Is the Fetus a Person? / Caterpillars and Butterflies

I had philosophy discussion this morning with my classmates and TA about abortion.

All the arguments we learned about in lecture failed to answer whether or not a fetus is a person.

On that topic, I compared the fetus to a caterpillar and people to butterflies. I said this: “If we saw a caterpillar, some of us feel okay with killing it. But if we all saw butterflies, none of us would want to kill them. Why are the lives of butterflies valued much more than caterpillars? Why are the lives of fetuses valued less than people’s lives?”

Apparently, I’m not the only one who used that analogy! I just Googled my analogy, and found it mentioned on the NCBI site:

The term “potential” as it is being used in this essay is not meant to describe mere possibility, i.e., X has the potential to achieve Y does not just mean X may possibly attain Y. If that were what was meant by potential, it would be very weak indeed. A seed would not just be a potential flower or plant, but also a potential food or a potential material for an art project. A kitten would not just be a potential cat, but also a potential delicacy at some restaurant, or a potential fur coat. Rather, potential, in the way I am using it here and the way I assume most advocates of the argument from potential use the concept, refers to, as Stephen Buckle puts it, a certain being’s “potency… the power it [actually] possesses in virtue of its specific constitution” [4] to grow into a being of a certain sort. That is, X is a potential Y if X possesses the power to become Y; that X will become Y, if it lives long enough. In this way, a caterpillar is a potential butterfly (since it possesses the power to become a butterfly; it will become a butterfly if it lives long enough), as a child is a potential adult. A fetus is a potential person in this way; a fetus may not just possibly become a person, it will become a person, if its growth is unfettered and if it lives long enough.

So, during lecture, my professor talked about how comparing two similar things or beings isn’t good enough to make a strong argument because being “like” something doesn’t imply that it “is” that thing, and therefore it doesn’t necessarily have the same characteristics and rights as that thing it is being compared to.

I skimmed through the NCBI argumentative paper, and I found some pretty interesting points that weren’t discussed in class.

I’m gonna give my thoughts for each section of the paper here in my blog post.

I can harm the future person that the fetus becomes if I do something now against the fetus, for example, I can administer to a pregnant woman a drug that would result in the fetus’ eyes not developing correctly, thereby blinding the future person that develops from the fetus. That is, once the fetus is born there is an individual (the subsequent infant, child, and adult) who is substantially worse off than she otherwise would have been had the development of her eyes not been interfered with while in the fetal stage. But notice, the objection continues, that this is not what happens when we are talking about abortion. If a fetus is aborted, what we are doing is preventing the existence of a future person rather than partaking in a current action that will result in a harm for a future person. Thus, when we abort the fetus, we are really harming no currently existing being and we are doing nothing but preventing the existence of a future being. Whereas if we thwart the development of a fetus’ eyes, we are, thereby, truly harming someone: the future person that will be blinded as a result, granting that the fetus is allowed to be born and grow up.

Wow, I didn’t think of this scenario. I can see how if someone wants to abort a baby but can’t pay for a proper abortion, then that person is essentially harming the fetus and ruining the fetus’ future health condition.

Nothing I have said in this paper necessarily grounds a position that abortion is always morally wrong or unjust (which is why I keep referring as the fetal moral right to life as a prima facie right). Even though potential can ground an interest in continued existence for an early embryo or mid-gestation fetus, depending on what theory of personal identity one adheres, we still have to contend with Thomsonian-like objections which state that a fetus’ moral right to life does not entail a woman’s obligation to sacrifice her body in order to gestate it for nine months [51]. Nevertheless, I believe I have demonstrated why potential does matter, and I hope to have also illustrated that perhaps the major disagreement about this issue has more of its roots in the metaphysical question of personal identity that has previously been acknowledged.

Bruh. Okay. I skipped to the conclusion section of the paper, and I’m disappointed. My professor talked about the Thomsonian theory. A woman may not be obligated to let the fetus live according to the theory, but killing or aborting the fetus is murder.

I don’t have much time left to analyze any more paragraphs from the essay. I guess the last thing I’ll say is this: If abortion is considered murder, then oooohhhhh boy, a lot of people are gonna be killed over abortion – including the mothers, doctors, and anyone else who approved the action. Imagine what the world’s population would be like if abortionists were killed.

