Why a Single Human Cell is Not a Baby

Why a Single Human Cell is Not a Baby September 14, 2016

 

Abortion pro-choice pro-life

 


 

See also: A Defense of Abortion Rights: The Spectrum Argument

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Mother Teresa spent her whole life making sure that
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  • And a zygote that fails to implant is not a miscarriage.

    • lady_black

      Correct. It’s a menstrual period.

  • Sophia Sadek

    But the Church believes that cell has a soul. It must be a pretty pathetic soul to take up less than a single cell.

    • lady_black

      They’re welcome to believe any nonsense they want. Such a claim requires proof if they expect anyone else to buy it.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Alas, the sacred mysteries require no proof. They only require deception.

    • There were several saints who didn’t, like Augustine and Thomas Acquinas, although abortion was nonetheless still forbidden as contrary to natural law. Catholicism teaches that the soul is the “form of the body”. Those who felt the soul entered seem vindicated, as its hard for the idea that a zygote has a body to sound credible.

      • Sophia Sadek

        The Church opposed abortion, but Hildegard of Bingen taught women about herbs that induce menses, a form of abortion.

        • I’m not surprised. There are Catholics who disagree with their stance now too. Although one wonders if many know this. Do you have a source? I understand herbs were the common abortifacient in those days, though of limited effectiveness from what I’ve read.

        • Sophia Sadek

          I read quite a variety of sources on Hildegard. I cannot recall which one discussed her study of the herbal remedies of her time. It may have been Victoria Sweet or Sabina Flanagan.

        • Okay. Are you interested in Catholic mystics?

        • Sophia Sadek

          Of course.

        • Interesting. Why is that? I don’t know much about it myself.

        • Sophia Sadek

          For one thing, they tend to better educated than run-of-the-mill Catholics. Many of them had exposure to cultures outside of the Christian bubble.

        • Were any influenced by non-Christian spiritual practices and beliefs do you think?

        • Sophia Sadek

          The strongest influence seems to have been from pre-Christian cultures.

        • That makes sense. We necessarily build on the past.

        • Sophia Sadek

          Galileo considered himself to be a Pythagorean.

        • They were heliocentrist too, is that why?

        • Sophia Sadek

          They had the best math and the best literature in the ancient world.

        • From what I understand, the Pythagoreans thought numbers were divine, or some such. Also they were vegetarians, so for centuries it was known as the “Pythagorean diet”.

        • Sophia Sadek

          Not to mention their opposition to animal sacrifice. Whenever I observe a Buddhist ritual involving an incense sacrifice I think of it as a Pythagorean sacrifice.

        • Yes, when I read about their belief in reincarnation and that they felt killing or eating animals would bring “bad karma” (not by that name of course) it struck me how similar it was to Hindu/Buddhist ideas. I wonder whether they were ever influenced by Indian thinking, or simply came to these ideas on their own.

        • Sophia Sadek

          There is a record of intercourse between India and the Mediterranean during the peak of the Pythagorean enlightenment. The biggest vector of communication was opened up by Alexander during his sojourn in that part of the world.

        • I knew that Alexander had reached India, but wasn’t sure how much if any either culture influenced the other. So perhaps they did get some ideas that way.

        • MNb

          If you want to know more about that subject I suggest you to contact

          http://www.livius.org/contact/

          He has written an excellent biography of Alexander the Great and is highly interested in the cultural exchanges between Hellenistic Antiquity (and also the Roman Empire) at one hand and Persia and India at the other hand.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jona_Lendering

        • Sophia Sadek

          There are some scholars who credit the Greek influence in India for Buddhist art. Much of the statuary has a Hellenistic aesthetic.

        • Greg G.

          Several years ago, the local art museum had a weeklong series of lectures on Buddhist art. I attended a couple of them. They pointed out that the Buddhists adopted Greek sculpture concepts.

        • Interesting. Buddhists in India?

        • Myna A.

          Siddhārtha Gautama was born, lived and taught in Ancient India.

          India has given sanctuary to the Dalai Lama since his exile from Tibet.

        • I knew that, poor phrasing on my part. What I meant to ask is was it Buddhists in India that had been influenced by the Greeks? I think they had also spread to China by that point. Regardless I presume it was the ones in India due to having contact, but confirmation would be helpful.

        • Myna A.

          I found this on Greco-Buddhist art, if it is helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_art

        • Thanks.

        • MNb

          Or Greeks and buddhists in northern Afghanistan/ Uzbekistan.

          http://www.livius.org/articles/place/bactria/

          See the link in my reaction to Greg G just above. Termez was a city in Bactria.

        • Greg G.

          My wife went on a tour of the Buddhist temples in India a few years ago. Many countries have a temple in India. Buddhism began there.

          When my wife was in her early teens, she lived on a farm without electricity or plumbing. Yet she was appalled by how the country folk lived in India. Mainly it was the way the farm animals lived in the house as if there was no distinction between house and barn.

        • Yes, I know. See above.

          It is still very poor in many places, yes. Hindu belief in cows’ sanctity also allows them to roam free, often causing traffic jams in the cities.

        • MNb
        • How cool.

        • MNb

          Not to downplay the Pythagorean mathematicians, but Euclides and Archimedes were at least at the same level. Galilei thought the same.

        • Sophia Sadek

          What would disqualify them from participating in the Pythagorean tradition?

  • RichardSRussell

    The self-proclaimed pro-life* crowd is entirely too obsessive about the imaginary people they claim to be concerned about. They need to calm down, switch off their circuit diagrams, get out of their blueprints, sit in the shade of their acorns, listen to the pleasant songs of the eggs, and stop to smell the pollen.
    ––––––
    *short for “proliferators”

    • And the pro-deathers ought to quit being science deniers and acknowledge that a new human life is present at conception. I smell the fresh air every day as I walk on my grounds; it shows me the beauty of life no matter how tiny and no matter how much the imaginary rights creators pretend that to kill the smallest is somehow an act of bravery or a civll right.

      • Kodie

        Unless it’s a woman.

      • Michael Neville

        We have admitted at there’s a human life at conception. What we say is (a) it isn’t a human being and (b) you forced-birthers refuse to acknowledge that an adult woman has more rights than a non-sentient clump of cells.

        Just because you hate women (and yes, you’re a misogynist) is no reason for you to deny rights to women. You think of women as merely mobile incubators but in reality they’re more than that. Too bad you won’t admit it.

        • Just because you hate women (and yes, you’re a misogynist)

          Perhaps you can work up to misogynist by starting with arrogant. He imagines that when a pregnant woman makes a decision about her body that he disagrees with, he gets to overrule her. He knows how to manage her life better than she does, even when she’s the one on the front lines.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        The alternative in use of abortion is not simply the possibility of getting a living baby at birth but forcing an unwilling person to be a machine (onto infinity since they make more “machines”). Humans die from lack of consent to use other people’s organs everyday.

      • RichardSRussell

        You should look into Jainism and tell me if you find it persuasive, because it takes your basic premise to its logical conclusion.

      • the pro-deathers

        Oh, I get it. Because we all want to kill all living things, including all fetuses, right? Good one!

        a new human life is present at conception

        I agree. So what? It’s still a single cell. (Y’know, I should do a post that tries to help people get their minds around how vastly different people are from the single cells they started as …)

        it shows me the beauty of life no matter how tiny

        If you want to grant anything the same right to life that you have, that’s fine. Just don’t be arrogant enough to imagine that you can impose that on the rest of the country.

      • Myna A.

        I smell the fresh air every day as I walk on my grounds; it shows me the beauty of life no matter how tiny and no matter how much the imaginary rights creators pretend that to kill the smallest is somehow an act of bravery or a [civll] right.

        Oh, you’re so saintly, so good, so holy as you walk your precious grounds; a veritable Schweitzer in our midst.

        • every day as I walk on my grounds

          I was getting conflicting images. First, a squire walking his expansive estate. And then someone walking the prison grounds.

          That’s just my imagination getting the better of me, I guess.

        • Myna A.

          I always distrust people who promote an idealized mythology of themselves. I am so deep and meaningful.

          And then someone walking the prison grounds.

          I’m envisioning Warden Norton at Shawshank for some reason.

        • Ignorant Amos

          An arrogant prick with his head firmly stuck up his own arsehole.

      • Ignorant Amos

        I smell the fresh air every day as I walk on my grounds;…

        And how privileged you are to be able to…a lot of the folk on the planet are not so much.

        http://www.worldpolicy.org/sites/default/files/node_img/2399948261_5469ef1de4_b.jpg

        …it shows me the beauty of life…

        FFS wise up and smell the coffee. For every example of beauty there are numerous examples of ugly. What a cretinous thing to say.

        http://img.medscapestatic.com/pi/meds/ckb/41/37641tn.jpg

        …no matter how tiny and no matter how much the imaginary rights creators pretend that to kill the smallest is somehow an act of bravery or a civll right.

        The rights reside with the woman. It is recognised as such in most civilised societies worldwide and even moreso as we move forward, so ya better get used to it and suck it up.

      • Ignorant Amos
  • Eric Collier

    That chart omitted one crucial detail: the single cell may be almost completely inert, but it has a soul. It was ensouled at the moment of conception. No way around that.

    • lady_black

      Here’s my way around that. Complete and utter NONSENSE. There is no “moment of conception.”
      Conception is a process, and there is no evidence of anything called “ensoulment.” It’s a load of rubbish.

      • SparklingMoon,

        Reflection shows that the body is the mother of the soul. The
        soul does not descend from outside into the womb of a pregnant woman. It is a light that is inherent in the sperm which begins to shine forth with the development of the foetus. The Word of God Almighty conveys to us that the soul becomes manifest from the framework that is prepared in the womb from the sperm, as is said in the Holy Quran:

        [23:13] Verily, We created man from an extract of clay;[23:14] Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository[23:15] Then We fashioned the sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump; then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump; then We clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed it into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators.

        The meanings of ”then We developed it into another creation. So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators” is that God bestows a new creation on the body that is prepared in the womb and that new creation is called the soul. Greatly blessed is God Who has no equal as a creator. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • kraut2

          Kindly go and fuck yourself and your Quran.

        • lady_black

          What in the bloody hell are you talking about?

        • It is a light that is inherent in the sperm which begins to shine forth with the development of the foetus.

          Ah–that explains why I glow in the dark. (Or at least part of me does.)

          My hopes of becoming a naked ninja are now crushed.

        • SparklingMoon,

          It is absolutely true that the soul is a fine light developed inside the body and which is nurtured in the womb. To begin with it is hidden and imperceptible and later it is made manifest. From the very beginning its essence is present in the sperm. It is related to the sperm in a mysterious manner by the design and command and will of God. It is a bright and illumined quality of the sperm. It can not be said that it is a part of the sperm as matter is part of matter, nor can it be said that it comes from outside. It is latent in the sperm as fire is latent in the flint.(Ruhanikhazain)

        • Kodie

          “Absolutely true” is a concept you are opposite from.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why not just “true”? I’m guilty of the same I guess. I don’t think there is a need for such qualifiers, yet I’m sure I use them. “Very” true is a particular favourite.

        • Kodie

          I don’t mind if it is added for emphasis, but it is also a way of waving your hands over the blatant unsupported assertion. It’s not just true that the soul is a fine light, it’s “absolutely true”. Sparky doesn’t know from true or absolutely true or very true, he only knows bullshit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I suppose when the emphasis is added as an allusion to sincerity, that’s okay.

          It always makes me laugh when the courtroom oath is pledged though.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Zeta

          I can’t tell whether the quote is really from him or it was generated by http://wisdomofchopra.com/
          It actually makes no difference!

        • Ignorant Amos

          It actually makes no difference!

          Exactly…nonsense is nonsense regardless of the source.

          Verbal diarrhoea dressed up as meaningless word salad, a rose by any other name, smells just as sweet and all that jazz.

        • Whoa! That is deep, man.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Don’t get me started…ave been out on the piss all afternoon and I’m waiting on a mixed kebab special delivery from the local Indian takeaway….and there’s a bottle or two of RSA Pinotage with my name on it…it could get messy. }8O)~

        • Myna A.

          The upside-down thing is, New-Age types actually understand that guy. It’s like if Hieronymus Bosch wrote the images of his paintings rather than actually painted them.

        • MNb

          “It is absolutely true that the soul is a fine light ”
          Light has frequency. What is the frequency of the soul?
          Also: what’s the difference between fine light and not-fine light?

        • Michael Neville

          My hopes of becoming a naked ninja are now crushed.

          I hope SparklingMoon realizes that Bob’s boyhood ambition has been thoroughly rebuffed. Now Bob will have to become a trainer of performing ferrets or some other mundane job.

        • Zeta

          Verily, We created man from an extract of clay;[23:14] Then We placed
          him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository[23:15] Then We fashioned the
          sperm into a clot; then We fashioned the clot into a shapeless lump;
          then

          Hahaha. What nonsense!

          Your god created man first and then place him as a drop of sperm. This man must be microscopic. So your god already pre-selects, out of millions of them in a single ejaculation, which sperm to place him in. But then why create the millions of other sperms which do not carry the microscopic man?

          Then the sperm becomes a clot (what kind of clot is this?) and then the clot becomes a shapeless lump. All very scientific and convincing!

        • Ignorant Amos

          An homunculus?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Start drawing the transmutation circles!

        • SparklingMoon,

          “Verily, We created man from an extract of clay;[23:14] Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository[23:15]
          ——————————————————————————–

          The descriptions of these verses have mentioned the process of creation of the noblest handiwork of God from the earliest stage when he lies dormant in the form of dust. The inorganic constituents of the earth through a subtle process of change become converted into the life-germ by way of food which a human being eats.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Then the sperm becomes a clot (what kind of clot is this?) and then the clot becomes a shapeless lump. All very scientific and convincing! …..no eggs are needed.. No wonder women are not important.
          ——————————-

          This verse of the Quran: ”Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a safe depository” [23:15] refers to the fetal stages. The sperm is deposited in the ovum and there it finds a safe repository and
          begins to grow.

          This verse and next verses of the Qur’an proceed to describe
          different stages of his physical development and growth. Leaving out biological technicalities the verses of the Quran give these description in a clear and easily understandable language.

          The impregnated ovum on its arrival in the cavity of the womb chooses by mutual attraction a place for its abode in the inner
          wall of the womb, and there it becomes attached to it and does not flow out with discharges. After that it makes an erosion into this spot, and produces bleeding, thus making its way into the layers of the decidua. Then it becomes increasingly covered up with maternal blood, forming within the ovum a connection with it. At this stage it looks like a mass of congealed blood and therefore the Qur’an calls it in Arabic ” Alqa ” (Clot) which not only means congealed blood but also signifies an attachment or connection with something else. Thus a brief single word describes this stage of the ovum, i.e. its attractions, connnections and the formation of the blood-vessels in it. In the next stage the ovum becomes a blaster, which is called in Arabic ”muzagha” (shapless lump) in the Qur’an. This blastoderm has three layers from which all the organs of the fetus are developed.

          The Qur’an then describes the transformation of the layers of the blastoderm by the words, Then We fashioned bones out of this shapeless lump, which means that out of the muzagha(lump) God creates bones. After this God covers the bones with flesh and skin and other organs and then He perfects its creation internally.

          At this stage the body in the womb develops a soul from within itself. The Qur’an has described this remarkable change in the words: ”Then We developed it into another creation”. These words show that the soul is not imported into the human body from outside, but grows in the body as it develops in the womb. It is an
          essence which is distilled from the body in the course of a long process, It has at first no separate existence from the body but the processes through which the body passes during its development in the womb distils from the body a delicate essence’ which is called the soul.

          As soon as the relationship between the soul and the body becomes completely adjusted, the heart begins to function.
          The soul then has a distinct existence of its own apart from the body which henceforth serves it as a shell.

        • Zeta

          Beside all the mumbo-jumbo in your reply, why do you evade the following question I posed?

          So your god already pre-selects, out of millions of them in a single
          ejaculation, which sperm to place him in. But then why create the
          millions of other sperms which do not carry the microscopic man?

        • MNb

          “Reflection shows that the body is the mother of the soul.”
          Reflection shows that religious bias is the mother of the soul.

    • Zeta

      Does that soul go to heaven whenever there is a miscarriage? If yes, when does it believe in a religion such as Christianity or Islam, etc? If not, what happens to this soul?

      • The soul goes to heaven after a miscarriage? I guess it goes to heaven after an abortion, too.

        Sounds like the pro-life worries are solved.

      • SparklingMoon,

        Does that soul go to heaven whenever there is a miscarriage? If yes, when does it believe in a religion such as Christianity or Islam, etc? If not, what happens to this soul?
        ——————————————————————
        As every sperm does not turn into a complete full of life physical body (for example if it has abortion before reaching to a certain level of completion) as every existed soul in a body, does not go to heaven until it progresses its attributes to a certain level to give birth an other soul that we can call a new spiritual soul.

        As body is the mother of its soul that points to the strong relationship between the soul and the body. This example of close relationship instructs that physical acts and words and movements (when they are manifested in the cause of God) that is to say, all these sincere actions are charged with a spiritual soul as the sperm is charged with a soul. As the framework of those actions is developed, the soul with which they are charged begins to shine and when that framework becomes complete the soul inside it shines forth in its full manifestation and discloses its spiritual aspect. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Dys

          But since souls are imaginary (as are the places they supposedly go to), the answer from your favourite Islamic heretic doesn’t matter in the slightest.

        • Zeta

          Another regurgitation of nonsensical Ahmadiyya teaching which uses a lot of unnecessary words to say something simple.

        • epeeist

          Another regurgitation of nonsensical Ahmadiyya teaching which uses a lot of unnecessary words to say something simple.

          You forgot to add “and completely made up”.

    • MNb

      Of course there is a way around that.
      What is accepted without evidence can be rejected without evidence.
      Newborn babies, kids, youngsters and adults don’t have souls either.

    • eric

      Or maybe it has several souls! Or maybe it has one soul in seven parts that goes seven different places. And maybe every animal has a soul, and slapping a mosquito has the same moral value as killing a human. Or maybe every animal including all humans share a single soul. Or maybe the soul was happily floating around before en-cell-ation and will happily float around after the cell dies, waiting to enter another cell. Heck, maybe all these souls are really really upset about en-cell-ation because they all have a tense badminton tournament going and every time they get unwillingly shoved in a body, the Spiritual Badminton Authorities register it as a loss. Letting them go back to their tournament may be the morally best thing to do.

      All of these claims (including yours) are equally well supported, and should be given equal consideration.

    • Kodie

      I heard that souls were fictional.

    • catfink

      It was ensouled at the moment of conception. No way around that.

      Except for the part where there’s no such thing as ensoulment.

      • Maoh

        BUT IT’S IN THE DICTIONARY! How do you respond to THAT??

        • Pofarmer

          Thousands of years of religious brainwashing and unscientific gobbledygook?

        • Maoh

          Next you’re going to tell me that “Dord” isn’t real either!

        • al kimeea

          Kewl a ghost word

    • Dys

      but it has a soul. It was ensouled at the moment of conception. No way around that.

      No it doesn’t. Souls would have to be a real thing first. Ensoulment is just theistic magic – there’s no evidence of any such thing ever happening.

      • You think the biology of fetal development is complicated? Don’t get Eric on to the discussion of ensoulment! When the zygote divides into twins, how does the soul get divided? When one of the twins gets reabsorbed, where does its soul go? And what are the physics of soul transport?

        It’s a big subject, my friend.

        • eric

          “Reabsorbed” is such a neutral word. If religious conservatives want to claim cells are people, then they should be willing to describe such acts using words that apply to people.

          Reabsorbed = murdered and eaten. Cannibalized alive. If we are to hold zygotes to the standard of people, then many of them are guilty of manslaughter and cannibalism before they even grow a brain. And if it sounds ridiculous to use those terms with a zygote….that is the entire point. It is ridiculous, because they are not people.

        • Robert Baden

          Nope. both cell lines survive in chimeras.
          Eaten by the ova is what happens to sperm cells during fertilization.

        • Dys

          The physics of woo can indeed become extremely complicated.

        • lady_black

          And what about chimeras??? They must have TWO souls! Abominations! /s

        • And conjoined twins–maybe 1.5 souls?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Maybe souls are like holes. No matter how many times ya divide a hole, or add another hole to it, it is still one hole…mind you, there is nothing in it according to Peter. And ya can’t get something from nothing, apparently.

    • James Chapman

      So identical twins must end up with a half of a soul each. No way around that.

      • Kevin K

        Let’s not get started on triplets!

        • al kimeea

          Octomom?

      • lady_black

        They are abominations! /s

    • … just cuz you said so? Or do you have evidence of this soul?

      No way around that.

      Except for the fact that the soul is superstitious mumbo-jumbo, you’re right.

    • epeeist

      It was ensouled at the moment of conception.

      So what happens to the souls of the vast numbers of zygotes that never implant and are spontaneously aborted?

    • Kompi

      You let us know when a single cell decides to start singing Mustang Sally.

      Because that’d actually be pretty awesome.

    • alverant

      And where exactly is this soul contained in the cell?

      • epeeist

        And where exactly is this soul contained in the cell?

        Don’t be silly, it is obviously outside of space and time; otherwise we would be able to detect it.

        Of course that raises the question of how a particular non-material
        soul is associated with a particular single cell…

    • Gonna need book, chapter, and verse on that, Eric. Pretty sure your assertion is unscriptural.

    • Eric Collier

      I’m starting to sense that my comment is being taken seriously. It was purely facetious. There is no soul; no afterlife; no Jesus. It’s infantile neo-lithic drivel. I’m holding out some hope for Qatsoquoatl.

      • Michael Neville

        Your original comment is boiler-plate Christian dogma. You shouldn’t be surprised if people took it seriously because it’s the majority view of Christians.

        Pro-tip: If you’re trying to be sarcastic make the sarcasm obvious.

      • Quetzalcoatl–isn’t he the guy with the noodly appendages? Or maybe I’m confusing him with someone else.

  • Very amateurish, non-scientific reasoning.

    Why, scientifically, the zygote is a human: In multicellular organisms, the zygote is the organism’s earliest developmental stage (ie: day one of the rest of your life).

    To say a human is expendable because of some arbitrary criteria isn’t a well-reasoned approach. What if a doesn’t check one or more of the boxes. Are they expendable, no matter their age? How many boxes do they have to check before they’re really human? How many cells do they have to be comprised of before they’re really human? How do you define this in a non-arbitrary, reasoned manner? Are you saying that once a fetus checks all the boxes, they should then be protected? This would be by the end of the first trimester, so agreeing that they should be protected at this point would be an enlightened view, compared to that held by most progressives.

    • James Chapman

      Sorry, but I don’t buy this arbitrary elevation of the zygote. Gametes are human, too.

      • Carol Lynn

        Every sperm is sacred! Why stop at gametes? It’s only technology that keeps every shed skin cell or clip of hair or nails being cloned into a full, human adult! I think we need to start collecting shed skin cells for the day when each and every one of them can be their own person. Every cell is sacred and certainly has the potential to have their own personhood.

        • Let’s take it even further: the lustful thought in a guy’s head is a person.

          Gentlemen! If you don’t pursue that lustful thought, you’re committing murder! (And don’t get me started about masturbation …)

          You had 2 kids? Why not 3?

          You had 3 kids? Why not 5?

          You had fewer kids that you and your wife were biologically allowed to have? Murderer!

        • Pofarmer

          You had fewer kids that you and your wife were biologically allowed to have? Murderer!

          There’s some religious nuts getting pretty fucking close to that.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          The most face-palming “arguments” against homosexuality, for example.

        • alverant

          That’s pretty much what Martin Luther said.

        • lady_black

          Martin Luther was an idiot.

        • al kimeea

          Yeah but he wrote beer drinking songs, so all his hateful baggage is inconsequential

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Ugh, the amounts of “holy” body horror Christians have collected over the years can turn stomachs, face-palm, and just plain make one rage all at once- I guess those relics are fucked up (“super holy”).

        • Ignorant Amos

          De Praeputio Domini

          The 12+ holy foreskins of Jesus for example.

          For Catholic’s to even talk about it/them can be grounds for excom.

          https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/how-many-foreskins-does-one-god-need?utm_term=.cnRwqmwqEl#.jw4DM2DMWb

          The Holy Foreskins weren’t the only odd relics. As well as the usual bones and hair and blood, there was Holy Breast Milk, Holy Faeces, Holy Urine, and more.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          “The 12+ holy foreskins of Jesus for example.”

          This reminds me of that saint who had Jesus foreskin “miraculously” move in her mouth and up and down her throat (Jesus seems to be well-endowed and uncut).

          Also, check out:

          http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/fda_miracles.htm#relics

          This is what fellating Jesus gets ya (check out #4):

          http://www.cracked.com/article_23314_the-5-most-unintentionally-disgusting-religious-artifacts.html

        • Ignorant Amos

          Feckin’ freaky the whole lot of it, silly fuckwits.

          The relic business has become a bit of an embarrassment for the RCC in recent times and rightly so.

          http://articles.philly.com/1999-10-06/news/25506069_1_relics-reliquary-catholic-theologians

          There are enough pieces of the cross it is said, to rebuild Noah’s Ark.

          Then there’s this…

          http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljqdomE0uT1qggdq1.jpg

          http://www.badnewsaboutchristianity.com/pics_06/mary..jpg

          http://wtfarthistory.com/post/4653307783/milk-from-the-virgins-breast

          Definitely something not right about that.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          And Christians tell us they’re not sex-obsessed. Jesus, if you exist, you are literally fucking stupid.

        • That’s disturbing. The whole Catholicism thing make good sense to me up to that point, but I’m afraid the milk thing just crosses the line.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t know exactly what they bring, but I know that one of the relics brought to the Marian conference at St. Louis last year was a piece of the “true cross.” People can be so gullible.

        • al kimeea

          You’re serious, there actually is holy shit.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • al kimeea

          Holy shit I want one of those pooping popes

        • I found this as a caption to one: “Ceramic figurines of Pope Francis called “Caganers” are pictured during their presentation in Torroella de Montgri, near Gerona on November 15, 2013. Statuettes of well-known people defecating are a strong Christmas tradition in Catalonia, dating back to the 18th century as Catalonians hide caganers in Christmas Nativity scenes and invite friends to find them. The figures symbolize fertilization, hope and prosperity for the coming year. (Lluis Genelluis/AFP/Getty Images)”

          Perhaps that’ll give you something to search for.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Coming up to Christmas the shops in Spain put extravagant diorama’s in the shop window encompassing the Nativity and including El Caganer hidden somewhere in the display. My partner and I have had some laughs playing find-the-Caganer.

          Think of a figure and there will be a crapper variation.

          https://www.caganer.com/en/

      • MNb

        So are my skin cells.

    • Pofarmer

      What does it mean to be human? Humans have experiences, Humans have thoughts. Humans interact with other humans, more than just instinctively. I’d argue that it takes much more than being a clump of cells to be human.

      To say a human is expendable because of some arbitrary criteria isn’t a well-reasoned approach

      Actually it is. For instance, a tubal pregnancy is expendable because allowing it to continue could easily end the life of the mother, and won’t result in a viable pregnancy. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

      BTW, did you know that the vast majority of abortions in the U.S. take place before 8 weeks? Well before the end of the first trimester. Most people actually agree.

      • kraut2

        “To say a human is expendable because of some arbitrary criteria isn’t a well-reasoned approach”

        And how can you justify to force anybody to carry an unwanted fetus, something that lacks consciousness, agency, many other features that complete a human being and is just basically a parasite completely dependent on its host – willfully accepted in some cases, not so in others?

        We have arbitrary lines of demarcation throughout the development of a human being. When you become eligible for attending school, become criminally responsible, when you are able to learn to drive, when you become an adult under the law.

        As the one carrying the fetus, it is of course the mothers decision if and when to abort.

        A maximum age when an abortion is still permitted could be based on the ability of a fetus to experience pain and discomfort and when it becomes viable externally of the womb with a more than 50% survival rate.

      • Ignorant Amos

        For instance, a tubal pregnancy is expendable because allowing it to continue could easily end the life of the mother, and won’t result in a viable pregnancy.

        Ah, but not always. Which is why in a similar discussion a couple of months ago I used the example in Luke Breuer’s all pregnancy “potential life” argument after he declared…

        For the record, I’m in favor of aborting ectopic pregnancies.

        …to show he was cherry picking too.

        https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_we_disagree_on_moral_issues_42/#comment-2772592881

        Here…

        https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/why_we_disagree_on_moral_issues_42/#comment-2773692006

        He painted himself into a corner with that one.

    • catfink

      Speaking of amateurish, non-scientific reasoning…

      multicellular organisms, the zygote is the organism’s earliest developmental stage (ie: day one of the rest of your life).

      A sperm or egg is an organism and develops earlier than a zygote.

      say a human is expendable because of some arbitrary criteria isn’t a well-reasoned approach.

      In that case, why aren’t the differences between an unfertilized and fertilized egg also “arbitrary criteria?”

      How many boxes do they have to check before they’re really human?

