‘Personhood,’ Again

The “Voice of the Catholic Lay Faithful” announces:

Febraury 6, 2009 – Washington, DC – The Personhood movement is catching fire as Maryland joins 15 other states across the country working toward the legal recognition of all human beings as “persons” under the law.

Delegate Don H. Dwyer, Jr. will introduce a Personhood Amendment this coming week in the Maryland General Assembly. The amendment recognizes all human beings from their biological beginning as “persons.” …

“Here we are some 36 years after Roe v. Wade, (the Supreme Court decision that decriminalized abortion), and we now have 3-D and 4-D color sonograms that give us a real-time look into the womb,” Del. Dwyer said. “There is no doubt today that there is a human being in the womb and that human being should be considered a person.”

Whether or not Dwyer “doubts” that a fertilized egg is a person, it is not, in fact, for the reasons that Diana Hsieh and I explain. (Diana pointed me to the link.) Lack of doubt about something does not imply it is true. Certainty results from overwhelming evidence proving something in the total context of knowledge. Lack of doubt, in this case and many others, implies only an unwillingness to seriously question. There is only one way one can reach the conclusion that a fertilized egg is a person, and that is through religious faith.

The cited release makes the same mistake that all proponents of such measures have made: to leap from “human being” in the sense of being alive with human DNA to “person.” No such logical leap is warranted; it is an equivocation. But the advocates of such measures have no need for facts or reason; they have faith.