Saturday, December 24, 2016

Why science cannot answer moral questions

This blog post is a critique of a modern "TED talk" titled: "Science can answer moral questions." (Click these links to watch the video or read the transcript.)

TED is a well-known international nonprofit dedicated to providing a platform for "powerful talks" and promotion of the "power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. ...from the world's most inspired thinkers."

The speaker of this particular TED talk in 2010 was Sam Harris, a doctor in neuroscience, also known for challenging traditional proofs for the existence of God.

MAKE NO ASSUMPTIONS
In order to identify the inherent flaw that lines his entire speech, I invite the reader to lay down all presuppositions on what he/she already believe about the morality of any issue. That is a distraction from the matter at hand. This blog post is solely intended to confront the assertion of the TED talk as to whether science can answer moral questions. Therefore, in this post, I will only examine Harris' assertions on morality based on that premise.

THE ARGUMENT
For Harris, whether or not something is beneficial to human well-being/flourishing is intertwined with whether or not something is moral. His closing remarks include the statement:
[W]e can no more respect and tolerate vast differences in notions of human well-being than we can respect or tolerate vast differences in the notions about how disease spreads, or in the safety standards of buildings and airplanes.
According to Harris, something like physical health, which can be measured by science in the form of facts, reveal that which is moral or not. Granted, he admits science cannot answer every moral dilemma, but this is nonetheless the gist of his speech. Feel free to click the links at top to hear his speech in context. Using his own terminology, his argument in visible form looks like this:

Harris' basic argument for how science reveals morality
Do scientific facts reveal X to lead to
human "well-being/flourishing" (e.g. physical health)?
–?–The matter is moral.
Do scientific facts reveal X to lead to
human "non-well-being/non-flourishing" (e.g. sickness, injury)?
–?– The matter is immoral

As a general principle for morality, the conclusions in this table aren't necessarily wrong. But remember our question. Is science what is providing the moral answers?  I ask the reader to follow carefully. Remember what I requested earlier. Lay down all presuppositions of what you consider moral. Let science do what Harris says it will do. Approach science with a blank slate in order to permit it to reveal to you what is moral. Can science tell us whether or not something is moral.

In Harris' argument, he actually makes an illogical leap that goes like this, for example: Science reveals that X causes death. Therefore, X is morally evil. But what's missing from his logic? I'll ask it in the form of a question: What makes death a moral evil? Science says nothing about the moral quality of any molecular reaction. Science only reveals what happens when these molecules interact with these molecules.

Think of it this way. Science reveals that an injection of 5g of sodium thiopental is effective in causing death in humans. Some states use this barbiturate to administer lethal injections to criminals. Therefore, if a man acquired this barbiturate, and injected it into a stranger on the street, the stranger would die. What does science reveal about the morality of this act? Absolutely nothing. All science "answered" was that X would result in Y.  All science "answered" was that these molecules have this reaction with these other molecules. But it takes an interpretation of the facts to discern which reactions have what moral quality.

SECRETLY APPEALING TO HUMAN DIGNITY
When Harris says he is appealing to science to answer a moral question, what he is actually doing is appealing to the inherent dignity of a human being versus, say, an inanimate object. In the above table, I marked where Harris is missing an intermediate logical step in the second column. It is in this step where one would establish a human being merits good health because of their inherent dignity. Harris skips this point in his analysis. It is a blind spot of sorts in his entire discourse. He presupposes human dignity. He acts as though science has revealed this dignity when it cannot.

At one point, Harris admits that his belief in moral answers aligns him with religious "demagogues," yet claims his answers come from "intelligent analysis" and theirs come from "a whirlwind." He says:
Now the irony, from my perspective, is that the only people who seem to generally agree with me and who think that there are right and wrong answers to moral questions are religious demagogues of one form or another. And of course they think they have right answers to moral questions because they got these answers from a voice in a whirlwind, not because they made an intelligent analysis of the causes and condition of human and animal well-being.
At least Harris admits here that his moral determinations come from "analysis" of the science and not from the science itself. In that sense, he has already debunked the title of his talk. But as I also mentioned, his analysis contains the presupposition of the dignity of the human person. Ironically, it is Harris who appeals to a "whirlwind." He avoids analysis of why humans have dignity at all or are even capable of moral actions.



