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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Abortion IX … More about Personhood

Moving a step forward from PAIN: Embryo & Fetus, let's take a look at various conflicting views on when human personhood begins ...

A new human person is present at conception, at birth, or at some time between. After personhood is achieved, terminating life through an abortion is technically a form of murder which some people believe can never be justified (eg. Born Again Christian). Others (eg. Muslim) feel that such an abortion is a moral act if it is needed to prevent the death of the woman, or perhaps if it will prevent her from becoming permanently disabled, or in cases of rape or incest. Still others feel that an abortion can be a moral act for other reasons (eg. socialist & economist).

A newly formed zygote:(commonly referred to as a "just-fertilized ovum")

Unfortunately, there is NO CONSENSUS of when human personhood starts, let alone on the conditions under which an abortion of that new person should be allowed.

Science can tell us, with increasing detail, the processes that start with a sperm and ovum and end up with a newborn baby. But it cannot tell us:
  • Does the fetus have a soul?
  • When do the products of conception become a person?
  • Should a zygote be given a full set of human rights?
  • Abortion kills a human life. But Is an abortion murder?

These are questions with philosophical, religious and political aspects. Science cannot contribute a great deal towards resolving them. And because these questions have a religious component, the diversity of faith groups in this world assures that there will always be a wide variety of beliefs based on conflicting religious teachings.

Personhood starting at or shortly after conception

Most people in the pro-life camp accept the genetic view: that a human personhood comes into existence at conception. That is, a just-fertilized egg (as shown in the image above) is a full human being. Its rights, including the right to life should be protected. Conception is the point at which the DNA from the two parents combine to produce a new DNA which is unique to the individual. Some believers assert that this is when the soul enters the body. Of course, the existence of souls is a hotly debated topic about which no consensus exists.

Others believe that personhood is attained a few hours after conception; it occurs at the first occurrence of cell splitting when two cells, called blastomeres, are formed from the original single-celled zygote. More

Personhood starting when blood is first present.

One interpretation of a theme found throughout the Bible links human personhood to the presence of human blood. That is believed to appear in the embryo circa 18 days after conception. More

Personhood starting later in pregnancy

Most people in the pro-choice camp believe that human personhood happens at some developmental stage later in pregnancy. They base their beliefs on different reasons. More

Personhood starting during childbirth

A few pro-choicers believe that the fetus becomes a human person only after it has been delivered and is breathing on its own as a separate individual. There is some Biblical justification for this belief. Biblical justification for this belief Genesis 2:7 states that God made Adam's body from the dust of the ground. But it was only after God "breathed into it the breath of life" that "man became a living person." The traditional Jewish belief, also based on the Bible, is that full personhood is attained when the fetus is half-emerged from the mother's body. More .

No consensus and no compromise on the morality of abortion appears possible:

  1. To a person who believes that a human person is created at conception, abortion is a form of murder. Some pro-life individuals and organizations have suggested that an abortion clinic is the ethical equivalent to a Nazi death camp. They have suggested that embryo research is the equivalent of the fabrication of lampshades made from human skin in one of those same death camps. Some pro-lifers suggest that delaying the start of personhood beyond conception is analogous to the thought processes of slave owners. African-American slaves were once recognized as forms of human life, but not regarded as full persons. Similarly, during the Shoah -- the Nazi Holocaust -- Jews were considered as sub-human.
  2. To a person who believes that human personhood begins at the start of the second trimester or later, an early abortion is a regrettable option, but often the most ethical choice for a pregnant woman who does not wish to continue pregnancy for emotional, mental, physical, or economic reasons.
  3. Some believe that a late-term abortion can be justified for a variety of reasons:
  • A serious genetic defect in the fetus, which is often only detected in the second trimester.
  • A developmental problem in the fetus that will cause it to die within minutes or hours of delivery.
  • In cases where the woman would otherwise suffer permanent disability or a very serious health problem.

Public opinion surveys give conflicting results depending upon the precise wording of the questions asked. It would appear that a significant majority of adults in the US and Canada agree that a woman should have free access to a safe abortion in at least the first trimester.

In Canada and many countries of Europe, an uneasy peace exists. Abortion is legal and widely available. Abortion is generally accepted as a woman's right. The future status of abortion access in the US is however not so clear, it depends largely on the choice of new justices to be appointed to the US Supreme Court ... They may well overturn Roe v. Wade! More about conflicting believe systems on human personhood

So which group do you fall under? And how do you justify your believe?

If you have a chance to speak to God, what would you tell Him? Or for the nonbelievers, what would you say to the Supreme Court?

More comments at ...
Abortion I
Abortion II ... Pros & Cons
Abortion III ... Human Personhood


Blogger La Bona said...

by Richard Forbes

Re abortion, I believe society must keep the option open for the reasons you mention, I also believe we need to provide far more counseling before allowing an abortion to be performed. The psychological scars can be very deep and feelings of guilt and remorse lifelong. Metaphysically, or spiritually, the implications of abortion may well be profound, though I believe these are matters for the individual conscience, informed by each person's family and community. I think it is inappropriate and unconstitutional for the State to intervene other than to protect the right to choose.

As for the destruction of an unborn fetus during the first trimester, I do not personally think it is as much of an issue as is generally thought. My view is that although the body is the vehicle for the soul, and life is an infinitely precious gift, souls do not become permanently bonded to their bodies until as much as two years after birth -- hence the high incidence of SIDS. That having been said, I personally do not like the idea of intervening in a pregnancy. Whether we accept the metaphysical premise or not, it is important to acknowledge that each case is unique and that there may be good reasons for any particular pregnancy to proceed even when the apparent circumstances suggest otherwise.

Potential mothers need to be encouraged to seek guidance both from within and from without before making such a potentially profound decision.

Richard Forbes

9:58 AM  
Blogger La Bona said...

by Koh L

i believe its everyones' right to determine how they deal with their own bodies.

question is, at what age is this person capable of making an informed decision? its quite arbitrary to set an age in terms of numbers dont u think?

and dont even think of going down the religion slope :0 man, this will be food for debate to last a couple centuries!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Transplanted Lawyer said...

As a nonbeliever, the only issue to me is the relationship between the state and the individual -- can (and should) the state impose its will on the individual to prevent her from getting an abortion? As with all questions of the state imposing its will on an individual's choice, the default answer should be "no," and there must be a damn good reason why that answer should change.

If a fetus is indeed a human being, that is a good enough reason, in my mind, to justify limiting an individual's decision to terminate her pregnancy. So I think you are right to frame the moral issue as to the start of personhood.

A fetus is not a human being. As you point out, there is no consensus about when personhood begins, and no such consensus is possible; society cannot speak clearly to answer that question. In the absence of a strong social consensus or shared moral value regarding personhood, the state lacks sufficiently powerful justification to abridge the rights of an individual. Therefore, abortions should be permitted.

11:13 AM  
Blogger wrestlingstud135 said...

Ok, I haven't read the posts yet... but there is no need with this subject. Where are we to say that an embryo, which is a living thing immediatly, is a living thing or not. With an abortion the baby is not living unless it's head comes out. If it's head comes out before it's officially dead, which can't happen if it isn't alive in the first place!, it is considered murder. Abortion is not a neccesary evil, there is no such things. As far as something la bona said on a friends blog... if a 15 year old gets pregnant for their own irresponsibility they should have the responsibility of having the child. NOw, if she isn't ready she can give it up for adoption. There is no need to end a life from someone elses mistake. If they think they are old enough to have sex, which shouldn't be until marriage, then they should be old enough to accept all responsibilities. The only abortion I can see, which isn't called an abortion, is if the baby is dead. Which I've had a friend that was a young teenager have that happen. The baby was dead. I don't get, though, how someone can say the baby inside of someone is dead... yet when they talk about an abortion it is not a living thing? It is... Abortions are wrong, it's killing a helpless baby... It is murder.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Chabliz said...

Appointed by God Almighty as His worldly representative with effect from June 15th, 2005 on June 14th, 2005 timed 01:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

You have GOT to be kidding me.

12:07 PM  
Blogger geeekgirl said...

"If they think they are old enough to have sex, which shouldn't be until marriage..."

That is the stupidest thing I have heard all day. Who waits until marriage? Someone who uses the nickname wrestlingSTUD?

Frankly, this subject bores me to death. You all can argue about it while the rest of us get on with more productive activities.

One thing is for certain, it will be a cold day in hell I let anyone make decisions about MY body based on THEIR religious beliefs.

12:27 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by Norbert Sczepanski

hi, i agree with you: abortion only + only IF the mothers life is in danger AND IF the mother was sexually abused. thats my opinion.

norbert sczepanski germany

God bless our children :-)

12:46 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by Dan

I think your example of the 15 year old girl is not a very well thought out one.

First of all, it is not the baby's fault the mother got pregnant when she didn't want to be. Assuming the sex was a conscience decision of the mother and not rape, there are still plenty of ways to prevent pregnancy that should be utilized. I'm not saying abstinance, I'm saying condoms, the Pill, both, whatever works.

But now, since no contraceptive other than abstinance is 100% effective, we must assume an unwanted pregnancy will eventually occur. In this case, I don't see why so many people believe that allowing the pregnancy to continue will 'ruin the girl's life'. That is in no way true and is a very ignorant response and excuse for abortion. Adoption is so so easy. And there are plenty of people on waiting list dieing to have a baby who can't have one themselves. There is nothing wrong with giving your baby away if it means the baby will have a good home no matter what anyone says. You should not be ashamed to put a baby up for adoption, it does not make you bad person. Denying a baby the right to live makes you a bad person.

12:47 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by migue2c said...
Hello, I am Spanish and I do not have a very good level of ingles, pardon if I commit errors.

I think that the abortion must practice as long as exist violations, either to minor or other women. He must be very hard, to have a son of the person who is violet to you, and the son is not going to be traido to a love family. Also I believe that it is logical to practice the abortion, when it is a pregnancy nonwished. Also I want to make a call to that people try to avoid these using the suitable measures. That it is not a game.

A greeting

12:47 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by Adrian T

I am anti-abortion based on my religious views, but being a realist also, I believe that in certain instances, a child is better off not having lived than living in a world without love, shelter or other such basic needs.

Lets face facts- adoption is not really an option. Orphanages arent exactly carnival-like places of joy, are they? And if the potential parent cant economically afford to raise a child properly, how can we subject the child to a sub-standard way of life?

Whilst I would make every endeavour to discourage a person from making the decision to have the abortion, I would leave the judgement between them and God if they did choose to do so.

12:47 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by chinyew

i believe Time has progress. and God knows. God understand.
we should stop looking God as a headmaster instead look up to him as a loving father. bible. i believe God allow some darkness in able for us to see light. He believes in our judgement. and i believe he allow some elements to be in there for a reason, judging from truth or untruth. sometimes the core is the inner voice of ourselves judging. abortion. if you think is right, then its right. if the guilt is there and you'll know the answer. but the judgmental of other parties of the carrier of the baby is not important. the only importance is the mother. God has rules. but He also loves you very much. and this unconditional love is what we should give back to Him. He appears in alot of shape. Christian, Islam, Buddhist, Hindus, etc. He is One. and all truth are truth for the one person's path. my last words, concentrate on yr inner self, mother, and ask God, does he allow you to do it. there is no right or wrong in abortion. there is only types of acceptance in us. and God made our acceptances individually for a reason. He wants us to debate to progress. the importance of it is not whether its right or wrong. the importance of it is that we question. and accept everything open mindly. and i believe His such a great guy, He is the most open-minded-forgiving-loving Father. God bless.

12:48 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

new comment ported from Abortion I

by Megan

I feel sure I will only be repeating something others have said, but:

I believe people should have the right to choose for themselves. While I do not personally believe in it (for myself), I also don't believe its my right to tell someone else they cannot have an abortion. Although, I truly believe it should be reserved for life threatening situations, situations of rape or incest, etc.

