1. Murder is the intentional termination of another human life.
2. If life begins at conception, an embryo or fetus is alive.
3. Life begins at conception.
4. Intentional termination of a human embryo or fetus is murder.
Does life begin at conception or does life begin when considered viable on its own?
Sometimes "majority" simply means that all the fools are on the same side
I argue that life begins at conception, because at the moment the egg is fertilized, a genetically distinct organism is created, viz. the human embryo.
Viability is imprecisely defined as being capable of survival outside the womb.
It is not a useful definition, because viability cannot actually be known until the child is removed from the mother's body. If it lives, it's viable; if it dies, it isn't viable. The point that a fetus is said to be viable starts earlier and earlier as medical technology advances. It is not a precisely identifiable characteristic of the mother or the fetus.
Furthermore, even outside the womb, a human child is not capable of survival on its own for years. Left in its crib unattended, the week-old baby will eventually starve and die. The death will be slow, granted, but it will die in the same manner a fetus will die if removed from the mother and thrown in a bucket. If so-called viability is the determinant of life, then we must logically say that human life begins many years after birth.
Ok, so it's murder, you've proved that it's immoral, now prove that's it wrong from a libertarian perspective.
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows"
I don't think he has proved it's murder. A fruit fly is a genetically distinct organism, but we don't call it murder to kill a fruit fly. Murder is killing a person. The question is when the "distinct organism" qualifies as a person, and different religions have different answers. Is a nut a tree?
I don't think life starts at conception. Life starts with the first breath the baby takes. If life started at conception, your birthday wouldn't be on the date you were born but on the date you were conceived.
Also, if life started at conception and the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage what would that be considered?
"A fruit fly is a genetically distinct organism, but we don't call it murder to kill a fruit fly. Murder is killing a person. The question is when the 'distinct organism' qualifies as a person, and different religions have different answers."
By "genetically distinct organism," I meant distinct from other organisms, not distinct in that it is alive. In other words, a human embryo is distinctly a human organism as opposed to, say, a fruit fly organism. At the point an embryo is created by the unification of a human sperm cell and human egg cell, one can objectively determine the organic identity of that embryo as human. Furthermore, it is alive. Hence, it is a human life.
Different religions do have different opinions, but I am not concerned with various religious opinions. I am concerned with using science and logic to make that determination. So far, I have made such a determination that life begins at conception, without anyone coming up with a logical objection.
"Is a nut a tree?"
The nut itself is not a tree, but rather a combination of the fruit and seed. The seed is a tree embryo, and yes, that seed is a tree.
"If life started at conception, your birthday wouldn't be on the date you were born but on the date you were conceived."
A birthday is the day when one's birth occurs. Birth is defined as the point in time a human leaves the womb, not the point in time one becomes a human. The practice of acknowledging and celebrating a person's birthday is a human tradition, in any event, and is not some kind of objective measure of answering the question.
"Also, if life started at conception and the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage what would that be considered?"
An unintentional miscarriage is not a murder, because it does not meet the qualification of being an intentional act. It is the death of a human, true, but if it is not caused intentionally by some action or inaction of another human, it is simply a death.
"Ok, so it's murder, you've proved that it's immoral, now prove that's it wrong from a libertarian perspective."What do you mean by "wrong from a libertarian perspective"?
Do you mean whether or not it should be proscribed by law, or whether or not it is opposed to the nonaggression axiom?
If you die when your brain functions stop working and you stop breathing on your own then in order for you to be alive, you have to have the opposite occur.
"If you die when your brain functions stop working and you stop breathing on your own then in order for you to be alive, you have to have the opposite occur."
This is an interesting line of thought, but nonetheless I will attempt to refute it.
Death is not actually when you stop breathing and when your brain activities cease. This is just how the medical community attempts to determine when someone is dead. A stopped heart or stopped breathing can sometimes be restarted. A brain that appears to have no activity can likewise from time to time be restarted. These things are indicators of death rather than the actual characteristics of death.
I posit that a more accurate definition of death is the end of all biological functions. In order for one to be alive, then, the opposite must occur. That is to say, one's biological functions must begin. (Beginning being the opposite of ending.) Of course, that happens at conception, when the embryo begins to grow in the womb.
I'd just like to add that while a fetus makes breathing like motion in the 11th week, this does not last. It is stimulating lung development, but this does not last more than a week or two. At no point can air enter the lungs until birth.
Is abortion murder?
I've been trying to more lucidly layout an argument in favor of the unborn for some time. Allow me to think aloud.
1. Murder is the denial of the right to life, in effect the self-ownership, of a human person
2. A human person is both the mind and the matter.
-----Where my argument falls flat in my head-----
Would we defend a group of cells because it was of human origin? No, I would not care if my -- finger, perhaps! -- died. I would selfishly (and rightfully) mourn the loss of some dexterity, but it wouldn't be a loss of human life.
Would the same apply to a group of unformed human cells, without "personhood"? And would human sperm or eggs be granted such status?
I think now that whatever train of thought i am riding is one without end. i have provided no definite demarcation in life for the granting of "personhood"
I think the right to life understood as self - ownership leads to a contradiction. If you took it that way, then you would have to say that the mother's right to self-ownership gives her the right to take the embryo out of her womb, and if the baby dies it is his problem.
The problem is that it violates the non-aggression axiom. The baby didn't choose to be conceived, he doesn't even have a chance to be somewhere else.
You can blame a driver for not being careful enough on the roads and then killing somebody, but you can't blame a baby for being in the womb.
The approach I prefer is to define three different rights: life, freedom and private-property.
I have been trying for a while to make them all derive from the right to life, this way:
One exists, so one has the right to exist. - Right to life
In order to sustain your life, you have to use the means available to you to reach your goals - Right to freedom
Your freedom makes sense only if you can keep the results of your work - Right to private property.
The are arranged in order of importance.
Arranging the individual rights this way solves the problem of abortion (by forbidding it) without violating the non-aggression axiom.
Pity the theory which sets itself up in opposition to the mind!
Carl Von Clausewitz
1. Killing is the termination of life.
2. Murder is the violation of one's right to live by (a) the voluntary act of killing another human being with (b) intent.
3. Rational means having a mind that can choose one thing over another (in this example, life over death) or the ability to reason.
4. To have a right to live, or any rights for that matter, one must be rational.
5. Not having the ability to defend its life does not equate to not having the right to life.
6. Denial of ones right to live goes against the nonaggression principle.
7. The lack of action against aggression is itself an act of aggression.
8. Because a fetus lacks the ability to defend its life, others must act on its behalf (typically the parents).
9. In the even the mother's life is at risk, abortion is the exercise of the mother's right to live.
10. Abortion of a fetus due to the unfitness of the mother (usually do to mental deficiency) is manslaughter (technically infanticide).
11. In all other cases, abortion is murder.
Some of these statements are very debatable. I don't doubt that. Our understanding about when a fetus has a mind that thinks, let alone one that can think rationally, is limited. #7 could be the most controversial statement.
BTW, a child hasn't always been considered "born" at birth. In ancient times cultures would permit the family a certain period of time to ascertain whether the child was a viable offspring (having no defects), and they were permitted by law to kill or expose the child without legal recourse. This was due to the high incidents of deformities and genetic defects due to a population that bred within a limited area. Most modern law is based on traditions, religious beliefs and cultural leanings rather than pure logic and reason. Roman law recognized the concept of Pater Familias, which granted the patron of the family the absolute right over his offspring (within reason).
Even if we take as a given that a fetus is a human being and that therefore abortion is murder, we must take into perspective that no other human being lives inside another one. That means that the person who's carrying the fetus has the authority to do whatever it wants with it, since no person is allowed to live as a parasite inside another person's body. The human body is the elementary property, and as the owner of that body where the fetus lives and feeds, the mother has the right to decide whether she wants to keep the baby or not. That is I think the libertarian perspective. Even if we regard it as imoral - as we might regard pornography or drugs or prostitution - it is not legitimate for the law to concern itself with what a person do with it's own body.
«I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately is the government». Woody Allen.