How do we seperate human from animal? What defines humanity?
In the argument of abortion there is one slippery little detail. It's elusive, I believe, due to a cultural and scientific divide. This essay I think illustrates the problem of definition, that I am asking for cultural input on, very well.
“The commonly used point
in which a fetus becomes a person has become the slippery slope , of course for
lack of a better a term. In order to define an entity as a person there is a
need to have certain criteria to evaluate them as a person and to have rights.
The main point of the criteria is to deem it morally right to terminate an
unborn baby. What criteria should we use to draw the line, or cut the rope
between the born and unborn? When a child first has brain waves they seem to
have the capacity to act fully as a person if all goes well. This point is
after eight weeks still in the first trimester. Before this point the fetus is
only an embryo. But to have brain waves doesnt really make something a person.
All animals have brain waves and we don t extend rights to them. Ms. Warren
uses five criteria in determining personhood: consciousness, reasoning,
self-motivation, the capacity to communicate, and the presence of self
concepts. The problem with these criteria is the word capacity if we extend
capacity to animals say the guerrilla in the San Diego zoo Koko then we must
find it morally wrong to kill her young or other apes who have the capacity to
use sign language. Does that mean that Kokos children are people? Or that Koko
is a person? That s for another discussion.The point in which the child can
survive not attached to it s mother is a crucial point. While doing this paper
I was told about a mother whose two children were born three months premature.
Those babies had to spend the next three months or so in an incubator. But
does that mean they aren t people for their premature birth? When their mother
was born this immaturity might lead to death or brain defects...”
I would like multiple inputs in defining life, be it a soul given to us at conception, the empirically defining details of humanity, or something else all together. I would also like to see other angles to look at this lack of definition from.
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