A response to the pope

4 Responses

  1. When does it become a person?

    When it can move?

    When it can survive outside the womb?

    When it is born?

    When it can hold its head up?

    When it can walk?

    When it can Talk? Drive? Provide for itself? Drive?

    Where do you draw the line?

  2. PZ has a post where he says pretty much the exact same thing I was going to say:

    There is no black-and-white boundary between non-personhood and personhood — it’s an arbitrary line drawn in a continuum.

    I like to compare the idea to the use of age 18 as a marker for adulthood. Clearly there is no significant difference between someone who is 17 years, 364 days old and someone who is exactly 18 years old, but it is necessary that we draw a line. There is no single determining factor for what makes someone an adult or a child. Just the same, there is no single determining factor in how we measure personhood. My position much reflects the nuances behind Roe v Wade; we can’t say a fetus is not a person the day before it is born but it is a one the day it is born. We need to draw a line, but we need to do it with the distinct idea in mind that we are really being arbitrary.

  3. Perfect post. Succinct and fact bound.

  4. For myself I would say the line should be drawn at the point where the fetus can reasonably be expected to survive outside the womb. Abortion at that point seems no less than murder.

    This will, I expect, lead to the eventual finding that abortion should not be permitted at any stage. Science will inevitably progress to the point were, perhaps, a baby could be supported outside its mother from soon after conception.

    While I have an abhorrence for abortions to prevent the “inconvenience” of the mother, If we must draw a line I think it is logical to put it there.

    I know it varies state to state.

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