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Personhood: The domnio effect

Nothing to do with pizzas

by: Shenanigans

Its a bit lengthy, but it raised points I never thought of before, and gave ways for other points I"ve considered by ignored due to their complexity (aka. pro-aborts don't got no brainies to thinkies properly) a good way to address said points.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7RD3G5qn_k&feature=channel

reply from: Sigma

I think the video has a fundamental misunderstanding of where the difference of opinion lies. If I may:
Human Being => Human Person => Human Nature => Natural Law => Moral Law => Moral teachings of the Church
As she says, if there is a mistake in the first step then that mistake multiplies through the steps. I submit there is a mistake that begins in the very first claim she intends to make. The claim, essentially, is that the diploid cell is what it is to be a human being. This is the fallacy of equivocation, using the language imprecisely. What makes a creature biologically human is not necessarily the same thing that makes it metaphysically a human being. The focus on the biological aspect of fertilization was covered in part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.
In part 5 she accepts that personhood is a philosophical concept. Yet from the start she uses the phrase "human person" and "human being" interchangably. She does not create any link between what is genetically human and what is philosophically a person. This link must be established.

reply from: BossMomma

I think the video has a fundamental misunderstanding of where the difference of opinion lies. If I may:
Human Being => Human Person => Human Nature => Natural Law => Moral Law => Moral teachings of the Church
As she says, if there is a mistake in the first step then that mistake multiplies through the steps. I submit there is a mistake that begins in the very first claim she intends to make. The claim, essentially, is that the diploid cell is what it is to be a human being. This is the fallacy of equivocation, using the language imprecisely. What makes a creature biologically human is not necessarily the same thing that makes it metaphysically a human being. The focus on the biological aspect of fertilization was covered in part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.
In part 5 she accepts that personhood is a philosophical concept. Yet from the start she uses the phrase "human person" and "human being" interchangably. She does not create any link between what is genetically human and what is philosophically a person. This link must be established.
Personhood is a political/philosophical term and everyone has their own idea of when personhood is achieved, some say at birth, some say when sentience is attained, others have different views.
But once you sort through all the philosophical rhetoric there is the hard science that shows a human fetus to be a human being to be a person by definition which is the form or body of a human being. Genetics has been proven, philosophy is simply a very deep opinion, but an opinion none the less.

reply from: Sigma

Broadly, I agree with the point. Genetics can determine that the conceptus is human, but beyond that it is a philosophical discussion. Whether or not it is a 'person' in the morally relevant sense is a question that does not have a definite answer.

reply from: BossMomma

Broadly, I agree with the point. Genetics can determine that the conceptus is human, but beyond that it is a philosophical discussion. Whether or not it is a 'person' in the morally relevant sense is a question that does not have a definite answer.
Indeed and because the philosophical idea of personhood cannot be pin pointed or proven it is thus irrelevent and cannot be used to back abortion or infanticide as one Peter Singer does. No one can truly know when a child has their first thought, or understands who "me" is or understands emotion as all children develope at their own pace.
Science is all we have to truly fall back on as it is constant, proven and, accurate. When a sperm cell fertilizes a human ova and conception takes place, a new human being has been created. That new human being grows rapidly over a course of 38 to 40 weeks and is born.
That born child then continues developement over several years through infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and, ends life in senior adulthood at some point. But through all the ages and stages of life, that human being remained the same human being that started life as a zygote.

reply from: Sigma

Questions like this are, by their nature, unanswerable and ultimately unaskable, but this does not absolve us of the responsibility of considering the implications. For example, the State adopts the philosophy of dualism by necessity. We move thoughts by thinking, we move matter with other bits of matter. Matter is what we call bits that we cannot control with our thoughts. If everything were matter, everthing would would be inanimate and there would be no deliberate action and no legal or moral culpability. If everything were thought (first person dreamer), everyone would be omnipotent and at rest, for there would be no need for action.
So, then, the core of our justice system adopts a dualistic approach, an underlying reality with a nexus where final cause relates to mechanical cause. It cannot be investigated by introspection alone because it is not made of thought alone. It cannot be investigated by material science alone because it is not made only of matter. So it cannot be investigated at all.
Agreed, it is human. This gives us no answer whatsoever about whether or not humans deserve moral consideration, however.
Actually, science would tell us that it is never the same human. Since we travel through four dimensions as soon as we reach a point in the fourth dimention we are different than the previous point. It's the same as saying we are never in the same place if we keep moving in three dimentions (in a single direction).
Only philosophically are we the "same".

