Night Owl Mk. II

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Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.

Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.

My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).

(R) It should be obvious to any thoughtful netizen that life begins not at conception but at the moment of birth. Abortion is only the denial of an animal's potential birth.
(MB) "Life" is one of those terms that, in this case, is somewhat imprecisely defined. The moment of conception is certainly the start of the existence of a living thing whose continued existence is entirely dependent upon the mother. "Human life", on the other hand, is always spoken of as being somehow different from that of any other living species. When "human life" begins is the big question suffused through this issue.
    Certainly the transition from "fetus" to "human being" occurs at the moment of birth -- whether that birth occurs after the normal nine months or at some earlier point of gestation. Since abortion occurs before birth, I find it difficult to buy the charge that it kills human beings.

(R) At the time of birth as many as 1000 souls have been known to hover about the fetus trying to decide which of them will be the most perfect fit. If none of them chose the vehicle we have the result of a stillborn infant.
(MB) I'm sure that this would be major news in the medical community. To my knowledge, there has been no demonstrated evidence for even *one* soul, much less 1000.

(R) Until the general public is made more aware of Karma and reincarnation, debates about the morality or immorality of abortion will continue to exist.
(MB) Karma should have nothing to do with this. According to the Buddhists, it would only be present after birth. Reincarnation might be an issue if the strange concept of recyclable souls could be demonstrated to have some validity.

(R) Perhaps another thousand years or so will clear up this problem.
(MB) At the rate that our intellectual enlightenment is improving, I'd say that your prediction is very likely to come true. It may not take anywhere close to a thousand years, either.

(R) There is no more harm done in aborting a fetus than there is drowning a litter of kittens that are not needed or wanted.
(MB) While, on the surface, this would be true, I doubt that there are many people who might accept that comparison from a purely emotional point of view. However, truth is not always pretty or comforting.

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