There is no moral component to the premises embedded in my point of view that its wrong to murder and inflict unnecessary suffering on a human being? That's just as much a part of my argument as it is yours. We both have our own, scientifically demonstrated markers for when we should be concerned that a being is being murdered. I just have better reasons for mine ;) What are these mysterious moral issues that I am not addressing?You are rationalizing and using science to justify your rationalization of what is human and is not human. You establish a line and say we can kill it here but not after this point. I say that if it has the potential to be a living, breathing person then it should be treated as such.
I don't use potential at all, and don't really see the point in it. An embryo has potential to become a completely worthless human, miscarry, or even become a serial killer. Potential amounts to a whole buncha' 'what-if'.Any thing less is to deny the embryo/fetus the opportunity to live out a life. My point of view is "don't kill it, for he or she has the potential to do great things. You define the embryo as not human so it can be killed at the mother's whim.
You actually rely on degrees of potential, not simply potential. Every sperm and egg has a potential too, just to a lesser degree than an embryo. But consider that we can easily give that same potential to individual sperm and egg. We could make a machine that would automatically inject a single sperm into a single egg, basically giving equal potential to each sperm an egg that an embryo has... If left untouched, each sperm and each egg in the machine WILL become an embryo... is it wrong in your view to stop this machine or interfere with it once it has started? Would it be wrong to kill or remove one of the sperm cells that now have the same potential as a fertilized egg?
And I say the concerns of the mother (one who must give consent and permission for the embryo to make use of her body) outweigh the concerns of an non-sentient 'potential' human.For the record I do not say that personhood begins at conception. I say that they right to become a person begins at conception and only nature can take that right away. The moral and ethical thing to do is to let that clump of cells develop to it's fullest potential.
There is no such a thing as a bargain with nature. We use our brains, our reason, and intellect to gain relief from the realities of nature... whose truly neutral 'whims' would dispense unimaginable suffering upon us, or dispose of us all just as soon as it would allow some well-being and comfort to come our way.. there is no bargain.. there is only what nature throws at us, and our adaptations to its challenges ... and whether its us or the cockroach that survives, it is of no worry of nature.The embryo was created by the mutual sharing of DNA between, more often than not, to consenting individuals who knew the potential out come of their actions was a child. They willingly rolled the biological dice and created life. Now they have the responsibility to keep the bargain they made with nature and take care of the developing human at least until he or she is born.
Thanks to our interfering with nature, we have surpassed what 'nature gave us' originally, and what the vast vast majority of our ancestors had to live with.... unimaginably high infant mortality rates, short lifespans (we'd all be dead by now), and many early deaths even compared with the short lifespans.. Women had to bear kids from puberty onward, and keep doing it till their death in their 20's just to make sure the human race survived.. Moral rules against abortion are a hold-over from such a world, but its not optimal for our well being today.
Why is this a bad thing? Stodgy old sexual morality is at work here... cause and effect of moral frameworks have been warped... this is what religion usually ends up doing to originally decent and beneficial moral rules. So many moral frameworks surround sex because of its potentially severe consequences.... that is, until those frameworks got enshrined in religion. Then people forget that the rules existed because of the consequences, and believe they exist for the pleasure of invisible deities. The perception changes so that people stop thinking that consequences of an act are a natural result of the potentially dangerous act itself, but as just punishments, and comeuppance for making some invisible guy unhappy. Once that happens, we have people doing crazy things like saying its wrong to lessen the life-shattering consequences of an act like sex.... cause' well... they deserve what they get! An example of this was those Christian groups who were opposed to giving their daughters the HPV vaccine... and of course the ever present resistance to birth control education and abortion... and in other circles some very self-righteous "I-told-you-so's", and "let-em-suffer's" in response to AIDS epidemics.Anything less is self-centered behavior out of control and to advocate such a position is to advocate freeing people from the consequences of their actions.
In the end, all this talk about consequence is a reminiscent of saying we need to make sure smoking always causes lung cancer, so that people finally learn not to smoke. I for one, would think it great if you could smoke healthy cigarettes.... and it would cease being a major problem if it had no, or few ill effects.