reply from: Banned Member

When one considers the fact that never in human history has a human female been pregnant with non-human offspring. = Link established.
Where can you show us an example of a human being who wasn't a human person.. or a human person who wasn't a human being?
I feel that you are splitting a hair that doesn't exist.

reply from: Sigma

A body without a brain is human, but is not a person.

reply from: PanhandleGuy

Funnily enough, suspected enemy combatants are persons either (According to SCOTUS). Let's see Sigma rationalize that one away

reply from: Rino

A body without a brain is human, but is not a person.
Philosophically? Sure, but that would just be your opinion. It's a subjective determination in a philosophical context.
So, if the question can not be answered objectively, from a philosophical standpoint, and we can not agree, how is the matter to be determined?

reply from: Rino

This argument can be applied to any class of human. Is it your contention that each person may rely on his or her own philosophical position to determine which members of our species deserves "moral consideration" (basically, which lives are significant, and which are not)? Or do you think we must rely on a societal consensus? Is there another solution?

reply from: Rino

You do agree that all "persons" are "deserving of moral consideration," right? We are arguing over the definition of "person?"

reply from: Sigma

Are or aren't? Exactly what would I need to "reationalize"?

reply from: Sigma

Actually this is incorrect. While there cannot be an objective criterion, determining whether a creature or object is a 'person' is merely applying that criterion. It's deductive reasoning based upon a premise.
A body without a brain is not a person for the same reason that a rock is not a person (in a philosophical context).
To say that there is not an objective criteria outside of the human mind is not to say there can never be agreement. As mentioned before, you and I can likely agree that a rock is not a person. From this a criterion can be generalized.
Once criteria are created it is merely a question of applying it to a situation.
Everyone has a theory of human nature. Everyone has to anticipate the behavior of others, and that means we all need theories about what makes people tick. A tacit theory of human nature -- that behavior is caused by thoughts and feelings -- is imbedded in the very way we think about people. This theory of human nature is the wellspring of much in our lives: we consult it when we want to persuade or threaten, inform or deceive. It advises us on how to nurture our marriages, bring up our children, and control our own behavior.
The fact that these are subjective notions instead of "societal consensus"(what would that be, anyway?) does not imply that they are unreliable or unworkable in everyday life. I'm not entirely sure what your point here is.
Generally, yes. The specifics likely are not important but, briefly, violating Kant's Kingdom of Ends would imply to me that you cannot claim it's protection.
The main contention is whether or not the conceptus is a moral creature and, if so, whether that moral worth allows us to disregard a woman's rights in the pregnancy relationship. "Personhood" does not automatically grant the latter.
Generally speaking, a creature that possesses a complex enough brain to support consciousness.

reply from: PanhandleGuy

Are or aren't? Exactly what would I need to "reationalize"?
Aren't*
And you don't have to reationalize anything. Rather, explain to me why suspected enemy combatants aren't persons according to U.S. law?