I believe pretty strongly in the option of adoption; I know several friends from high school who made this choice rather than abortion. However, I also know there are issues of doctor visits and hospital bills that not everyone can afford. So I would say I am pro-choice, even though it is not the choice for me. Plus, if I have the right to choose not to have an abortion (which I should) then others should have the right to choose to have an abortion.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Adoption is not an option? You've got to be joking? I have known many people standing in long lines waiting for a baby because too many are murdered!!!! I was a pregnant 17 year-old and chose not to murder my baby, he's 18 and graduated from high school. Take responsibility for your actions people. If you're not smart enough to figure out how to use a condom you shouldn't be having sex. And who the f**k calls themselves righteous when you're advocating abortion. God my head's going to explode.

1:23 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

by Lucia Hermo

here's my experience with abortion:

My family is totally and
completely catholic, and up until about a year ago, i was completely against abortion, except in cases of rape. I beleived that the women had a choice about being pregnant when they decided to have sex, but then i talked to my sister, who is extremely pro choice. Shje explained that the rich would always be able to afford abortions, even if it was illegal, and they would go to clean places in order to abort their children.

She said that if the mother doesn't want the baby, she is going to find some way to abort it, and the poor mothers would go to any lenghts to abort it, like going to an unsanitary and dangerous place, or use a coathanger or something like that. So now i feel that it is better to provide equal opportunity for all mothers who feel that they must abort their babies to do so in a clean and save environment. Also i think it is absurb that nine rich old men are deciding what women should do with their fetuses. Well, that's how i feel in a nutshell.

2:38 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

by Elizabeth Owens Ellis

I believe the proper answer is that a 15 year old girl should NEVER have sex with someone who she is not ready to allow to father a BABY. Sex is not supposed to be a light matter. It is not a toy. Sex is not a game. Sex has intended NATURAL consequences. I believe it is the design of the CREATOR that we get babies from sex, and that sex is supposed to represent LOVE at an EXCLUSIVE romantic, very respectful and loving level.

My rule: DO NOT HAVE SEX IF YOU DO NOT WANT A BABY AND DO NOT WANT TO MARRY THE FATHER. IF YOU DO NOT LOVE THE OTHER PERSON ENOUGH TO MARRY, THEN DO NOT HAVE SEX. Sex obviously is pleasureful, and the other requirements go with it, to enhance it to a point of extreme love expressed in the act of sex and the relationship of heterosexual marriage and the romantic love and child that is the beautiful gift of life from the creator, with blessings when you obey natural and obvious cause and effect, foreseeable outcome of behavior, and the proper choices that go with the behavior.

If you make a mistake and get pregnant and do not want the baby? Is abortion allowed? The answer is the result is not acceptable in the eyes of God, and it is not supposed to happen. Whatever remedy the person chooses, is their problem, and the results go with the choice that the person chooses. Even a fifteen year old knows they might have a baby. They should not choose sex unless they are ready for the God-given results. Choose well, and get "well" results. Choose badly and get bad results. It is God's design that we are supposed to choose well. And, it is his design that we get bad if we choose bad. We are supposed to LEARN and prefer the good.

That is my opinion on this subject. I believe it applies to all human beings. I suspect even animals know they don't want babies when some other "mate" comes along and wants sex. Animals even run from a sex aggressor. Animals like to have families too! Humans should be able to control and choose the best life, shown by the outcome easily visible in advance. God even gives the animals the right to free choice and to run away from unwanted advances.

There is a divine plan, yes! We choose our own destiny. We can choose well. We all should choose well. When each individual person chooses well, the whole is better off. A community that respects good because it is good, is the best community. Individual freedom is very valuable. Romantic love and sex is one of the best things in life.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Attila Girl said...

We don't have "orphanages" in this country, so I'm wondering where Adrian T. is from.

What we have are hundreds of couples in each metropolitan area waiting every year for babies of all races and in all conditions. People who desperately want to be parents. Some of these people become so discouraged that they seek children from other countries (where they often do have orphanages). The waiting period for an adoptive family is outrageously long: 1-3 years for most domestic adoptions.

And any girl who wants to take the time to have her baby and make a loving adoption plan for him/her can find the resources to do so: funds exist for this purpose, so she should have no trouble finding groups to sponsor her medical expenses and any special schooling needs.

