Posted inDeep Dive

Who or what is a person? Elephants, A.I., abortion, and personhood

Reading Time: 4 minutes The question of personhood is central to a variety of current controversies. American courts recently considered the question of whether elephants are persons. Google fired an engineer for suggesting that a machine is sentient. And the U.S. Supreme Court argued that Roe v. Wade failed to adequately consider fetal personhood. These disputes involve a conflict […]

Posted inLaw

What does being a ‘person’ do?

Reading Time: 8 minutes In 2008, a Macedonian court found a bear guilty of damaging beehives. Since it had no owner and belonged to a protected species, the state was made to pay the fine instead. Legal history abounds with stories of animal trials, especially in the Middle Ages and early Enlightenment, when both secular and Ecclesiastical variants played […]

Posted inPhilosophy

Responding to Wilcox #5: When Is a Human a Human Being?

Reading Time: 9 minutes This is the fifth piece in series debating Clinton Wilcox at the Life Training Institute (a pro-life organisation) with the following chronology: JP: Abortion: The Human/Human Being Distinction CW: About the Alleged Human/Human Being Distinction CW: About the Alleged Human/Human Being Distinction, Part 2 JP: Pro-Life Debate: Answering Criticisms on the Human/Human Being Distinction JP: Responding to Wilcox #2: “An […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

Personhood vs Bodily Autonomy – the Central Arguments of Pro-Life Advocacy

Reading Time: 2 minutes Anthrotheist made a strong point on another thread concerning what the central argument should be in the abortion debate: The abortion debate isn’t about personhood or whether or not a nonviable fetus is a human being. That angle is purely a red herring introduced by the pro-life movement to distract people from the fact that they are […]

Posted inPhilosophy

Abortion: The Human/Human Being Distinction

Reading Time: 13 minutes Every abortion kills an innocent human being…. Biology shows that a “ZEF” (Zygote, Embryo, Fetus – the three distinct prenatal developmental stages) is, in fact, a distinct, unique and individual human being…. The issue at hand is when we are considered human beings. That question can be answered by biology… -Mark Bradshaw The question remains, though, […]

Posted inEthics and Morality, Philosophy

“Morally Benign” Children and Human Sacrifice

Reading Time: 4 minutes Well, extra points for trying to shoehorn in weird blog titles, I guess. So, yesterday I talked about how children are often more “idealistic” and “morally benign”. I will admit that the use of the term “morally benign” was at best nuanced and unexplained, and at worst rushed. The question is, can children even be properly moral? This […]

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