It is true, as she says, when life begins (meaning ensoulment
and not biological life) is not a scientific question.
He made a distinction between embryo inanimatus (not yet endowed with a soul) and embryo animatus (having a soul), using the ensoulment
distinction that was often employed to define personhood.
Perhaps they considered their discoveries about embryology in light of Christian teachings on the soul, concluding that ensoulment
happened at a point in pregnancy earlier than quickening?
In the same way that poetry allows readers to empathetically access the pain of others, so too does ensoulment
Ancient philosophers link the body and the soul, yet many, including Platonist and Neo-Platonist thinkers, reject the ensoulment
of a fetus (Carrick, 1985).
For them, this position depends on genomic novelty, constituting as it does the bulwark for indicating the presence of a unique individual, ensoulment
, and with it a moral claim based in the will of God.
Others believe the ensoulment
occurs at birth, and still others upon baptism.
In treating Aquinas's account of when human life ends, Amerini notes that, for Aquinas, "with the loss of rational ensoulment
, the body ceases immediately to be human and ensouled," and that "the property of 'being a human being' does not depend on the use, but on the possession of a capacity [for reason] that can be realized in more or less perfect form, or even never realized.
The old sexist arguments have become much less socially acceptable, but theories about ensoulment
or personhood beginning at conception have been around since at least the days of Hippocrates, when they seesawed back and forth in popularity with rival views like Aristotle's that alleged the soul formed more gradually as the fetus developed.
Such an objector will likely maintain that the continuum argument is a rationalization that would not carry reflective conviction apart from acceptance of the ensoulment
view or some other religious doctrine.
From other sacred sources, it is understood that ensoulment
only happens after 120 days, and abortion is allowed before this period.
There remains profound disagreement as to whether at this early stage the fetus has acquired personhood or, to put it more theologically, ensoulment