      At what point during the fertilization process does a real human begin to exist?

      • lady_black

        Is that a trick question?

    • How do you define this in a non-arbitrary, reasoned manner?

      You say that personhood is a spectrum. As a single cell, it’s not a person. As a newborn, it’s a person. It’s a spectrum in between.

      Easy.

      • Kingasaurus

        This is part of the reason the abortion issue can be so contentious, apart from the usual religious component. People don’t like the idea that a “person” slowly emerges over time, and is built up, bit-by-bit. There’s no creation dividing line, where there was nothing before, but something after.

        Is it a coincidence that many people don’t like evolution, because there’s no exact “moment” they can point to when everything started, like in Genesis? in a similar vein, why do people prefer the myth that one guy invented the game of baseball at a specific point in time, rather than the true story that the game evolved from previous stick-and-ball games? Same reason.

        • MNb

          “People don’t like the idea …”
          Indeed I suspect that humans tend to think in terms of opposites and that the idea of a spectrum is counterintuitive. In this case something like “you’re either human or not human; hence you’re either a person or a non-person.”

        • Pofarmer

          Black and White thinking. Yes.

        • Interesting point.

        • gusbovona

          It’s essentialism.

      • Cygnus

        The spectrum ends at birth when you have a mother and a newborn. What is irrational of anti-abortion is when they call a woman as “mother” while the cell is still in the spectrum.

        Surely there’s some emotionalism involved, but when it is used to coerce a woman to give birth no matter what, it is practically a crime against humanity.

        • Every mother who carries a baby and every father who sees evidence of it, knows that it is a baby while inside of her, not just after birth.

        • MNb

          And everyone who reads the chart above understands that a single cell is not a baby.

          Spot the differences (yup, you are allowed to cheat and take a peek at the cahrt above):

          http://www.babycenter.com/101_50-amazing-newborn-photos_10339388.bc

          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8KOhJELhQCs/T4O_n7nefiI/AAAAAAAAE4c/A3TIU4GBRKo/s1600/SingleCellOtherPlanet-Life.jpg

          That question btw show how dishonest pro-forced-birthers are. Nobody has said that that cell isn’t life. Before harvested the vegetables you eat were life as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Woah…a meme…is that a first from you Mark?

        • The mother- and father-to-be can imagine whatever they want. It is telling that what they imagine is a baby with arms and legs, never a single cell that you need a microscope to see, like the one below.

          It becomes a problem only when the parents to be demand that everyone else use the terms that they do.

          https://bigpictureeducation.com/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_large/public/2ec0d18939e755d7619dfc2792e.jpg?itok=jn7A1Uwc

        • Kodie

          It becomes a problem only when the parents to be demand that everyone else use the terms that they do.

          I don’t know why this makes me think of parents who get irritated when you call their toddler “Zach” and insist that he goes by “Zachariah.”

        • MR

          I hate when people shorten my name. Nothing pisses me off more than being called M.

        • Cygnus

          You’re using a weird terminology for a pregnant woman. A mother is woman who gives birth, a baby is born. A father is a man who is sure that his sperm got a woman pregnant AND that woman gave birth. Then you have a father. Just having the capacity to ejaculate, doesn’t make you a father.

          “Un-born baby” or “baby inside her” is emotional bullshit fabricated by rtl-ers to impose guilt on girls and women who want to terminate their pregnancies. If a woman wants to give birth, she can call a zygote/embryo/fetus as “baby inside her”, but others do not have the right to impose that subjective view on girls and women who want to terminate their pregnancies.

    • MNb

      “Very amateurish, non-scientific reasoning.”
      How remarkably amateurish then that your comment doesn’t contain any scientific reasoning either.
      See, BobS never denied that zygotes are human.

    • Robert Baden

      Actually in multicellular organisms being being diploid is unnecessary. Drone bees develop from unfertilized ova The ova is the first stage of multicellular life if you look at all life. And from everything I’ve been able to find, it looks like the sperm cell is killed during fertilization.

    • What disturbs my most is that no one challenges this juvenile point-of-view. Why? I suspect it’s group-think, and echoed thought formed-up around political ideology. The “free-thinking” atheist are every bit the goose-steppers their religious counter-parts are; who use science when it’s convenient, childish logic, like this, when it’s not.

      • Pofarmer

        What disturbs my most is that no one challenges this juvenile point-of-view.

        Which Juvenile point of view, and how would you counter it? You’ve gotten several responses in the comments to your original comment..

      • Dys

        What disturbs me is your over-eagerness to Godwin your own discussion.

        You need a brain to have a mind. A zygote doesn’t have one. It’s not a person – it has no agency, feelings, emotions, etc. At that point, it doesn’t possess the necessary components to have them.

        What’s truly silly is your insistence that a single cell is the equivalent of the multi-cellular organism it may become. That’s extraordinarily childish, yet you seem to be giving yourself a pass on it.

      • You’ve gotten close to a dozen responses. Are they just too hot to handle, or are you going to respond to them and clarify your position. If you have an actual, y’know, argument, then give it to us. So far it’s just whining.

      • lady_black

        Here’s what science says: A zygote cannot survive without ultimately invading the blood stream of it’s host, suppressing her immune system to avoid detection and destruction, and feeding from the resources her blood carries. Much like a guinea worm.
        It works that way in most mammal species. We do not lay eggs with built-in nutritional support for the developing embryo like a chicken. Human or not, we are talking about a sapient, sentient human woman when we speak of pregnancy. Being sapient and sentient, she gets to decide what degree of risk she’s willing to undergo for the benefit of someone not herself.

        • epeeist

          A zygote cannot survive without ultimately invading the blood stream of it’s host, suppressing her immune system to avoid detection and destruction, and feeding from the resources her blood carries.

          Do you know this argument by Judith Jarvis Thomson?

        • lady_black

          Yep.

        • Cygnus

          If the zygote has breasts, I will consider it a person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s weird creepy.

        • Cygnus

          Not creepier than considering a zygote as a person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya think?

          False equivalence for sure.

        • Cygnus

          I appalled that you don’t have the sense of humor. A zygote with breast can be found, if you want, in cartoons (horror, comedy, whatever), and it is not weirdly creepy than drawing God, for example.
          However, calling a zygote as a person, it happens not only in cartoon but creepy and weirdly taken seriously.
          What you call “false equivalence” is creepy. I didn’t intend any “equivalence”, you came up with that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I appalled that you don’t have the sense of humor.

          I’m said to have a bit of a twisted sense of humour, in fact I’ve spoke about it on this forum over recent days. I’m just not getting where the wit is in your remark.

          Considering a zygote a person is not nearly AS creepy as considering a zygote with breasts a person and that was what you said.

          Even joking it is a strange thing to say. But that is just my opinion. Maybe I missed something, help me out here?

          A zygote with breast can be found, if you want, in cartoons (horror, comedy, whatever), and it is not weirdly creepy than drawing God, for example.

          Cite me an example of this comedy. I’m always up for changing my mind on this if I can be made to laugh.

        • Cygnus

          A zygote with breasts and another with a dick enter a bar. The barman: “How long until you get your personalities? ”
          – “Fuck off barman, can’t you see that we are already persons? Look at her tits and my dick in the ultrasound, asshole”.
          – “I’m sorry ma’am and sir, usually I don’t call zygotes as persons, but in this case…nice tits, big dick… I’ll make an exception. Yea, it’s weirdly creepy, but without tits and dick will be creepier to call you as persons”.
          – “Thanks, that’s better. A screwdriver for her and a bloody Marry for me”

        • MNb

          That’s a failure.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah, glad it’s not just an Irish thing…maybe it’s European?

        • Cygnus

          meh… coming from you…
          And wait from upvotes of some losers to make get you out of your depressive state.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Is that a Cygnus original?

          Whose humour is that? Cite the source please?

          Perhaps it’s a cultural thing…a maybe one has to be there cause it’s situational humour, but I don’t find it terribly witty and I also don’t get it in the context with your original comment. Of course us Irish are renowned for the humourless part of our psyche. So perhaps it’s just moi.

          Perhaps if you’d given the whole joke in the first place, rather than requiring the rest of us to break out the all seeing magic eyeball, the joke might have made a bit more sense. Not anymore funny, but sense in context. Or not, as the case may be.

        • Kodie

          Awkward Uncle Cygnus. Let’s ask Sobeit if you are telling a joke or just babbling whatever little turds come to your mind.

        • Cygnus

          …are you foaming?

        • Kodie

          You’re deluded.

        • Susan

          A good while back, Cygnus mentioned that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. If that’s true, it would explain a lot.

          I’ve given up responding to him except when he starts trashing theists as people rather than just addressing the weakness of their position.

          Other than that, I can’t see any value in getting involved.

        • Cygnus

          You too?

        • MNb

          Of course IA doesn’t have the sense of humor. You are the only one who has, because you are the only one whi thinks your jokes funny.

        • Cygnus

          Shut up, zygote.

        • MNb

          You are learning.

      • Philmonomer

        What disturbs my most is that no one challenges this juvenile point-of-view.

        That’s what disturbs you the most? Really? I kind-of doubt it. But I’m glad you seem up the challenge. Go for it!

        Why?

        Many people here are regulars. They know Bob’s position on the matter. He probably has a written a dozen or more posts on this topic. Have you read them?

        I suppose someone here could take up the other side and argue it in general, or argue the specifics of this post. It doesn’t surprise me no one has. Does it really surprise you? Apparently, because it disturbs you deeply.

        I suspect it’s group-think, and echoed thought formed-up around political ideology.

        Yeah, that probably explains it. Or it could just be normal human behavior. But now, thank goodness, we have you here to set us straight.

        The “free-thinking” atheist are every bit the goose-steppers their
        religious counter-parts are; who use science when it’s convenient,
        childish logic, like this, when it’s not.

        So much wrong with this sentence, it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s just say I eagerly await your engagement on this issue, and your deft explanation of the science involved and your takedown of this childish logic.

      • al kimeea

        Seeing as you’re the one with an imaginary friend, you embody childish

    • Dessany

      Very amateurish, non-scientific reasoning.

      Well look at the movement he’s responding to. It’s built on very amateurish, non-scientific reasoning. It’s built on lies and cognitive bias.

      To say a human is expendable because of some arbitrary criteria isn’t a well-reasoned approach.

      Apparently women aren’t human then since they are considered expendable by too many in the forced birth brigade. After all we are being told there is no medical reason for an abortion to save the mother’s life by leaders in this inhumane movement.

      But, I’m guessing, you don’t feel a human should be protected at this point, showing you can’t follow your own pseudo-logical line of reasoning.

      Your reasoning is failing here due to leaving the woman totally out of your model. When you add women back in, you find yours is the pseudo-logical line of reasoning.

    • Kevin K

      Estimates are that as much as 30% of fertilized ova do not implant, and are flushed away during the woman’s next menstrual period. Which would mean 30% of all “souls” are being used for less than a couple of weeks.

      Billions upon billions upon billions, considering the long history of humankind and the current population.

      • al kimeea

        Which makes YeahWay the greatest abortionist ever

    • lady_black

      Human, and human being are two different concepts. All of your cells are human. They aren’t human beings.
      And NO… there is no “protection” for a zygote. It’s not infused with special rights that none of the rest of us have. YOU can’t use a body not your own without consent. Neither can a zygote.

      • It would be clearer if pro-lifers would say that the zygote is a Homo sapiens, rather than that it’s human or (worse) a human.

        • lady_black

          Of course. Their definition would assign humanity to a malignant tumor or a teratoma.

        • TheNuszAbides

          if they could merely acknowledge the abstract difference between noun and adjective, that’d be a fantastic first step.

    • Michael Neville

      Why, scientifically, the zygote is a human

      No, a zygote is human but is not a human. Your attempt to make zygotes into human beings is purely ideological, not scientific.

    • Giauz Ragnarock

      By protected, you mean use a human like a machine to keep another human with inadequate organ systems alive without consent. That’s the anti-choice position as well as organ theft if the unhealthy person had previously been born.

    • Cygnus

      “Why, scientifically, the zygote is a human”
      ===
      False. Science only establishes if a zygote belongs to a particular animal, but doesn’t call a zygote of that particular animal as a chimpanzee. gorilla or whatever the body a zygote happens to develop.
      Go back to school and find out what science is about.

  • JBSchmidt

    1) The point of chart was to define what is and what is not a ‘baby’? Which on that chart is a baby if the single sell is not?

    2) Since ‘newborn’ can be the label given to children weeks apart in age and drastically varying in development, which one has 3 trillion cells? Further does a newborn with less fall under a differently non-baby category?

    • Michael Neville

      1. A fetus becomes a baby on birth.

      2. (a) Three trillion (give or take a bunch) is an average.
      (b) See 1. above.

      • JBSchmidt

        So now you get to move the goal posts? I don’t see fetus in that chart, nor do I see anything about those numbers be averages. Can you answer the questions based on the chart?

        • Michael Neville

          You’re right, fetus is not on the chart. A fetus is in the gap between cell and newborn as you well know. If you prefer, substitute “cell” for “fetus” in my post or you can continue to pretend I’m moving goal posts when I was using more precise terminology.

        • JBSchmidt

          I pretend? Who is inserting categories into this chart? Call it terminology, call it Steve, it doesn’t matter. The purpose of the chart was to prove something was/was not a baby. If you can’t do that with info provided then the chart is useless.

          So, can answer my questions about the chart using its own info without the addition of resources never addressed in the chart.

        • Michael Neville

          Yes, you’re pretending that I’m “moving the goal posts” when I’m using a more precise term. We both know that I gave you a clear, concise answer and I answered your weak attempt at rebuttal but you’re trying to play a silly game for reasons which only you know.

          So, do you have anything useful or informative to say or are you just trolling?

        • JBSchmidt

          Assuming the chart had fetus, you could check all the boxes. Does that therefore give it equal status to the rest of columns or do you get to move the goal posts again?

          Finally, a fetus can only replace ‘single cell’ for the first couple hours, or are you changing that meaning as well.

        • Wikipedia:

          The fetal stage of development tends to be taken as beginning at the gestational age of eleven weeks, i.e. nine weeks after fertilization.

          You’re starting to get it. As a single cell, it’s not a baby. As a newborn, it is. And in between, it’s in between. Not hard, is it?

        • Michael Neville

          Try the first couple weeks, not hours. And now you’re moving the goal posts, pretending (and yes, you pretentious twit, PRETENDING) that a single cell becomes a baby within a day or two.

        • The purpose of the chart was to prove something was/was not a baby. If you can’t do that with info provided then the chart is useless.

          Nope. The purpose of the chart is to show that the person equating a single cell with a person or a baby isn’t thinking clearly about the issue.

        • The chart doesn’t give you your horoscope, either. Its purpose is simply to illustrate one point.

    • The point of chart was to define what is and what is not a ‘baby’? Which on that chart is a baby if the single sell is not?

      The point of the chart was to illustrate that carelessly equating a person with a single cell is foolish thinking.

      Since ‘newborn’ can be the label given to children weeks apart in age and drastically varying in development, which one has 3 trillion cells?

      3T cells is an approximation, just like the 50T cells for the adult.

      Further does a newborn with less fall under a differently non-baby category?

      Is this an interesting question, or are you just making conversation? Most people would agree with the countless legislatures around the world that have legalized abortion that the person/not-a-person line is somewhere between conception and birth. Once it’s born, it’s firmly in the “baby” or “person” category.

      • JBSchmidt

        Your chart is intentionally vague. The only term that has an objective meaning is single cell. All the other terms are subjective based on how you need to defend your point. Therefore anyone trying to have an intellectual argument gets trapped in this wac-a-mole game in which you never have to defend any specific area.

        For example, since you have now added ‘born’ to the chart; does a born baby at 22 weeks have less humanity than one unborn at 22 weeks? I can assume your response will be to pull those moles back under the table and return focus to the single cell?

        That makes its easy, why would you want to have to think about the complexity of human development when you can boil down to between a few physical attributes and it’s moment of conception.

        • Your chart is intentionally vague.

          It’s hard to see how the chart is vague (the title, which you might have missed, is “This is why a single cell is not a baby,” which seems pretty clear to me), but it’s certainly not intentionally so.

          The only term that has an objective meaning is single cell. All the other terms are subjective based on how you need to defend your point.

          I’m missing the problem. Anywhere in the entire locus of definitions of “healthy young adult” works just fine (How old? What gender? If they have a cold, is that “healthy”?). Ditto the other words in the chart.

          Look them up in the dictionary. Let’s go with those definitions.

          Therefore anyone trying to have an intellectual argument gets trapped in this wac-a-mole game in which you never have to defend any specific area.

          So you’ll ask about arms, and I’ll say, “Aha! I was actually talking about arms!”

          Is that what you’re concerned about?

          For example, since you have now added ‘born’ to the chart; does a born baby at 22 weeks have less humanity than one unborn at 22 weeks?

          Hmm. That’s a good point—that question is indeed undefined. Now that I think about it, it doesn’t help you manage your stock portfolio either. Dang! Back to the drawing board, I guess.

          Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll come back with a chart that addresses every possible human issue tomorrow.

          why would you want to have to think about the complexity of human development when you can boil down to between a few physical attributes and it’s moment of conception.

          You’ve got some sort of problem, but I have no idea what it is. I’m guessing it’s that the chart is too darn effective in pointing out the ridiculousness of putting the single cell into the “baby” bin.

        • JBSchmidt

          The chart lacks any requirement to intellectually consider life. In the end, your list of physical characteristics means nothing and the only identifying trait that matters is which side of the uterine wall it exists. However, that is not on your chart. If we allow a list of characteristics to determine life pre-birth, why don’t they apply post-birth? The change is simply location.

          Sure we can talk about the couple of hours it is a single cell and how non-human that might be, however it assumes one part of the gestation can/should be separated from the whole.

        • Kodie

          What is there to consider? I find pro-forced-birth people to be entirely sentimental and not making an intellectual decision whatsoever to butt into women’s lives.

        • MNb

          “pro-forced-birth”
          Ah, that’s a good one. “Pro-life” as a label for those who want to outlaw abortion always has sounded wrong to my ears.

        • Kodie

          I hope you don’t think I made it up.

        • MNb

          At least I think you’re smart and creative enough to make up such a good new expression. If it wasn’t you, where did you find it?

        • Kodie

          Well, I probably would be, I can’t deny I like thinking up expressions almost as much as I like having an opinion about things. It seems pretty common in abortion threads. Open any one of Bob’s old abortion topic threads, and it has come up before. I just liked it and used it. I’m not even nice enough to praise whoever I heard it from or acknowledge that I’m now using the phrase…. ’cause I can’t imagine they made it up either.

        • JBSchmidt

          “Sentimental”? Please provide scientific proof that one part of the human existence is not human.

        • Kodie

          If you didn’t know you were pregnant and then had your period, you wouldn’t be sad about it. If you found out you were pregnant and then miscarried less than a month later, why be sad? If you found out you were pregnant and could foresee that it was going to grow and become a problem in your life, but you chose to have an abortion in less than a month, why be sad?

          You’re trying to make up a sentimental reason to hang onto that thing to ensure that it will grow, but it is only something if you want it to be, not if someone else forces you to feel that you want it to be. There’s a huge difference, just get out of my uterus, you asshole. You are not my fetus!

        • I’m afraid all I can conclude from this tangential complaint is that my argument is so on-target that you’d like to change the subject.

          The point of the table is in the title. Seems both clear and effective to me.

          Sure we can talk about the couple of hours it is a single cell and how non-human that might be

          Good! Let’s do that.

          Many pro-lifers equate the single cell with the baby. They want to call the single cell a baby and (here’s the important part) they want to impose that definition on the rest of society.

          Since you’re not talking about that, I assume that you’re beyond that and that we agree on the point made by the table. That’s good progress.

        • JBSchmidt

          Can you intellectually remove one part of the human existence arbitrarily because it fails to meet a set of subjective standards? If you can, what other characteristics can be subjectively applied to prevent a person from viewing certain other parts of the human existence as non-human?

          For example, there are progressive doctors around the world arguing that a ‘baby’ is till not a human for the first couple of hours/days post full term birth do to the cognitive ability. The contention is that abortion should be extended to that segment of the human existence as well. Do you agree? Why/why not?

        • Dys

          Can you intellectually remove one part of the human existence

          It’s not removing part of the human existence, it’s pointing out that a single cell is not a baby. That doesn’t mean a denial that everyone started out as a single cell. What it does mean is that we were not a human being at that point.

        • JBSchmidt

          You contradict science in order to prove your own philosophical ideology. It is human the entire time (you acknowledge and science confirms) form conception to birth; however, you are trying to assert that your philosophy of ‘human being’ should trump that fact that is or is not a human existence.

          Using the word ‘baby’ is irrelevant as it is subjective to the how you wish to perceive it. If it is a burden to your lifestyle, it is not a baby. If it is the newest addition to your family it is a baby.

        • Dys

          You contradict science in order to prove your own philosophical ideology.

          Nope, I haven’t, sorry. A single cell is not a person. Should I point out that you’re trying to push your own ideology onto the science as well? Or that philosophy and science and inexorably intertwined?

          Using the word ‘baby’ is irrelevant as it is subjective to the how you wish to perceive it.

          It’s not irrelevant at all, but it appears you’re going to insist on pretending that a single fertilized egg is a baby because you feel like playing semantics. And yet the fact remains that it doesn’t have a brain. No mind, no consciousness, not a person.

          If it is a burden to your lifestyle, it is not a baby. If it is the newest addition to your family it is a baby.

          Good job on the dishonest summarization of a viewpoint you disagree with. Can I play the “guess your motivation” game as well, and ascribe the reasons why you hold the positions you do?

        • JBSchmidt

          When does science show an individual human entity is created?

        • Dys

          When does science show an individual human entity is created?

          What’s a “human entity”? I’m not denying that a fertilized egg is the beginning of every human life in any sense.

          I’m just saying it’s not a baby or what is generally considered a human being, because it hasn’t developed to that point. Because it’s a spectrum.

          Now, you can disagree with that if you like, but that’s just as much a philosophical position as mine is.

        • JBSchmidt

          You are working backwards from your ideology to some arbitrary point that you can reconcile with your beliefs; rather than, working forward from a proven starting point and building a belief from that.

          If “what is generally considered a human being, because it hasn’t developed to that point” is your basis for human being, we can adjust that point to nearly any point on the spectrum. In 2012 a medical journal article was published arguing that a fetus was not a human being yet until 1-2 weeks post full term birth. All they did was move the marks of development to a new point on the spectrum. Hence if the markers of development themselves are arbitrary, the whole notion of humans not being ‘human beings’ until an developmental stage is mere opinion. The repercussions of that is what causes genocide.

          Oddly, as people philosophically move the markers of ‘human being’ further along the spectrum away from conception, science continues to bring humans into this world at earlier and earlier stages of gestation.

        • Dys

          You are working backwards from your ideology to some arbitrary point that you can reconcile with your beliefs; rather than, working forward from a proven starting point and building a belief from that.

          No, I’m not. I recognize the starting point, while also realizing that starting point has not developed enough to be called a person. You’re quite simply wrong.

          we can adjust that point to nearly any point on the spectrum.

          That point has been adjusted over the years, precisely because it’s not the cut and dry issue you want to believe it is.

        • JBSchmidt

          That point has been adjusted, not because the science has changed, but because the philosophy of and value of life has changed. It is only not cut and dry to those wishing to end it. If not, than killing a child in utero should not be of not greater consequence than destruction of property, correct?

          “not developed enough to be called a person”

          That is working backwards from you assertion of what ‘person’ means. In the end a ‘person’ is anything post womb. However, there are humans with less cognitive ability post womb that are granted protection not given to a more cognitive humans still in the womb. How does your spectrum solve for that?

        • Dys

          That point has been adjusted, not because the science has changed

          The science has changed, actually, but mostly in terms of determining viability and stages of development.

          but because the philosophy of and value of life has changed

          And ideas about when life begins and what constitutes a person have changed for a variety of reasons, not just from some perceived “moral decay” in recent years.

          It is only not cut and dry to those wishing to end it.

          Then you’re either being dishonest, or are completely ignorant of history. Because the fact of the matter is that it has never been cut and dry.

          However, there are humans with less cognitive ability post womb that are granted protection not given to a more cognitive humans still in the womb. How does your spectrum solve for that?

          Since it’s a spectrum, there is a point where it would be immoral to go proceed with an abortion. I have my own notion of when that it is, and other people have theirs. That’s why there’s a debate, and it’s not the black/white issue you want to believe it is.

        • That is working backwards from you assertion of what ‘person’ means.

          And we have yet to hear your argument for what a person is, given the data in the table.

          there are humans with less cognitive ability post womb that are granted protection not given to a more cognitive humans still in the womb. How does your spectrum solve for that?

          Is a person with an amputated limb less of a person? Not really, though I’m sure that some feel that way. What if we kept on chopping off bits from the chart above? What if they were a brain in a jar–would they be less of a person then?

        • al kimeea

          Current science shows, at best, a ten percent probability of survival at the 22 weeks you previously mentioned but with severe disabilities in almost every case. This is entirely due to advancements in medical science not faith.

          If you feel this is no more than secular BS, by all means, convince the fleshy incubators in your tribe to have labor induced then or even earlier.

          I’m reminded of a case from a few years back headed to the supreme court of Canukistan, where a woman was suing her doctor because she was not properly informed of the risks of a prescribed acne medication resulting in a very disabled baby that, among other medical issues, constantly wailed.

          That bit was on the front page of the Star, but flipping inside for the rest of the story, we find the parents were indeed warned of the risks of pregnancy.

          Then when she became pregnant, she was advised to terminate due to the high risk of deformity/disability while on this drug. Oh no, say the parents, god would never do that to us and this miracle.

          Funny thing is, hubby had a vasectomy four years earlier…

        • MNb

          You wrote that Dys contradicted science. He didn’t.

        • MNb

          Where does science say that a single human cell is a baby?

        • Kodie

          What about – doesn’t have a birth certificate yet.

          Are you going to make pregnant women register their embryos with the government as soon as they get a + on their pee stick?

        • Can you intellectually remove one part of the human existence arbitrarily because it fails to meet a set of subjective standards?

          What’s arbitrary here? If I said, “Let’s murder all people whose names start with J,” that would be arbitrary. There’s no logic behind it.

          I’m simply looking at what makes a baby a baby (arms, legs, hands, feet, and so on) and noting the very obvious fact that the single cell doesn’t have even a single cell of any of these features.

          You know how to play, “One of these things is not like the others,” right? Of the four living things in the chart, which is most dissimilar?

          The contention is that abortion should be extended to that segment of the human existence as well . Do you agree? Why/why not?

          I don’t find that subject interesting. Discuss it if you’d like, but I have little to add. I’ve always found it a deliberate diversion from the real subject, the spectrum of personhood from single cell to newborn.

        • Kodie

          I think it’s entirely arbitrary myself. We grant rights to people beyond their ability to experience life, including dead people! If someone is loved or was loved or has some usefulness, could have some usefulness, or might have had some usefulness, etc., no matter how little of life they experience, we extend rights to them beyond practicality. I think that has arbitrary qualities to it, where, no, of course we’re not suggesting execution of homeless people or elderly dementia patients with no children. I mean, if these people had someone to care about them, they’d defend their right to live, but society makes space for them even if they don’t. I am not ready to say we should end lives that have no consequence to anyone else, but an embryo has a definite consequence to someone else, a negative one.

          It’s mostly the religious/conservative people who push living people to their ends, to let people go hungry if they are addicted to drugs (yeah, that’s a solution instead of rehab) or push people to the fringes if they are not part of normalcy in their opinion, to let those people kill themselves out of desperation and loneliness rather than include them without condition, etc. Anyway, I am sure an embryo is of no consequence to anyone unless they are wanted, or forced, to be born. I think if we say an embryo has no brain yet, is not sentient, that compares them to so-and-so’s cousin who had the motorcycle accident and is now on life-support and their brain is dead. If their family wishes to keep them hooked up anyway, that’s their choice. Nobody is forcing them to unplug anyone, but if they unplug them, they are just being realistic. I find an embryo to be basically nothing – if you didn’t want to get pregnant before you were, then swiftly and easily decide that you shouldn’t stay pregnant longer than you have to be. The more you contemplate and deliberate and pause to think about it, the longer time goes by, and the more doubt they want you to have. They want women to wait until at least the thing forms the beginnings of a brain, so it’s more difficult a decision, and more risky a procedure. I just think it’s arbitrary to decide a lot of people are worth saving, it’s part of our “err on the side of caution” type of philosophy. Don’t pull the plug on someone who might wake up. Don’t execute someone who may be innocent. Oh, did I say that out loud?

        • MNb

          “Can you intellectually remove one part of the human existence arbitrarily ”
          Yes. Naturally bald people do it every day. Still a single hair on my head is not a person.

        • Greg G.

          Even at the eight cell stage, IIRC, seven of those will become the placenta, which will become part of the afterbirth, and one of the cells will become a baby. There is nothing special about the one cell that means it will be the one.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why don’t you produce and put up a chart that you think will address Bob’s shortfalls, in your opinion? Then you will have what you think is a better starting point for the debate. Sound fair enough?

