[FoRK] What Is Human? Ugh...

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 3 20:10:12 PST 2004


Gregory Bolcer:
>You are making the argument that there
>is a large class of fertilized eggs that didn't implant. ..

That is an assertion, not an argument.

>Further you are making the argument that
>they should have the same concerns, rights,
>and recognitions as a viable fetus.

No. It is the "pro-lifers" who claim this. I
merely point out that they don't act in a
manner consistent with that. My argument
is that this makes them hypocrites. Note
that there is no reductio ad absurdum
involved in this argument.

>You made the reducto ad absurbum argument pro-lifers concerned with a 
>viable fetus should also be concerned
>with non-viable ones also. ..

That distinction ISN'T relevant IF you view
the zygote as equivalent to a person. The
term "viable" is never applied to people, no
matter what disease they suffer. We don't
say that someone suffering malignant glioma,
or other disease with similarly poor prognosis,
is "non-viable." We say that they have a
dire and fatal disease. And so we fund
research on possible treatments and cures,
and consider it a success if a treatment
gives even a little more life. If you TRULY
view the new zygote as a person, then
whatever natural cause of its failure to
implant is just one more deadly disease,
distinguished primarily by being more
common than any other disease. So why
do pro-lifers not treat it as such?

Or to put this another way, I don't worry
about a zygote that isn't viable, because it
will never become a person. But to anyone
who thinks a fetus already IS a person, then
saying it isn't viable is just another way of
saying "here is a person who is suffering a
fatal disease."

>I'm still very interested if you personally distinguish between different 
>stages of fetuses during pregnancy..

Sure: zygote, morula, blastocyte, embryo,
fetus.

>.. and what rights and recognitions they deserve in each stage.

Maybe I'll address that question another
time.

I wrote:
>>All the estimates I have read say that 30% to 60% of fertilized eggs 
>>naturally fail to implant, with the more recent estimates trending on the 
>>higher side rather than the lower.

Bolcer:
>But what is the frequency?

Somewhere between 30% and 60%.

What is your question?

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