Re: Finding a definition of Human (was Re: Fetal tissue)

Henri Kluytmans (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 01:50:07 +0100

>The reality is the person in question has been in existence since
>conception and that what you call "prevention" is actually murder.

Is any murder unacceptable?
For example, I think it's quite acceptable to murder an ant.

What is unacceptable to me, is murdering a sentient being against
its will.

>Again, hold it! that's your reality. A 2 week old fetus is not a person in
>my book, it has the potential of becoming a person. Just like a highschool
>student has the potential of becoming a scientist.

The question is not "if a fetus is a human being", because it
is, in a biological sense.

The question should be : "When does a human being become sentient?"

IMO a fetus is not a sentient being. And if the parent(s) do wish
it NOT to become a sentient being, they should be allowed to "murder"
IT, BEFORE it does.

IMO it's even questionable if a newly born baby is a sentient being.
I get the impression that a baby, less than a couple of months old,
seems even less sentient than a dog. Furthermore it is commonly
accepted to murder pigs. And pigs are claimed to be even more
intelligent and sentient than dogs. Following this reasoning it
should also be acceptable to murder babies.

However personally, because of emotional reasons, I think we
should draw the line at hte point at least before the moment
of birth.
And after all, I wouldn't kill a dog too (at least when I'm not
extremely hungry :-> )

The most rational way however, would be to determine for each
case separately if the baby in question has become sentient
enough to claim the right to live.

However what is sentient enough?
And furthermore this procedure would be quite impractical and
probably not fail-proof.

>What's so special anyway about the moment of conception that a 'person'
>begins to exist there?

I guess that most people who claim this, assume that a non-physical
spirit is entering the biological body at this moment.

>Hkl ------> Technology & Future at http://
Transcedo --> Dutch Transhumanist Society
Because the future is where we will spend the rest of our lives ...
You see things and ask "Why?" ; I dream things and ask "Why not?"