Search Menu

When does life start?

This is a reply I made to someone else regarding their statements on the pro-life/pro-choice. As you can see, I elected not to put my own stance in here because I am not trying to impose my beliefs on others. However, I thought it was important to clarify a few things about this whole debate. If I seemed rude, I apologize. If I somehow insulted you, I apologize.

You say that there's no way it can be another point, and scientists agree. However, “'Many scientists would say they don’t know when life begins. There are a series of landmark moments,'” said Arthur Caplan, professor and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center. “'The first is conception, the second is the development of the spine, the third the development of the brain, consciousness, and so on.'” ( begin_outside_the_christian_right_the_answer_is_over_time.html).

There is no ONE specific point at time when life begins. Billboards I've seen says that life begin at conception, but I've read in other places that it begins when the heart starts to beat. So how can you argue that your'e destroying something that's alive when people can't even agree when life actually begins?

We should also take into account religious beliefs. I am a practicing Christian and we were taught that life begins at conception, right? Well in Judaism, they believe life begins at birth. In the Talmud (the body of Jewish laws/legends), it says explicitly that if the “greater part was already born, one may not touch it, for one may not set aside one person’s life for that of another.” Thus the act of birth changes the status of the fetus from a nonperson to a person (nefesh). In Islam, on the other hand, life begins 120 days after conception. This day is when the soul enters the fetus, and they are now a human being, with it's destiny planned out for it.

While I'm on the subject, do we say "when does life begin?" or do we ask "when does human life begin?" These are two very different questions. The first one merely says life, but the second one asks something more. It asks when we consider the baby to be a part of the species homo sapiens, whether we consider this "thing" properly human.

With all this being said, we see that there is really no ONE time that the baby is alive. It all depends on your beliefs. Saying that all scientists believe that is saying that everyone believes in evolution, which is false. I'm not going to go into that because that's a different argument for a different time. What I am saying is that it's completely subjective as to the answer of this question. I would advise you, in the future, to not generalize so much, because generalizations are usually wrong (look at 9/11 and people deciding that ALL Muslims are terrorists even though only a few were). I'd also advise you to not state opinions as facts, like you did. "it is the act of destroying one that has already been created" isn't necessarily a true statement, more like an opinion, but you wrote it in such a way that it's made to look like that. I apologize if I seem rude in this little rant/essay/speech/whatever you want to call it, but I'm not going to apologize for adding FACTS about different opinions within the debate of when life actually starts.


Tags: Pro-life/Pro-choice, Abortion, Beginning of life

This post is user-contributed. Learn more.

Write your own comment!