A discussion on the perception of a fetus as a human being

Harvard University Pressc. Noonan first argues that the primary issue in the abortion question is, How does one determine the humanity of a being?

A discussion on the perception of a fetus as a human being

When Do Human Beings Begin?

Harvard University Pressc. Noonan first argues that the primary issue in the abortion question is, How does one determine the humanity of a being? He answers this question with what he takes to be the single answer of especially Catholic theologicans - namely, that if one is conceived by human beings, one is a human being.

Noonan then examines five alternative criteria for humanity which he finds at work in the abortion debate - viabilityexperiencesentimentsense experienceand social visibility - and then provides one or more criticisms of these, as a way of reinforcing his original claim. Students of logic and critical thinking will want to note that he often relies on examining the possible consequences of accepting an alternative view: This reliance on reductio ad absurdum arguments, however, runs the risk of committing the fallacies of begging the question, and slippery slope.

Careful readers will want to attend closely to whether or not Noonan always avoids these fallacies in his critiques of the alternative criteria. He turns to a probabilistic argument concerning the rather low probabilities of an egg or sperm becoming a human being vis-a-vis the relatively high probability of the conceptus the fertilized egg becoming a human being.

For Noonan, there is a sharp dividing line here on the continuum of developing life - one that justifies designating the conceptus as human and thus endowed with rights, while no such designation would be made for egg or sperm.

Noonan concludes by noting that his argument does not result in the rejection of all abortions whatsoever. Noonan acknowledges that the Catholic Church has judged these weights differently over time - but, in a final appeal to Jesus on the cross as the primordial Christian image of self-sacrificing love, he implies that a loving mother would give up her own life rather than sacrifice that of her child for her own sake.

Noonan begins with the assertion The most fundamental question involved in the long history of thought on abortion is: How do you determine the humanity of a being? For Noonan, rather, the foundation for Christian opposition to abortion is a refusal to discriminate among human beings on the basis of their varying potentialities.

The criterion for humanity, thus, was simple and all embracing: Noonan seeks to bolster this view by contrasting it with several other ways of establishing humanity that crop up in the abortion debate.

His strategy, simply, is to review each of these and show the weakness es of each, and so leave his position as the only one still standing, so to speak. The first alternative view is the notion of viability: To that extent, the life of the fetus is absolutely dependent on the life of the mother.

This dependence is made the basis of denying recognition to its humanity. Noonan points out a number of significant weaknesses to this view. First, "viability" is highly variable - depending on the state of current technology, the genetic inheritance of the fetus apparently, fetuses among some human groups attain viability earlier than othersetc.

This variability and indeterminancy is at odds with what is wanted in the abortion debate - namely, a fairly precise, reliable, unchanging, universally valid absolute distinction. Second, and most important for Noonan, the dependence at work in the viability criterion is not ended by viability.

It is a distinction which makes no difference. The second alternative view is experience.

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On this view, A being who has had experience, has lived and suffered, who possesses memories, is more human than one who has not. Humanity depends on formation by experience. The fetus is thus "unformed" in the most basic human sense.

Again, for Noonan this is a distinction which makes no difference. The embryo, he points out, as responsive to touch, is "experiencing" in a morally important sense. Moreover, this criterion is open to the counterexample of the adult who has aphasia has lost his or her memories - his or her "experience":The perception of the letter "t" as two intersecting lines rather than as four nonintersecting lines illustrates the principle of: continuity.

As the airplane descended for a landing, the pilot saw several beautiful islands that appeared to float in a vast expanse of blue ocean water. One of the most significant aspects of neonatal perception this page is supposed to address is that of theories relating to, and researched performed on, neonatal pain, especially with regard to abortion and the perception, or lack thereof, of pain by the fetus at various stages of pregnancy.

Fetal Rights. The rights of any unborn human fetus, which is generally a developing human from roughly eight weeks after conception to birth. Like other categories such as Civil Rights and Human Rights, fetal rights embraces a complex variety of topics and issues involving a number of areas of the law, including criminal, employment, health care, and Family Law.

Fetal Rights. The rights of any unborn human fetus, which is generally a developing human from roughly eight weeks after conception to birth. Like other categories such as Civil Rights and Human Rights, fetal rights embraces a complex variety of topics and issues involving a number of areas of the law, including criminal, employment, health care, and Family Law.

I would not use perception alone as a test to determine when a being is human. In fact this question of "humanness" inherently has a huge subjective component. Basically when a fetus becomes human should be considered a cultural question.

Human life begins at fertilization: the new human being at this stage has its genetic complement and will, if nourished and unimpeded, mature to an embryo, a fetus, a baby, a child, and an adult.

A discussion on the perception of a fetus as a human being

Human life begins at fertilization, and ends at death.

Fetus as Human Being: Where is the Cut-off Point?