Re: Fetal tissue

Arjen Kamphuis (
Mon, 2 Mar 1998 22:08:53 +0100 (CET)

At 03:14 2-03-98 -0500, Reilly Jones <> wrote:
>Max More wrote 3/1/98: <At what point do you think fetal tissue becomes an
>unborn child? Since you don't qualify your statement, I assume you will say
>"at conception". If so, I'd like to hear the reasoning behind it.>
>Developing our own selves is our own business. Developing other selves is
>entering the political arena. Ownership of the self is one thing,
>ownership of other selves is quite another. I will take the question of
>when "fetal tissue" - a dehumanizing definition, as Anders said, propaganda
>developed against the enemy

What enemy? I'm sorry, but this sounds like you're picketing in front of a
clinic or something (or maybe it's just my reli-fanatic-alarm going off?).

>The process of developing another self begins with

Since the fetus at this stage is nearly indistinguisable from most other
mammals and many other vertebrates that would mean that a pig fetus has the
same value & rights as a human, after birth the fetus somehow loses that
value/those right and it's ok to use it as a source of protein. Unless, of
course, you believe that a human fetus has something called a 'soul' from
the moment of conception.

The parallel-server that I'm working on has no intelligence and thus no
value&rights as a consious being. But this could chance in 25 years. Maybe
all it takes is a processor-upgrade and smarter software? That would mean
that this 'lump of metal' is a potential consious being. O dear. What right
do I have feeding it all these problems that I want to have solved. Maybe
it would rather be playing chess (it's good at that). If everything that
has the potential of becoming a human has the rights of a human then we're
comitting mass-murder every time we have sex. Something tells me thit is
not a workable model.

>it doesn't matter if it's natural conception or artificial.
>When conception occurs is a matter of the completion of the normal full set
>of chromosomes within the fertilized egg.

What's so special about that? lot's of cells contain a complete set (and a
good thing they do! ;-)

>I am not arguing for a moral
>absolute in the treatment of fertilized eggs, I am simply saying that any
>treatment becomes a political question, not an individual question and not
>a judicial or executive question.

Ah yes, but the political conclusion that was reached in most modern
countries was: "This is a choice the woman in question must decide for
herself, after having been duly advised of the pro's and con's." or
something like that. If you have an alternative, practical, model for
deciding these things I'd love to hear it.

Fact is that after an abortion the remains of the fetus are usualy
destroyed, a great waste since some of the tissue's have great medical
potential. If destroying it is acceptable, why would medical use (with
permission of course) not be?

Arjen Kamphuis | "Here Be Dragons", read the ancient maps | in all the white spots that seemed large
enough to hold the fabled creatures.

let's go dragon hunting.

Transcedo, the Dutch Transhumanist site: