I love to interact with those who hold different views than mine, as it is very important for understanding, growth and clarification. Cross-blogging* is a great way to do this. With that in mind, over the next few weeks I will be posting some blogs on one specific issue within the abortion debate: the personhood – or non-person hood – of the human fetus. An atheist/skeptic friend of mine named Jim Lippard will be critiquing and responding to each piece I blog on this topic.
The way it will work is like this:
I will put up a post one day and then the next post will be a link to Jim’s blog (http://lippard.blogspot.com) in which he directly responds to what I’ve posted. We will continue like this for about 10 posts or so.
Please note, I will not be responding to each of Jim’s critiques! My initial post and his critique will stand on their own, as it were. Of course, I will allow comments on my blog and Jim does as well. At the very end of our back-and-forth, however, I plan to do more of a summary review and response to all of Jim’s individual critiques as a sort of final wrap-up.
Just so you can get an idea of where Jim (who is very well-spoken, quite cordial and generally civil) is coming from, here is an excerpt from an e-mail convo we had earlier this year:
“The question of what constitutes personhood is a philosophical one, the question of what entities meet the conditions of personhood is a scientific one. I suspect that it is quite possible that the conditions of personhood are met by fetuses at some point of pre-natal development (but not necessarily--the 'mirror test' of self awareness is not passed by human beings until 18 mo to 2 years of age), but I think erring on the side of caution is wise. I don't think there's any chance that the conditions of personhood are met within the first trimester, when most abortions occur. It seems to me that the current case law has produced a result that is close to correct, where late-term abortions highly restricted and early-term abortions relatively unrestricted.”
– personal e-mail conversation with Jim Lippard on January 24, 2009
This will be the main issue under discussion. I will be arguing for the following position: the unborn human embryo is a full person at the moment of conception and should be afforded the full rights due human beings by their very essence.
Please read each post carefully and be willing to think about the issues involved carefully. Also, if you join in on the conversation please keep it civil, whichever side you fall on. Look for the first post on this sometime this week.
*A cross-blog conversation is a conversation that takes place on at least two different blogs. Jim and I will link back and forth to each other and you can listen in and comment.