"To Be or Not To Be"
#5
(05-16-2010, 12:42 AM)INPEFESS Wrote:
(05-15-2010, 10:01 AM)Lagrange Wrote: It's late and I haven't read your essay in detail, but I'll comment on your preliminary considerations.

- The most common objection to my claim is that, given my distinction, there is no difference between the potentiality of a developing fetus and that of a sperm approaching the egg moments before conception. What these people don't know is their objection is perfectly legitimate; I oppose contraception from the natural law for the same reason as I have opposed abortion in this article. Of course, these philosophers would expect me to support contraception from the natural law.

Are you doing that just for the sake of argument? Because the actual reasons why contraception is immoral and why abortion is immoral are distinct. Contraception as such is not murder. Abortion is. It's true that both cases involve the illicit frustration of potentiality, but the potentiality is of two different sorts. . One involves the frustration of an existing life (through killing, thus halting further development). The other (contraception) involves frustrating the means by which a life comes into existence.

Thank you for your post. You bring up some good points.

A closer examination of this distinction shows that, if potentiality is the morally significant condition, then what's the difference between the potentiality before conception and that after conception? From the perspective of potentiality, there isn't much of a difference between the sperm just before it enters the egg and the sperm after it has combined with the egg. Why is the fusion of them morally significant from the potentiality perspective when both situations - both just before conception and just after - have the same potential? If you leave the sperm to its natural potential, unless frustrated, it will bond with the egg and yield the same potential traits as would be produced just after. They are both natural and both imminent. They will both yield the same results regardless of what stage they are in. If you argue that the actual fusioin is somehow morally significant, then you have to create some argument for the sacredness of the human chromosomes. That is easier said than done. I will address the rest of your post when I have a chance...

A sperm and egg on their own are only potentially a human. When fusion occurs, the egg and sperm are no longer simply egg and sperm, but united become a human organism (or life). If the practical exhibition of rational activity is what you refer to, then yes, 'potentiality' applies equally to both. However, rationality is intrinsic within a human organism (i.e.: from conception) in a way that it is not intrinsic in a sperm and egg considered separately. This is because, from conception, a human life begins. And for matter to be organic, it requires a soul (its substantial form). Now whatever is constitutive of the substantial form (in our case, a rational soul --- rationality) can be predicated of the thing which is animated by the substantial form, i.e.: an embryo is a rational animal by the very fact it is a human life, informed by a rational soul.

It is morally significant because because we are dealing with a human life from conception. A rational animal exists from this point --- not from the point where actual rational activity starts occurring (say around 7 years of age).
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Messages In This Thread
"To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-13-2010, 09:10 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-15-2010, 10:01 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Vetus Ordo - 05-15-2010, 01:11 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 12:42 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-16-2010, 03:59 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:06 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:20 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-16-2010, 10:47 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-17-2010, 01:38 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-17-2010, 09:01 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-17-2010, 05:09 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-18-2010, 08:34 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-20-2010, 10:46 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-23-2010, 03:45 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-23-2010, 01:36 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-23-2010, 01:37 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Lagrange - 05-23-2010, 10:19 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-24-2010, 08:31 AM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-24-2010, 08:03 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 04:08 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by Historian - 05-27-2010, 05:21 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:41 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:46 PM
Re: "To Be or Not To Be" - by INPEFESS - 05-27-2010, 05:51 PM



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