Lesson 2:  Abortion (Lectures 3 and 4)

    1. In the assessment of the morality of an act, the object, intention, and circumstances must be considered. What is the object of abortion and why is it important to know what the object of a proposed act is?
    2. Abortion as an elective medical procedure was unknown until modern medical practice. Nonetheless, from time to time, there were indications of concern for developing life in the womb. Indicate some of those significant acknowledgments.
    3. The soul was posited as the active principle of human life at least from the time of the ancient Greeks. What part does soul theory play in the abortion debate?
    4. Read the section on the early development of human life from fertilization until birth. Chronicle the significant development stages in the life of a new human being from syngamy until birth.
    5. Define the ontogenetic zero point of development and the ontogenetic zero point of behavior. What is the significance of each in the development of human life?
    6. Explain the following terms:
      • a. Being in act
      • b. Active and passive potentiality
      • c. Constitution and tendency of active potentiality
      • d. Natural and specific active potentialities
      • e. Remote and proximate potentialities
    7. Give a summary minimal description of human life as it is present in the zygote, the fertilized ovum.
    8. The notion of autonomy is a powerful notion in the contemporary culture. Present and assess its application in the culture and in the issue of abortion.
    9. Develop and evaluate the notion of pregnancy as an example of lives embedded in relationship.
    10. What is the notion of a person as a juristic concept?
    11. Evaluate the claim the since only forty percent of human zygotes survive to become fully developed rational beings the zygote should not receive full protection of the law.
    12. Explain and evaluate the theories of ensoulment as they apply in the abortion debate.


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