The Philosophic Theories
 The question “When does life begin?” often evokes a wide variety of responses. These various responses tend to utilize different angles to examine the issue. One of the frequently used perspectives is philosophical. Jack Willke, M.D. (no year) has defined philosophic theories to include those which “use social or psychological rationale which can involve biologic mileposts.” Dr. Willke stresses that these philosophic theories often arrive “through a certain reasoning process,” yet they remain theories because they cannot be proven scientifically. People have a right to hold any philosophic belief they deem worthy, and many people hold certain theories because of religious beliefs or often a lack of religious belief. Morality often comes to play a part in this type of theory when answering the question of when life begins.

 Philosophic theories can be divided into the following categories:

    Decisive Moment Theories -- These theories maintain that human
                     life begins at a decisive moment in development or
                     after certain criteria have been met.
 
    Gradualist Theories -- This type of theory supports ideas which
                    suggest that human life is a continuum.
 
   Soul Determinant Theories  -- Many religious organizations
                    believe that life begins after the soul has entered the body.

   Appeal to Ignorance Theory  --Some people believe that no one
                    knows the answer to this elusive question.
 

Links

  Abortion: Right or Wrong? This web site provides an international Bible study which examines the issue of
                abortion from a biblical perspective. This Bible study attempts to answer the following questions. Is it
                acceptable to take a human life? Is the unborn fetus a living being according to the Bible? This study answers
                these questions through Bible verses and analysis. This site exemplifies one type of theory explaining the
                beginning of human life.
 

  Return to "When does life begin?" home page.
 
 


 
   This page was made by Christina Rutten, a student at  Wayne State College, on April 20, 1999. If you
                have any questions or  comments, please e-mail me at c_rutten@hotmail.com.