        • JBSchmidt

          The failure is trying to create a chart in which part of the human existence is non-human. Either we are always human or there must be scientific evidence that one part of the human existence is decidedly non-human. The chart above is more an attempt to make a philosophical statement and not a scientific one. It is an attempt to assign personhood, not humanity.

        • kraut2

          Your failure is to be imprecise in not differentiating between “human” and “human being”. Every bloody differentiated cell in your body is human, does that mean you can not ejaculate on the floor because you destroy “human” cells?
          Or have an operation because by cutting into your flesh millions of cells that are human get destroyed?

        • JBSchmidt

          The difference between human and human being is your own philosophical belief that personhood is defined at an arbitrary point.

          You continue to separate ‘cells’ from the whole. You are correct, the whole is human and its differentiated cells are nothing more than human cells. However, if the whole is itself is only a few cells, does that make it non-human. If so, at what point does the cell count become of enough quantity to become human?

        • Dys

          A single playing card is not a deck of cards. You’re trying to force a black/white dichotomy on a situation where it isn’t warranted.

          A single cell doesn’t have a brain. It therefore has no mind, no agency, no feelings, no emotions, no consciousness, etc. A single cell can be a human cell, but that doesn’t make it a human being, which is precisely what the chart is pointing out.

        • JBSchmidt

          So at 12 weeks it is human? Or are you going to parse out each of those characteristics you listed as well?

          The problem here is that science is black and white. Either you have a new human life or you have sperm/egg. There is not scientific gray area. Philosophically speaking you can question humanities value or agency from conception to the death bed at 100 years old depending on how you choose to define agency/value.

        • Dys

          The problem here is that science is black and white

          Hardly. That’s what you want it to be, but the fact is that we’re talking about what constitutes a person. And on that front, it’s pretty easy – no brain, no person.

          Either you have a new human life or you have sperm/egg.

          If it makes you happy to call a fertilized egg human life, go for it. Just don’t pretend it’s the equivalent of a baby.

        • Kodie

          I have a question for you – why would anyone still be pregnant at 12 weeks who didn’t want to be? Propaganda and laws trying to make abortion difficult until it becomes an actual ethical problem.

        • So at 12 weeks it is human?

          ?? At one day it is human! The point is, as other commenters more patient than I have explained, is that it’s not a human. It’s not a person, it’s not a baby.

          Since we’re all friends now, you can be honest with us. You’re just pretending to be stupid, right? You understand the difference between “it’s human” (meaning nothing more than that it has Homo sapiens DNA) and “it’s a human/baby/person,” right?

          Yes, the single cell is human; no, it’s not a human/baby/person.

        • MNb

          “The problem here is that science is black and white.”
          And again your foolishness has become stupidity. No spectrum of colours is just black and white. That spectrum comes from science.

        • kraut2

          “However, if the whole is itself is only a few cells, does that make it non-human.”

          It does not make it a human, it makes it a collection of human cells.

          One point to consider:
          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-does-consciousness-arise/
          “Consciousness requires a sophisticated network of highly interconnected components, nerve cells. Its physical substrate, the thalamo-cortical complex that provides consciousness with its highly elaborate content, begins to be in place between the 24th and 28th week of gestation.
          Roughly two months later synchrony of the
          electroencephalographic (EEG) rhythm across both cortical hemispheres signals the onset of global
          neuronal integration. Thus, many of the circuit elements necessary for consciousness are in place by the third trimester.”

        • JBSchmidt

          Is consciousness the basis for the scientific assessment of what is human and what is not? Hence, a premature child born at 22 weeks is actually not yet human but rather a simple collection of cells laying in an incubator?

        • kraut2

          “Is consciousness the basis for the scientific assessment of what is human and what is not?”

          Consciousness is part of being a human. An-encephalic babies are in my opinion not human and never can be – they lack the brain that allows us all the signal processing enabling us to think, have emotions, respond in complex ways to stimuli etc.. No human brain – not a human.

          A child at 22 is considered a baby because it is outside the womb. It is not fully human being yet but has all the potential to become one.
          All embryos and especially fetuses are collections of differentiated human cells (differentiated enough to create separate and distinct organs) with the potential to become human beings – unless they are aborted naturally or by medical intervention.

        • JBSchmidt

          So newborns that survive anecephalic are not human? Even if they live for years? Still not human?

          Why does the law protect a 22 month premature child? Should that be changed to reflect a consciousness test to prove being fully human rather than potential?

        • kraut2

          “, but it is accepted that children born with this disorder usually only lack a telencephalon,[3] the largest part of the brain consisting mainly of the cerebral hemispheres, including the neocortex, which is responsible for cognition. The remaining structure is usually covered only by a thin layer of membrane— skin, bone, meninges, etc. are all lacking.[4] With very few exceptions,[5][6] infants with this disorder do not survive longer than a few hours or possibly days after their birth.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anencephaly

          if you are unconscious and without cognition not even the potential to become so and have you are by appearance but not by definition a human being.That entity is alive as any animal is alive but it is not a human live.


          human being
          hjuːmənˈbiːɪŋ/
          noun
          noun: human being; plural noun: human beings; noun: humanbeing; plural noun: humanbeingsa man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.’

        • Aren’t you the curious little scamp! Always with the questions.

          Instead of trying to change the subject, maybe you could ask yourself why you can’t face up to the table directly. What does it mean that the single cell is very much the odd man out in this table?

        • JBSchmidt

          Can you separate the existence of this single cell from the whole?

        • You’re saying that the single cell is dependent on its mother? True, but not really what we were talking about.

        • JBSchmidt

          No, the single cell from its existence as a human. Are they separate?

          To your point on addressing the chart…… I have. It is faulty. If your singular objective was to prove that human go through different stages of development, congrats. However, why then include you blog on defending abortion, unless you wanted to challenge the humanity of the single cell.

        • No idea what you’re talking about. I’ve said repeatedly that the single cell is Homo sapiens. It’s human; it’s just not a human (or a baby or a person).

          To your point on addressing the chart…… I have. It is faulty.

          Ah–that clears things up. Much better. Thanks.

          If your singular objective was to prove that human go through different stages of development,

          English not your first language? Read the title. You either have some sort of comprehension problem or you’re just being deliberately obtuse. Or maybe you’re stupid–perhaps I should consider that.

        • JBSchmidt

          “It’s human; it’s just not a human”

          What? It is ‘a’ human. It is a unique new identity.

          You take me out of context, then insult me. Maybe you didn’t read past the coma?

          Why include your post regarding a defense of abortion if you were simply giving a science lesson?

        • “It’s human; it’s just not a human”
          What? It is ‘a’ human. It is a unique new identity.

          Oh, dear. We’ve entered the game playing part of the discussion.

          I say the single cell is not a human. You say, “Yuh huh! It totally is!” So I say it’s not a person. You say, “Yuh huh! It totally is that, too!” And so on.

          You tell me. What is the newborn that the single cell isn’t? For example: the newborn is a person, while the single cell isn’t.

          Why include your post regarding a defense of abortion if you were simply giving a science lesson?

          The science lesson is: a single cell isn’t a baby. Did you learn the lesson? If not, then I guess “simply giving a science lesson” is a lot tougher than you’re imagining.

        • JBSchmidt

          “You tell me. What is the newborn that the single cell isn’t?”

          There is no answer to that question based on the evidence you have provided. Your chart is based only on characteristics, not philosophical assumptions. The only question one can draw from the chart is: what does one have the other doesn’t? Personhood is not a category in the list of characteristics.

          Can you give the scientific connection between ‘person’ and biological development?

        • There is no answer to that question based on the evidence you have provided.

          You’re a big boy. You don’t need a chart to answer the question, especially one as worthless as mine.

          Can you give the scientific connection between ‘person’ and biological development?

          Maybe. If I understood the question.

          I’m sensing that now it’s the tire-spinning part of the discussion. The chart’s point is plain, and you have nothing with which to directly respond. So you’re asking tangential questions to pretend that these are relevant.

          If you say that the chart is crap, and you’ve told us why, then I guess we’re done. Unfortunately, I’m no better informed than I was before.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I see you re happy enough with the law when it suits….give it up already why don’t ya?

        • Kodie

          The quality of life is going to make it difficult to contend as a human. Someone will love it and care for it, but I wouldn’t call living a life-long struggle “life.” Consciousness is a huge part of being a human – that’s why religious people don’t consider animals, or accept evolution, or anything where the similarities animals have to people becomes apparent. I think you religious people ought to perk up and recognize the greater humanity of many species of animal if you’re going to make such a stupid argument. A human-shaped thing – is it a person? I mean, dead people have more rights than living pregnant women, or that’s what you’d prefer – the sanctity of humans from every end of the spectrum, without regard to rational observation. You are actually looking away from the problem and latching onto a concept of sentimentality for a particular animal in any form or shape or context or status.

        • Kodie

          If the pregnant woman recognizes her embryo as her “baby”, I concede to her labels for herself, but other than that, the government issues a document called a birth certificate for everyone who is born, and nothing for those who are not. If the whole itself is only a few cells, what the fuck is it? It’s not a person any more than your shit is a person, your toenails are a person, or even your arm is a person. Your arm is a lot more cells, but you are still a person without out. It’s not a person without you. An embryo isn’t a person without a place to be, a person who wants it to be there.

        • If I put batter into a cake pan and put it in the oven, but then I take it out after 5 minutes, is the result a cake?

        • Kodie

          I’m sure that’s how some people eat their cake.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It has been pointed out more than once that being human and being a human is nowhere the same thing.

          A clipping from my big toe is human, it is not a human.

          The chart above is more an attempt to make a philosophical statement and not a scientific one. It is an attempt to assign personhood, not humanity.

          So where’s your chart then?

        • The chart is talking about “baby,” not “human.”

        • JBSchmidt

          The baby is not human……The mole just popped up on the other side of the board…..

          Baby is a term used to identify any child we wish to keep, from conception to toddler. The dictionary identifies it as a newborn or human fetus (after 8 weeks). Hence your arbitrary use of Baby doesn’t even fit with the list.

        • The baby is not human……The mole just popped up on the other side of the board

          You’ve apparently got something clever in mind here, but I have no idea what it is. I’ve already said that the baby is human but not a human (or baby or person).

          Baby is a term used to identify any child we wish to keep, from conception to toddler. The dictionary identifies it as a newborn or human fetus (after 8 weeks). Hence your arbitrary use of Baby doesn’t even fit with the list.

          Webster’s defines “arbitrary” as “not planned or chosen for a particular reason : not based on reason or evidence.” No, nothing here is arbitrary.

          After all this input from you, I have yet to see you squarely respond to the chart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          While I was using it as…(of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority.

          Capital punishment laws, age of consent and suchlike.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I’ve already said that the baby is human but not a human (or baby or person).

          not that it matters to the thickheaded opposition of course, but i think you meant ‘cell’ (or zygote) rather than the first instance of ‘baby’ there.
          (just scanning for water-tightness: it may not ultimately matter in the case of those inured to their particular cognitive dissonance, but it does at least amount to one more excuse for the sloppier specimens to fap off another false charge of confusion or word-games or whatever on your part.)

        • Yes, good correction, thanks.

        • MNb

          “The chart lacks any requirement to intellectually consider life.”
          And that’s where your black and white thinking becomes totally silly. All four categories are life.

          “In the end, your list of physical characteristics means nothing.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          I suppose you support voting rights for newborns then.

          “The change is simply location.”
          From foolishness to stupidty.
          A single cell (human life) does not have arms and legs. A newborn has. That change is a lot more than simply location.

        • JBSchmidt

          At twelve weeks gestation, you have everything on that last. Are you human?

          Of course babies can’t vote any more than a 10 year old. Is the 10 yr old less human?

        • Ignorant Amos

          At twelve weeks gestation, you have everything on that last. Are you human?

          You have just used the list arbitrarily. Good job.

          Of course babies can’t vote any more than a 10 year old. Is the 10 yr old less human?

          Why? What is the reasoning?

          I think you miss the point.

          A baby, or 10 year old, does not have the rights to do lots of stuff.

          A child is held as less valuable than an adult when it comes to compensation in a lot of places.

          Why don’t those two categories of humans not get the vote? Why is there a day when it is illegal to drink alcohol, but the next day it is not? Drive, have sex, smoke cigarettes? Join the army? Which jail one gets sent to?There is a long list of examples on the spectrum of being a human that means different things legally. They are arbitrarily set by other humans and are different depending on culture or the country in which one resides.

          So even after everyone agrees a person is actually a person, they don’t automatically gain the same rights and privileges as every other person.

        • JBSchmidt

          “You have just used the list arbitrarily. Good job.”

          So you agree the list is faulty?

          “So even after everyone agrees a person is actually a person, they don’t automatically gain the same rights and privileges as every other person.”

          Do they all a right to live? Or can we place value on ones life based post birth based on the list above?

        • Michael Neville

          So you agree the list is faulty?

          You’re the only one who has problems with the list.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So you agree the list is faulty?

          The list is fit for purpose. To show why it is ridiculous to say a single cell, the right hand column, and different stages of a human, the other three columns, are markedly different from each other. All this other fluff you are introducing is just obfuscation.

          Do they all a right to live? Or can we place value on ones life based post birth based on the list above?

          Of course we do. Minors are said to be not responsible for their action in some jurisdictions. In those parts of the world that have capital punishment, that punishment isn’t handed down to those of a certain age that commit the same crime. In some places the age limit is different.

          The U.S. for example….

          ROPER v. SIMMONS, No. 03-0633.

          In March 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty for those who had committed their crimes at under 18 years of age was cruel and unusual punishment and hence barred by the Constitution.

          A birthday is just an arbitrary date on a calendar, but it could mean life or death to some poor sod.

          Before 2005, of the 38 U.S. states that allow capital punishment:

          19 states and the federal government had set a minimum age of 18, 5 states had set a minimum age of 17, and 14 states had explicitly set a minimum age of 16, or were subject to the Supreme Court’s imposition of that minimum.

          At the time of the Roper v. Simmons decision, there were 71 juvenile offenders awaiting execution on death row: 13 in Alabama; four in Arizona; three in Florida; two in Georgia; four in Louisiana; five in Mississippi; one in Nevada; four in North Carolina; two in Pennsylvania; three in South Carolina; 29 in Texas; and one in Virginia.

          http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/execution-juveniles-us-and-other-countries

        • MNb

          Do they all have a right to vote?

        • Michael Neville

          Are you human?

          Yes. Is the fetus a human? No. One becomes a human at birth.

