Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Mr Jenko

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Mr Jenko

  1. Its consciousness is developing as a self-act within the mother? Nobody can force a consciousness through physical means. Neither in or out of utero. The entity involved during development of a fetus is a conjoined entity? Fetus-pregnant 'host'. What is your concept of 'mother' during gestation if you prefer this term over others? I view this term as primarily relational in conception. Physical connectedness being a type of relation, but not exhaustive. To have a relational concept would imply two entities being in some relation. Contextually the term implies relationship between personhoods, parent-child? It would become a new physical entity. Its quality of 'connectedness' (or similar) would be different pre/post separation. Re: conception of someone: What is your conceptual hierarchy here? Is a '[human] fetus' a subcategory of 'human'? A type of human? Implying personhood, if one accepts sub-categories subsumes all the characteristics of the referent? One first perceives living adult humans and abstracts to [human] fetuses when forming the concept [human] fetus? Maybe I've got this wrong here. I prefer Rand's definition: process of self-supporting, self-generating action. At some point the entity processes values from various sources, its heart beats, its brain fires etc. The primary source here is its mother. The entity acts in the only way open to it. If the flow of values stops it no longer processes that flow of values. Thanks for the reply. I'm gaining a lot from the discussion.
  2. The entity physically changes becoming a new physical entity as a consequence of the birth process. From unborn to born. I appreciate this. Similarly the entity changes when it develops its consciousness in utero. When it becomes aware of existence as part of its development process. This is also a very big difference. At some point in utero the unborn becomes a someone rather than simply a something? Despite its ongoing physical relationship to its host. The fetus acts in the only way open to it. This includes taking in life-sustaining values and processing these. My understanding is the fetus processes these values, automatically, supplied by the mother at some point during its development. Its heart beats, its brain 'fires' etc. Its an active entity not merely a passive one. Conceptually, we isolate the entity apart from the mother despite it remaining physically conjoined. Conceptually its individuated, physically it remains 'connected'. Mind and body is a unity, either aspect can only be isolated conceptually but not physically separated. The consciousness of the fetus doesn't form a part of the mother. There is no collective consciousness. Despite its locus being nested within her. The 'body' containing the consciousness of the fetus is shared with the mother in a conjoined way. Life begins in a conjoined arrangement?
  3. Life as such is a value, the fetus simply doesn't have the level of cognition to consciously seek or gain it as a self-value, albeit his level of development entrails the seeking of values because it is purpose driven? At least that's how I understand it. W.r.t 'man's life', man hasn't a volitional conscious capable of making value evaluation until well after birth from what I gather, raising the question as to whether the life of his mind begins at birth. Sorry for the late reply, you got me thinking.
  4. I'm unsure whether there is a conflict here if the parties involved act reasonably and honestly, taking into account long term interests of both the supposed aware unborn entity (whose life has begun) and its host. If a host values life and has gone through the motions of creating & gaining that value then nobodies life would necessarily be in jeopardy. If the host reasonably reevaluates their value hierarchy because of some changed context then they must accept that a decision to terminate an aware and living human entity is an action they must carry with them for the remainder of their adult life. A decision that has possibility of long term negative impacts to their life, at a minimum psychological affects. Such affects maybe different if it is such that the entity terminated is not considered aware and its life has begun. There maybe real impacts to the host's life if it is recognized fact that the unborn entity to be terminated is aware and its life begun. Destruction of a value of greater potential over lessor potential may be more or less psychologically harmful for the host. From the point of the unborn the decision of the host has real ramifications - the continuation of its life or its death, despite it being unware of what is at stake.
  5. Yep, i got it back to front there. To survive means to meet the requirements of survival by some objective standard. Survival requires particular external inputs out of ones control- language and its symbolic coding probably playing a big part here. Concepts rely on language formation (and language formation relies on concepts). An alphabet representing words consisting of hundreds for example may make concept formation and various cognitive functions (like recall) more cumbersome than one that is condensed. Perhaps accounting for why certain languages (and number systems) rise in popularity over the years. Language and their alphabets, like all abstractions, are tied to survivability. As we become more technologically advanced I find it interesting that the compression of these systems is becoming common - computer technology adopted hexadecimal and contractions of phrases is becoming widespread. Buying us back (life) time. W.r.t consciousness - I can't even imagine a form of consciousness that doesn't differentiate as a primary function. Nice article.
  6. How many and which qualities of a human must an entity have before we can say it is human? What's the cash value difference between one less than the prescribed amount?
