First off, catch, I've never once thought you were trying to talk me into an abortion.
Eg - I have (which surprised me!) been able to keep this discussion separate from my own feelings to some extent. I'm discussing from my own point of view, but it's not "bringing me down" so to speak. Until I get the results from the tests, which I have no reason to think will be anything but normal based on my medical history, Mike's medical history, and our family's medical histories, it's a simple abstract discussion. It's bringing up points that I can apply to my own situation, but it's not causing me any emotional distress. Everyone wants the best for their child, I'm sure I'm not alone in that.
catch, I think I see where our opinions differ now!
To me, life begins with a heartbeat and the need for nourishment. In my opinion and feelings, this little person inside of me is as alive as I am. I am familiar with the "baby is a parasite" argument, that without me baby wouldn't be able to survive. I just don't really agree with it. I mean I agree with the facts - if I were to give birth tonight, there is 0 chance of survival. I just don't agree with the idea that life begins at birth. I think that's a pretty big difference in perspective, and I think it explains a lot of the difference in philosophy that we have.
be an interesting concept to me is the discovery of how much we retain from inside the womb. Scientifically speaking, baby has had a brain for over 2 months now. (I'm almost 4 months pregnant). The brain is constantly growing and "learning" even in the womb. If, as you said earlier, "life is sentience, not a heartbeat", then when would that start? None of us has memories of our own births. Most of us have no memory at all of our first 2-3 years. Does that mean that life doesn't begin until we can remember it? Or does it begin with "feeling" and knowing things are going on around you? If that's the case, then baby is already aware. (Please excuse this, it borders on TMI, but is important to the discussion.) My first visit to the doctor, I had to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound, because it was too early to be able to see it trans-abdominally. We were watching on the monitor while the doctor poked my uterus with the ultrasound wand. Every single time he poked, baby moved away from it. It didn't know what it was doing, it didn't know why - but it was reacting to stimulus. A newborn has the same reactions - it doesn't know why or what, but it reacts to stimulus. Until approximately 6 months or so, that's about all they're capable of - hunger, discomfort, contentment - it's all stimulus that baby reacts to. So are they not sentient until past that age? Or does sentience begin with memory? Being able to remember your 3rd birthday party, but nothing before that - does that mean you weren't "alive" before then? It's pretty well accepted that even though we don't remember things before a specific age, the memories are still there - if you have a brain that is growing and developing, wouldn't it make sense that you have memories of inside your mothers womb, even if you can't remember them?
Lalala - this seems to have gone off topic a wee bit. I blame catch completely!
The post office just released a new stamp in the shape of a clitoris but it's not selling very well because only 3% of men know how to lick it.