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Thread: A human life _usually_ begins at conception ...

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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    A human life _usually_ begins at conception ...

    It's a common theme here that a human life begins at conception, with one egg and one sperm making a single entity with new, unique DNA therefore [insert argument here].

    Identical twins show that a human life doesn't always begin at conception - sometimes it begins a few days later when the zygote splits into two or more separate zygotes. One egg and one sperm makes two, three or more entities with new, non-unique DNA. They're common enough that anyone using the above argument should know better.

    Occasionally these are conjoined. One egg and one sperm making a single entity new, unique DNA that is usually considered to be two people - especially if they're separated after birth. This isn't as common, but it's well-enough known that again the arguer should be aware of it. When does a human life begin in this case?

    Here's another scenario. One egg and two sperm makes one entity with too much new, unique DNA that might* divide into two entities with different DNA. When does a human life begin here?

    Real life is messy. Any argument that relies on a human life beginning at conception won't necessarily apply in these cases - with consequences that mean the argument is at best incomplete. And since these cases are known to science, anyone invoking "Science" to support the claim that a human life starts at the moment egg and sperm combine doesn't know what the science is.

    Which reminds me - most of those making these arguments also believe that humans have some form of soul or spirit that is independent of the body. When and how does that happen during the usual development process? When and how does it happen in these rare cases?




    *But probably won't.
    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    It's asexual reproduction. Or cloning.
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christianbookworm View Post
    It's asexual reproduction. Or cloning.
    Not in the last example. Or for conjoined twins, for that matter.

    Also, you neglected to say when a human life begins in these cases.
    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

    mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

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    Must...have...caffeine One Bad Pig's Avatar
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    In each case, a life begins at conception. That it might become two (or three) at a very early stage in no way negates that. Was this supposed to be a stumper of a question?
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. St. John Chrysostom

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    tWebber guacamole's Avatar
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    This is a useful and interesting discussion. I'm wondering of the Civics crowd can discuss it with civility.
    "Down in the lowlands, where the water is deep,
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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Bad Pig View Post
    In each case, a life begins at conception. That it might become two (or three) at a very early stage in no way negates that. Was this supposed to be a stumper of a question?
    "... a life begins at conception".

    When do the other lives begin? Can you tell which one began at conception, and which began later?

    It's not supposed to be a stumper of a question. Just a reminder that implicit assumptions that don't always hold can invalidate arguments.

    (Though the soul question seems to stump everyone - not even the RCC has an answer for that one).
    Last edited by Roy; 02-28-2019 at 09:14 AM.
    Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

    mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

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    tWebber Christianbookworm's Avatar
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    Ooh! Maybe the reason the embryo splits is that there were two souls that each needed a body with the same genetic material! Now, things really get weird when two embryos combine into one embryo. Does one embryo effectively die as a person to become part of another person?
    If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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    God, family, chicken! Bill the Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roy View Post
    "... a life begins at conception".

    When do the other lives begin?
    When the single one splits.
    Can you tell which one began at conception, and which began later?
    Probably not. But not relevant at all. 2 can't come from 0.

    It's not supposed to be a stumper of a question. Just a reminder that implicit assumptions that don't always hold can invalidate arguments.
    But not in this case.

    (Though the soul question seems to stump everyone - not even the RCC has an answer for that one).
    Doesn't stump me.


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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    why is this in civics instead of Nat Sci?


    and didn't we already argue this with Oxmix in the other thread?

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    why is this in civics instead of Nat Sci?
    Probably because it relates to the issue of abortion.
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