Re: “… I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”


There are those that empathize others without putting in the effort to totally understand them, and those who wish that they really understand who they are empathizing.

Being one of those types of people is alright; it is only human to value each other’s lives.

However, it is outright inhumane to simplify other people’s life stories.

Despite the good intention behind Ms. Lena Dunham’s comment (to relate to women who had gone through abortion such as her mother and friends), her trifling comment implies that it is easy for anyone (including herself) to understand the emotional turmoil and stressful decisions that abortionists dealt with through impregnating oneself and signing the paperworks.

I hope that Ms. Dunham realizes that putting oneself into the shoes of others only makes you relatable to who you are mirroring on the outside, not inside.

Although I believe that killing people (including unborn babies) is never morally justifiable, I also believe that people have the right to control their lives.

I may not go through great lengths to understand abortionists, but I care about them and am trying to reflect my sympathy through this blog post.

I pray that those who are contemplating on and have decided on what to do with their child(ren) the very best.

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“2 + 2 = 5”

In this post, I share my thoughts on the false mathematical expression “2 + 2 = 5” and other similar quotes.

 

People are brainwashed into believing in obviously false dogmas.

 

The price of liberty, opposition, and submission is hefty.

 

There is a relationship between beliefs, knowledge, and truths.

 

Social structures affect an individual, and vice-versa.

 


 

These messages are nothing new; they have constantly echoed in everyone’s lives throughout history. Yet, alas, not everyone is either heedful and/or vehemently serious about those messages. People who possess neither of those characteristics incite injustice and exploitation in the world; consequentially, they also provoke those who think otherwise to affirm the significance of acknowledging oppressors on attaining a truelive livelihood.

 


 

In this post, I share my thoughts on both the freedom fighters and suppressors who challenged the mathematically false statement “2 + 2 = 5”.

 


(To learn more about the short film, click here.)

This short film first introduced a chatty classroom at an all-boys school. That scene not only shows viewers what a classroom is usually like without a teacher, but to also shows them what the world would look like without oppressive authorities and structures: happy and free.

Then, the ambience of the school suddenly changed after the teacher walked into the classroom and the headmaster spoke through the intercom. Not only did fear and silence fill the environment, but everyone became divided with the headmaster and the teacher as the formidable superiors, and the students as the meek, acquiescent inferiors. This superior-subordinate relationship represents how people abide to the unspoken and seemingly indisputable rules of respect for their superiors.

When the teacher wrote down the invalid expression “2 + 2 = 5” on the chalkboard, the students murmured out of confusion. Despite knowing the actual answer to “2 + 2”, the students became too afraid to say it after their teacher sternly said: “Silence! We will have order in the classroom! This is today’s first lesson.” The students must be so disheartened to voice how absurd the math lesson is knowing that the teacher and possibly their peers see the lesson as something sensible instead.

The first rebellious student shed some hope for his peers to defend the truth and people’s freedom of expression, but that hope quickly died out when he gave up on arguing with the teacher. Like that student, there are others in life that lack the confidence to continue the fight that they initiated or chose to participate in. His weak fight may have failed at stopping the teacher, but it was enough to inspire another student to rebel.

The second rebellious student was much more defensive than the first one. Although the teacher and some students urged him to abide by the rules, he took precedence of himself over others. Very few people in the world have the guts to act on their beliefs, especially when their lives are at stake.

Strangely, the upperclassmen students aimed invisible weapons at the second rebellious student. The weapons were probably invisible to show the viewers that if the children came across them again, they would not be able to identify them as weapons and know how to use such advanced technology.

The execution of the second rebellious student happened within the classroom in order to ingrain fear for authorities into the students, and to show the students that immediate and harsh punishments are given to those who defy the system. That scene seems to mirror other public executions, especially those ordered by Kim Jong Un.

Unfortunately, that event influenced the third rebellious student to silently hold onto his freedom of thought. He may not have completely surrendered to the authorities, but he did surrender some of his independence. He and the other students are examples of how most people are more concerned about surviving than living.

 


 

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic. I’d love to read them.

Microsoft’s Grocery-List Helper

Microsoft and Liebherr are making an internet-connected, smart refrigerator device that reminds people what they need at the market.

The device will be able to recognize milk cartons, ketchup bottles, and other foods and drinks inside the fridge.