That said, the question does hinge on when "personhood" happens. But no matter how early it is in the pregnancy, this procedure is not the equivalent of an appendectomy. Pretending it is simply causes heartbreak for the woman. It may take years or decades, but it generally happens sooner or later. (And believe me--when I was 18 I "knew" that if I ever had an abortion, I'd never regret it. I was wrong.)

4:12 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

My thought on abortion is this. It is the woman's choice and hers alone if she wants to abort a pregnancy. I am not saying it is a good thing but it is none of your, or mine, damn buisness. I am in no way saying that it is ok for teens (or any persons whom are not ready, capible, or able of raiseing a child) to have sex, I am saying it is none of your damn buisness so let them make their own choice and let them feel effect of it throughout the rest of their lives.

6:39 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

by Kyle Link

I can't say that I have much insight to abortion as a moral issue, but as an active embracer of democratic/libertarian socialism, there are many concerns that I have regarding abortion as a legal and political issue that put me in the spot of strongly voicing opposition to action that would push forward abortion into both the legal system and the top of political agendas.

In addition to few of the traditional points of the pro-choice argument,here a few of my concerns:

* Although all can (or at least many can) acknowledge, pro-life or pro-choice, that abortion must always be an option if a woman's life is at stake, how would it be determined what the criteria is for aborting a fetus in an emergency and who would decide this criteria? Would subsequent sickness or disease as a result of having the child leading to death meet that criteria? Would those who decide any sort of criteria be driven by a determination to set regulations that are in the best interests of the child, mother, and family - or set ideological standards?

* For a cause that has gained much of its support from religious groups, what would be consequences of harder abortion laws in relation to how theyfit among other religious-lobbied laws/regulations, such as the denial of contraceptives by pharmacists and abstinence-based sexual education taught in schools. Do these various points of law that have been lobbied by religious based groups hold the result of a culture that, through not only its legal, but also social and religious institutions, uses its female citizens as mere child bearers?

* As states can only take direct action involving their own laws, and abortion laws would differ by countries, how would any tighter abortion laws in the future ensure that they apply to all segments of society, including those with the financial means to have access to abortions in other countries? Would the rich be able and the poor unable (or have less ability in obtaining an illegal abortion)?

* Would putting abortion at the forefront of political issues serve a greater harm by its divisive nature? Speaking as a citizen of Canada who has had to endure the long public debate of same-sex marriage (recently coming to finish as the House of Commons passed the bill 158-133), it has been discouraging to see issues of a much greater importance such as the environment and the future of public health care (and other social programs for that matter) be put on the sidelines for a single matter (and one that affects a relatively small segment of Canada's population) that has divided the public and forced sides. Not only do issues so divisive (and abortion seems to be the Mt. Everest of divisive issues) limit progress in other areas, but they also, as far as I've witnessed, limited public discourse to mere talking points.

I could go on, but I thought I'd just briefly, while I had the time, touch on a few key thoughts I have on the matter.

Again thanks for the input, and I hope I added something to what looks like, from the look and content of your blog, a more honest and considerate debate of key issues making their way into the minds of public consciousness.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Restless mind said...

I love the subject matter due to the spectrum of beliefs that surround this. I believe abortion is something that should be based on circumstance. A question was asked "Do you think it is right to burden say a 15 years old school-going girl with a new life when she is yet to have any economic mean to sustain herself and obviously, most girls of her age are not mentally ready for a family life. Furthermore, is it fair to rob her of her career, aspiration, dream etc., in the name of preserving a life that is yet to be fully developed?" My opinion is this, there are many, MANY families that do not have the abilty to have children due to reproductive health issues. Is it so wrong to say that the family of the 15 year old to put that baby in a loving home of one of these families? Not only are you giving that life a chance but also changing the life of another family.

Why are we so quick to take the easy way out of a tough situation such as young pregnancy? She got pregnant too young so let's terminate it. She made the choice to have sex, take the responsibilty of the outcome or make another family happy with you gift of life. It was a mutual decision to do the act and just because that fleeting moment is over another life should not be tossed aside because of it. There are options.

