What is life? by Anneliise Rehn

In discussion for MCB 61, the GSI asked the question “what is life?” Students’ answers indicate the deep philosophical struggle in the pro-abortion-choice mindset. Some gave answers regarding all life, and remembered one or two characteristics from the list they memorized in High School biology. Others took the question to mean human life and their answers were vague and unsure:

“I don’t know, but I think it’s when the brain is fully functioning”

“Isn’t it like someone who can survive on their own?”

“I would say, like, when you can make a conscious choice; that’s just my personal opinion.”

Each of these attempted definitions would exclude large sections of the world’s human population, including many of you reading this article! Fully functioning brain? The brain develops over the course of your life and at every point in time part of your brain isn’t “fully functioning.” Survive on your own? Whether someone’s very young or very old, severely disabled, or just lacks the outdoors expertise to live in man-v-wild style, we all depend on other people to survive every day. Conscious choice? This would include you when you when you sleep.

We need a clear and consistent definition of human life. The most straightforward is a life (defined in Daniel E. Koshland Jr.’s essay in the journal Science “The Seven Pillars of Life“) that is human (clearly identifiable by human DNA). This establishes an uncomplicated test of whether a thing is a human life.

Berkeley Students For Life is committed to fighting the ending of human lives by other humans. This mission is grounded in a straightforward definition of human life including every organism with human DNA from conception to natural death.

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