Sunday, 4 November 2012

Human personhood at 14 days?

If human life begins at conception and personhood at day 14 is there a moral difference between having an abortion before day 14 and having one after?

I take it that John feels there is a moral (ethical) difference, but I do not understand what that means. 

Furthermore, is taking the "morning after pill" an act of murder in your estimation?  Or is it a morally acceptable way to end further growth of a human life, for, say, a couple who fears the consequences of a husband's broken condom; or a woman who has been raped?

Response: Jesus’ injunction “judge not” needs to be borne in mind when we are considering such issues, since we really don’t understand what leads to and constitutes our personhood.

John doesn’t think that personhood begins at 14 days, rather he is confident that personhood doesn’t begin before 14 days, and thus is willing to back experiments on human embryos before 14 days.  On this view therefore anything that terminated a (potential) human life before 14 days doesn’t require special moral justification.  After that, the situation becomes more complex.

Other Christians of course take different views.

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