CONCLUSIONS
The Catholic would agree that it is immoral to harm another's physical well-being because "The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God" (CCC#1700) Smashing a rock does not have the same moral quality even though the act can likewise be measured scientifically. The "natural moral law" is reasoned based on the principle of what "properly belongs to human nature" (CCC#1955). (See related post on Natural Law here.) This dignity is of such value, God Himself assumed the human nature in the Incarnation. But I won't go on a long apologetic for the dignity of the human person from a Catholic perspective because the purpose of this post is to show science cannot answer moral questions.

Consideration of the dignity of the human person is indispensable in answering moral questions. And the dignity of the human person is not revealed by science. Dignity cannot be empirically observed in a laboratory. Thus, because human dignity is an essential component of moral inquiry, science cannot "answer" moral questions. It can only show what effects certain things will have in the empirical world, but not the moral quality of any effect.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Luther's "Reformation" Regret

Public domain image of Luther nailing 95 Theses at Wittenberg. (Acquired from Wikimedia Commons)

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his infamous 95 Theses to the door at a church in Wittenberg, Germany, signifying his break from the Catholic Church, and paving the way for like-minded protestors. 499 years have since elapsed. Disunity among Christians remains a scandal and an affront to the prayer of Jesus that the people, "may be one." (cf. John 17:11-26)

In the modern era of social media, we see today the hashtag #ReformationDay posted in a strictly celebratory manner. From one perspective, it is a strange, even perverse, celebration, that Christians on either side of this divide find cause to rejoice for disunity. In fact, one could argue Martin Luther himself would have taken offense at the celebration.

Eight years after the incident at Wittenberg, Luther lamented how competing teachers of the faith fancied themselves the more authoritative than he, when he wrote: "There is not one of them that does not think himself more learned than Luther." Again, he bemoaned: "[T]here are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads." If we look at his 1525 letter to Antwerp, we see these regrets and more. He believed he had escaped devils in the Catholic Church, yet discovered that "a stronger" devil had prevailed:
We believed, during the reign of the pope, that the spirits which make a noise and disturbance in the night, were those of the souls of men, who, after death, return and wander about in expiation of their sins. This error, thank God, has been discovered by the Gospel, and it is known at present, that they are not the souls of men, but nothing else than those malicious devils who used to deceive men by false answers. It is they that have brought so much idolatry into the world. 
The devil seeing that this sort of disturbances could not last, has devised a new one; and begins to rage in his members, I mean in the ungodly, through whom he makes his way in all sorts of chimerial follies and extravagant doctrines. This won't have baptism, that denies the efficacy of the Lord's supper; a third puts a world between this and the last judgment; others teach that Jesus Christ is not God; some say this, others that; and there are almost as many sects and beliefs as there are heads.
I must cite one instance, by way of exemplification, for I have plenty to do with these sort of spirits. There is not one of them that does not think himself more learned than Luther; they all try to win their spurs against me; and would to heaven that they were all such as they think themselves, and that I were nothing! The one of whom I speak assured me, amongst other things, that he was sent to me by the God of heaven and earth, and talked most magnificently, but the clown peeped through all. At last, he ordered me to read the books of Moses. I asked for a sign in confirmation of this order, "It is," said he, "written in the gospel of St. John." By this time I had heard enough, and I told him to come again, for that we should not have time, just now, to read the books of Moses...
I have plenty to do in the course of the year with these poor people: the devil could not have found a better pretext for tormenting me. As yet the world had been full of those clamorous spirits without bodies, who oppressed the souls of men; now they have bodies, and give themselves out for living angels...
When the pope reigned we heard nothing of these troubles. The strong one (the devil) was in peace in his fortress; but now that a stronger one than he is come, and prevails against him and drives him out, as the Gospel says, he storms and comes forth with noise and fury.
(Martin Luther, Letter to Antwerp, 1525)
Below is a card of the above Luther quote, suitable for sharing on social media.


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Monday, October 24, 2016

Sirach 11:29-34 Do not bring every man into your home...


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Monday, October 10, 2016

Wisdom 13:5 the beauty of created things...


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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Proverbs 18:2 A fool...