It will also keep an inventory list that can be accessed through an app.

25 Things I Learned From Hitler

 

1. You think you’re right, but you’re actually wrong.

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2. Dab.

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3. There’s no future in being an artist.

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4. Your religious affiliation doesn’t totally define who you are.

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5. People can’t be controlled unless they allow it.

 

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6. Speak loud and proud (especially without a microphone).

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7. Stand straight and tall.

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8. The more you tell a lie, the more it seems truthful to people including yourself.

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9. One man can change the world.

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10. Anyone can be a politician.

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11. There are those who treat people as expendable.

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12. Never underestimate anything. Always overestimate everything.

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13. Trust nothing and no one.

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14. No matter how much power one man can hold, he’s not God.

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15. You can have a heart and be heartless.

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16. You are the author of your life.

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17. Dress how you want people to view you.

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18. Feel free to dress comfortably, but only look ridiculous privately.

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19. Even when the whole world is against you, you do you.

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20. Live by your own rules.

 

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21. Nobody’s perfect, but you can make yourself seem perfect.

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22. Your dreams can put you to sleep… for good.

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23. Whatever thought comes into your mind, there’s always someone out there who shares that same thought with you.

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24. Let your imagination run wild.

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25. You won’t always get rewarded for your accomplishments (especially if you’ve done more harm than good).

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“Heartless” Humans

People can live without human hearts.

Here are some amazing people who lived without human hearts to circulate their blood.

People can live without hearts.

Here are some amazing people who lived without human hearts to circulate their blood.

 


 

Henry Opitek

He’s a man who used what is considered to be the world’s first mechanical heart.

In 1952, Mr. Opitek was suffering from a shortness of breath and chest pains.

A doctor developed Dodill-GMR – an external machine that allows doctors to detour blood and stop the heart of a patient during an operation. was used on a patient to restore his breathing pattern.

He died in 1981 – 29 years after the operation.

 


 

Craig Lewis

He’s the first man to have his heart replaced with mechanical pumps.

In 2011, Mr. Lewis was dying from amyloidosis – a rare autoimmune disease that causes rapid heart, kidney, and liver failure with a viscous protein.

Two doctors knew that a pacemaker won’t help him, and decided to test a device that can help circulate blood without replicating pulses. The prototype device is a combination of two modified pumps. So far, Mr. Lewis is the only person to have benefitted from this device.

He died five weeks after the operation.

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Jakub Halik

He’s the second man to undergo the procedure.

In 2012, when he was brought into the hospital, doctors found an aggressive tumor growing inside his heart. Doctors also told him that he wouldn’t survive a heart transplant because the drugs he would have to take afterwards are ineffective with his cancer.

Mr. Halik was given two battery-powered 20-cm pumps with propellers that spin at 10,000 rpm. Also, like the device implanted in Mr. Lewis, the pumps cannot replicate pulses.

He died six months after the operation.

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25 Important Things I Learned From “Mulan”

“Mulan” taught me a lot of things.


1. Not everyone can or will want to see the real you.

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2. Beauty is skin-deep.

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3. Love comes in many forms, in unexpected times, and from unexpected places.

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4. There’s a price for freedom.

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5. Don’t belittle your small accomplishments. Be grateful for them because they’re still accomplishments.

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6. Plan ahead and improvise when all else fails.

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7. No matter how much you’re dying on the inside, life goes on and you have to keep on living.

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8. True friends are your guardians.

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9. Be someone worth fighting for.

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10. Make friends who will make you stronger.

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11. The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.

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12. You don’t always get what you deserve and ask for. So, just make-do with whatever you have.

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13. Sometimes, you have to give up something to get something.

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14. Learn to change.

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15. Don’t worry about what others believe in.

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16. Don’t be afraid to take chances, even if they seem like they’re slim-to-none.

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17. Things that seem bad are not necessarily bad. Same thing goes for the good things in life.

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18. Be true to yourself and to the world.

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19. There’s nothing wrong with being different. Besides, that’s what makes you special and unique.

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20. No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.

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21. The greatest rewards in life are intangible.

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22. It’s okay to lie for the right reasons.

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23. The truth will make itself known eventually.

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24. No matter how ugly the truth is, accept it.

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25. The dead are remembered for a while, and then forgotten.

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