When Does “Personhood” Begin?

Life may begin at conception because there is irritable matter in an interaction. That is, matter that has the power to respond to some stimulating other matter, either to push back against another detested force or welcome a desired or compatible force. Life is not “personhood” until that matter organizes itself and becomes viable, capable of life or normal growth and development. At conception, that may be a possibility, but personhood is not a given, an absolutely predictable state of being, especially, particularly, peculiarly during its time in the womb. It takes a birth to verify personhood, acceding to citizenship, a legal name and certified. (Actually, the neonate must still take some time to establish a known personhood in its ego. But that’s another matter of matter.) There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.

There are people who want to endow matter in the womb with personhood before that matter has been tested for viability, before individuality has been certified. I think there must be religious or spiritual ideologies that have come pressing down on mothers and doctors dictating their actions. Someone is saying “I have a right to that life you are bearing. That is the right to life that I have over your life. Your life and that growing life inside you is not your own. AND THAT CARRIES BACK TO THE MOMENT YOU AND YOUR PARTNER CONCEIVED THAT PERSON. AND WE CALL IT A PERSON BECAUSE THAT ENDOWS IT WITH THE SAME VIABILITY THAT WE AND I HAVE NOW. OUR CALLING IT SO, MAKES IT SO.”

Yeah. Sure.

Abortion does not end the life of an “individual” human being with “personhood”, only matter with viability pending and personhood to be acquired later through experience of the outside world-environment.

I am sure the court cases will have a difficult time resolving those critical definitions. If they are loaded with one ideology or another, and not justices who are capable of dispassionate reasoning, balancing all the alternatives carefully, seeing the philosophy and science for the greater good of future life on Earth, then the issue will continue plaguing society with murders of doctors rendering that medical service that hinges on the individual case with no guidelines for general practice.

To me, the issue can easily be resolved as a private case between doctor and patient, those closest to the individual situation. That is one of the ultimate freedoms of living in a democratic (free) society, free of the totalitarian tendencies of individuals or groups of individuals with an ideology that assume and empower a superior and infallible knowledge through the law of the hammer.

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One Comment

  1. Nice articles & Good a site….


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