reply from: Banned Member

A body without a brain is human, but is not a person.
Well here we go again. You state something to be true and therefore it is? Not on my watch mister.
How can we have a serious discussion with you on any topic when you deceitfully present your personal opinion as fact?
This is no small point I'm making here.. so listen up boy genius. When you approach a debate or discussion with the intention of winning at the expense of truth and honesty, you are automatically disqualified as a cheater. There is no need for cheating and there is no benefit in communing with cheaters. Please refrain from this bullish tactic. It makes you look foolish and untrustworthy.
If you don't care to take my word on this then please conduct your own survey on this point and find out for yourself what the popular consensus on deceptive debate tactics is.
Despite your propensity for open arrogance, you cannot possibly consider yourself a greater authority on the definition of the word, person, than the definition that one could easily retrieve with a quick online search.
Here, I've done it for you:
PERSON
- noun
1. a human being, whether man, woman, or child: The table seats four persons.
2. a human being as distinguished from an animal or a thing.
3. Sociology. an individual human being, esp. with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.
4. Philosophy. a self-conscious or rational being.
5. the actual self or individual personality of a human being: You ought not to generalize, but to consider the person you are dealing with.
6. the body of a living human being, sometimes including the clothes being worn: He had no money on his person.
7. the body in its external aspect: an attractive person to look at.
8. a character, part, or role, as in a play or story.
9. an individual of distinction or importance.
10. a person not entitled to social recognition or respect.
The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright Ā© 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Please remember that all listed definitions are correct but the first one listed is the most commonly used form and meaning. Did you notice the first three words are; "A human being"?
Now that we've established that your assertion that; "A body without a brain is human, but is not a person".. is utterly, completely and either ignorantly or quite intentionally wrong, perhaps we can get a revised response to my original post.. which was;
Hmm..?
P.S. I fully expect you to ignore this inconvenient and somewhat embarrassing post and either come up with either a complete non sequitur, an Ad Hominem attack, or just change the subject entirely.
I'm hoping you don't learn your lesson and try blowing smoke up our collective @sses again. That would have the greatest entertainment value to it.

reply from: TraderTif

Hmmmm......following this line of logic.......if my brain is bigger than yours, am I more of a person??

reply from: Sigma

I gave you the example that you asked for, nothing more. Do you then believe a human body sans brain is a person in the morally relevent sense of the word?

reply from: Sigma

"Person" is a binary concept: You are or you aren't. "Value" might have a gradient though.

reply from: Rino

Are you being deliberately obtuse? Of course, we can objectively determine whether an entity fits your specified criteria, or mine. We can determine whether it is a "purple people eater" in either of our views in the same way, but it won't give us an objective answer to whether it actually is, only whether it satisfies a set of criteria. If there is no objective means of agreeing on criteria, then we will not necessarily agree on whether the entity is a "person," and there is still no objective way to settle the dispute.
You are stating opinion as fact. Watch this. A body without a brain is a "person" for the same reason a body with a brain is.
Obviously, this contradicts your claim, and there is no objective means of determining who is correct because it is not an objective consideration, as you are implying. Once more, we could objectively determine whether it fits your criteria (of course), but that is not the same thing as determining whether it is actually a "person." It only proves whether you subjectively consider it to be.
Understand?
So, your solution is to force everyone to accept your subjective criteria? That's not going to work for me. You accept mine, then we'll make an object determination according to mine, k? See how ridiculous that is?
Oh, please! Modern education is ruining our youth! I need not choose between the beliefs of one philosopher or another! I can boot them all and create my own philosophy if I wish, borrowing or discarding any part of any others at my own discretion. Do not attempt to make a dead mortal into a god. Screw Kant. Let us discourse freely beyond the confines of predetermined philosophical contexts, or did they not teach you how to do that in school?
Define "moral creature." Methinks thou dost attempt to obscure and complicate the issue by the use of euphemisms and meaningless phrases. You simply mean an entity who's life is not significant in your view, right? An entity that you might kill without conscience if it suited you? Let us discourse clearly, and not attempt to obscure our true meaning. Let us say what we mean, and be crystal clear about it rather than making this a game of language manipulation.
Well, we have a serious problem here. Even if I accept this, we must now define "complex enough," which is itself subjective. If we can agree on a definition, we must then define "consciousness," which could be another serious point of contention in and of itself, considering the fact that consciousness is not a "black or white" thing, but exists in degrees, and is not fully understood by modern science.
Your philosophical solution appears more and more unworkable as we go, at least to me.
And how do we weigh the rights of one against the other when the two conflict? I have a right to swing my fist, do I not?

reply from: Rino

I gave you the example that you asked for, nothing more. Do you then believe a human body sans brain is a person in the morally relevent sense of the word?
Wait and let's see if you can prove your definition for person is logically workable before we go into it any further...I think you are taking too much for granted here.

reply from: Rino

"Person" is a binary concept: You are or you aren't. "Value" might have a gradient though.
We have not yet established that this is so, even if we accept your subjective criteria for determining who is and is not a "person." I am challenging the assertion that "person is a binary concept" according to your subjective beliefs. It certainly is according to mine, but you wish to reject mine in favor of your own.

reply from: Sigma

You're right that there is no objective ruleset to point to in order to determine a "correct" criteria. That is why we have philosophical discussions
Between us we can determine a rational and logical criteria that includes what is reasonable to include and excludes what we agree needs to be excluded (such as rocks).
Yes, you could say that a body without a brain is a person, and we could discuss what characteristics that body has that determines "personhood", and then determine what the implications of that belief are and whether those implications are reasonable and acceptable to you. Are you merely taking that position for effect, or do you actually believe that a body without a brain is a person?
I'm not forcing you to accept anything. I presented an example I believe would be agreed to by the majority of people. Since, generally, treating someone as an individual (a 'person') assumes there is "someone in there" (ie, consciousness), having a brain is a reasonable pre-requisite. Certainly you may disagree, and we can explore the implications of any criterion you may have.
You asked me about my personal beliefs I do not require you to agree with Kantian ethics.
A moral creature is something that has moral weight, that would factor into our calculations on moral or immoral actions. It is a very general term to refer to anything that has moral value. Not to belabor the example, but a rock would not be a moral creature and thus we would not have to determine the morality of breaking it open.
I am trying to be clear about what I mean.
That's true, but it is only a problem if you accept that the brain is the relevent object to determine "personhood". Once you accept that, then it is inarguable that at some point the conceptus does not possess this object and thus is not a person. If we are at that point it is a matter of determining when abortion is justified, not if.
First I would say we have to determine if the conceptus is deserving of rights, then we can decide how much weight those rights have in the pregnancy relationship.

reply from: Sigma

I have not rejected yours; I do not know yours. Yours may be superior, or it may not. I believe mine to be the most rational, but we can certainly discuss it.
In either case though, I don't believe there is any support for denying that "person" is a binary concept. In what possible situation are there different levels of a person, in a moral (to be distinct from legal) context.

reply from: Banned Member

I gave you the example that you asked for, nothing more. Do you then believe a human body sans brain is a person in the morally relevent sense of the word?
Morally relevant?.. and who's in charge of determining moral relevance?.. You?.. There you go again with that "presenting your opinion as fact" problem you have. Trickiness has no place in honest debate so please quit trying to slip in these little false qualifiers.
Now, to answer your question:
Yes, it's a person, a person without a brain, a person with human chromosomes and a person who is dead. A dead soldier on the battlefield with his head blown off is still a person. Hence the expression; "Dead person".
I know you aren't this thick Sigma.. so perhaps you're just too inexperienced and young to know better than to embrace deceit as a debate tactic. Or perhaps you've been raised by cheaters or influenced by peers who routinely cheat.
I would like to take you seriously Sigma but you resist reality in an effort to maintain your current beliefs and I've had enough of that around here already. There is no real need to respond to this post as I have no further interest in exchanging ideas with you.
No specific offense intended.. but I despise leftists and you have the all the hallmarks of a dyed in the wool leftist.

reply from: Rino

The fact that we might agree to exclude rocks does not imply that we agree on the criteria for doing so. Our agreement would neither prove anything meaningful, nor settle our disagreement.
I don't think that really matters. I think the dispute over defining "person" is just semantics. I think the real issue here is what makes the life of a given entity significant, why, and what degree of significance applies. Whether a dead person is still a person would not be a relevant point in my view, since I would obviously assign no significance to the life of an entity that no longer is alive.
Of course not. It is not within your power to force me to accept your subjective criteria. That is really the point.
And I explained why it was pointless. The fact that we both determine an entity to be, or not be a "person" using different criteria really proves nothing. It is the cases where this would not be so, and why, that are relevant here.
This conclusion is based on assumptions still being disputed.
This is opinion, not fact, and I would point out that you are not being "clear." You basically defined "moral creature" as one which you, personally, would assign a relative significance to.
Once more, I believe the real issue here is the significance of the life of an individual entity, not whether it is a "person." It would seem that, according to your criteria, non-human entities can be "persons." I think we can narrow it down considerably by agreeing to discuss only human entities and their significance, ignoring the semantic dispute over "personhood."
You assert that "consciousness" is a determining factor (or is it the capacity for consciousness that is significant in your view?), correct? Do you assert that consciousness is a "binary concept?" You do not accept my assertion of "degrees of consciousness?" Doesn't it come down to what degree of consciousness is subjectively significant in our respective views?

