Intro, Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight
Confusing Parts and Wholes
One of arguments that I find most odd from some in the pro-choice camp goes something like this:
If an embryo is alive then both human sperm and egg cells are alive as well. Sperm and egg cells are obviously not the same as grown human beings in the same way that embryos aren't the same as grown human beings.
This example shows how pro-choicers can confuse parts and wholes. Sperm and egg cells are merely parts of larger, whole human organisms (namely male and female human beings) like my hand or arm is part of me while the unborn are not parts of other organisms but are whole human organisms unto themselves.
It is true that the unborn are smaller and less developed than born human beings but their size and stage of development does not change what they are. They are still whole human organisms regardless of whether they are small and less developed.
I've even talked with one pro-choicer who was so desperate not to lose an argument that he asserted that sperm and egg cells were organisms unto themselves and that humans reproduced asexually to produce sperm and egg and then egg and sperm mated to produce an organism (the embryo) which was an organism until she attached to her mother and was then only part of the larger female organism (the mother) until separation when she again became a whole organism. Needless to say, confusing parts and wholes can lead people to outlandish positions.