Rape on the other hand, it is mentally and physically damaging to the victim. In that case that pregnancy is going to be a reminder of that physical/mental anguish that has been suffered. It is then up to the female to decide if abortion is an option.

Bottom line is that life is a gift. It is a miracle. We as humans take it so lightly and don't appreciate what it really is.

I am not damn a women's right to choose. What they do with their bodies are their business. I am just giving my opinion on the subject.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

im pro-choice.

4:09 PM  
Blogger La Bona said...

Restless mind,

Be honest with us, would you give up your own kids (for adoption) in the name of poverty, career or what have you (but not life threatening either to you or to the kids)?

7:54 PM  
Blogger Nylarthotep said...

The presence of "life" or "personhood" or sentients are all pretty much irrelevant. They are nice steps in the Moral/ethical argument, but they fall from topic when rights are concerned. No religious/moral dictum can be used to over ride basic rights. The right to freedom and self determination being the most basic rights of mankind, the control of one's body is paramount.

Abortion related to the death/threat to life of the mother should never even be a topic. Incest and rape fall into the same field. Then there are the "accident" related abortions. I find it troubling that they exist, but the decision to controls one's destiny even in the face of an error must be the persons own decision. They should be responsible enough to prevent these errors of life, but since they do occur the ability to react must be allowed. Requiring legal abortion assistance will prevent tragic "back alley" abortions or "coat hanger" abortions that were known to happen when the practice was illegal. Providing legality will prevent tragedy.

Now, that being said, I agree with the statement that abortion should be legal but rare. That sentiment should remain in all reasonable person's minds. Legislative control of abortion should be allowed. Disallowing an abortion after the second trimester is likely a reasonable restriction. If you can't make your mind up to have an abortion by that point, maybe you are in need of more intelligent oversite for other parts of your life. Other restrictions may also be founded, though I have heard few that stand to real scrutiny.

I am fully cognizant that this is a topic related to strong emotions. But those emotions get you no where if the end result would place restrictions on lives that are not yours to control.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Yaddoshi said...

You came to my 4 year old daughter's blog and left a comment asking whether I felt a 15 year old should have the right to have an abortion so she could protect her future.

From what I've seen on your site it is clear that you are pro-Life, and therefore it seems that you purposely wrote a pro-Choice comment on my 4 year old daughter's blog to provoke a reaction and cause me to leave a comment on your blog, no doubt assuming the parents of a 4 year old would be pro-Life and support your ideas.

I find it very disturbing that you choose to garner attention in this manner while simultaneously claiming to be "Appointed by God". After all such a technique referred to as reverse psychology by therapists and as a "head-game" by con-artists is hardly the behavior one would expect from someone who is communicating with the world in God's behalf.

Furthermore, no true voice of God would proclaim his or herself in such a manner, especially in such an untrustworthy environment such as the Internet. You can call yourself whatever you want, you can try to prove your point any which way. You have the freedom to write whatever you wish - that is the beauty of blogger. But it does not change what you are.

A liar.

Liars are not messengers of God. They are children looking for attention in a very negative manner.

So as a parent, how do you expect me to treat you as an adult?

Grow up.

12:18 AM  
Blogger nobody999987 said...

I pretty much agree with what RestlessMind had to say. Abortion is the easy way out and that is wrong. The parents of that child/fetus (whatever you want to call it) need to be responsible and own up to their responsibilities. That does not mean they need to raise that child, there are many familes on adoption waiting lists. But they do owe that child a chance.

Actually I am changing my mind in the middle of this piece. Adoption is the only answer for unwanted pregnancies. All children, wanted or not, are children of God.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

Every single day more innocent Americans perish in abortion clinics than died on September 11, 2001. This has gone on for 30 years.

Their bodies have been burned with chemicals (saline abortion), dismembered piece by piece (D&E abortion), shredded (suction abortion), or “beheaded” in utero: a living baby’s skull pierced with a blunt Metzenbaum scissors and her brains vacuumed out mid delivery (partial birth abortion).

