Re: timeing of ensoulment and abortion

David Campbell (
Mon, 9 Feb 1998 11:14:08 -0400

>When you say "Fertilization is the cutoff," I assume you mean point C in
>my scenario, "conception complete and a 1-celled zygote formed." My
>problem with selection of that point is that it seems "ad hoc." Can one
>"murder" an entity which does not possess a soul? That seems
>unreasonable. Does the entity at point C possess a soul? That, also,
>seems not to be the case. If so, why point C?

Fertilization lies somewhere in the B to C range. Once it happens, the
normal course of development is to produce an adult human, whereas gametes
alone just die. Thus, it seems like the best biological cutoff to me. I
don't know at what point the soul would first be present (if it's a point
at all and not more gradual), but it seems possible that it's there by C.
Both normal reproduction and cloning would yield a new individual with a
soul starting from existing folks with souls, so I don't see possible
twinning or fusion as a problem.

David C.