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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog
We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Preferring to err on the side of caution
I think it's a good idea to occasionally share with our readers what other bloggers are writing on our subject. As you can imagine, a lot of it supports human life beginning at conception. Although neither Jack nor his two writers (John and Toni) ascribe to that belief, we all still respect those who do. We too respect human life; we just don't agree on when that life begins.
The following is from The Write Bailiwick: Musings on Law and Life. It's written by one Emmel Philips, which the author admits is a pseudonym. What follows is a section of her post from a few days ago:
Anyway, I still believe that those supporting choice are not irrational, but make a fundamental mistake about when human life begins or ensoulment occurs. I assume that abortion supporters stop short of advocating infanticide. I also assume that they do not believe that the status of the (what to call it? every term is loaded!) fetus depends on the intent of the mother to bear or abort. (Really, that’s a lousy argument.) Thus, at some point something actually happens in reality, and everyone (except Peter Singer) recognizes a human person that should not be killed. When is that critical moment? Those supporting abortion rights consider the fetus, at least at early stages, to be just a blob of tissues. Removing a blob of tissues is not morally problematic. Thus, why not abort? I, however, will not support the proposition that the blob of tissues is not a living human being or that it lacks a soul for several reasons. (Caveat: this is a blog post, not a moral treatise, so this is the gist of argumentation, not its most eloquent form. For fuller defenses see here (be sure to click on the titles for the non-summary version of arguments). See also here.) Primarily, when considering critical and unknowable questions such as the beginning of human life or ensoulment, it is most prudent to err on the side of caution. Caution dictates that conception is the moment at which all the genes come together to create a unique person, distinct from the mother or father, not just an Aristotelian potential. Science also continues to reveal more and more about fetal development that suggests an early beginning of life. Ending another person’s life is morally problematic, unlike removing a blob of tissue.Read the entire post.
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cell Fight!
Bush the hypocrite
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