posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 10:06 AM
I will repeat comments I made earlier on this thread:
"One of the sticking points in this arguement is a person's definition of life. Whenever I need a definition for a word, I consult my handy
Webster's Ninth New College Dictionary. The definition of life, according to Webster, is:
"1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the
distinctive quality of animate beings - compare VITALISM 1 c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to
stimuli, and reproduction".
When your are talking about a pre-formed human, whether it is a zygote, embyo, or fetus, I do not believe it qualifies as "life" by the definition.
It may be a "form" of life, but it is not "alive".
A fetus is neither vital, nor is it functional (and by that I mean fully functional - a fetus is an incomplete prototype tha cannot sustain itself,
even briefly, outside its pre-completion environment). A fetus is much more akin to a dead body than it is to a living human being. It displays no
quality of life as does an animate, living human, such as sustained independent respiration, independent consumption of food, or the ability to
interact with its environment. And while it may display the ability to grow and have a metabolism, and even react to stimuli, this can only happen via
the neural pathways and blood supply provided by the mother, to which the fetus is an integral part". A colony of bacteria, algae, and funguses
display the same abilities.
It is more accurate to say that a fetus is a form of life. But it is not alive. If people were considered to be alive at the time of conception, the
government would issue "alive" certificates instead of "birth" certificates.
Pardon me for overreacting on the religious angle, but I am too used to dealing with that arguement from that camp.