Saturday, May 4, 2024

Embryos and fetuses are biologically alive: duh?

It is said that some people--some pro-choice people--deny that embryos and fetuses are biologically alive

I don't believe it. I think that when these people are asked about this issue, whether embryos and (beginning) fetuses are "alive" they are not thinking of "alive" in biological terms. 

They are thinking of "alive" in a manner akin to "alive in a morally significant way" or "living a life, with experiences": for example, "This man's body was biologically alive for 73 years, but his life ended decades before that: he was alive only for 34 years."

That "life" has multiple meanings or senses is well known to philosophers and healthcare providers who focus on end of life issues. I wrote about that in "When does life begin? When it comes to abortion, it depends on what you mean."

Anyway, I did a poll that suggested, contrary to what some pro-choice folks insist, few people deny that embryos and beginning fetuses are biologically alive. While 5% claimed they are not, nobody explained why they thought that, despite my asking. 

So, no, it does appear that most people agree that embryos and (beginning) fetuses are biologically alive. Does that make killing them wrong? No, of course not. 

@nathan.nobis Embryos are biologically alive, right? They aren't rocks, they aren't corpses, they aren't zombies. But just because something is biologically alive doesn't at all mean it's wrong to kill it. #abortion #prochoice #prolife #life ♬ original sound - Philosophy 101 - Prof. Nobis
@nathan.nobis Replying to @nathan.nobis Yes, embryos are biologically alive. Duh? #abortion #prochoice #prolife ♬ original sound - Philosophy 101 - Prof. Nobis