When Does Human Life Begin?

I write this blog as I search the internet on the debate on cloning. Stumbling across a whitepaper from the Westchester Institute gave me a strong recall of a discussion with one student in my Catechism class. (Warning: I’m quite philosophical in this essay.)

Everyone knows the heat that wraps the abortion, stem cell, and cloning issues. Arguments and counter-arguments have been presented at table and sadly, the discussion has been so muddled with controversy the truth is buried deep in the spoil and the impressionable is left to take a relativist stand on things. These issues touch on one value: Human Dignity, and a question, although already answered scientifically and proven empirically correct is placed in doubt: when does human life begin?


I was taken aback a few months ago when a student explained to me that the zygote in the womb of its mother is not yet human. My hair stood on end. It’s the classic argument of misinformed abortionists.With all the science that have been taught in our classrooms how can one student state such statement. It is true that my student is not alone. Most Filipinos have the wrong notion of when humanity starts. But we defend and we declare that human life starts at the moment of conception.

This question is of such vital importance because people often contradict this fact. Reading through wikipedia’s article on the question gave some counter-arguments that challenge this fact. I believe such arguments come from the Western philosophical habit of cutting everything of reality into distinct parts. The truth is every developing organism undergoes a smooth and continuous process and it remains substantially the same throughout. Otherwise, I would be a different individual than I was when in my mother’s womb and killing that clump of cells in past would not mean killing me as I am in the future. Give it to the East for accepting a more unified view of reality.

It is sad that despite all the empirical and technological science we have today, skepticism continues to hound human knowledge. Others may question facts out of purely speculative and critical reasons in seeking the truth but there are minds out there who are driven by malformed motives who continue to attack Life. They start with questions and when everything is shaken up, the confusion is enough to obscure the truth. The media is not at all immaculate in advocating falsehood (it is interesting to note how individuals and corporations get whacked for telling lies while media as a whole is self-regulated with regards truth despite its many blunders in the past).

So please, let us give ourselves the respect we deserve. Everything that we are is based on our humanity. Our humanity can be proven by facts from whence our values rise up. Our humanity is the foundation of our human dignity. Let us not undermine the very ground we stand on.



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