by Bill Zettler
Who are you? What defines your being?
In metaphysics that question is part of ontology, the nature of being. Brown eyes, brown hair, the mole on your back, good at math, bad at grammar, what defines you as a person, defines your uniqueness?
Twelve billion linked chemicals called nucleotides define you. Those 12 billion chemicals are better known as your DNA and your DNA is defined at conception. The DNA at conception is the same DNA at birth. There is no difference….


Would you look at a day old baby and say, “I know you don’t understand and you are helpless and cannot speak for yourself but we passed a law that says we can use your DNA and we need your liver. Sorry”.
Of course no one would do that and everyone would find that morally reprehensible but that valuable, 1 day old liver came from the same DNA that was there at conception. A day old baby is just the 9-month manifestation of the same DNA represented in the embryo. Embryonic stem cell research simply sidetracks that 9-month manifestation for the benefit for someone else. Whether you take those liver cells 8 weeks after conception or 8 weeks after birth the unique human essence, the DNA, is the same.
Chimpanzee embryos have 97% the same DNA as humans and that’s why they are not human. Human embryos have 100% the same DNA and that’s why they are human.
If human embryos are not human then how is it possible that their parts are of value to other humans? Chimpanzee embryos would not be of value would they?
Is a fetus 8 months and 29 days a human? I know of no one who would dispute that point.
So count backwards a day at a time. How about an hour at a time? A minute?
What if you count backwards a nanosecond at a time? A nanosecond is a billionth of a second, an instant almost immeasurable but a progression of time nonetheless. Where is that nanosecond, that immeasurable instant that becomes the moral boundary between life and death, between moral and immoral?
Can you choose the nanosecond when a fetus is human and the previous nanosecond when it is not human? Because that is really the choice you have to make if you believe a fetus at 8 months and 29 days is a human life.
I did that, counted backwards in my mind, and as the nanoseconds ticked off I found I could not choose that instant, that moral demarcation between life and death and morality and immorality. The nanosecond I ended with was prior to conception. All other choices were impossible.
You will have to choose your own moral nanosecond. Where will it be?
Bill Zettler
Who are you? What defines your being?
In metaphysics that question is part of ontology, the nature of being. Brown eyes, brown hair, the mole on your back, good at math, bad at grammar, what defines you as a person, defines your uniqueness?
Twelve billion linked chemicals called nucleotides define you. Those 12 billion chemicals are better known as your DNA and your DNA is defined at conception. The DNA at conception is the same DNA at birth. There is no difference. Would you look at a day old baby and say, “I know you don’t understand and you are helpless and cannot speak for yourself but we passed a law that says we can use your DNA and we need your liver. Sorry”.
Of course no one would do that and everyone would find that morally reprehensible but that valuable, 1 day old liver came from the same DNA that was there at conception. A day old baby is just the 9-month manifestation of the same DNA represented in the embryo. Embryonic stem cell research simply sidetracks that 9-month manifestation for the benefit for someone else. Whether you take those liver cells 8 weeks after conception or 8 weeks after birth the unique human essence, the DNA, is the same.
Chimpanzee embryos have 97% the same DNA as humans and that’s why they are not human. Human embryos have 100% the same DNA and that’s why they are human.
If human embryos are not human then how is it possible that their parts are of value to other humans? Chimpanzee embryos would not be of value would they?
Is a fetus 8 months and 29 days a human? I know of no one who would dispute that point.
So count backwards a day at a time. How about an hour at a time? A minute?
What if you count backwards a nanosecond at a time? A nanosecond is a billionth of a second, an instant almost immeasurable but a progression of time nonetheless. Where is that nanosecond, that immeasurable instant that becomes the moral boundary between life and death, between moral and immoral?
Can you choose the nanosecond when a fetus is human and the previous nanosecond when it is not human? Because that is really the choice you have to make if you believe a fetus at 8 months and 29 days is a human life.
I did that, counted backwards in my mind, and as the nanoseconds ticked off I found I could not choose that instant, that moral demarcation between life and death and morality and immorality. The nanosecond I ended with was prior to conception. All other choices were impossible.
You will have to choose your own moral nanosecond. Where will it be?

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