A perspective on abortion...
There doesn't seem to be anything new under the sun on the question of the morality of abortion. So I thought I might try to get at the heart of the problem by examining a dilemma.
Procedure: I will start with a statement and discussion of the dilemma. Following this I will ask you to answer THREE questions. If you press the "Record My Choices" button, your answers will be recorded anonymously in my data base. Get ready to do some creative thinking!
You may wish to consider that there is no concensus, now or historically, among religious folk as to when the soul, as we call it, might enter the body prior to birth. From a pure biological point of view, when placed side by side, the embryos of a dog, cat, chicken, monkey, elephant, and human at 10 weeks (or there abouts) look identical.
Let us imagine a single fertilized cell in a womb and name that cell Bob.
Let us also imagine a cell scraped off your left ear and name that cell Earnest.
Note: I have chosen the name Earnest because it begins with Ear to remind the reader that it is a clone cell having its origin as an ear cell in a human.
Both of these cells can be termed "human cell" because they are of human descent and possess in DNA form a complete blueprint of a human.
Because higher animals have been cloned from single cells it is not far fetched to assume that the cell I have named Earnest is a cell that could be cloned. The DNA from an embronic animal cell would be removed and replaced with the DNA from Earnest. Then, the embryo would be implanted in a womb and allowed to develop.
Both cells possess what the pro-lifers would call human life. This is evident because they both would develope into humans.
No one calls the termination of the ear cell Earnest murder.
Some pro-lifers call the termination of the fertilized egg cell called Bob murder.
Why is this?
I am using this example to try to get to the heart of the issue.
We should have a respect for the fertilized cell, Bob, because he is part of the miraculous procreative process. Yet the essence of Bob is of a cell that carries a special blueprint and has great capability. If events continue, Bob will, religiously speaking, acquire a soul. So we assume will Earnest. The time that this occurs is unknown but was placed by Saint Thomas Aquinas at weeks after fertilization differing, of course, on gender.
Understand that the ancient world had little scientific knowledge on these things but that didn't hinder their promulgations.
Is one or the other, at this point, more than a single cell carrying a blueprint which could direct the formation and emergence of a human baby? If I print out the DNA sequence for the human genome and then burn it, am I committing murder?
I think we will be closer to a resolution of the issue when we can answer:
It seems to me that if we say it is murder to kill Earnest then we are saying that if we kill a few ear cells while swatting a mosquito we are committing murder also.
If it is permissible to terminate Earnest then why not Bob?
One might also consider this. After these cells start to divide and develop according to blueprint:
In both cases should not the considerations that influence termination or continuance of the developing organism be concerns like:
The ancients thought that a vegetable soul was eventually animated into an animal or human soul as the organism developed. There was conflicting thought as to what point in time this might occur.
Now it is time for you to make some serious decisions and answer my three questions:
#1 When do you consider it MURDER to terminate Bob? At: