Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Krauthammer: being human is a process

[Update: the video at post's end no longer works, probably because everything O'Reilly has been deleted from the Fox news landscape since his separation from the network.]

Charles Krauthammer is a frequent guest on "The O'Reilly Factor." The other night, during a discussion of the current Planned Parenthood outrage, C.K. referred to the early embryo as a "clump of cells," as though such cells get thrown together by an accident of nature, like a pile of gutter debris after a storm. There is, he says, a legitimate difference of opinion between those, like O'Reilly, who defend the embryo's humanity from conception, and those who think that full personhood is achieved in the course of a "process." The two argue about it.

This "clump of cells" language astounds coming from a medical doctor, who ought to know better than anyone that all the information necessary to form the highly sophisticated brain producing all that intellectual output that makes him such a valued commentator (and a best-selling author to boot) is right there in that clump of cells from the very beginning. Destroy the clump that will become C.K. (end the "process," in other words) and you destroy C.K. He will not be available for TV appearances. Thus, there is no difference between the process of becoming a person and the possession of personhood itself.

C.K. never does identify at precisely which point in the process any one of us can lay claim to this exalted status. The video is below. I'd drag the slider to 3:56 and stop at about 7:15. After that it's back to politics.

[Update]: I suspect that Ross Douhat, lacking a medical degree, is considerably smarter than C.K.]

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