reply from: Sigma

I was asking you the question, so you would determine the answer to that question.
Then a 'person', broadly, has no more moral significance than a dead body?

reply from: Rino

I was asking you the question, so you would determine the answer to that question.
Then a 'person', broadly, has no more moral significance than a dead body?
So, can we agree that the real issue is not "personhood," but the significance of the life of an individual entity? Can we also agree to narrow our discussion down to human entities?

reply from: Sigma

Our agreement would not settle our disagreement? I'm honestly not sure how to respond to that... explain this please.
Then what do you assign significance to? The dispute over 'personhood' does have a purpose. A 'person' has moral significance, while a 'non-person' has less or perhaps no moral significance.
The distinction you pose has no real meaning since I am arguing the same thing. Moral significance. Moral weight. Moral value. I'm not playing semantic games, I'm arguing the concepts the words represent.
Then why are you here having a discussion? Merely to convince me that discussions are useless? It seems to me there is a contradiction inherent in your actions.
Do you disagree with the assumptions I have made? Which ones and why?
Do you believe morality does not exist, because morality has no objective measure?
Then what is your criterion for "significance"?
Since there is no way to directly measure consciousness, I don't believe you can support any contention that there are "degrees" of consciousness.
Secondly, "personhood" is conceptually binary. Consider the term "existence". An object either exists or it does not (conceptually), therefore it is a binary concept.

reply from: Sigma

I would like to know your beliefs, but the discussion cannot be limited merely to that.

reply from: Rino

Our incidental agreement in one case, based on different criteria, doesn't settle our disagreement on what criteria should apply, which is really the only relevant issue.
If this is true, and significance is determined, in your view, based on criteria that are "impossible to measure," then would it not be impossible to objectively determine whether an entity fits your criteria?
Do you or do you not agree that the real issue is the significance of the life of each human entity, and the basis upon which significance should be assigned?

reply from: Rino

I would like to know your beliefs, but the discussion cannot be limited merely to that.
I am currently challenging yours. Let us first dispose of the issue at hand. Let's assume I am undecided at this point. Convince me that your beliefs are logically valid.

reply from: Rino

Is "personhood" an "object" then?

reply from: Sigma

Then we can discuss the criteria we use. With your reference to "human entities", I am assuming you assign significance based upon whether the creature is genetically human. Is that correct?
We can determine it objectively, just not directly. There is no direct measure, but there is a minimum amount of mental machinery thought to be needed for consciousness to exist.
Since I don't know what you mean by "significance", I can't answer that question. What sort of creature deserves to be "significant"?
However, I think the "real issue" is whether the conceptus deserves the moral weight and value that an individual (ie, person) deserves. To determine the answer to that question, we would have to know if the conceptus matches the criteria of a 'person'.

reply from: Sigma

No. A "person" is a label for an object. "Personhood" is the state of being.

reply from: Sigma

I have offered much of the reasoning up already.
Treating someone as an individual (a 'person') assumes there is "someone in there" (ie, consciousness) so having a brain is a reasonable pre-requisite. If a person's brain were separated from the body and placed in a jar, I'd hazard that the majority of people would agree that the jar contained the person and the body was an "empty shell", even if it were alive.
Thus moral weight and value is not a result of our genetic humanity, but is instead because of our individual consciousness.

