Since I'm snowed in, I thought I would start a series of posts (now instead of later) that will consist of an email conversation I had with "ThiZ", an atheist who writes from Colorado (each post will begin with my email and end with hers). It regards beginning of human life issues, mainly abortion and embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). I think it was a fruitful discussion in which I learned some new things about a unique perspective.
Enjoy! I surely did.
I have a question: As a thinking person who used to be a zygote, do you think abortion and/or ESCR are immoral/unethical? (I didn't get a hit with an "abortion" search of your site.)
Greetings Mr. gbm3,
I apologize profusely for my tardiness, as you may have noticed by the great length between blog posts, I have been indisposed for several weeks.
My answer to your question is a rather complicated one, and worthy of discussion and perhaps a post of its own, however, I will attempt to give you the best quick answer I can.
I am a strong supporter of stem cell research, but only so long as the cells in question are just that, stem cells. I'm actually more upset when the created zygotes (human OR animal) are allowed to actually differentiate and grow, only to be killed because they are no longer useful.
Additionally, while I do advocate the use of the morning-after pill and do not believe abortion should be outlawed, I still wish it wasn't necessary. Yes, "necessary", certainly not under all circumstances, not even close, but I truly do believe there are times when there is no other option.
When I consider the actual processes of fetal development, I find it remarkable, beautiful even. I don't like to think of it being interrupted, not for any religious reasons, but simply because life itself, is so amazing. However, if there is a chance that a child, or an animal, will only experience pain when it enters this world, if would be unwanted, hurt, or abandoned, then I would rather see the whole thing stopped before it can even begin, because once it is, it's BRILLIANT.
If you want to see to fascinating studies regarding what we do as early as 30 weeks in, check out this article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090715074924.htm from Science News. Also, here's an abstract about how we first learn taste for certain flavors: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/107/6/e88.
I hope this email has answered your questions, at least partially. If you have any more, please don't hesitate to write again. I hope you enjoy the articles