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Sunday, December 09, 2012

When Is A Question Not A Question?

When does Life begin?

If there is a "spiritual" marker  -  such as, say, the moment when a newly conceived human life receives a soul  -  and yet that event is hidden from us, then the question above is equivalent to "When may we see that which we may not under any circumstances see?"
As such, it is not a question, but a contradiction with a "?" at the end.

If there is no "spiritual" marker, then everything depends upon a functional definition of "beginning of life". This would seem to be open to an unlimited number of subjective definitions, and the question above is seen to be equivalent to asking for a consensus opinion, which in itself may become obsolete in time and practice... have we not seen the consensus of time of death involved in organ donation become suspect due to supplies and demands?
Or the question may be equivalent to "Pick the one white marble out of a bag containing an infinite number of marbles." coupled with a suspicion that somehow some undefined force will guide our hand unerrantly in this choice.
At this point, it is no longer a matter of defining life, but of defining the force which encompasses the entire process of question and marble-picking. At this point, the original question is seen to be not the "real" question after all.

This type of things hurts the head on a Sunday morning.

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