  7. This is a really interesting quote from Rand. Thanks for finding this one. I always understood what is essential about human's is the rational faculty. That capacity to identify A is A. By this quote man isn't human until well after birth, raising why human life begins at biological birth? So in some sense my question still arises, but the timeseries has shifted. Rand appears to make some distinction between 'is' vs 'is-of'? Identity is existence vs Identification of existence? I still struggle to understand how awareness of 'a whirl of chaos' isn't some identification of existence done by a consciousness of particular nature in a particular context. Some application of measurement would need to be applied (outward extrospection) differentiating 'whirl of chaos' from 'whirl of lesser/greater chaos' wouldn't it? Or is she saying the whirl of a moment cant even be differentiated from the next moment? It consciously experiences nothing, which seems contradictory?
  8. I understand her statement to have been made with a focus towards the socio-political context. I'm unsure whether it was meant at all to be taken as a definitive biological statement at all, considering she was no biologist. The potential human is of the actual unborn entity. "Human-ness" is a quality of the actual unborn entity? Its built in and provides the goal for the beings development.
  9. Usability maybe what is considered under law, but this concept doesn't apply to development of a human fetus. I use this metaphor of a house development here because Aristotle used a similar example when discussing purposefulness & knowledge in processes. The fetus has its own purpose - to develop. It self-generates actions to achieve this goal. Somewhat meeting the definition posted earlier for 'life', repeated below. It may not be fully conscious, but it is alive, albeit connected to its mother. "Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action" - AR. Thanks for your reply.
  10. Is it not fair to say something like 'the fetus has discriminated something from nothing'? Much like one does when you see the monitor in front of you, but then close your eyes? The fetus has identified an entity, sensory material? It is aware. "A sensation is a sensation of something, as distinguished from the nothing of the preceding and succeeding moments. A sensation does not tell man what exists, but only that it exists." - Intro to OE As far as I can see, the pro-life crowd have a point when they say abortion kills something that has awareness. I agree that the authors of the paper have a broad definition of what consciousness is. If life is considered a process I can accept that development occurs throughout its continuum, before and after birth. There appears to be litte debate as to when this process completes (death) and much to its beginning? Breaking it down into stages is helpful for discussion. Thankyou. In some sense the unborn entity (whatever its stage of pre-birth development) is taking some goal-directed action isn't it - development. Thanks for your reply.
  11. Is the unborn entity not a human entity that is lacking some parts? The entity is 'incomplete', it is lacking physical independence and volition for example. To be an entity is to be one with a specific nature, human nature in this case? A house (being progressively developed) that is lacking a roof is still a house (being progressively developed)? Does an unborn entity experience anything material? If it experiences something material then it has processed sensory material. It is aware of existence. To be aware of existence it must be alive. Therefor the unborn is alive pre-birth. Its life (and so the life of the human into which it develops) must begin before the process of birth completes? I'm still very confused.
  12. Please see abstract for conlcusion: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878929321000554 "On the whole, our results support the assumption that fetuses in the last weeks of gestation are capable of consciously processing stimuli that reach them from outside the womb." One could imagine the moments before umbilical separation from a mother the unborn entity is able to process sensory material, providing an upper limit time on pre-birth awareness of existence. Life can be either dependent or independent. Rand provides a great definition for independent life-"Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action." An unborn is alive, despite being dependent. Just like many organisms. Birth is not necessary for life.
  13. My question was more about life per say than any socio-political topic. Though i've searched a few of the threads but i think my question seems a little different (although related somewhat). My point in essence is that if one concedes that an unborn entity (even if not physically separate to a host) is aware of existence to some degree then that entity is necessarily alive. Alive pre-birth. That is, its life has started prior to its birth and so biologically its life did not begin at birth? I can see why from a practicality perspective Rand may have selected birth to demarcate when the issue of rights are applied, but this is a separate issue. Thanks for the reply.
  14. Hey all - this is my first post. Please help me with the below (probably novice question). Consciousness is that faculty of an entity which perceives existence. One must exist (and be living) to perceive existence. The unborn processes sensory material - perceiving existence- during some stage in its development. This is measurable by various technology from what I gather. Individuation of the unborn entity from the entity of the mother must therefor occur prior to its physical separation from the mother? The unborn entity maintains some relational quality (eg physical connectedness) to its host mother until its separation? I don't see why a change in some qualities of an already living entity (say connectedness to its host) indicates the beginning of a new process for that entity- life. It is already alive prior to its birth is it not? Hence the use of the phrase 'stillbirth' to indicate when the the opposite occurs? Why then does Rand say life begins at birth? Rather than birth being some stage one passes through during ones life which has already begun prior? Thanks. Any recommended additional reading on this topic would be much appreciated.
  • Create New...