Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Person's a Person...

I’m engaged in a conversation of sorts with someone who doesn’t share my views at all! I figured I might as well take some time to figure out what the “liberal” mind thinks, and this person seems to think rather than react

It may end up being a kind of "Occupy" meets "pro-life" moment, but I'll give it a shot. 

Anyway...this individual told me that he did have some thoughts on absolute rights and wrongs, and listed these:

I believe it's wrong to put one's desires over someone else's needs. I believe it's wrong to treat others in a way that you don't want to be treated. I believe it's wrong to coerce others; though coercion itself is tricky -- for example it is okay to restrain someone (a coercion) to prevent them hurting or killing someone else (which is itself a coercion). I believe it is wrong to cause harm or destroy. I believe it's wrong to be dishonest.

Those sound like things I can agree with, but they are a bit nebulous; so I asked him how his thoughts play out on specific issues, such as abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia. About abortion he said (my emphasis):

While it has human DNA, in my view it is a human fetus, not a human person, and no more deserving of individual consideration than any other collection of human cells. As the fetus develops it becomes more capable of feeling and living on its own, and becomes more deserving of individual consideration. By the time it can survive on its own outside the womb it seems like it's become enough of a human being in its own right to warrant protection. Exactly when that point is seems like a good point for debate, and as technology for keeping fetuses alive improves that point may move closer to conception.


Even on an intuitive level, it seems difficult to determine when a person becomes a person. Dr. Seuss had it right, I think:
The videos below highlight the continuity of human development. The first was mentioned on LifeSiteNews, and is a simulation of prenatal development from conception to birth. The first few minutes are a discussion of the technology, then you see the actual video. I particularly like the way he was able to portray the birth of a baby using both “real” footage and visualization imagery.

The second video is an incredible condensation of the development of a little girl from birth to age 12 years. (H/T The Deacon’s Bench blog)

Watch...and think about it: is the question "when does the fetus become a person?" or is it "When was this person not a person?"

Lotte Time Lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45. from Frans Hofmeester on Vimeo.

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