Does human life begin at birth or does it actually begin at the time of fertilization? It is not only a complicated but also controversial business to determine the beginning of a human life. In my opinion, the definition of a human being is having the capacity to think, act, and feel, and an embryo cannot be conceived as the start of a human being. Rather, human life begins at birth after a baby starts to think, even if the level of thinking is low. Such ability is unique to humans and the only way that makes people meet a higher standard of living and interact intellectually. Even a baby less than a year old can think in a smart way. For instance, they think strategically to gain attention from their parents.
However, an embryo is just a cell like any other found in a human body, and even a fetus is not conscience of its existence. This means that it does not know that it is being aborted.
Being able to act upon one’s thoughts also determines the beginning of a human life. Humans need to continue acting throughout their entire lives and live with dignity. This is because acting includes responding and talking, which are crucial for one’s survival. Some people argue that even animals can act. However, animals act upon instincts and focus on survival. Hence, an embryo is not a human being. It also cannot be said that a fetus can act because it cannot breath nor move freely with their bodies. Therefore, human life starts at the time when a baby has its own human-like body and acts based on its thoughts.
Most importantly, a human life begins when one can feel. Feeling whether one is hurt, happy, or sad is the feature that only humans can enjoy. Not only this, but humans also have a very intricate sentiment that reacts to every little thing sentimentally. Without feelings, no one can love, make friends, or be considered human. As an embryo cannot feel whether it is sad or not, it should not be considered a human. This is why some countries allow abortion at the fetal stage.
Human life begins when abilities to think, act and feel are fully achieved at birth. Although an embryo has the potential to grow into a human being, it should not be considered as a human. Life begins when it has fully prepared to meet the definition of a human being.
By: Choi Yun-Young (International Studies, 2)