[extropy-chat] The Language of Euphamism versus Life of my Son

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu May 19 01:24:03 UTC 2005

John C Wright wrote:

> If there are further objections to the use of the word "child" once
> it has been shown to be correct by the dictionary, I fear I have 
> not the patience to answer: because then we are merely discussing
> emotion. 

I'd certainly object to the use of the word "child" if it was intended
as a non perjorative term to describe the whole class of living human
entities from fertilization to just before birth nine months later. Such
a single classification could not be more biased or more misleading.

Once born, alive and apparently healthy there is no question to my
mind that a human infant can be fairly called a child. Going 
backwards in time before birth and especially into timeframes where
our best technological efforts could not even potentially keep the
developing human alive it gets increasing wrong to call that unborn
human entity a child and it gets increasing perjorative to fair debate
about the issues to do so. 

Some people will of course talk of unborn children because they
do not have the terminology, morola, zygote, embryo, fetus (after
8 weeks), and for them I might make allowances as they are trying
with the best tools they have. But if you are going to try and call
everything from a single fertilized egg to a nine month old fetus a
child AND pretend that you are using non perjorative language
then I am inclined to want to tar and feature you and run you out
of town for the scoundrel that you are.

In the period between fertilization and nine months later the amount
of structural change undergone by a developing human roughly 
tracks the amount of structural change experienced in the 3.5 billion
years of life on earth. 

Brett Paatsch

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