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Monday, July 11, 2016

5 difficult issues human cloning will cause

What will happen when a significant portion of the human population is the product of cloning? These will be individuals that were created in a laboratory rather than having gone through natural human gestation in the mother's womb. For the purposes of this blog post, cloning represents not only a "duplicate" of an existing person, but any person generated in a laboratory by biological and chemical means. This would even include unique persons generated by more than two parents, as is already a scientific enterprise.

What you will read herein is this author's projection, grounded on the trajectory of current events. And there are certainly more issues at hand than supposed herein. Time may reveal more issues or eliminate the likelihood of others. This thought exercise is intended to shed light on potential consequences, particularly moral, on the matter of human cloning.


1. Are the cloned human?
The cloned may or may not have umbilical cords and will not be the product of man and woman conjugal union. They will not be the direct result of a physical expression of a loving action. An obvious question will be whether or not a person's "humanity" depends on that natural union. I would surmise the Church would consider such person's human, just as those who are born today by means of in vitro fertilization. Even though those born via in vitro are conceived in a manner outside the conjugal act, such persons are still welcomed to baptism, which is only receivable by a human being. Basic clones generated in a lab from a single sperm and egg will be recognized as human just as anyone else.

More complex clones may pose greater problems. Suppose laboratories begin to produce clones who do not need sleep. Or clones with six appendages. Or androgynous clones deliberately generated without genitalia. Or clones with two human parents and one chimpanzee parent. Or further down the road if a being is constructed from a variety of human and mammalian or even reptilian or other foundations. We have seen nascent evidence of animal incorporation in human-animal organ crossovers. As more complex experiments occur, the debate over the humanity of the clone will grow more complex.

For her part, the Church in such cases might at least perform "conditional" baptisms. This would be similar to a conditional baptism bestowed on a person unsure if he/she had previously been baptized. In the case of a clone, the baptism might be administered on the condition that the recipient is indeed a human being.

In civil life, there will be a number of legal cases that will be considered landmarks regarding the human status of the cloned. However, these cases will be difficult precedents if the cloning process continues to evolve and if persons are developed by multiple methods. So, for instance, if a court determined that a five-parent-one-other-mammal person merited full human rights, the precedent might not stand if a future case arose regarding a person generated from seven-human-parents-and-one-reptile.

These speculative examples may be fanciful. But they are designed more to demonstrate the difficulties that will arise the further mankind gets from matrimonial, conjugal offspring. Clones with greater and greater aberrations will suffer tremendous psychological difficulties, wondering what they are, whether they are human. The human DNA written in their fabric will alert them to the abnormalities within themselves. The natural arrangement of mother-father-child will arise as a discovery to the pensive mind of some of these clones, alerting them that something is disordered. This will cause great psychological trauma in some clones and families.

2. Clones will not have parental attachment
Written in the fabric of normative human generation are parents who have a certain attachment to offspring that is "of oneself." Paternal and maternal instincts can be seen in parents' protective tendencies toward their children. In fact, when a parent fails in this obligation, we recognize the violation committed by that parent. Phrases like "dead-beat dad" are evidence that a father has failed in his attachment to his own child.

Let's say an infertile couple in the future goes to a cloning market and selects a "child" to be developed for them. This is different from in vitro in which the father's sperm is united to the mother's egg and the child is developed in the womb. This is a "child" developed wholly in a laboratory according to whatever catalog options are offered by the cloning company. By commodotizing the child, parental attachment will suffer. If the child grows up to have criminal or unsatisfactory tendencies, the "parents" will be more apt to blame the "failure" on the cloning company. It will be easier to dismiss a child as a corporation's failure versus a child raised out of conjugal love, the direct gift of one's conjugal action.

From this, complexities will arise among parents who adopt clones. There will be a market for "returned" clones who did not meet the satisfaction of the adopting parents. Psychological problems will run rampant among clones, particularly among those who are rejected as corporate defects. Their plight could turn very ugly.

3. "Abortions" of clones will find new debate
Abortions of lab-generated clones may occur if the clone is not developing according to the customer's order. There will be debates as to what should happen with cancelled orders. Should the clone be terminated? If so, the same debate we have with abortion today will characterize the termination of developing clones. As speculated in point #1, simpler clones will be considered human. So at what point in the laboratory development period will such a clone be considered human?  Will there be a legal point at which a customer who orders a clone can no longer reject the product produced?

