ok, so i didn't understand why harris mentioned that scratching your nose which kills cells could be considered mass genocide. Im not a biologist but these cells don't have the capacity to become human. He equates those cells to the cells in the embryo, if i remember correctly. i can't recall what page # this was on, but this confuses me a little.
All cells have the potential to become human. It’s called ‘cloning’.
Embyronic cells do not have the capacity to become human. They have the potential. Capacity implies they can do it without assistance.
I suspect he was illustrating how any argument can be carried to the point of absurdity. If the Pro-Life movement can define an embryonic cell as a ‘human being’, then it is only fair to define a cell from your nose the same way.
For anyone who’s been watching in horror as the fetus-as-person camp shifts toward activism against contraception, it’s not hard to see that opposition to stem-cell research isn’t the only sphere in which this potential-for-life argument is carried to absurdity.
Also, keep in mind that the embyros Sam discusses are frozen. If they were frozen babies, they would be classified as dead. As it is, they require a great deal of assistance to be reanimated, and then made to develope into living beings.
Is there one among you with an inkling of knowledge about biology (just high school biology). An embryo (or zygote in its eariest stages) is a human being. It only needs nourishment and a place to live (both provided by its mother) It has a full complement of chromosomes and this is how all human beings begin their life. (All of them) A sperm has only a half set of chromosomes it is not a human being. It comes from a human being. The skin cell theoretically can be manipulated into a human being via cloning; however it is not a human being either. These distinctions are pretty simple and if you cannot pick them up, then you are an embarassment to the scientific, atheistic clan to which you supposedly represent. There is no question scientifically about the beginning of human life. I want to be clear. Life begins at conception. It does not matter if conception takes place in the womb, in a petri dish or via cloning. It is not relevant. The fertilized egg is the first stage of human life. Any other position is scientifically untenable.
There is a question about personhood. When does a zygote/embryo/fetus/baby/teenager becaome a human person? This is not a scientific question (although people use scientific evidence) it is a philosophical question. So if Sam Harris said that blowing you nose is equal to genocide then he is every bit as ignorant as I think he is. If you believe that comparing embryos to skin cells is an apt comparison, then you live in scientific ignorance and add nothing to the debate. I am glad you are on the other side.
Jesus F’ing Christ 04 January 2008 06:43 PM - #11
“I am sorry that you are unable to comprehend my words. You are full of aggression and anger, simply because you can not comprehend me. I do comprehend you and your rebellious design. It appears to confuse and irritate you that a female speaks of sexual issues. You are perhaps… as I had anticipated…immature in your emotional and intellectual development. This is what leads your various tribes to their unrighteous domination…and abusiveness. Because you cannot see or comprehend…you say it is not so. I am the evidence that you are wrong.”
Cathy Jean Mockwitz
Hey all, try reading the above quote again, except this time, do it in ‘Robbie Robot speak.’ It’s hysterical: “…you-can-not-com-pre-hend-me. I-do-com-pre-hend-you-and-your-re-bell-ious-de-sign.” It’s like the end result of a bungled alien hybrid experiment that combined JC’s 2000-year-old suntanned DNA, a Jew’s sir-name, and the Olympic-class sexual repression of some female Mahometan (feces be upon her).
Yeah, let’s stop this drain-clogging swill, before the backwash starts to reproduce in numbers that will burka-rize women’s consciousness, reinstate the dark ages, and ship abortion freedom into interstellar overdrive forever.
Are you listening Hamster?
Your argument Salt Creek is not exactly a straw herring. I think it a red man. I don’t know how to make the little trademark symbol. I am not arguing for the sacredness of human life here. I am only arguing that it is a human life. No point in making it sacred until we agree to what it is. We start with the lower sciences and work our way up to the higher sciences. Biology tells us what is human life, philosophy lets us question what that means in relationship to the universe and the highest science lets us question what that means in relationship to the divine.
I agree with your biological assessment frankr. A zygote of human egg and human sperm cells is the beginnings of a human life. To argue that some scientists/atheists don’t realize this is a futile attempt to make those that oppose you on the abortion dilemma look stupid.
The problem comes in with your next biological fact;
““It only needs nourishment and a place to live (both provided by its mother)”“
I guess it’s up to you to decide whether or not the mother is required to provide these two conditions? It’s at this point that you and I part company. While you wish to force the mother to provide (whether she wants to or not), and I leave that decision up to the mother herself. Obviously, the mother knows that this is another potential human being that is alive within her womb, if she didn’t think that there would be no dilemma in the first place.
For those people who are not carrying a potential human being at some formative stage within their bodies, there is a choice to be made:
1) We force the pregnant woman to provide her body, or
2) We give the pregnant woman the right to choose whether or not to provide her body (given certain conditions based on the development of the embryo).
One of the great thinkers of our age, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote the following: “Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems much henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is.” Of course, some scientists, as well as some philosophers and theologians, disagree with some parts of Teilhard’s teachings; the acceptance of his worldview falls short of universal. But there is no doubt at all that Teilhard was a truly and deeply religious man and that Christianity was the cornerstone of his worldview. Moreover, in his worldview science and faith were not segregated in watertight compartments, as they are with so many people. They were harmoniously fitting parts of his worldview. Teilhard was a creationist, but one who understood that the Creation is realized in this world by means of evolution.
Pierre was a Jesuit priest. I think he was involoved in the piltdown man troubles. Some even accuse him of being the forger. When I was in the seminary my classmate was a big fan of him. I found him a little goofy. Nonetheless even in light of evolution, the first man did not start off as bacteria. The first man and all men started off as a fertilized egg. Our ancestors may have been chimps. gorillas or bacteria but if they were then they were not men.
We agree I think. I will stay away from the loaded language. My one exception is that you use potential human being. It is a human being. You might use potential human person. I would disagree but the disagreement would be philosophical and not biological. You could make a philosophical case for potential human person. you cannot make a biological case for potential human being.
I don’t force woman to do anything. Any more than I force my fellow human beings not to steal. There are human beings that do steal despite me saying it is wrong. It is still wrong.
My one exception is that you use potential human being. It is a human being. You might use potential human person. I would disagree but the disagreement would be philosophical and not biological. You could make a philosophical case for potential human person. you cannot make a biological case for potential human being.
Perhaps the sperm and the ovum are the potential human beings. The zygote to delivered fetus might be the, physically dependent human being. Science seems to be closing this gap rather progressively. The time for the natural womb’s necessity is getting shorter and shorter. It probably won’t be that long before it’s not needed. And, perhaps we can call the rest of the decomposed human biological material post expiration, the soul.