reply from: Rino

"Thought" to be needed? In other words, we can not be certain whether an entity indeed posses "consciousness?"
Isn't this a classic circular argument? Tell me why a "conceptus" is not deserving of "moral weight and value," yet a normal human adult is, without simply reverting to semantics. Saying you consider one to be a "person" and not the other really doesn't answer the question. It just keeps us going in circles.

reply from: Rino

I have offered much of the reasoning up already.
Treating someone as an individual (a 'person') assumes there is "someone in there" (ie, consciousness) so having a brain is a reasonable pre-requisite. If a person's brain were separated from the body and placed in a jar, I'd hazard that the majority of people would agree that the jar contained the person and the body was an "empty shell", even if it were alive.
Thus moral weight and value is not a result of our genetic humanity, but is instead because of our individual consciousness.
You think most people would consider a disembodied brain to be a "person?" I do not believe that to be a reasonable assumption.

reply from: Rino

Or do you believe the brain contains an "object" that we can refer to as a "person?"

reply from: Rino

So an unconscious human being would have no "moral weight and value" in your view?

reply from: Rino

Do only "persons" have "moral weight and value?" Might I destroy the body after the brain is removed, since it allegedly does not contain the "person?"

reply from: Sigma

We can't even be sure you possess consciousness. We can only indirectly test, but those tests are not 100% certain. We merely go on what we know
To be an individual (ie, person), one must possess an individual consciousness. An individual has inherent moral worth (depending on your ethical framework). The conceptus, at least at some point, is not an individual. Therefore the conceptus, at least as some point, does not have moral worth equal to an individual.
Put another way: it may have moral weight, but it cannot have the moral value of a human individual (ie, person) because it does not possess that which gives a human individual moral weight (ie, individuality or personhood). It does not meet the criteria to have moral value.

reply from: Sigma

Truly? A living brain that still thinks, with the only difference being that it is not contained in a body?
Exactly how would killing the brain be morally different than murdering anyone else?

reply from: Sigma

That's a good question, but it is something I cannot answer.
Consciousness (what we generally refer to as the person) seems to be an emergent property of the brain and must in some way be connected to the material world since matter can influence thoughts and thoughts, somehow, influence motion in our bodies (or perhaps they don't and free will is a delusion).
In either case, there is no evidence that consciousness can exist separate from the brain.

reply from: Sigma

Unless their brain has turned to mush they still possess a consciousness, they simply aren't awake.

reply from: Sigma

Why not? It's just meat. I would assign less moral weight to a brainless body than I would to a beast.
That being said, I don't mean to imply that only persons have moral weight, but we are discussing what has equal weight to a person (namely, the conceptus is the question).

reply from: Rino

We can't even be sure you possess consciousness. We can only indirectly test, but those tests are not 100% certain. We merely go on what we know
To be an individual (ie, person), one must possess an individual consciousness. An individual has inherent moral worth (depending on your ethical framework). The conceptus, at least at some point, is not an individual. Therefore the conceptus, at least as some point, does not have moral worth equal to an individual.
Put another way: it may have moral weight, but it cannot have the moral value of a human individual (ie, person) because it does not possess that which gives a human individual moral weight (ie, individuality or personhood). It does not meet the criteria to have moral value.
Conclusion relies on the assumption that the conceptus doesn't have this "individuality." Define the term. If you just revert to the "consciousness" thing, it would seem we are still going in circles.

reply from: Sigma

We're not. You're assigning distinctions where none exist
Individuality and consciousness and personhood are roughly the same concepts. To possess one implies the existence of those others. A human individual has moral worth (depending on your ethical framework) because it is an individual.
The conceptus either does or does not possess these qualities.

reply from: Rino

Wouldn't the argument be invalidated, then? If you are unable to logically support the contention that the "person" resides within the brain, and is a tangible "object" which can be physically removed from the body?
At any rate, are you really arguing that your body has no moral significance? If your brain could be removed without killing you, I could ethically destroy your body so long as I did not harm your brain?
Once more, do only "persons" have "moral weight and value?"

