?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by thall53, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Yes, I can agree with every bit of that. However, the way I took the OPs question to be is "when does NEW life begin." And that takes me back (still) to your very first sentence - which is what I've been saying all along.

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  3. JuNie Registered Senior Member

    If you agree with the idea that the Cell is the smallest unit of life, then ANY cell could therefore be considered life and includes gametes.
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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Not until five days after conception according to the FDA:

    "... Watson Pharmaceuticals, announced today {1Dec10} that ella (ulipristal acetate) 30 mg, a novel oral emergency contraceptive, is now available for patients by prescription in the U.S. ella was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe and effective in helping to prevent unintended pregnancy for up to five days after unprotected intercourse (UPI) or a known contraceptive failure. ..."

    More at: http://pharmalive.com/news/index.cfm?articleID=747428&categoryid=69

    I have no problem with 5 days delay as that, I think, is about how long a fertilized egg needs to implant in wall of uterus and start to divide. Recall from my post 51, that AFAIK and believe, that fertilized egg is not alive until it can demonstrate that it is by dividing into two viable cells. Most, (>80% I think), can not do that, and are just flushed down the toilet without anyone ever knowing they existed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2010
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  7. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    I've never understood why it is that people think that this is relevant to the 'abortion debate'.

    Why does it matter at all at what time something can be identified as being "alive"?
  8. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Good pont... when "life" begins is irrelevent to a womans rite to choose.!!!
  9. The Esotericist Getting the message to Garcia Valued Senior Member

    ah-ha! Tis a very good point you raise. Here is the crux of the issue, isn't it? I think this is what the OP is getting at, trying to make a case to legislate what is, in the end, a question of spiritual growth, not a matter of law.

    You can't force someone into your version of enlightenment.

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    Every Sperm is Sacred
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  10. Zach Abear Registered Member

    Note: I have only read to post #5. If you think I should read a specific post, please tell me.

    The first breath of air of an infant is merely the first time it receives oxygen and expels carbon dioxide and moisture on its own. Before that it does those activities through the Umbilical Cord. Realizing this, one could say that is has been "breathing" through it's mother's breaths.

    Also, I believe life started long, long ago. We are merely continuations of our parents, as they are continuations of theirs. We call ourselves individuals based on the simple fact that we do not share tissue anymore.

    However, I do believe that calling ourselves individuals allows us to achieve much more in society, especially since that notion is connected to our emotional grasp on life.
  11. dbnp48 Q.E.D. Registered Senior Member

    In my view, a fetus is alive when it can survive outside the mother's body. It's a moving target these days.
  12. elte Valued Senior Member

    thall53, human life begins at conception. The new life hasn't yet gained consciousness, though, and that means it's not yet a human being. One way to look at it is that we lose human beingness when we sleep, also. I believe we ought to to revere human life from conception to death.
  13. glaucon tending tangentially Registered Senior Member

    Consciousness is not a necessary condition to life. Yeast, for example, is alive...
  14. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    to answer the question you need to first define what you mean by life if you mean just alive conception( prior to that they are a part of the mother and father

    now if your talking about when it get rights after birth. before hand it has all the right of a parasite
  15. elte Valued Senior Member

    I think we actually might have been in agreement all along.

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  16. wellwisher Banned Banned

    According to evolution, life began with the first simply replicators or at least the first simple cells. With creationism, life began when the first human or when Adam appears; 2nd day of creation. Relative to abortion, the definition of life, by pro-choice, tends to be closer to creation than evolution, since it assumes life is not life until it takes on the form of a complete human; baby Adam. Whereas those against abortion, tend to use the evolutionary standard of when life began; simple cell. It is quite an irony that the atheists use something closer to the bible standard and the bible people, use something closer to how evolution defines life.
  17. Mind Over Matter Registered Senior Member

    Life begins at conception.
  18. keith1 Guest

    Since I have been witness at length to several hundreds of such "Where does life begin" discussion forums, with the same arguments always raised and the same conclusions drawn, with little headway on any precise consensus proven...,it is my observation then, that life begins after such debate concludes.
  19. Parmenides Registered Senior Member

    I don't really think there is a precise answer to this question. It depends on the criteria you use to define something as being 'alive', but in the case of humans complex religious and metaphysical doctrines which don't really clarify the debate come into the question. To me human life begins when the baby is actually born into this world; the embryo and fetus are potential human beings. Even an infant recently born though is very different from a mature adult. The human body develops and changes over time, which makes a static concept of personhood fairly useless for ethical discussions.
  20. Mind Over Matter Registered Senior Member

    It begins about 3.8 billion years ago, and the pharmaceutical companies/birth control manufacturers are trying to stop it.
  21. keith1 Guest

    Probably longer, since it entered this atmosphere...floating in the winds....

    "Control-of-life initiation means/distribution" is a profit-making enterprise that is greatly shadowed by, and made counter-productive to, the greater profit-making enterprise that is "Elderly-life-care means/distribution".
  22. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    In biological terms, life appears to have originated in some as yet poorly understood events way back in pre-Cambrian times.

    It's propagated itself continuously through time since then. Life forms itself into individual organisms that in turn reproduce new generations of organisms, but there isn't any point in time in that process in which life is absent. Seeds are alive. Sperm and egg cells are alive.

    What we in our daily lives are aware of and concerned with, what we individually are in fact, are the fruiting bodies continually being generated by our particular branch of one temporally continuous life process that's spread itself into every nook, crevice and ecological niche of this planet.

    So the whole question ("when does life begin?") appears to be confused and misleading from a biological perspective.

    Better questions might be -- When is a new generation's genetic individuality established? Or perhaps -- When does a new individual human personality begin to form?

    What people are going to have to do is determine what it is about individual living organisms that they most value. The answer to the question of when that valuable thing first appears is going to be extremely variable and highly dependent on how the 'what's valuable' question is answered.

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