Want more info...go to:

12:36 PM  
Blogger tea anyone? said...

If I could I would do anything to keep you from harm and help you make good decisions, but I know from experience that we make mistakes and terrible things can happen to us.

If you are reading this and are thinking about abortion, even though you have been abused and hurt I want to let you know that you can love your baby. You can look back and explain how you over came a selfish and hurting world and chose to love.

Instead of debate, we need support.

8:55 AM  
Blogger SaintALF said...

Hey, I have been gone for a long time from blogger, but I just saw your post asking me to contribute to this discussion... perhaps it is a little late, but here it goes:

Personhood, I think when reflected upon, refers to very little. Even as a fullgrown adult I would not say that I "possess personhood". This sounds something like Aristotle's idea that each substance contains the form. So a man contains the form "man" and a horse contains the form "horse". However, it has been demonstrated by numerous modern and contemporary philosophers that our idea of substance is confused in general, and I very much doubt it refers to anything, at all.

The way I have always seen this issue is quite simple. Whether or not a fetus, even at the moment of conception, contains all the qualities which are sufficient to be called "human" is a moot point. The fact is, if you procure an abortion, your actions result in the loss of a human being. I once knew a woman who was kicked in the stomach during pregnancy and the trauma from the blow resulted in a miscarriage. Now today, if it had not been for her assulter, there would be a human being present among us-- her son/daughter. Abortion is the same way: if it had not been for the action of abortion, today there would be a child with us. Is it murder? Yes. Notice how the supreme court had to deal with this in terms of a made-up word (which again, i think is an empty phrase), "personhood". Of course if the subject in question is a person we can't kill him/her. But, if that thing is NOT a person, then what the hell? This is a prime example of how humans can manufacture their own truth to suit their desires.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Zeph said...

Two things that need to be said

1) You have a right over your own body, not over anyone else's.
Actually, this is not entirely true. You don't have the legal right to end your own life.
If you don't even have the legal right over your own body to end your own life, what right do you have over your baby's body to end his/her life? You can argue when the baby becomes a "person" endlessly, because there is no way to test for a soul. However, there can be no doubt that the baby isn't your own body. If there is anything that science can test it that genetically the baby is someone else's body at conception.

Make whatever arguments that you will... it is not your body that you are killing. It's your child's body.

2) Love is required before all else from every Christian.
Why do I say this? A pattern that I have seen repeatedly is Christians who hate those who don't act in accordance with what they view as Christianity. They feel entitled to hate homosexuals, people who have had abortions, and anyone else that fits their pet peeves.

No matter if the people we are talking to are right or wrong, we are called to love. We are called to care. We are called to weep for the children who perish. We are called to weep for the mothers who have to live with their actions for the rest of their lives. Yes, we are called to stand up for Truth. But first and foremost, we are called to love.

"By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." Not by your stance on issues, not by your theology, not by your protests... by your love. If you call yourself a Christian, let your love shine beyond all else.

Walk Simply. Love. Listen.
Love Demands Action.

8:31 PM  

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WARNING: Blind obsession with prophecy can be perilous or even fatal, reader discretion is advised! Submitted to God as His worldly Activist on a non-exclusive basis since June 15, 2005 1:00 am ET. “La Bona” is a professional name inspired by God; it means "The Righteous", “The Virtuous” or simply “The Good” in Esperanto (a neutral international language). DivineTalk® is an Open Commentary Forum dedicated to God for His Children to engage in dialogue, discourse and debate on laws, standards and values on morality, lifestyle, ethics, business and just about anything else related to their life. God enlightened to have His Words improvised and updated with the prevailing circumstances so that the divine guidance, dogma and policy will evolve with time and stay relevant to His Children in the very era they live in as the way forward. La Bona is a Truth Seeker, Myth Buster, Freedom Fighter, Cyber Activist, Liberal Animal, Good Samaritan, Messiah Wannabe and in order to serve His Children of diverse backgrounds, La Bona is motivated and aim to eventually multitask as Divine Representative, Contemporary Prophet, Celestial Executive, Deity Clairvoyant, Holy Spiritualist ...

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