Why am I not more worried about my ethics paper? I think I should be worried about it. I haven’t even taken my McMahan off the shelf yet… (that’s what that rather disturbing picture is, the cover of my textbook). Ok, lets get started… When does a person start to exist? I don’t know. Sometime after conception. They cease to exist sometime around their death. Here’s what I know.

1. I think a newborn baby is a person. It’s demeaning to the life of the child to say otherwise.

2. I do not think that a blastocyst is a person.

3. I do think that dolphins and dogs and bunnies can be people too, but different people from you and me.

4. If that is the case, then dust mites and e coli must be people too, but different people from dolphins and dogs.

5. Somebody with advanced stages of Alzheimers is a person, although maybe not the same person they were five years ago

6. Somebody in a coma is a person. Why wouldn’t they be?

7. Somebody who wants to die is a person not the same as they were before, but we must respect where they have come from and where they may go.

8. If my physical body is destroyed but the functions of my mind are duplicated exactly in a machine, then that machine is me.

9. If my mind is merely copied while I remain alive, then the machine is not me, because I am the in the body. The machine and I are the same, but not the same person.

10. If I am replicated, I am still me by vitue of continuing in the same body while the replication is me again, but we are not the same. We are brothers.

11. If my body is destroyed and two new versions of me are created, they are both me but they are not each other.

12. If two people are merged together into one, the new person is both of them, and neither of them. He is a person both new and old who can trace his lineage back through both of the old.

Are these consistent? Probably not. I just need to put them all together in a 5 page paper to be handed in tomorrow morning. Whopeee.

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