Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Why mastabation isn't mass murder

This blogpost was taken from my new personal blog here.

As someone who defends the pro-life position I'm often accused of believing absurd things that are often ascribed to me even though I don't believe anything of the sort. One common assertion thrown at me is that I believe that human sperm is also a subject of moral rights or as Monty Python put it, every sperm is sacred.

This is allegedly because I think that human life is morally valuable from fertilization in virtue of the sort of thing they are (a substance of rational nature) and therefore have certain moral rights (such as that not to be intentionally and unjustly killed) I must also believe that sperm and ovum have moral rights to. The logical conclusion is that I must believe that every-time someone masturbates they are committing something akin to mass murder or genocide.

Now I feel I have a certain obligation to the number of pro-life critics who more often than you would think seem to get mixed up what the pro-life position is, particularly between the difference between a part and its whole. Now, from conception/fertilization a new human organism comes into being, they may differ in regards to size, level of development, environment and their degree of dependency but they are a whole human being (or if you prefer a member of the human species). The pro-life position is not that a part of a human of itself has moral value, for instance a kidney or liver is a part of a human being but they are certainly not whole human beings. Of course they are genetically human but they do not function as a whole human organism but as a part of a whole human one. Gametes (sperm and ovum) are parts of a human being, they are not in themselves a whole human organism.

I suppose some of the confusion may arise from a misunderstanding of an argument from potential, that is some people think that the same sort of potential resides within a gamete cell as it does in the early human embryo. However this misunderstands two types of potential, active and passive.

Gametes have the sort of potential that ingredients have for making a cake, that is left by themselves they will not develop into a cake. However this is not analogous to the embryo which is already a whole, alive, self-directed developing human organism with all the ingredients mixed and in the oven. That is to say left by itself in the maternal environment it will continue to develop into a mature human being, however that is not the case for a gamete which left alone for a few days will cease to exist like any other human cell.

1 comment:

  1. masturbation is a very controversial topic, i hope we know the truth someday. SEE PHOTOS FROMM THE MAKING OF DR. MIKE MURDOCK'S INTERVIEW


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...