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.

“Things I Learned In College” (#1): How To Use My Smartphone

I can’t stop thinking about the funny and hard things I learned at my previous college.

Sometimes, I wish I learned these things earlier.

*Sigh* Well, at least it’s a good thing that I learned them.


 

#1 How to use a smartphone

No joke. I got a smartphone as my high school graduation present.

At first, the smartphone felt huuuge in my small hands compared to my first cellphone.

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New phone (Samsung) vs. old phone (Nokia)

It took me forever (the entire freshman year of college) to learn how to use a smartphone. (And I’m still learning how to use it as I continue to update it.)

I feel bad for all my family and friends who had to put-up with me trying to use my phone. My family would have a tough-time communicating with me because of long-distance calls, while my friends and I were really into texting each other.

It’s frustrating. Smartphones have so many features, and it’s difficult to manage all of them.

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Here are some of the things I learned (because I feel like listing them, and looking back at this post with giggles):

1.) There are different volume settings for ringtone, media, notifications, system, and calling.

2.) Make sure you completely mute your phone whenever you need to. (Make sure you manually adjust all the volume bars for the ringtone, media, and calling modes.)

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3.) If you call someone with a low calling volume, and you tell them that you can’t hear them when they can hear you on their end, then they’ll think you’re crazy (and most likely try calling you again to get the same results).

4.) If you call someone and they sound muffled even though your calling volume is fine, then either you, the person you’re calling, or both of you are not in a calling-friendly setting.

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5.) It’s hard to use the touchscreen when you’re in calling-mode because the touchscreen automatically turns-off and blacks-out in that mode.

6.) You need to download an emoji keyboard from the app store because your default keyboard doesn’t always have the emoji option in all the messaging apps.

7.) You don’t have to use the default wallpaper and screensaver options.

8.) Don’t use live wallpapers and screensavers even though they’re so cool and your old cellphone never had those options.

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9.) A “butt-dial” means that you accidentally made a phone call, regardless of whether or not your butt was the cause of it.

10.) You can lock your phone so that you don’t accidentally touch any applications (and accidentally “butt-dial” people).

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11.) Use your (then-new) Facebook account to keep yourself updated with college events and news.

12.) Facebook Messenger (supposedly) has a clearer-sounding calling feature than my default phone app.

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13.) Don’t keep any apps running in the background because they use up your 4G, and consequentially slow down the loading-time for your apps.

14.) Just turn-off your phone whenever you travel. I always remember to turn-on “Airplane Mode”, but I usually forget to turn it off.

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15.) You can delay message sending.

16.) Don’t delay message sending anymore. This feature causes a lot of problems, including failed message sending. (My messages don’t always send at the predicted time. They either don’t send at all, or get sent much, much later.)

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And last, but not least…

17.) It’s okay. You were trying to get accustomed to new technology. Some of the problems you had were either due to the manufacturer, the not-so-calling-friendly environment, or just your clumsiness. Just thank God that this isn’t your phone:

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A burned Samsung Galaxy S6. Samsung is known for their burning smartphones (especially the infamous Note 7).

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.

What It Means To Be Young

All grownups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Long ago, we were all young. It’s hard to understand what it means to be young now that we live in reality. But hopefully, you can find some understanding of it through these quotes:


“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.” -Don Miguel Ruiz

“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.” -Oscar Wilde

“A young man without ambition is an old man waiting to be.” -Steven Brust

“The age I’m at now, you go from being a young girl to suddenly you blossom into a woman. You ripen, you know? And then you start to rot.” -Liv Tyler

“Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and the rest of the Ivy Leagues are worthy institutions, to be sure, but they’re not known for educating large numbers of poor young people.” -Robert Reich

“When you’re young, you just go banging about, but you’re more sensitive as you grow older.” -Deborah Kerr

“If you’re successful at a young age, no matter the profession, there has to come a time when you re-evaluate everything, what it means to you. ‘Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life?’ “

“When you’re young, you believe it when people tell you how good you are. And that’s the danger you inhale. Everyone will tell you you’re a genius, which you are not, and if you understand that, you win.” -George Clooney

“Kids are naturally gifted at art from a very young age. The problem is when they get older and become self-conscious. The process should always be fun, though.” -Damien Hirst

Everyone Has A Darkside. So, What Makes People Good?

All of these conditions must be met:

 


 

They see their dark-side.

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They accept the fact that they have a dark-side.

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They don’t like their dark-side.

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They don’t let their dark-side take possess them.

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They try to strengthen their bright-side actively, spiritually, and mentally.

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