        • At twelve weeks gestation, you have everything on that last. Are you human?

          So you’re accepting the spectrum? The fetus gradually becomes more personlike as it develops?

          (Technically, it was “human,” that is, Homo sapiens, from day 1. That’s not what we’re talking about.)

        • Kodie

          I think the argument is that a woman’s uterus is basically a life-support system for a comatose quadruple amputee, and is a comatose quadruple amputee on life support still a person? The difference is that nobody is telling any woman that their particular quadruple amputee inside her is not worth supporting. The one in the hospital bed was presumably lively and loved at some time, and it’s up to that family to pull the plug on them or not, whether they are sentimental or realistic or there is a good chance they will come back. The one in the womb may not be loved or sentimentally attached to anyone*. No one outside the woman is making that choice to tell her she has to feel that it’s not a person. PLENTY OF PEOPLE are trying to convince her to feel that it is a person (despite that it has no personness to her, and she’s the only life support system it has), and that she would be horrible to abort it. Lay off and let her make her own unemotional unsentimental, realistic decision for herself.

          *Then this of course warps us to another level of “well lots of people aren’t loved or attached to anyone, are they not people?” Yeah, it’s illegal to murder homeless people too. It’s illegal to kill yourself, technically, too. It’s really difficult for me to comment on the worth of any given human being, since most are presumably valued by at least one other person, and in essence, most people have some value being part of an economic system, but I see a lot of lives out there that we wouldn’t miss if they had been aborted instead.

        • MNb

          “Your chart is intentionally vague. The only term that has an objective meaning is single cell.”
          That a term is subjective doesn’t mean it’s vague. When I say “this food tastes good” it’s totally subjective but not vague at all. That’s your first error.
          Your second one is suggesting that when something does not have limit values it cannot be objective.

          You nicely confirm what we wrote underneath – you’re a black and white thinker and do not accept we are talking a spectrum. What you’re saying is in the core the same as “Saying that a rainbow consists of seven colours is intentionally vague. No colour has an objective meaning. All colours are subjective based on how you need to defend your point. There fore anyone trying to have an intellectual argument about rainbows gets trapped in this wac-a-mole game in which you never have to defend a specific area. A rainbow does not consist of seven different colours.”
          Must we conclude that the concept of gradual change is beyond you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Excellent analogy btw.

        • JBSchmidt

          If color is on a spectrum, on which point of that spectrum is it no longer color? If humanity is on the same spectrum, why is one point of it no longer human? The wac-a-mole comes if I tried to conclude that the invisible spectrum was not actually color because I couldn’t see it. Then busted out my crayons and put up chart of visible colors claiming that anything outside that spectrum was not color. The chart above doesn’t look at the whole spectrum, rather assumes humanity exists only what can be seen outside the uterus, claiming everything else is on the humanity spectrum is non-human.

        • kraut2

          “humanity exists only what can be seen outside the uterus, claiming everything else is on the humanity spectrum is non-human”

          Inside the uterus it is as human as any or your differentiated cells are. But as your differentiated cells – sperm, muscle, liver, kidney cells are human but not “a human being” so are we allowed to say that “a human being” begins at a certain point.

          As I pointed out before – being an adult, being able to be charged with a criminal offense, being able to vote are all lines drawn to acknowledge that a human being is developing on a spectrum.

        • JBSchmidt

          When do you get a see a human for its whole verses for it differentiated cells? When we want it?

        • Ignorant Amos

          So answer this, when do you?

        • MNb

          When does blue turn into green? When we want it?

        • JBSchmidt

          Color change occurs based on the refraction of light. Is blue or green no longer light? They exist on the spectrum, yet all are light. The same is said for humanity, if you wish to place the stages of life on a spectrum, fine. It doesn’t therefore allow for a portion of it not to be a human.

        • MNb

          “It doesn’t therefore allow for a portion of it not to be a human.”
          It doesn’t forbid it either. Neither is it intended to allow it. What it does is demolishing a popular argument among pro-forced-birthers: the false equivalence of a single cell and a newborn baby. You have carefully developed your terminology to maintain that equivalence. It remains false. And your objection to the chart is simply irrelevant.

          That’s why you underneath changed the subject (and rightly so; but it’s an implicit admission that your criticism of the chart failed) and began to emphasize what a single cell has in common with a newborn. Thus far you haven’t got any further than “a single cell is a human just like a newborn without providing any arguments or evidence.
          So all in all it’s a lot of baked air you have produced.

        • Thanks for the clarification. I don’t know if JBS is deliberately or inadvertently confused.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, the document known as a birth certificate recognizes that the born is a person, not before. There is no official designation for the thing it was when it lived inside another human being! If birth is 7 months away, it’s probably not a person. You can’t get a social security number for it, you can’t collect life insurance benefits, I think some people who wanted to have that thing grow into a baby may have funerals and name it if it miscarries – miscarriage is it death? Why isn’t it called death? Why do women who miscarry face a different reaction than women whose infants or children have died? I would call pregnancy a very touchy subject with everyone and not necessarily bad for people to find it emotional, but some women wanted to carry to term and some did not. Is intentionally ending a pregnancy you don’t want somehow insulting to women who miscarry? I think the well-meaning general public says different things to women who miscarry than women who have lost an infant or child. They know the difference – to the woman, she feels just as bad and the comments aren’t as comforting as they are intended to be.

          The general idea of pregnancy is that it’s 100% supposed to be joyful and in reality, it’s not. Once it develops and is born, you can’t change your mind. If you abort, you can always try to get pregnant again if it was a mistake. Timing is important. People we don’t know yet are extremely expendable and replaceable by people we’ll get to know, and we will never know the difference. If a woman can potentially have 20 babies or something extreme like that, what if 18 of them aren’t born? That’s pretty normal, 18 of a woman’s potential pregnancies never even occur, those people never exist. Those people aren’t missed, nobody cares about them. That’s how I look at it, and so I think everyone should at least be realistic about it. I think I would have had about 4 but I had 0, so did I carelessly expunge 4 actual people and a murderer? You’re making a huge deal out of microscopic non-entities vs. speculative entities – that’s the spectrum you should look at.

        • Consider this figure of the blue-green spectrum. We can argue where blue ends and green begins, but it should be easy to agree that blue is not green.

          http://wp.patheos.com.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs/crossexamined/files/2014/01/Blue-and-Green.jpg

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/01/spectrum-argument-for-abortion-revisited/

        • Cygnus

          Well, you get into some kind of Sorites paradox.
          Summing up it is like: when are you called “bald”? When I remove a hair from your hairy head or when you still have one hair on your head? BTW, are you bald, or just into the “spectrum” 🙂

        • “When do you call it bald?” is like “When do you call it green?” Each is off topic when we’re trying to establish the existence of a spectrum.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If a count is made of the hairs on a buddies head and the guy next is one hair less, is he balder? Is he then classed as bald?

          Why is this so difficult for these feckin’ eejits to get to grips with?

        • Cygnus

          Bob, before you call it “green” it still has one hair of “blue” in it 🙂
          That’s why you put the arrow when it was full “green”… or “bald”
          Sorry if you think that I called you bald.

        • Kodie

          It’s cued up to the relevant discussion of bald vs. not bald:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSGlygCjKcY&feature=youtu.be&t=149

        • catfink

          There is a spectrum of development between children and adults. Do you therefore think that “child” and “adult” are not meaningful and distinct categories?

        • MNb

          “The wac-a-mole comes if I tried to conclude that …”
          Which BobS doesn’t do. He never died that the single cell as mentioned on the chart is human.

          “rather assumes humanity exists only what can be seen outside the uterus”
          That’s your assumption. So it’s your problem, not BobS’. The chart only mentions the differences between human single cells at one hand and newborns, young adults and old people at the other.
          You’re attacking a strawman because of an assumption that’s only yours.

        • lady_black

          “At what point is it no longer color?”
          Black. Black is the absence of color. White light contains all colors of the visible spectrum.
          A zygote isn’t a baby. When a fetus could survive birth, it’s a potential baby, and will be a baby if born at that point. Anything that could not be live-born isn’t a baby.

        • lady_black

          A born baby NEVER has “less” personhood than a fetus. Speaking practically, a baby born at 22 weeks is a person, but probably not for long.

  • Cygnus

    A single human cell is still a cell grown in a human.
    Every sperm is sacred.
    Every sperm is great.
    If a sperm is wasted,
    God gets quite irate.

    • Zeta

      If a sperm is wasted,
      God gets quite irate.

      Haha, Cygnus, this is quite entertaining.

      According to LiveScience.com:
      In fact, the average male will produce roughly 525 billion sperm cells over a lifetime and shed at least one billion of them per month. A healthy adult male can release between 40 million and 1.2 billion sperm cells in a single ejaculation.
      Multiply that by the number of “average male” in the world, you have a staggering number of sources of irateness for god. No wonder he has been an angry god. But he is the one who created this mess. 🙂

  • Pretty poor. Whether it is one cell, 2, 4, 8, or 50 trillion it is a separate human organism Questions: How many cells do you have to have to be human? Is 3 trillion enough? Do you have to get to 50 trillion or some number in between? What is your criteria for the number you give? I gave you mine that one single cell is a separate being who only has to grow.

    • Whether it is one cell, 2, 4, 8, or 50 trillion it is a separate human organism

      OK. So what? It’s just one cell. Call it whatever you want. But if you want to impose some ridiculous definition on the rest of society (1 cell = a baby) then we may have a problem.

      How many cells do you have to have to be human?

      I suppose if “human” simply means “has Homo sapiens DNA,” then just one cell. But we’re not talking about human. We’re talking about a human (or person or baby).

      Is 3 trillion enough? Do you have to get to 50 trillion or some number in between? What is your criteria for the number you give?

      Not an interesting topic for me.

      I gave you mine that one single cell is a separate being who only has to grow.

      Perhaps your argument actually is the Argument from Potential: it’s not a person now, but it will be. I’ll accept that.

      • SO basically you refuse to answer. You say a one cell organize that is only a little human being has no rights but other than birth you won’t say when – and even that you did not actually say. You didn’t prove anything. You said one cell is not enough but never answer how many is. No, an embryo is not a potential human being it is already a human being as any geentics or bioogy text will affirm. It is just very tiny and needs protection. Then again a newborn baby is outside the womb but still totally dependent. So dependence can’t be a criteria unless of course like others you are arguing for infanticide as part of teh “choice”. The topic did interst you as you made a blog post. You just did not anticipate taht a pro-lifer, believer, actually bothers to read also teh atheist channel as well as the others. You can’t answer the questions without admitting that you are deciding who lives and who dies, which is why I am pro-Life conception to natural death. Yes I am against capital punishment. Peace.

        • Michael Neville

          I see you’re one of the anti-abortion folks who don’t give a damn about the rights of the woman. Fetus über alles, the woman is nothing but a mobile incubator who has no rights about what’s happening in her body.

          I am pro-Life

          No, you’re not “pro-life”, you’re “forced birth”. Be honest about your misogyny and disregard for one-half of the adult population. Your sole concern is about a clump of cells, women’s rights don’t matter to you.

          EDIT: Spell checkers are available for free. Consider using one. You’ll look less ignorant that way.

        • You don’t know me at all, yet you said I don’t care about the rights of women. That is illogical; you know nothing about my stance on women’s rights. You only know I don’t think it is a right for a woman to kill her unborn baby. I give a damn about many rights they actually have. Based on my desire to not have innocent little babies slaughtered in the womb you assume I don’t care about women.

          Thanks for the pro tip about the spellchecker. I took a little more care in responding to you to help avoid further false assumptions on your part. Point taken.

          Let me give you one: to appear less close-minded and ignorant don’t make assumptions about people you never met. Making false assumptions is a lot more dangerous to your actual knowledge than a few typos.

        • Michael Neville

          you know nothing about my stance on women’s rights.

          Au contraire (that’s furrin for “nope”). I know exactly where you stand on women’s rights. You have no problem with them getting equal pay and that sort of thing. However you don’t want them to choose what to do with their own bodies. If a woman becomes pregnant you would deny her the right to have an abortion because you think a clump of non-sentient cells has more rights than an adult, sentient woman. If you think I haven’t seen your kind of anti-abortionist before then you’re even more ignorant than I already thought.

          Based on my desire to not have innocent little babies slaughtered in the womb you assume I don’t care about women.

          I don’t assume anything. I know that you don’t give a rat’s ass about women’s right to choose whether or not to abort the fetus.

          Incidentally, you misogynist twerp, a fetus doesn’t become a baby until birth. There are no “innocent little babies” in the womb. But it’s telling that you consider the “baby” but don’t care about the woman. As I said, you give more rights to a fetus than to a woman. So don’t complain when I call you out on your hatred of women.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know why you think you are any fan of women. You call a clump of non-sentient cells “innocent little baby” so your perception of what things are or how they seem to you are already biased. I assume that means you think you’re doing a great thing forcing them to make your choice instead of their own, on behalf of something that really isn’t anything.

        • MNb

          Nice contradiction: “You only know I don’t think it is a right for a woman to kill her unborn baby.”

          means we know something about your stance on women’s rights. Hence this

          “you know nothing about my stance on women’s rights.”

          “not have innocent little babies slaughtered in the womb”
          A single fertilized cell is a baby according to you and fuck the facts as represented on the chart given by BobS.

          “to appear less close-minded and ignorant”
          Be a role model and accept the facts as given by the chart.

        • Ooooh profanity you win. The facts were mere numbers of cells. The fact according to genetics and biology is that after fertilization a separate human being with it’s own genetic code different from that of the mother exists. F the facts? I merely asked since he was basing it on number of cells how many cells needed to be there and what was the criteria for that number. For me when humans start assigning rights of personhood we end up with things like slavery and Holocausts, so I don’t grant or take away rights. If a being has the adjective human attached to that noun better respect its right to life.

        • Kodie

          Unless she’s a woman.

        • Michael Neville

          Ooooh profanity you win.

          Fuck off, you prudish asshole. If you don’t like the way adults talk then go back to the children’s table.

          Why is it that you think a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman? Is your hatred of women that strong that you would deny them the right to control what happens with their own bodies? Or is it you just haven’t given any thought to how pregnancy affects women? I’m betting on the first choice but I might be wrong. It may be that you just don’t give a shit about women and their rights.

        • If a being has the adjective human attached to that noun better respect its right to life.

          I just scratched my arm. As a result, hundreds of living human cells (skin cells) are now dying. And y’know what? I don’t even care. I guess I’m a monster.

        • lady_black

          There isn’t any “mother.” There is a woman who has the right to decide what does and doesn’t go on with her body.

        • MNb

          What profanity? I am not above it, but after rereading my comment I couldn’t find even a single one.

          “The fact according to genetics and biology is that after fertilization a separate human being with it’s own genetic code different …”

          Unless you give me a text on genetics and biology written by an actual geneticist I assume you suck the underlined part out of your big fat thumb.

          Also answer MN’s question: Why should a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman?
          When we two are in hospital and you need a blood transfusion from me, do you think it OK to force to give it to you? That’s what you are forcing women to do .

          Edit: oh wait, you mean fuck.
          Well, that’s what you’re an apologist for. I think to fuck a pleasant and noble activity that contributes significantly to the well being of me and my partner.
          At the other hand I take this

          “not have innocent little babies slaughtered in the womb”

          as a personal insult. So thanks for displaying your hypocrisy. You take issue with my language but expect me to accept your insults unconditionally.

          Go have a good fuck. Maybe your mind opens up a bit.

        • More ad hominem attacks.
          But since you asked:
          Life Begins at Fertilization
          The following references illustrate the fact that a new human embryo,
          the starting point for a human life, comes into existence with the
          formation of the one-celled zygote:

          “Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”

          [England, Marjorie A. Life Before Birth. 2nd ed. England: Mosby-Wolfe, 1996, p.31]

          “Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception).

          “Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei
          (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their
          chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being.”

          [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

          “Embryo: the developing organism from the time of fertilization until
          significant differentiation has occurred, when the organism becomes
          known as a fetus.”

          [Cloning Human Beings. Report and Recommendations of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission. Rockville, MD: GPO, 1997, Appendix-2.]

          “Embryo: An organism in the earliest stage of development; in a man,
          from the time of conception to the end of the second month in the
          uterus.”

          [Dox, Ida G. et al. The Harper Collins Illustrated Medical Dictionary. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993, p. 146]

          “Embryo:
          The early developing fertilized egg that is growing into another
          individual of the species. In man the term ’embryo’ is usually
          restricted to the period of development from fertilization until the
          end of the eighth week of pregnancy.”

          [Walters, William and Singer, Peter (eds.). Test-Tube Babies. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 160]

          “The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

          [Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3]

          “Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells
          and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it
          becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the
          human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a
          fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo
          covers the several stages of early development from conception to the
          ninth or tenth week of life.”

          [Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943]

          “I would say that among most scientists, the word ’embryo’ includes the time from after fertilization…”

          [Dr. John Eppig, Senior Staff Scientist, Jackson Laboratory (Bar
          Harbor, Maine) and Member of the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel —
          Panel Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 31]

          “The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”

          [Sadler, T.W. Langman’s Medical Embryology. 7th edition. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins 1995, p. 3]

          “The question came up of what is an embryo, when does an embryo exist,
          when does it occur. I think, as you know, that in development, life is
          a continuum…. But I think one of the useful definitions that has come
          out, especially from Germany, has been the stage at which these two
          nuclei [from sperm and egg] come together and the membranes between the
          two break down.”

          [Jonathan Van Blerkom of University of Colorado, expert witness on
          human embryology before the NIH Human Embryo Research Panel — Panel
          Transcript, February 2, 1994, p. 63]

          “Zygote. This cell, formed by the union of an ovum and a sperm (Gr. zyg tos, yoked together), represents the beginning of a human being. The common expression ‘fertilized ovum’ refers to the zygote.”

          [Moore, Keith L. and Persaud, T.V.N. Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects. 4th edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1993, p. 1]

          “The chromosomes of the oocyte and sperm are…respectively enclosed within female and male pronuclei. These pronuclei fuse with each other to produce the single, diploid, 2N nucleus of the fertilized zygote. This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.”

          [Larsen, William J. Human Embryology. 2nd edition. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 17]

          “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical
          landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically
          distinct human organism is thereby formed…. The combination of 23
          chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the
          zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity.”

          [O’Rahilly, Ronan and M�ller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology.
          2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29. This textbook lists
          “pre-embryo” among “discarded and replaced terms” in modern embryology,
          describing it as “ill-defined and inaccurate” (p. 12}]

          “Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the
          fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the
          starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”

          [Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3]

          “[A]nimal biologists use the term embryo
          to describe the single cell stage, the two-cell stage, and all
          subsequent stages up until a time when recognizable humanlike limbs and
          facial features begin to appear between six to eight weeks after
          fertilization….

          “[A] number of specialists working in the field of human reproduction have suggested that we stop using the word embryo
          to describe the developing entity that exists for the first two weeks
          after fertilization. In its place, they proposed the term pre-embryo….

          “I’ll let you in on a secret. The term pre-embryo has been embraced
          wholeheartedly by IVF practitioners for reasons that are political, not
          scientific. The new term is used to provide the illusion that there is
          something profoundly different between what we nonmedical biologists
          still call a six-day-old embryo and what we and everyone else call a
          sixteen-day-old embryo.
          “The
          term pre-embryo is useful in the political arena — where decisions are
          made about whether to allow early embryo (now called pre-embryo)
          experimentation — as well as in the confines of a doctor’s office,
          where it can be used to allay moral concerns that might be expressed by
          IVF patients. ‘Don’t worry,’ a doctor might say, ‘it’s only pre-embryos
          that we’re manipulating or freezing. They won’t turn into real human
          embryos until after we’ve put them back into your body.'”

          [Silver, Lee M. Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World. New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 39]

        • MNb

          The questions were:

          -Why should a non-sentient clump of cells has more rights than an adult woman?

          -Which text on genetics and biology written by an actual geneticist shows “The fact according to genetics and biology is that after fertilization a separate human being with it’s own genetic code different …”?

          None of your quotes uses the word separate. There is a simple reason for it: as long as an zygote/embryo/foetus is the womb it’s not separate by definition. It only becomes separate after cutting the umbilical cord.

          The relevant ones (btw the argumentum ad nauseam

          https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/49/Argument_by_Repetition

          is a logical fallacy – it’s telling that you’re not capable of sorting out what’s relevant and irrelevant)

          do not say “a fertilized egg is a separate human being”, which was your claim. An examples:

          “The development of a human begins with fertilization …”
          Know what? If you develop something it is not that something yet. And another quote nicely confirms BobS’ argument:

          “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark”
          Well, yes. So is birth. So is getting your first teeth. So is your first school day. So is your first sex experience.

        • Ignorant Amos

          More ad hominem attacks.

          A fallacy of which you clearly appear to be clueless about.

        • Dys

          A sperm cell is alive as well. When will you begin campaigning for sperm cell rights?

        • MR

          Oh, no, there goes the “Every sperm is sacred” song through my head again.

        • Myna A.

          Mercy, but even you must know that links would have made for a more coherent read.

          The bottom line, is that the legalization of elective abortion is a women’s health issue, and encompasses far more than a woman deciding she doesn’t want to go through with the risk of a pregnancy or being a parent (which is reason enough). From genetic issues to birth control failure (ie: IUD), to physiological and psychological factors, it’s not a single circumstance deal.

          As a man, you are exempt from ever having to make the decision on whatever grounds, and so I do not understand the arrogance of your opinion on what a woman ought or ought not do. Now, you may feel that elective abortion signifies a loss of potential, but that potential is never guaranteed with or without a medical termination. Do you understand that?

        • lady_black

          “Unborn babies” are imaginary. They are not babies. Babies have been born.
          There is no such neutral, un-politicized region known as “The Womb.” Let’s get real here. What you are talking about, PETER, is an organ that you do not possess, that doesn’t belong to you, inside a separate body that ALSO doesn’t belong to you.
          You have no right to reach inside that organ, inside that body, which is not yours, and “protect” anything within it. Hands off, crazy! That which is inside that organ, inside that body, is the purview of the person who owns that body, just as rights to what is within YOUR body belongs to you. You are the decider. Nobody else gets a say.

        • MNb

          https://www.atria.nl/nl/publicatie/dolle-mina
          Scroll a bit and look at the last picture. The Dutch women have written “baas in eigen buik” on their bellies – “boss in our own bellies”.

        • Velvetpage

          You already told me that my right to control the contents of my uterus comes second to the right of the embryo to use it. You already told me that once I was pregnant, I had no choice but to risk my life for that embryo. You denied me the right to make medical decisions for my body. Newsflash: that’s about women’s rights.

        • You already told me that my right to control the contents of my uterus comes second to the right of the embryo to use it.

          Said another way, Peter declares that he’s got it figured out better than you do, so he reserves the right to overrule your decisions. You want an abortion? Better get permission from Peter first.

        • SO basically you refuse to answer.

          Well, yeah. Who wants to stand up to your logical assault and get mowed down?

          You say a one cell organize that is only a little human being has no rights but other than birth you won’t say when – and even that you did not actually say.

          I’m saying that a single cell isn’t a human being at all. It’s human, but not a human being (or a person or a baby). If you want to show me how a single cell is a baby, despite its poor showing in the chart above, go ahead.

          If you want to discuss the very different question of when the inherent value of a fetus becomes so important that society must step in a declare that abortion is no longer illegal, that’s fine. I have nothing to add to that (different) conversation.

          You said one cell is not enough but never answer how many is.

          Yeah, I’d prefer to take things one step at a time. When you agree that there’s a spectrum of personhood (0% as a single cell and 100% as a newborn), then we can move on. If we don’t agree, then why would I want to proceed?

          No, an embryo is not a potential human being it is already a human being as any geentics or bioogy text will affirm.

          Wrong. An embryo is human. Whether it’s a human being or not (or a baby or a person) isn’t a biology question.

          It is just very tiny and needs protection.

          Tip: if you need a microscope to see it, it’s not a human being.

          You just did not anticipate taht a pro-lifer, believer, actually bothers to read also teh atheist channel as well as the others.

          Yep, you’re the first believer I’ve ever gotten here, after 5 years of blogging and close to 200,000 comments. Congratulations!

          You can’t answer the questions without admitting that you are deciding who lives and who dies

          I’ve eaten cow before. And a cow had to die first. I’ve killed flies and mosquitoes. Just because it’s alive doesn’t mean that society gives it the same value as a newborn.

        • Thaks for answering first of all. So it is human but not a human being – so when does it become a human being in your estimation. Since it is a being and it is human my position is that it is a human being. So then is it s human being if it is not microscopic? I am saying it should be given the same value you are saying it should not. I guess I put the onus on you since you posted the number of cells as the criteria for it not being a human being so I am waiting for you to answer what number of cells are required for it to be one at which point I will ask you if you would fgrant legal proteciton for that human being. I never argue personhood. Perosonhood is a philosophical/psychological concept not a biological one. I choose to err ont eh side of caution in granting personhood but I don’t argue it.

        • when does it become a human being in your estimation.

          Off topic and not interesting to me. Let’s focus on this spectrum issue instead.

          Since it is a being and it is human my position is that it is a human being.

          If you need a microscope to see it, it’s not a human being, remember?

          But if you want to play that game, then you tell me: what is the newborn that the single cell is not. For example: the newborn is a person, while the single cell is not.

          So then is it s human being if it is not microscopic?

          It’s a spectrum.

          I am saying it should be given the same value you are saying it should not.

          Do you give 10-year-olds voting rights? Maybe some things just come with maturity.

          I guess I put the onus on you since you posted the number of cells as the criteria for it not being a human being

          It’s a spectrum: not a person as a single cell and a person as a newborn. It’s a spectrum in between. That’s all I’m saying—pretty simple, I think you’ll agree. Let’s reach agreement on this before we move on.

          I never argue personhood. Perosonhood is a philosophical/psychological concept not a biological one.

          “Human being” is a definition, just like “person” is. They sound like synonyms to me. Look them up in the dictionary.

        • catfink

          So it is human but not a human being – so when does it become a human being in your estimation.

          Depends what you mean by “human being.” A human person begins to exist at birth.

          Since it is a being and it is human my position is that it is a human being.

          In that case, a sperm cell is also a “human being.”

          I am saying it should be given the same value you are saying it should not.

          Why should it be given that value?

          Perosonhood is a philosophical/psychological concept not a biological one. I choose to err ont eh side of caution in granting personhood but I don’t argue it.

          You’re not “erring on the side of caution.” You’re defining personhood in terms of biological characteristics that most people consider irrelevant.

        • Cygnus

          “…so when does it become a human being in your estimation.”
          ===
          You call a pizza as “pizza” when it is out of the oven. Capisce?

        • Capisco perettamente. But foo din preparation is not equivalent to a human being in a stage of development. One in the oven is a cute phrase but what is in teh oven is already a living being. Capsice?

        • MNb

          “But food in preparation is not equivalent to a human being in a stage of development.”
          Just because you say so?

          “One in the oven is a cute phrase but what is in teh oven is already a living being. Capsice?”
          One in the womb is a cute phrase but what is in the oven is already a pizza. Capisce?

        • Kodie

          You referred to it as “innocent little baby” before, that’s “cute” also, but not accurate.

        • Cygnus

          Zygote, embryo, fetus development is gathering what is needed to become a newborn. Same as for a pizza, you gather the ingredients, but it is pizza when it is out of the oven.

          But you don’t understand that I used an analogy, you think that I’d really put a z/e/f in an oven to get out a newborn and feed myself. Those pics with people eating fetuses are photoshoped.

        • RichardSRussell

          I’ve never tried foo din. Korean?

        • Michael Neville

          It’s just like sushi only completely different.

        • MNb

          “Since it is a being and it is human my position is that it is a human being.”
          If a single cell is a being then so is a skin cell and you are saying it should be given the same value.

        • He’ll respond that the single egg cell has the potential to become a baby.

          (1) He reveals that his argument is simply the Argument from Potential–it isn’t a baby, but it will be.

          (2) In a decade or two, human skin cells will probably have the potential to be turned totipotent so that they will also be able to become a baby.

        • Velvetpage

          You’re arguing from the position of the fetus. What about its mother? Why is it okay for you to deny me control over my body? Why is it okay for you to decide that, since I have this single cell growing into more cells inside me, I am now required to give up a year of my life, my health, my earning power, and potentially my life, for the sake of that single cell or tiny organism?

        • Because your mother gave those up for you. Because you don;t have the power of life or death over another human being.

        • Velvetpage

          I’m very grateful that my mother brought me into the world. She and my father planned for me and created me when the time was right for them. Why does that mean I owe the same to a zygote who was not planned and whom I could not safely carry? I do have the power to decide on the contents of my own uterus. I, and only I, get to make the decisions about how my body is used. I planned for and carried two pregnancies to term before my troubles began, and I’ve never regretted it for a moment – my children are wonderful girls. But I want them to have the right to decide when the time is right for them to become mothers. I don’t want someone like you dictating that their lives and choices are less important than the life growing inside them, that nobody else even knows exists yet.

