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  Topic: Life Doesn't Begin at Conception?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 31 2006,07:49   

PuckSR made an interesting analogy that has the added benefit of showing exactly why Thordaddy's whole line of reasoning is irrelevant (not that he hasn't be told that before):

When does a house become a house?
obviously as soon as they lay a foundation, we are building a house, and that foundation will become a house...but is it a house yet?  Obviously it becomes a house well before the  painters take care of the interior.  
Its also important to note that a house has major developments in its construction.
The foundation is important.  The framing is important.  putting the roof on is important.  closing the walls is important.  Its all important, but their isnt a single point of  "creation' for a house...its a process

As it happens, I have some familiarity with construction law. There are certain milestones in the construction of, say, a single-family dwelling (otherwise known as a "house"). One of these milestones is, as PuckSR pointed out, the pouring of the foundation. Interestingly, the pouring of the foundation is relatively insignificant legally. It's about as signficant legally as fertilization is (at least, for the moment; and if fertilization ever really does become important legally, it will be really fun watching how the medical profession becomes tasked with determining the exact moment of fertilization).

Another important milestone is the condition of weathertightness. At this point in the construction process, the exterior structure of the building is completed to the point where the interior is protected from the elements, and interior finishing can begin. In many instances, a condition of weathertightness still looks very unfinished to the untrained eye.

Another milestone is the point of substantial completion. At this point, the house is essentially finished, with just few minor punch-list items (missing outlet covers, a few nicks in the paint, missing light fixtures). Often, but not always, substantial completion is the point when the owner has beneficial occupancy of the house.

The point is, the owner's and contractor's legal rights and responsibilities differ at different points in this process. Kinda like what happens between conception and birth. Any reasonable person (a category that evidently does not include Thordaddy) understands that the legal rights of a fertilized egg are different from the legal rights of a third-trimester fetus. I think it's the ultimate in straw-man arguments to try to limit the possibilities for drawing the line dividing full human rights from lesser rights at either conception or birth. There's nine months' worth of development in between those points, where enormous changes occur.

It's the same kind of illogic that led to the Iraq war. The straw-man there was, either we invade and occupy Iraq, or we do nothing at all.

2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  239 replies since Mar. 30 2006,21:26 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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