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Butterflies and Persons

FutureIncoming

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The phrase "stage of development" is popular with abortion opponents. They seem to think it doesn't matter. But they need to think again!

When two butterflies produce a fertilized egg, it is just that, a fertilized egg. So far as I know, there is no-one insisting that it should be called a "butterfly".

When two human persons produce a fertilized egg, contained inside a woman, it is just that, a fertilized egg, having the special name of "zygote". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a "person".

The butterfly egg is a shell that contains a developing life-form. When that life-form emerges it is called a "caterpillar". So far as I know, there is no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

A human zygote spends some time developing inside a kind-of shell known as the "zona pellucida". When that life-form emerges it is called a "blastocyst". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

The caterpillar goes through some growth stages that can be distinguished from each other by a "molting event". The result isn't so obviously different from before, that other specialized names have been needed, so it is still called a caterpillar. So far as I know, there is still no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

A human blastocyst is a mass of unspecialized cells, and it goes through a growth stage in which those cells specialize to form specific body-parts (like legs) and organs (like intestines). The result is significantly different, physically, and so it is called an "embryo". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

Eventually the caterpillar goes through a very specialized development stage, for which it prepares by creating a cocoon. During this stage it is called a "pupa". So far as I know, there is still no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

After a human embryo more-or-less finishes the process of converting unspecialized cells into specialized cells, all the different body-parts need to develop into their final forms. During this time the human entity is called a "fetus". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

Finally the pupa emerges from its container, and now everyone calls it a butterfly.

Finally a human fetus emerges from its container, and now everyone calls it a person.

What was that so-called "rationale" by which abortion opponents insist that the stage of development doesn't matter? It would be pure Stupid Hypocrisy (there is no such thing as "intelligent hypocrisy") to insist that humans at every early stage must be called persons, while never insisting that various eggs, caterpillars and pupae must be called butterflies. For some reason, however, abortion opponents never seem to have a problem exhibiting Stupid Hypocrisy.
 
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GEIxBattleRifle

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The phrase "stage of development" is popular with abortion opponents. They seem to think it doesn't matter. But they need to think again!

When two butterflies produce a fertilized egg, it is just that, a fertilized egg. So far as I know, there is no-one insisting that it should be called a "butterfly".

When two human persons produce a fertilized egg, contained inside a woman, it is just that, a fertilized egg, having the special name of "zygote". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a "person".

The butterfly egg is a shell that contains a developing life-form. When that life-form emerges it is called a "caterpillar". So far as I know, there is no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

A human zygote spends some time developing inside a kind-of shell known as the "zona pellucida". When that life-form emerges it is called a "blastocyst". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

The caterpillar goes through some growth stages that can be distinguished from each other by a "molting event". The result isn't so obviously different from before, that other specialized names have been needed, so it is still called a caterpillar. So far as I know, there is still no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

A human blastocyst is a mass of unspecialized cells, and it goes through a growth stage in which those cells specialize to form specific body-parts (like legs) and organs (like intestines). The result is significantly different, physically, and so it is called an "embryo". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

Eventually the caterpillar goes through a very specialized development stage, for which it prepares by creating a cocoon. During this stage it is called a "pupa". So far as I know, there is still no-one insisting that it should be called a butterfly.

After a human embryo more-or-less finishes the process of converting unspecialized cells into specialized cells, all the different body-parts need to develop into their final forms. During this time the human entity is called a "fetus". Over here in the midst of the Overall Abortion Debate Debate, lots of folks insist that it should be called a person.

Finally the pupa emerges from its container, and now everyone calls it a butterfly.

Finally a human fetus emerges from its container, and now everyone calls it a person.

What was that so-called "rationale" by which abortion opponents insist that the stage of development doesn't matter? It would be pure Stupid Hypocrisy (there is no such thing as "intelligent hypocrisy") to insist that humans at every early stage must be called persons, while never insisting that various eggs, caterpillars and pupae must be called butterflies. For some reason, however, abortion opponents never seem to have a problem exhibiting Stupid Hypocrisy.
In that "SLED" argument some use, they try to argue that size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency shouldnt be used to determine personhood. However, those who have debated personhood for years in other categories like ETs and AIs, agree that mental characteristics make that person/non person distinction which is tied in with level of development for biological creatures.
 

FutureIncoming

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In that "SLED" argument some use, they try to argue that size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency shouldnt be used to determine personhood. However, those who have debated personhood for years in other categories like ETs and AIs, agree that mental characteristics make that person/non person distinction which is tied in with level of development for biological creatures.
My question was semi-rhetorical. Choosing to accept the claim that personhood can be assigned at birth (and note I didn't say what sort of personhood; legal personhood is different from scientific personhood) allowed me to explore a reason why "level of development" can matter. To say it doesn't matter is to say that fertilized butterfly eggs must be called "butterflies"! The overall point is to expose a Stupid Hypocrisy of abortion opponents (and if it isn't already in my "Hypocrisies of Abortion Opponents" article at the fightforsense blog, I'll be adding it in due course).
 
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