        • Dys

          Because your mother gave those up for you.

          Voluntary pregnancy is not the same thing as the forced pregnancy you’re advocating for.

          Because you don;t have the power of life or death over another human being.

          A fertilized egg is not a human being.

          I still think the main reason the religious argue against abortion now doesn’t have a single thing to do with biology – they think a single cell is the equivalent of a fully developed human being because of the theological woo of ensoulment. But since they know nobody’s going to buy that nonsense, they have to try and insist that somehow, a single cell with no brain, no feelings, no mind, no consciousness is a human being.

        • Kodie

          I wonder how invested they are in that view anyway. Their main strategy is to argue against late-term abortions or talk about what it is if it could be born already but isn’t yet. Politically, they are all about convincing women they need to wait a while and be certain about their decision, making it difficult or posing obstacles like painting a nursery, naming it, having an ultrasound, anything they can do to delay having an abortion until it’s an actual ethical issue for the woman or force them to feel attached or guilty or obligated. They don’t really get into what happens if someone goes to get an abortion the day they find out they are pregnant. What would happen if every woman could, not only practically, but not already be surrounded by the propaganda that this is such a big decision, like – say you had a big job opportunity, but you would have to be separated from your close-knit extended family. You might be happy enough at the job you have now, but you can’t grow. You don’t want to make a decsision like that lightly, but the opportunity to move away may not last forever. If you stay where you are waiting to decide, you will have passively made your choice, and maybe it is the right choice for you anyway.

          Deciding to stay pregnant or deciding not to be pregnant when you didn’t want to get pregnant should be even easier. Having an abortion should be the lighter decision, not the heavier decision. Having a baby is a big deal, so any decision should consider reality. If you had no intention of getting pregnant, or you think waiting a little longer would be better, well, the decision to abort can (usually) easily be reversed; not so with choosing to continue pregnancy or waiting too long that the decision is made for you. They want to make it, like, if I decide to abort, I can never reverse it and have that particular baby. I didn’t know that baby, nobody did. Nobody would know at this point if you replaced it with no baby or another baby.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The suffering here in Ireland is a reality.

          Women have to risk prosecution or the financial burden of having to travel in order to facilitate abortion because it is still illegal here in both parts of Ireland. That’s down to knuckle dragging religious fuckwits in government.

          We are even in contravention of ECHR on this issue, so you can understand why I’m so passionate about this subject.

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/nov/30/northern-ireland-law-on-abortion-ruled-as-incompatible-with-human-rights

        • Velvetpage

          My life has more value than that of an embryo or zygote, or even a fetus. My value is both immeasurable and measured. It’s in the work I do and the support, financial and physical and emotional, that I provide for the children I already have. It’s in the place I hold in my community and my family. It’s in the fact that I have a name, an identity, and legal rights. A zygote has none of that value.

          Furthermore, having faced down the fairly strong likelihood that another pregnancy would kill me, the idea that your high-brow notions of a fetus having the same rights as me might become law scares me to my toenails. One in ten thousand women dies in childbirth. I stood a really good chance of being that one. In Texas and Mississippi, it’s now closer to one in two thousand, or one in one thousand if you happen to be poor and a person of color. Far more women than that suffer long-term health consequences, and then many, many more suffer badly during pregnancy to the point where they can’t work. So your philosophical idea that the fetus is just as valuable as its mother looks very much to me like you want to control whether or not I am allowed to decide that I don’t want to risk my life. You’re prepared to make it law that I have no choice but to press a pause button, or possibly a stop button, on my life, for the sake of a zygote that nobody else knows exists until I tell them.

          You want fair to the fetus? Where is the fairness to its mother?

        • I am sure your alive children are glad they didn’t give you the impression that they imperiled your health or risked putting your life on pause otherwise you would have considered them expendable. Yes, once a human being is alive it may not be directly killed. As for legal rights. Yes the government currently denies the unborn the right to life, but then again it used to deny slaves protection under the law too so I think there is a greater concern than the legal rights there. The time for choice is before pregnancy not after another human life exists.

        • Kodie

          Slaves were property like animals, but you can see how they are people. You could not own or enslave a zygote, in fact, it’s enslaving a woman before and up until it’s born.

          Yeah, we outlawed that. You seem to think women are less than human. That’s why you make the comparison between a cell and a grown-up.

        • MR

          You can bet that if having sex put men at risk of getting pregnant, abortion would be a non-issue.

        • Velvetpage

          My children know that they were wanted and planned for. I was healthy enough to have them, but their births are part of the reason I was not healthy enough for a third pregnancy. As for choice, I couldn’t use any form of hormonal or long-acting birth control, and the other protection failed. What then? You’re still telling me that I have no choice but to risk my life for a pregnancy I knew I didn’t want, couldn’t carry, and tried to prevent. Why is my life not important enough that I get to decide how to protect it?

          Your disregard for the lives and health of women who do not want to carry a pregnancy is terrifying. Women have every right to be scared out of their wits by people who think like you do. You would rather see me bedridden for months and risking a potentially-fatal uterine rupture – a near certainty in my case – than have me end the pregnancy as soon as I discovered it. And yet you call that the moral choice. It’s heinous.

        • Are “your alive children” and those children that you didn’t bother to make morally the same?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I am sure your alive children are glad they didn’t give you the impression that they imperiled your health or risked putting your life on pause otherwise you would have considered them expendable.

          What dickhead thing to say.

          Yes, once a human being is alive it may not be directly killed.

          Ha ha…until a human being is alive it may not be directly killed ya mean to say.

          A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance.

          Until birth, the label human being is debatable.

          As for legal rights. Yes the government currently denies the unborn the right to life,…

          More ignorance. Governments don’t deny the unborn the right to life. Governments allow the person carrying the unborn certain rights. And only up to a point. Get your facts sorted.

          …but then again it used to deny slaves protection under the law too so I think there is a greater concern than the legal rights there.

          Right, slaves were denied protection and the unborn were granted protection. Then we started to wise up. We got rid of slavery and started to to allow abortion. Because the rights of PEOPLE count. Ya know, the ones walking about breathing, feeling and thinking.

          The time for choice is before pregnancy not after another human life exists.

          Oh ffs…behave yourself with all the hyperbole bullshit.

        • Myna A.

          I […] exists

          From beginning to end:

          Value Judgment definition: An assessment of a person, situation, or event. The term is often restricted to assessments that reveal the values of the person making the assessment rather than the objective realities of what is being assessed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah….that killing of other human beings nonsense is such a fucking boring drag… especially to afford folk of such luxuries as freedom …best get other folk to do it for ya. Sheeesh, ivory towers and sitting in them, how quaint.

          Theist’s, ave fucking shit’em!

        • Mike French

          So it’s one cell. What’s it to you?

        • Kodie

          It is just very tiny and needs protection.

          It is not just very tiny and does not just need protection. It literally builds itself out of the blood and tissue of the woman it’s inside of. If it isn’t built yet, it isn’t what it will be if permitted to continue. If it needs to feed off another human to build itself, it’s a parasitic type of organism, it only needs protection in order to keep feasting on flesh. Why would a thing like that need to be protected? We wouldn’t protect other cannibals, and we usually try to get rid of parasitic organisms that infest a human.

        • MNb

          “It is just very tiny and needs protection.”
          Like a skin cell.

        • lady_black

          Dependence on a specific body IS very much a criteria. You aren’t entitled to that, and neither is a zygote.

    • Mike French

      Mind your own business. Find something to do besides judge others when it’s none of your fucking business.

    • Frito Pendejo

      it is a separate human organism

      Is it your contention that a zygote is fully human and entitled to the same legal protections as a newborn?

    • eric

      The answer is: there is no binary decision. Its a progressive scale – as the zygote develops into a foetus and then on and on, we give it more rights. This even continues after birth – young children don’t have the right of self-determination. Between the ages of about 12 and 18, you can fightfor that right in court and possibly receive it, but the burden of proof is on the person who wants it. At 18, that flips and the burden of proof is now on others if they want to take that indivdual’s self-determination away. Even at 18, you still aren’t considered fully mature and don’t have full rights. You can’t drink, rent a car, or run for Congress, for example. In fact, we don’t give people the full and complete set of rights until you turn about 35, when you can finally run for President.

      You’re trying to draw a bright white line where none exists. Development is a continuous process. So is the awarding/granting/coverage of rights.

      Is that harder to implement than a bright white line? Yes. Does it cause moral quandries? Yes. Is it elegant, simple, and satisfying? No, no, and no. But its the right way to do things, because like it or not, that’s how human beings actually grow; a bit at a time.

      Look Peter, I understand you want a simple answer to the question. But none of the simple answers to this question are good answers, because none of the simple answers reflect actual reality. Life is complicated. Some of our laws have to be complicated to account for that.

    • lady_black

      So what?

    • MNb

      “it is a separate human organism”
      It escaped me, but this simply not true. A baby only becomes a separate organism when the umbilical cord is cut. Until then he/she is connected hence not separate.

      • Ignorant Amos

        They just can’t grasp this basic concept, can they?

      • Different DNA. Different human being. Baby can die without mother dying. After viability mother can die and baby live.

        • MNb

          Still not separate.
          Since when is DNA a synonym of human being?

          “Baby can die without mother dying. After viability mother can die and baby live.”
          And that tells us exactly how much you care about women right: zilch.

        • Not at all. You just continue to make prejudicial hate filled statements about me when you do not know me. The quote you made there cites objective biological realities, not desires on my part. But since you want to deny objective bilogical realities you make teh statement about my “care about women.” This is typical of the pro-choice [sic] movement that must resort to ad hominem attacks when denying the biological reality that human life begins at conception. You need to call it an apendage , to deny its humanity so you can justify killing him or her. And yes separate DNA is one of the ways in which we know it is a separate human being. The unborn baby has its own genetic code different form its mother, product of the union of the cells form the mother and the father.

        • Kodie

          You haven’t presented a good argument for its humanity. You compare it to slaves and go on about DNA, but that’s not really impressive. Look at the thing, now look at a woman. Which one is a person, and which one do you deny humanity to? Serious conclusion – you hate women, because you deny them humanity in favor of a non-sentient thing that would not be missed and doesn’t need your “heroic” protection. You do hate women, it’s really not that hard to notice.

        • MNb

          “You just continue to make prejudicial hate filled statements”
          I just observe what you write, nothing more. But of course a christian bigot like you enjoys his persecution complex topped with some nice projection.
          See, you were the one who accused me amongst others of advocating unborn baby slaughter. And being the arrogant christian you are, who pays lip service to his sinful nature, but never draws any practical consequence, you wipe your sorry christian ass with the words of whom you claim to be your big hero. See Matth. 7:5. I like that – it shows what a failure your belief system is.

          “The quote you made there cites objective biological realities”
          I didn’t claim otherwise, so now you wipe your arrogant christian ass with your own 9th Commandment as well.

          “since you want to deny objective bilogical realities”
          And now you have become a liar. I never denied any of the quotes you provided. I pointed out that you drew an unjustified conclusion from them.

          “separate DNA is one of the ways in which we know it is a separate human being”
          None of the many quotes you provided – and I have checked them all twice – has said so.
          But of course we can expect dishonesty like this from an established hypocrite and liar like you. I like that too – unwillingly you reinforce the pro-choice views (which is unlike yours actually pro-life).
          PS: What I write does not contain ad hominem arguments at all. They are conclusions from the comments you wrote on this very page. But of course getting honest and admitting this comes after the last thing you will ever do.

        • If you don’t like the impression your stance makes, change it. Don’t declare that you know more about a stranger’s situation than she does so that you can override her wishes and prevent her from having an abortion.

          That arrogance kinda makes you look like a dick.

        • Rt1583

          You’re pretty much ignoring the whole “after viability” part so you can make your argument aren’t you?

    • Rt1583

      So all single cell organisms are human?

  • Jeffrey Cordero

    We don’t scientifically determine the species by the number of cells that make it up or how complete it is in its life cycle, scientifically anything with the DNA of a species IS 100% completely that species. Poor argument, if you want to play with facts at least do so scientifically.

    • Poor argument. I agree that the single cell is Homo sapiens. So what? What’s your argument?

    • Greg G.

      If I prick my finger and leak a few blood drops on the ground, those are 100% human cells but they are not a person.

  • rmwilliamsjr

    60-80% of all fertilized eggs are so genetically damaged that they will die before birth.

  • jstoby

    Neat chart, and a pretty good argument for permitting the abortion of a single cell. The problem is an embyro splits into millions of cells within a few days and has a billion cell by week 8. No one is aborting single cells. Your chart sheds no light on when a person becomes a person, and therefore no light on the morality of an abortion. As far as pro-life vs. pro-choice arguments go, it’s nothing but a straw man.

    • Frito Pendejo

      Your chart sheds no light on when a person becomes a person

      But the converse is also true; the bald assertion that a zygote is a person sheds no light, either.

    • I think you need to check your math on the number of cells.

      No, not a straw man. This point that you seem to be missing is that I’m simply taking “But the unborn is a baby!” to the extreme. If it’s a baby at 2 months, is it still a baby with one cell? If not, then we agree that personhood (or baby-ness) is a spectrum, and we can discuss when it is ethical to allow an abortion. This defeats the popular pro-life argument that it’s a baby/person along the entire spectrum, so wondering when it’s ethical to abort is moot.

      The different question of when it crosses that line (when it becomes enough of a person that it has inherent worth that society must step in an override a woman’s potential desire to abort) has been answered by state and federal legislatures around the world hundreds of times. Sure, it’s a tough decision, but sentencing for myriad crimes are tough decisions, too.

  • Frito Pendejo

    A question for those who believe personhood begins at conception. Some months back, the following exchange took place down thread:

    So all single cell organisms are human?

    No only those that have the DNA and 2n number of a human being.

    So the argument here is that only sexual reproduction can produce a zygote-person. But what about a clone? It is, after all, probably just a matter of time until someone pulls it off. The resulting being surely would, at birth, be considered a human person in the fullest sense by most reasonable people. Yet on the above argument, as the product of asexual reproduction, she or he would not be considered a “human being.”

  • So missing an arm or a leg, still no baby? Maybe we should look at what the world of medicine says. I’m tired of science deniers.
    http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/08/41-quotes-from-medical-textbooks-prove-human-life-begins-at-conception/

    • The article says, “Human Life Begins at Conception.” Definitions are often slippery in this area, but I could live with that.

      So what’s the problem? If you’re saying this defeats the point in the chart above, I’m missing it.

    • BlackMamba44

      Lifenews is NOT the field of medicine.

      Those quotes don’t say what you want them to say.

      And I also need context of those quotes.