Rejected clones who are not terminated will suffer terrible psychological strains of inadequacy. Mental illness will be an enormous problem in the future, both among clones, and among a society whose expectation of custom-made satisfaction will permeate their everyday attitudes.

Even today, the "my body, my choice" argument is a red herring because it does not take into account the baby, who is essential to the pro-life movement's perspective. But when women order a lab-made child through a catalog, they will not be able to abort the child under the guise of doing what she wants with "her body." With a lab-generated baby, a couple, or an individual "ordering" a clone will have no such so-called right. Their argument will come from commerce and the power of the dollar with which they ordered the clone.

Those who order clones and seek to terminate their order prior to completion may seek refuge, not in "my body, my choice," but "my possession, my choice." It is difficult to determine what kind of traction such a specious argument might boast. But it will nonetheless be a serpentine diversion away from the violation of another being that takes place in an abortion.

For their part, the Church will oppose abortion of the developing clone, even if there is some question as to the humanity of the clone.

Today, some politically correct feminists accuse the Church's pro-life stance of being a means to control women unjustly. In the future, if persons are generated in labs, this argument won't even have specious merit if the Church voices a pro-life stance for the developing laboratory clone.

4. Good "health" will be used as a pro-cloning argument
On the eve of mass-cloning, proponents of the measure will abandon the moral consequences of lab-generated persons in favor of producing persons with good health. Over time, the cloning process will tend toward producing healthier and stronger beings, immune to old diseases. While healthiness on its face is a "good," such proponents will not be able to counter moral arguments against a person's right to be born of conjugal love. And, as supposed in this article, mental unhealthiness will spread. Written in the fiber of human DNA is a person's desire to be loved and raised by his natural parents. We can see evidence of this in the many difficulties that plague children of fatherless homes.

5. More legal problems relating to clones
Presumably, when a couple or person orders a clone from a catalog, the corporation will require legal indemnification once the clone leaves its possession. In other words, the buyer will have to sign a document absolving the company of liability if the clone should not meet expectations once bought or if the clone commits a crime, etc.

However, legal cases will arise in which the customer will accuse the corporation of deception if the clone fails to meet expectations. For example, if a teenage clone commits murder, the buying parents will seek recourse to hold the corporation liable in spite of the indemnifying document signed. The parents' attorneys will argue that the corporation willingly sold a flawed clone to parents who had no way of knowing the clone would have criminal tendencies.

There will also be cases in which the clones themselves will bring lawsuit against their manufacturers. The clones' attorneys will argue that the cloning corporation did not take proper care of the clone during development, which resulted in some health or social defect. These cases will add to the psychological disaster bound to raze at the hearts of clones, and at a society that spars with making sense of their identity as fully human or otherwise.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

4 things to do when suffering

Following are a few suggestions I hope might be helpful to anyone experience suffering life. These are not "solutions" to make suffering go away. Many sufferers have learned there is not a secret formula to make it "stop." Not even prayer. Even in Scripture, Job cried out to God yet still lamented of his "months of emptiness" (Job 7:3), which may have amounted to years. Paul likewise begged for the removal of a thorn (2 Cor. 12:8-9), yet God did not effect Paul's request in the manner Paul requested it. Jesus himself prayed to be spared the cup of blood (Luke 22:42; Matt 26:39), yet he still endured the crucifixion. In this fallen world, we often feel the sting of suffering and of crying out repeatedly for relief.

So the purpose of this post is not to examine the mystery of suffering per se, but things we can do amidst it.

1. Offer your suffering as a gift to God.
Scripture teaches us both that Christ offered himself in suffering and that we suffer with him (e.g. Phil. 3:10, Rom 8:17). Deep down, there is a generosity here bestowed by God, that we might in some sense, by grace, join him in his work. It doesn't matter if we "feel" the value of this, but we are simply called to accept crosses and to share in Christ's suffering. We may never know in this life what God "does" with such gifts from His children. Do not worry about having that answer before being a child offering a father a present.

