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Thread: Does Life Begin at Conception?

  1. #1 Does Life Begin at Conception? 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Driving home tonite I saw a Pro-Life billboard advertisement that suggested life begins at conception. Thinking about it I concluded that life only continues at conception. Life as far as I know has always been here since it undoubtedly did begin. I can't say life has begun more than once but I am of the opinion that humans and all living creatures for that matter are a continuation of life.

    Whatever happened in the primordial soup to create life may have produced more than one living piece of matter. No one can be sure. Anyway, no matter how many lifeforms resulted from the first moment life appeared, I have to believe everything else that's living today is just a continuance of the first living moment.

    Obviously sperm and ovum are living things, or did I miss something? In order for life to begin in the womb those two components would have to first be inanimate and then have some kind of reaction take place to breathe life into them after conception. Maybe its a bad choice of words on their part but it made me think.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the second that a sperm cell enters and egg, that is when the life begins for that person. But half of you has have existed for about 1 week and the other half the age of the woman and her egg. So it begs the question indeed-when does life begin? You techincally exist in your grandmother too as our mothers eggs are created too. So I guess a persons life begins well before they begin, maybe as only cells but still its there.

    On another note the actual life of a person according to their life is I think conception if we look at it chronologically. That is why (in my opinion) it is wrong to terminate a child-yes a child even if it is a fetus because one day it will be a human whom has children, who have children, who have children, by killing that one life, you kill billions for the future-changing perhaps the universe so very much in the future, maybe there would be 45 less colonised galaxies with humans on all because that one child was terminated before being born, so its mass murder really. Just be glad those who do that if you have done it-thats what was supposed to happen anyway so nothing has changed.


    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    I think when most pro-lifers talk about when life begins, they're talking about the spiritual life of the individual. When does the soul settle down into its mortal coil, as it were. I agree, eggs, sperm, the very first diploid cell of the new organism - of course they're alive. They're not independently alive, being dependent on the mother and all that, but they are most certainly alive.

    And svwillmer, you're heading down a dangerous road with the idea that stopping the potential for life is the same thing as stopping a life that has already begun. By that logic, every time a guy masturbates he's practically committing murder, since at least some of those sperm could have fertilized an egg. Heck, every time a woman has a period she's committing murder, that's a perfectly good egg all gone to waste.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    In my opinion, the second that a sperm cell enters and egg, that is when the life begins for that person.

    ............ it is wrong to terminate a child-yes a child even if it is a fetus because one day it will be a human whom has children, who have children, who have children, by killing that one life, you kill billions for the future.................. so its mass murder really.
    If that is the case, why do men produce sperm in prodigious quantities? When one of millions of sperm connect with a female egg then all the others die. So by your reasoning the very construct of our being, the way we are intended to be, results in the mass murder of countless millions of potential lives at conception. Not to mention all the potential lives lost every time a man ejaculates.

    I not clear on this and maybe somebody can help me out here but when a spern is successful in fertilizing the egg, doesn't the female produce an enzyme or whatever thay kills off the remaining sperm? I understand that the environment within the female is quite deadly for any sperm wading around in there for a while. I read it somewhere and I can't seem to recall it completely but when an egg is fertilized the male mitochondria is killed off. Anyway my whole point is, if you want to call man's actions mass murder then you would have to call nature's actions the same way. A lot of death occurs during sex and male sperm are on the receiving end of it no matter how you slice it.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    You know what I mean. A conceived child is there at obviously conception. Sperm and egg yes, maybe but your lives started at conception just as everyone elses did. I say again, you fully know what I mean.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    You know what I mean. A conceived child is there at obviously conception. Sperm and egg yes, maybe but your lives started at conception just as everyone elses did. I say again, you fully know what I mean.
    I do. My point is that life is an ongoing process. What we call death is merely a stage, like a snake shedding its skin. Likewise life sheds its physical body but continues on. You are putting emphasis on life being an individual thing whereas I am suggesting that life encompasses the entire spectrum of animated matter, from the first simple organism to the very last, complex or otherwise.

    Maybe my way of thinking doesn't place the same value on it that yours does. Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to die nor do I want to commit murder. Perhaps my philosophy has prepared me for situations where I might have to take a human life in self defense or why I am in favor of capital punishment.

    So life started somewhere in this universe. It may have repeated, it may not have. Life may have occurred the same time the universe was born. It may be a property of matter. It could be the whole reason for existence and dare I say it, the reason people think there's a god. As far as we know life inhabits a body, the body being a collection of matter, a piece of the universe. We think life is a wonderful gift from divine beings, a force of nature, a chemical process and a myriad of other ideas. Once it started, life found ways to keep itself going and is still working at it. I suppose all life will end when the universe falls apart.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Would you describe your position as pantheistic?
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Would you describe your position as pantheistic?
    Somehow I have come to this. I've never picked up or read a book, sat in on a lecture or viewed a video on pantheism. One thing for certain is that I would not expect to persuade anyone to think as I do by writing a book, lecturing or making a video because I have no proof to offer. These thoughts have been arrived at by just being around, keeping my eyes, ears and mind open as I stroll through my time here. Its no big deal.

    I like the thought of an abstract god because then he/she is moldable so to speak. I can make god anything I want. I can deny as well as accept that some unknown force or intelligence is behind the whole thing. Since there is no proof of either then it does not make sense to waste a lot of time on it. This is why I advocate a more intellectual pursuit for anyone over what I consider blind acceptance to a religious authority. But I do not wish to make this a religious philosophy and wish that everyone take the time to analyze the world before reaching positive conclusions about it.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  10. #9  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    has anyone ever given a thought about what happens during IVF treatment ? obviously more eggs are fertilised than implanted

    does this amount to ex-utero abortion ?

    then again, remember that many of the implanted eggs fail to grow into babies - in fact the female body often self-aborts naturally so that the woman in question never even realises she was pregnant
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman bloodflower's Avatar
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    the point is that there are different forms of life. obviously, a few cells do not yet feel any pain, nor are they conscious. the question should not be when does life begin but when is it developed enough to feel.
    I am astounded by people who want to "know" the universe when it's hard enough to find your way around Chinatown (Woody Allen)
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  12. #11  
    Time Lord
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    Quote Originally Posted by svwillmer
    You know what I mean. A conceived child is there at obviously conception. Sperm and egg yes, maybe but your lives started at conception just as everyone elses did. I say again, you fully know what I mean.
    I guess it depends on how narrowly you define the word "life", whether you allow for various degrees of "life". A blade of grass is a life too, and it's about as intelligent as a single cell fetus.

    I tend to value cognitive ability as making something count as a life. I go with that old "I think, therefore I am" philosophy, with the logical next step being "I don't think, therefore I am not".
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  13. #12  
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    yes, but kill them anyway.
    -jon kuder
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  14. #13  
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    The "I think, therefor I am" is only a representation of semantic ability. Not of an organisms capacity to exist. A frog can "think", in that it can make a decision to jump or not jump, as well as utilize all the prerequisite neural pathology to do so. I would assume that any organism that exists, has a similar internal governing system akin to the brain, even if it is not sufficient enouph to link words with concepts, it thereby exists as a life. the DNA sequence and augmentations of it are such governing systems. And they are present in many things, all of which I allocate as living things.

    My previous comment stands.
    -jon kuder
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