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View Poll Results: A human being is...
...bio-automation, organic machinery. 1 20.00%
...sumthin’ more than bio-automation, not only organic machinery. 4 80.00%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-08-2019, 07:35 PM   #16
henry quirk
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A comatose person is a person with self-consciousness who is currently unconscious.
So: does the possibility the comatose may regain consciousness figure into their personhood or does personhood persist even if someone is permanently in a coma?

What about a brain dead person (once self-aware, now not)?
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:40 PM   #17
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If there's a possibility they can be woken, they are still a collection of experiences from consciousness and must be considered a person. If not, their consciousness has come to an end and so has their personhood. This is why we allow for things like Do Not Resuscitate orders.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:51 PM   #18
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Jim

consider...

Stan's wife has cancer. It eats away at her, transforms her from vibrant sexy woman into withered embryo-thing in three months. It kills her. Stan hates that disease but it's doubtful he ascribes immorality or moral depravity to the cancer.

But, if instead of cancer, a hoodlum beats her to death for her pocketbook, Stan will hate the hoodlum precisely for his immorality, his depravity. That is: Stan will hate the hoodlum because that monster 'is' a person.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:57 PM   #19
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"This is why we allow for things like Do Not Resuscitate orders."

I may be wrong, but: isn't DNR generally the call of the patient (don't bring me back) or the patient's loved ones (my husband wouldn't want this, let him go)?

In other words: DNR isn't about the cessation of personhood but about the wishes of the ill or the ill's trusted spokesperson, yeah?
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:56 PM   #20
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Stan will hate the hoodlum because that monster 'is' a person.
True and it's interesting, there's a huge difference between being killed by a tiger and being killed by a person.

A tiger is just looking for lunch and answering its instincts. A person, because they are self-aware, is aware of what they're doing... not only that, but also, aware of what it means to be the other, suffering person.

Unless the perpetrator is sociopathic. But also interestingly, sociopaths' worst acts are described as inhuman, for that lack of awareness.

"monster" is similarly a description of something non-human. (Not you, monster)
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:21 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by henry quirk View Post
Well, you can see a campfire as a block of ice but that doesn't make the fire any less searing.



That is: your opinion doesn't overwrite reality.



So: is personhood intrinsic or bestowed (that seems to be the question between us)?
I'm just saying that your use of the term person is subjective. It depends on the perspective of the observer. You could substitute the phrase self aware and be done with it.

If you're self aware, to you, you're a person. A being. If I see you as a monster or a sociopath, then to me, you're not.

It's just a shell game. The term is changeable in meaning depending on the way you use it.

Fun.
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Old 10-08-2019, 11:25 PM   #22
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The definition of a person is a human being regarded as an individual. So if you regard a fetus as an individual then it's a person.

I don't regard a fetus as an individual until it can physically survive without a host. ymmv

A goldfish is not a person because it is not a human being. The rest of your questions are also answered by the definition of the term.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:14 AM   #23
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I would point out that babies are just eating, shitting and crying machines until they are a few months old. They are not consciously aware of themselves for a period of time that will vary from child to child, but is a few months.

You can see the change in them. There's a point where a light comes on inside and they actually look AT things instead of just have their eyes open.

I think they are persons at birth, but only because it is a convenient place to draw the line.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:28 AM   #24
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So: is personhood intrinsic or bestowed (that seems to be the question between us)?
Some religious would say intrinsic, then they can drag you down the rabbit hole. No longer checking the religion box, I know my default has shifted some. That consciousness that is so hard to define is cumulative. You gain awareness over time as you gain insight into your own universe. There is no fixed point. We are left with others looking in and assigning personhood. If you are fortunate, you live here and now rather than say Nazi Germany. I work with aged and TBI folks now. Among them there is a desire to live as independently as they can, despite frailty. The fetus is unknowingly on the on-ramp to consciousness they are knowingly on the off-ramp. I love the question Henry, but I can't answer it.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #25
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I think they are persons at birth, but only because it is a convenient place to draw the line.
Quote:
There is no fixed point.
I think this is all true; I personally draw the line at where their brain has developed to the point where consciousness is even *possible* - and I believe that happens at about the sixth month in utero, when neocortical brain activity begins to ramp up.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:36 AM   #26
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"If you're self aware, to you, you're a person. A being. If I see you as a monster or a sociopath, then to me, you're not."

Which again raises the question: is personhood intrinsic or bestowed?

If intrinsic: then your opinion may affect your responses and reactions (you may treat me as sumthin' other than person) but doesn't change the fact I'm a person.

If bestowed: then opinion is all we have to work with and you seein' me as monster (not a person) in fact actually determines my personhood.

It's an important distinction.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:37 AM   #27
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"I don't regard a fetus as an individual until it can physically survive without a host."

I take that as a vote for 'personhood is bestowed", yeah?
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:47 AM   #28
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"I love the question Henry, but I can't answer it."

No one can.

Notions of 'self' & 'personhood' have been on the table since (probably) before (proto)man fell out of the trees. There's no agreement on: what comprises 'self' or 'person', whether or not personhood is intrinsic or bestowed, is non human life capable of personhood (the answer depending heavily on whether personhood is intrinsic or bestowed), and on and on.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:53 AM   #29
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I think this is all true; I personally draw the line at where their brain has developed to the point where consciousness is even *possible* - and I believe that happens at about the sixth month in utero, when neocortical brain activity begins to ramp up.
If we want to use potential capability (rather than actual capacity) then we can go clear back to week 12 as the dividing line between 'meat' and 'person'. By week 12 all the organic machinery allowing or promoting self-awareness is in place (though underdevloped).
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:03 AM   #30
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Future potential is not really relevant to me, only actual, but any level of actual is good enough.
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