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When does life begin? As state laws define it, science, politics and religion clash

Can the government keep a patient on life support against his wishes, or force a woman to give birth? Can states bar their own residents from going to other states to end a pregnancy, or prohibit out-of-state patients from coming in to seek medically assisted death? And who gets to decide, particularly if the answer imposes a singular religious viewpoint?


TheoryNumber3 8 Dec 3

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As far as (Christian) religion goes, the bible says life beings with the first breath. Of course as most religious people never ctually read their holy books, they are ignorant of that.

The idea of life beginning with the first breath goes back further than the bible though to the ancient belief that the first breath, the breath of life, is when the spirit enters the body.

It is ironic that religion rejects science while at the same time uses science to try to define life as beginning before their holy book(s) says life begins.

In my opinion, the main reason why religion is against abortion and birth control, is that is hurts their future revenues. The most sure way for a church to grow its membership is for their members to have kids. It is much easier to indoctrinate children than it is to convert an adult. So, the more of their members who have kids, who get raised in a particular religion, the more members they tend ot have, and the higher the tithes (revenues/income).

The bible itself advocates that if a man thinks (not knows, but just thinks) his wife is pregnant by another man, then he can give her a potion to induce an abortion. So, from a religious standpoint, it isn't the life that is the most important thing to consider.

To me, the life that is already established takes priority over any possible potential life. It is a fact tht it is riskier to the life of the woman to carry a pregnancy full term than it is to have an abortion. I do not believe that anyone, including the government, has the right to force her to take on that additional risk to her life, no matter how small. It is her life and it should always be her decision.

It was just a century ago that women and children were treated as if they were the property of the husband or father, and it is difficult for us to get over the idea that women don't have to be subservient to and controlled by men. Telling women they have no choice about whether or not they have to carry a child to birth are primarily a carry over of those outdated concepts and attitudes.

Married or not, the man is just supplied the sperm. It won't be him who carries the child or takes on the increase risk to his life in order to do so.

Science is very convenient for the right when it actually supports their case. If it doesn't, religion picks up the ball.


Ross Douthat wrote a weak, uninteresting column in the NY Times today, regarding Canada's MAID laws ......the reader commenters ripped him pretty damn hard and fast.

Here in the US, the conservatives keep giving the gift that keeps on giving to Lawyers

twill Level 7 Dec 4, 2022

I do remember that song!! Thanks πŸ˜‰


First mistake is the word "life". When someone says where does life begin, they demonstrate a poor education in biology and must be asked to define life. The trick is to get them to say conception. This is when you point out that about 30% of fertilized eggs pass naturally; and therefore any intercourse which results in conception murders babies 30% of the time.

Damn predictive text.
Did you mean, conception?

@KKGator edited


So the deal is Life defined as human life? Dolphins not included? Koko the Gorilla's last words were: "Help Earth! Hurry!" Some primates have entered the Stone Age. Humans have never been top of the food chain. We're just another link. Even being an apex predator is no guarantee of Life for these critters:
Great White Shark
Polar Bear
Bald Eagle
Saltwater Crocodile
African Lion
What qualifies as Life for humans is in this quote:
"Humankind is the only virus cursed to live with the horrifying knowledge of it's host's fragile mortality."
Professor Arnold
Kingsman: The Secret Service

I donated a bunch of King size sheets to Koko. She loved hiding under them & playing with them. Remember All Ball as well.

Did you see this?

There is evidence that homo sapiens was not the first animal to use and control fire.




When you pay off your house.

So true


Whenever any woman decides it does, for herself.
Everyone else can butt right the fuck out.


The definition of life is very ambiguous. The separate egg and separate sperm can easily be defined as life separately. So who really decides when life begins? We do the best we can to decide, that’s it. Each individual and society has to do the best they can not to be too extreme on either side.

SalC Level 6 Dec 3, 2022

A priest, a vicar and a rabbi were discussing this question. The priest said life begins at conception. The vicar at birth or sometime before. Then the rabbi said you're both wrong. Life begins when the last of the kids goes to college and the dog dies.


When? It doesn't matter. Where life officially begins is wherever, within our republic, that a birth takes place. A certificate of live borth places a new life within our system of laws, and incidentally, citizenship. Before that event, the state has no purview unless invited by the mother.


When does life begin? Constantly. You your body creats millions of new cells every second. With the exception of viruses, all living things are made of cells. The first life on Earth began about 3.5 billion years ago, and was unicellular. Other characteristics of living things include response to stimuli, reproduction, metabolism, homeostasis, DNA, energy transformations, and death.

An equally important question is when does a human embryo or fetus become a person? IMHO, definitely not at conception. Not during the embryonic stage. Not for most of the fetal stage. Certainly not before viability. Probably not until birth.


Having your wishes for end of life documented is a gift to yourself and those that would be forced to make decisions if you are unable. The choice of hospital also matters as many more are Catholic owned than years ago and it influences the choices that are offered. Both of my parents had DNR documents that I gave copies of to the hospital and GP and both were given bracelets that stated so.

MizJ Level 8 Dec 3, 2022

These are good questions but politicians use the ignorance of the religious in order to get votes and get elected. We should not be forced by government to do anything against our own views of personage, health, and dignity.


The ancients had it right. When one draws their first breath.


How about if everybody Minds Their Own Business?

Anne, you're such a dreamer!!

@ThoryNumber3 soooo, you want me to burst into a modified iconic MLK famous speech, with small revisions, set to music? (I Can sing!)

Roe was based on the right to privacy which seems to be forgotten.

@AnneWimsey I'd join you, Anne, but Edith Bunker has a better singing voice than I do πŸ™‚

@MizJ They also forgot that Chief Justice Roberts, upon becoming Chief Justice, stated loudly and clearly that Roe v Wade is "Stare Decisis", settled law

@MizJ And struck down for the same. Uncle Thomas said no such right exists in the Constitution. Seems the kids have some work to do.

@Mooolah Will be interesting to see what happens when he has to decide marriage decisions.


At 40.

skado Level 9 Dec 3, 2022

Give that man 50 silver dollars!!

@TheoryNumber3 A Dr. I.Q. fan.

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