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« In the shadow of Henry VIII's hunting grounds | Main | There is something that likes a wall »

July 29, 2005


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Some comments:

1. It's quite true that a zygote isn't sentient, but it doesn't follow that it isn't a human being. At best, it follows that a zygote isn't a person.

2. You seem to be implying the following: X is a human being if and only if X is sentient. But this entails that (A) people in comas are not human beings and that (B) no non-human is sentient. (A) seems to be false, and (B) precludes the possibility that there are sentient non-humans (including cats, which I suspect you do think are sentient). A more defensible position is: X is a person if and only if X is sentient. This entails that zygotes are not persons, and that does seem to be true. So the issue is: is it morally permissible to kill non-persons? The answer to that isn't cut-and-dry.

3. "Sound science" can help us understand the particular facts relevant to a moral debate, but it cannot help us decide which side to take. It certainly cannot answer the above question. So it's not relevant to point out that Bush isn't a brain surgeon.

A zygote is further along the path to being human than a sperm or an egg. Millions of sperm are wasted just to fertilize one egg or, in the case of a fertility clinic, several eggs most of which won't likely take. The woman may or may not carry multiple fetuses, several of which might die before even being born. Where is the outcry over that? None and if the woman wants to save the embryos she can have them frozen, otherwise they are discarded. Better to donate to science, medical research than throw them in the trash. It has nothing to do with being sentient as a zygote isn't as it hasn't formed a brain. Irregardless of species, a brain is needed for sentience.

Faith is like that plus the comments it inspired covers the problem from all sides. I like Mog's reasoning but it probably will not overcome faith.

Actually Mog - there have been outcries over fertility treatments from their inception. The Catholic Church was never thrilled about artificial insemination for just the reason you are talking about - what happens to unused fertilized eggs. Just because the MSM doesn't dwell on any aspect other than the opposition to abortion, doesn't mean the opposition isn't there and hasn't been voiced.

Not to mention, I believe they've even taken fertility clinics to court to stop the "destruction" of fertilized eggs. I'm not saying they are right or wrong in this post (I don't discuss that too much online) but I am saying that they are consistent and the opposition is there for the destruction of all fertilized eggs (which is considered murder by the church). Thought I should at least let y'all know.

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