2. Pray even if your prayers are weak.
Don't worry if your suffering is so dark that you can barely muster a prayer. If you must, simply pray with your action, as in point #1, by accepting a share of the cross. If you've already prayed and prayed and things have never changed, you might find yourself in a dark, frustrated, empty place which razes at your faith and trust. Even if you are in such a condition, perhaps you could still pray something like: Lord, please hear me despite my anger and frustration. Don't let the answer to my prayer depend on the wreck that is my faith, nor the anger and sorrow that spills from my heart. Hear my prayer even if I feel like it is futile.

This can help place the matter more into God's hands than one's own. The petitioner admits his sorrow or anger or exhaustion. This can help the petitioner avoid falling into the deceptive trap of thinking his prayer didn't "work" because he didn't pray "right."

No matter how short or how poor you think the prayer comes out, God can work with it. This is the God who built a church on Peter, who was a flawed man in many ways. This is the God who built a universe literally out of nothing. Even a clumsily crafted prayer could become something great.

3. Recognize in your suffering a glimpse of Christ's suffering.
In today's Gospel for Divine Mercy Sunday, we read in part the story of Thomas who would not believe Christ had risen lest he see Christ's wounds.
John 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." 
Doubting St. Thomas by St. Tito (ca 1576-77)
(detail from photograph by Saliko,
acquired from Wikimedia Commons)
After seeing this, Thomas' awareness comes to life. Remember in #1 above how Scripture teaches we suffer with Christ. This is our window to Christ's suffering even when we are weak and faithless. Just like Thomas we desire to see Christ's wounds. Sometimes we are given that glimpse right in our own hearts.  When we suffer, we thus "see" Christ's suffering and garner our limited understanding of what Christ endured. And since Christ was wholly innocent and accepted this suffering, we know that whatever we suffer as sinful beings, Christ suffered infinitely worse as the innocent one. From this, we see the love Christ had for mankind. Although easier said than done,  we can translate this to our own lives. We say to ourselves:
If Christ willed to accept a suffering even worse than what I suffer now, how much must he have loved us. This is an example for me to follow when I do something loving for someone else. Do I hold my tongue against a family member while arguing, even if it is difficult for me to resist? Do I guard my eyes against sinful temptations even if I desire to look? Am I willing to accept something that is painful to me for the sake of doing something loving for another?
4. Recognize the faith underlying your frustration
Perhaps you find yourself vexed and frustrated, even "angry" at God after you've cried out again and again to be heard. Like Israel, you "cry out" (e.g. Ps. 22:2, Hab. 1:2) and wonder "how long" until you are "heard." Although the pain does not subside, part of the reason you are frustrated is because you recognize in God the power to hear you. There is faith in such a lamentation. In such a case, consider a prayer such as this:
God I wouldn't be so frustrated and crying out to You if I didn't think You had the power to help. Hidden in my rage is knowledge of Your power and divinity.
In a way, a prayer such as this can be a prayer of praise. And previously, perhaps you have found it very difficult to make a prayer of praise as you've endured heartbreak and difficulty day after day.

Conclusion
Only in suffering can the pinnacles of human love be realized. Is it easier to love a spouse when things are going well or difficult. Great love rises even in turmoil. All this can be overwhelming. None of the above suggestions may take away the pain we so desire be removed. With Job, Paul, Jesus, and Israel, we cry out for mercy, to be spared the pains, thorns, and cups of sacrifice. Even if we remain in the darkness and pains this fallen world delivers, it is worth looking to Scripture and Christ's love as an example to follow.


Note: The 4th point and other slight changes were made to this post on April 6, 2016.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Refuting Planned Parenthood on viability and SCOTUS

THE VIABILITY ARGUMENT
The "viability" argument goes something like this: "A fetus can't survive on its own outside the womb, therefore, it's not a fully developed human." Therefore, says the Planned Parenthood supporter, abortion is morally acceptable.

For example, we see this from among Planned Parenthood's Arizona advocates, one of whom writes that a woman has the "right not to be forced to give birth and choosing not to carry a non-viable, non human being..."

With the scandal of Planned Parenthood having been caught on film negotiating the sale of infant body parts, such supporters of the organization are perhaps finding themselves having to seek refuge in such shelters as the "viability" argument. (By the way, you can keep abreast of the Center for Medical Progress and David Daleiden's legal battle surrounding Planned Parenthood at Life Legal Defense Foundation.)