reply from: Rino

Why not? It's just meat. I would assign less moral weight to a brainless body than I would to a beast.
That being said, I don't mean to imply that only persons have moral weight, but we are discussing what has equal weight to a person (namely, the conceptus is the question).
So, the "conceptus" might reasonably be argued to have "moral weight and value," you simply assert that it is not equal to that of a "person?"

reply from: Sigma

Oh it is indisputable that the 'person' is associated with the brain. I just can't answer whether that association is an emergent property or not.
Sure, why not? I mean, I could say "oh I own it your harming my property" but beyond that why would I care?
No, since animals can have moral weight and value without being persons. However, that is not relevant to the discussion. In the pregnancy relationship, yes.

reply from: Rino

We're not. You're assigning distinctions where none exist
Individuality and consciousness and personhood are roughly the same concepts. To possess one implies the existence of those others. A human individual has moral worth (depending on your ethical framework) because it is an individual.
The conceptus either does or does not possess these qualities.
But these qualities are not necessary in order to have "moral weight and value," right? And yet, did you not argue that these qualities determine "moral weight and value," that they are, in fact, what gives an entity "moral weight and value?"
You seem to contradict yourself.

reply from: BossMomma

Questions like this are, by their nature, unanswerable and ultimately unaskable, but this does not absolve us of the responsibility of considering the implications. For example, the State adopts the philosophy of dualism by necessity. We move thoughts by thinking, we move matter with other bits of matter. Matter is what we call bits that we cannot control with our thoughts. If everything were matter, everthing would would be inanimate and there would be no deliberate action and no legal or moral culpability. If everything were thought (first person dreamer), everyone would be omnipotent and at rest, for there would be no need for action.
So, then, the core of our justice system adopts a dualistic approach, an underlying reality with a nexus where final cause relates to mechanical cause. It cannot be investigated by introspection alone because it is not made of thought alone. It cannot be investigated by material science alone because it is not made only of matter. So it cannot be investigated at all.
Agreed, it is human. This gives us no answer whatsoever about whether or not humans deserve moral consideration, however.
Actually, science would tell us that it is never the same human. Since we travel through four dimensions as soon as we reach a point in the fourth dimention we are different than the previous point. It's the same as saying we are never in the same place if we keep moving in three dimentions (in a single direction).
Only philosophically are we the "same".
No, genetically we are the same, take dna from a fetus at 24 weeks and then take dna from that same individual at 24 years and the samples will be a perfect match, there is no deep philosophy behind it. While I agree that humans should not be treated as a life form higher than any other animal, I disagree with the philosophy of personhood as it is nothing but an argument that goes round and round with no factual conclusion.

reply from: Sigma

Reasonably? It depends on the rationale I'm presented with.
During at least part of the time-frame, no I don't believe it can reasonable to say it has moral weight and value.

reply from: Sigma

Only because I'm talking over a time-frame wherein the conceptus both can possibly possess these qualities and most definitely does not possess them. If the conceptus does not possess these qualities then it does not have the moral weight that an individual does. This does not imply the conceptus has no moral weight.
Are you done playing games?

reply from: Sigma

Actually as we age the ends of our DNA changes. Eventually this change prevents transcription.

reply from: Rino

Clearly contradictory assertions....
nb4 "moral worth" doesn't mean the same thing as "moral weight and value."

reply from: Rino

Only because I'm talking over a time-frame wherein the conceptus both can possibly possess these qualities and most definitely does not possess them. If the conceptus does not possess these qualities then it does not have the moral weight that an individual does. This does not imply the conceptus has no moral weight.
Are you done playing games?
You argued that a conceptus has no "moral weight and value" because it is not a "person," then conceded that an entity need not be a person in order to have "moral weight and value."
You seem to have invalidated your argument with a logical contradiction. If you believe I am misinterpreting your assertions, please elaborate.

reply from: BossMomma

That's a good question, but it is something I cannot answer.
Consciousness (what we generally refer to as the person) seems to be an emergent property of the brain and must in some way be connected to the material world since matter can influence thoughts and thoughts, somehow, influence motion in our bodies (or perhaps they don't and free will is a delusion).
In either case, there is no evidence that consciousness can exist separate from the brain.
So then it is perfectly moral to anesthatize you and kill you correct? After all you are no longer conscious nor self aware, therefore you are a non-person.

