When Life Begins and Cloning
Jim Blair

If you are a "Pro Life" believer, you know that human life begins at conception. A fertilized egg cell is a full complete human being.

In England, thousands of people are about to be massacred! To the medical establishment, they are just "frozen embryos", created in medical experiments and fertility treatments, but not implanted in a uterus. Now, after 5 years, they will be murdered.

Unless you act to save them.

All "pro life" women have an obligation to "adopt" one of these children. Even the Pope is calling on women to do this: it is your duty to the unborn. To fail to volunteer, is to be a hypocrite: put your uterus where your mouth is. Only you (and other women) can save these children. But what if not enough women fulfil their obligation? Well society has not hesitated in the past to draft young men to fight and even die in a noble cause. Why should we fail to draft young women to save thousands of lives, and at almost no risk to themselves?

PS: This was written for one particular incident, but now it looks like this is an ongoing situation.

And this from Scott Cokely:

Don't forget cloning. Ask a pro-lifer the Forbidden Questions:

a) If life begins at conception, when does a clone's life begin? b) Why?

To this question, some have suggested "when the nucleus is inserted into to host egg". But this just shows the arbitrariness of the various opinions as to when "life begins". You are probably correct that most of the "at conception" crowd would opt for "when it looks like a recently fertilized egg". But since there was no conception, that would be based on appearance only.

To review briefly the various opinions that I have heard (and I stress opinions not theories, since there is no experiment that can resolve the issue: it is in the same class of question as "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin"), and in chronological order:

* About 3 billion years ago, at least on earth. We are all descended from the first primitive live cells. Both the sperm and egg cells we were formed from were both human and alive (= human life) before conception, etc back to the first human, before that back to the original living cell.

* At conception. The sperm and egg that I came from were "human life" but they were not me, until conception.

* At implantation. Most fertilized egg cells fail to implant. Are we to claim that most "babies" die before the mother even knows that they existed?

* When brain activity begins (at 20 some weeks after conception). It is the brain that relates to thought and makes us human. This was the view expressed by Carl Sagan.

* At birth. Both the Bible and every human society use this date. (see my web page file on abortion in the political section for a review of the what the Bible has to say on all this.)

* The "age of reason", about 4 or 5 years, for most, but depends on the individual. (Some never get there). Many societies don't consider infants to be "people".

* At puberty. Many societies have a ritual to welcome people into the society at this age.

* At 18 years after birth. Then they can drink, vote and sign contracts.

* At 21. Same as above.

Now of all of the above opinions, none need be changed for a clone except "at conception". That step does not happen, so the advocates of that opinion need to find another answer for the clone.

Essays on related topics...

Abortion and Euthanasia
Title Author
Is there a difference between doing and allowing, killing and letting die? Thomas Ash * top quality content
May we allow what we may not make happen? Thomas Ash
When Life Begins and Cloning Jim Blair
The Politics of Abortion & A Modest Proposal Jim Blair
The Abortion Debate Kenneth Cauthen
Physician-assisted Suicide and Euthanasia Kenneth Cauthen
Is Abortion Murder? Steve Kangas [off site]
Does Human Life Begin At Conception? Steve Kangas [off site]
The Bible Doesn't Forbid Abortion Steve Kangas [off site]

Biotechnology and Genetics
Title Author
When Life Begins and Cloning Jim Blair
Bio-Ethics In Christianity Kenneth Cauthen

Number of unique visits to Big Issue Ground so far...

visits so far...