So what's wrong with the viability argument?
  • The presence of human life is not dependent on the subject's personal capacity to survive in any particular environment. For example:
    • Even a post-live-birth baby cannot survive without a variety of dependencies and isn't "viable" of his/her own accord. A newborn baby cannot feed him/herself, dress him/herself, protect him/herself, nor a variety of other things that can easily determine that child's fate. Thus, a baby's ability to viably self-preserve is not a logical measure by which the presence of human life is determined.
    • If the PP supporter is referring to a baby's ability to survive outside the womb even with medical assistance, there is another problem. Throughout history, the stage at which a baby has survived outside the womb gets younger and younger. The PP supporter finds him/herself arguing that human life comes into being at a different point, depending on whether that child was born in 2016 or 1916. The same supporter would have to argue that human life comes into being at a different point, depending on whether that child was born in Beverly Hills or the terrains of Somalia. Holders of this view must change their view of when they believe human life to exist by appealing to available medical technology. This is a nonsensical position.
    • If the PP supporter is merely talking about respiration, there are clearly situations in which even an adult human cannot "viably" respire of his/her own accord, such as under water, in outer space, in a dense fire, amid toxic air, or other situations. Point being––ability to respire is not a logical measure by which the presence of human life is determined. It's absurd to say an adult who cannot respire in any given environment is less than human. 
THE SUPREME COURT ARGUMENT
The Supreme Court argument goes something like this: "The Supreme Court determined that a fetus isn't a human being." Thus, says the PP supporter, abortion is morally acceptable.

For example, we see this implied by NARAL Wisconsin, outlining what it believes to be good arguments to tell pro-lifers, including the following statements (emphasis mine): "The Supreme Court has said and I believe that legal personhood begins with birth" and "Embryos are a cluster of cells with the potential to develop into a human life if implanted into a woman's womb and brought to term."

So what's wrong with the Supreme Court argument?
  • The presence of human life is not dependent on any verdict by the Supreme Court of the United States. For example:
    • The Supreme Court itself has reversed its own prior verdicts. In fact, it has done so well over 100 times. Appealing to a source that denies its own immutability is hardly a satisfactory argument.
    • Thus, appealing to the "Supreme Court" results in the nonsensical position that human life began in the womb prior to 1973 but not after 1973. It fails the same test as the "medical technology" fallacy described in the first section above: depending on when a child was born, the court's Roe v. Wade opinion may not even have existed. In fact, prior to 1789, SCOTUS didn't even exist. 
    • As well, the Supreme Court's jurisdiction ends at the United States. Obviously, the majority of the human population is not subject to SCOTUS verdicts. Appealing to a single country's legal verdict as the benchmark for a philosophical argument for all of humanity is self-defeating when the court itself does not claim to govern all humanity. 
    • In an ironic twist, Planned Parenthood doesn't even embrace verdicts of the Supreme Court. For example, in 2014, SCOTUS upheld a federal abortion ban involving second trimester pregnancies.  PP immediately sent out a press release which stated: "Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) denounced the ruling."
CONCLUSIONS
It's not difficult to refute arguments built on shaky ground as we can see here. It may be a bigger challenge simply to find a mind willing to permit his/her views to pass scrutiny.

Regarding the matter of abortion, I would suggest the discussion must always be founded on whether or not that which is in the womb is a human life. Biological arguments are effective here. It is no secret that the when a zygote is formed at conception, the baby has a unique DNA, distinct from the mother. Even the government admits this:
The zygote contains all of the genetic information (DNA) needed to become a baby. Half the DNA comes from the mother's egg and half from the father's sperm. Fetal Development, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2013) (see more references at Life begins at conception, science teaches, Live Action News)
The NLM is ironically part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services––the government entity that admitted oral contraceptives increase cancer risk in women. And here it admits the unique DNA identity of the enwombed infant from conception.

Building on the science from a philosophical perspective, we can observe the beginning of the life process with the merger of the egg and sperm (the zygote). And we can observe continuity from that stage until a person passes away. To assign human life's beginning at some other point along the empirical timeline inevitably proves arbitrary, inconsistent, and fails scrutiny. For some examples of these flawed arguments here at TCV, see Replies to Planned Parenthood arguments or Notre Dame professor's flawed argument for abortion.