reply from: Rino

When I ask what gives a "person" moral weight and value, you say "individuality," then assert that these are basically the same concepts. It's a circular argument. Who is "playing games" here?

reply from: Sigma

Since I am asserting differences in moral weight between the conceptus and those born, the moral weight of other animals really has no relevence.
I also have not asserted that human non-persons have no moral weight, merely that it is not equal to persons. There is no contradiction.

reply from: BossMomma

Since I am asserting differences in moral weight between the conceptus and those born, the moral weight of other animals really has no relevence.
I also have not asserted that human non-persons have no moral weight, merely that it is not equal to persons. There is no contradiction.
Your assertion is a contradiction as it states that only the mental consciousness can make a person a person. Take away that mental consciousness with anesthesia and that person is no longer a person, it turns a legal title into a simple statement of arrogance.

reply from: Sigma

I'm speaking in general terms, and trying to accommodate other ethical frameworks. While I, personally, do not assign moral weight to the conceptus during at least part of the time-frame (for the reasons I specify), that does not imply that it cannot have moral weight under other frameworks. It just cannot have the moral weight of an individual because it is not an individual.
Or do you dispute that the conceptus is not an individual person for at least part of pregnancy?

reply from: Sigma

There would be no moral problem with killing my body if my brain has been removed and is living in a jar, no. Well, except that it belongs to me and you would be harming my property

reply from: Sigma

Unless you turn the brain to mush, it still possess consciousness even if it isn't awake.

reply from: BossMomma

Unless you turn the brain to mush, it still possess consciousness even if it isn't awake.
Have you ever been under general? I have several times, it is deeper than sleep. You do not know at what point you went under or when you start coming out of it. Any consciousness you have would be...fetal at best.

reply from: Sigma

Yes, we've established you aren't awake. However, unless you turn the brain to mush the subject still possesses the necessary mental machinery for consciousness.

reply from: BossMomma

Yes, we've established you aren't awake. However, unless you turn the brain to mush the subject still possesses the necessary mental machinery for consciousness.
No, it posesses enough function to keep your heart beating and your blood circulating. I had to be intubated as I ran the risk of aspiration. There is only a primitive brain function while under anesthesia.

reply from: Sigma

Again, unless your brain is mush (or they kill you), you possess the mental machinery necessary to support consciousness. If you didn't, you would never wake up.

reply from: TraderTif

"Person" is a binary concept: You are or you aren't. "Value" might have a gradient though.
How much "brain" is required to be a person? How is this measured? Can non-human brains meet this criteria?

reply from: PanhandleGuy

I have no idea :-\
Oh? You seem happy enough to give all sorts of reasoning as to why the unborn aren't persons. I thought you'd be up to do the same with suspected enemy combatants.

reply from: Sigma

I'm sorry, but I don't know the legal justification.

reply from: PanhandleGuy

I'm sorry, but I don't know the legal justification.
Too bad. At any rate, you're going to have to amend your definition of what constitutes a person. Obviously, consciousness isn't it.

reply from: nancyu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYaTywSDmls

reply from: PanhandleGuy

Why would I do that?
Because it's wrong.

reply from: PanhandleGuy

How so?
Connect the dots.

reply from: Sigma

Or... you could tell me what you mean I prefer that option.

reply from: PanhandleGuy

Or... you could tell me what you mean I prefer that option.
I more-or-less already have.

reply from: Sigma

Then it seems I've already refuted it since I am not aware of any post of yours of any substance that I did not respond to.

reply from: Banned Member

I was asking you the question, so you would determine the answer to that question.
Then a 'person', broadly, has no more moral significance than a dead body?
You are a snotty little prankster. Thanks for wasting my time.

reply from: Sigma

Because I said you could determine the meaning of "moral relevance" in the question I posed to you?
I'm not sure what issue you could have with that

reply from: PanhandleGuy

Then it seems I've already refuted it since I am not aware of any post of yours of any substance that I did not respond to.
You sure didn't.


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