Reading 6 John T. Noonan, Jr. An Almost Absolute Value in History

Reading 6 John T. Noonan, Jr. An Almost Absolute Value in History

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An Almost Absolute Value in History: John T. Noonan, Jr. Review: 1. The theological notion of ensoulment could be translated into humanistic language by substituting human for rational soul. 2. The first distinction is viability, which is a fetus I not viable, that is, it cannot be removed from the mother’s womb and live apart from her. However, there are difficulties to this distinction, because a fetus may be made viable through artificial incubation. The viability of the fetus depends on the extent of its anatomical and functional developments. The most important objection to this approach is that dependence is not ended by viability, because a child of one or five years cannot survive without its mother. Therefore, the lessening in dependence at viability does not signify any special acquisition of humanity. The second distinction is in terms of experience. A being who has had experience is more human than one who has not. Therefore, a fetus is unformed in the most basic human sense. However, this distinction isn’t serviceable for the embryo which is already experiencing and reacting. It is responsive to touch after eight
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Reading 6 John T. Noonan, Jr. An Almost Absolute Value in History

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