Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A brainy answer to the abortion debate

First order of business now that I've resumed posting: bring some depth to the abortion post, which has been bothering me ever since I posted it.

Kolmogorov, whose blog I stumbled across while reading The Fray at slate.com, points out that all human cells, even skin cells, are human and grow, which quickly dismantles my 2 sentence argument that embryos are human life. He suggests, instead, that the presence of brain activity be the criterion for life, just as its absence is the criterion we use for death:

If there is "brain death", so also there must be "brain birth". Just as we look for electrical signals to indicate that brain death has occurred, so we could, and should, look for electrical signals to see if brain birth has occurred. And that's exactly my position in the abortion debate. It's a position almost everyone misses, but I think it is the only remotely principled position one can take.


Makes sense to me. In responding to comments, Kolmogorov mentions that his position doesn't get him out of the woods with Christians, who that human life begins when God endows something with a soul. But I'm comfortable with the brain-life stance he takes.

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