Thursday, November 10, 2011

Define Person

Person-hood has been in the news a lot since the Amendment 26 issue.  I invite Pro Choice/Pro Life advocates, Philosophers, and anyone interested on this issue to define what a Person is.

Your comment should reflect these questions:

  • What is a Person?

  • When does an organism or thing become a Person?

  • Can a Person lose Person-hood?

  • If sentience is a requirement for Person-hood, are infants or adults/elderly with Alzheimer's Persons?

  • Who or what grants Person-hood?


  1. A person is that which is made at conception. An organism becomes a person again at conception. Sentience is not a requirement for personhood. God grants personhood, and fertilization. markfromkent.

  2. A person is a religious being created by God, new & unique at the moment of conception, and from that moment man can never lose his dignity or worth or personhood because of his/her beginning and because of Who created him. There are no external requirements or characteristics deigned by man through which one can lose personhood because man does not confer personhood, God does.
    Mary Mack

  3. A person is a person at birth and loses said personhood at death. Infants and the elderly have personhood and no one entity grants personhood, it is merely inherent.

    The problem with giving fetuses personhood is the same as the problem when you give corporations personhood: Ultimately, it inhibits and harms the lives and rights of real people. Like how considering a fetus as a person inhibits the rights and well-being of a woman or a corporation gaining personhood creates a new aristocracy, something that worked against the people throughout history.

  4. God should have nothing to do with it in a secular society. A person is someone who can think, feel, perceive. There are different status granted to different groups depending on their level on these fronts. Thus, embryos do not have all the rights of infants (who are in fact sentient) who in turn do not have the rights of 18 year old. When a "person" becomes brain dead, they often lose the right to life. A person with Alzheimers loses her rights to manage her own affairs. Personhood is a red herring. The issue is, does one being have the right to comandeer the use of another's body. If you had the ability to save someone's life, whether through organ transplant or blood transfusion, the law wouldn't require you to do so, even if it was your child. That is because our right to bodily autonomy is our highest and most precious right. JessieHer

  5. Denying a human being's personhood at any phase or condition of life is an attempt to justify killing said human being.

  6. 1. A person is a human body with a mind capable of self-awareness and thought.

    2. An organism becomes a person when it attains the above.

    3. An organism stops being a person when it permanently loses the above.

    4. Sentience is required, as above.

    5. Nobody grants the above. They are part of a natural course of development for most members of our species.



Thank you for reading and for your comment. All comments are subject to approval. They must be free of vulgarity, ad hominem and must be relevant to the blog posting subject matter.


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