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Are these two qualities ó alive and human ó enough for the fertilized ovum to deserve protection? Does a mean that just by being human and alive, it already has the right to life?

Yes. An organism that is both alive and human is HUMAN LIFE. Any level-minded person with enough common sense knows the value of even one human life, and that every human being's life deserves protection.

The fertilized ovum is a living human being that deserves even more protection, since it is incapable of defending itself from aggression. The fertilized ovum has a moral right to life. It ought to be afforded a legal right to life.

What about the soul? When does the human soul begin to exist?

This question cannot be answered by experimental science alone, since the soul itself is intangible. However, its existence may be established indirectly, with the help of observable events studied in the experimental sciences. The method for establishing the existence of a soul is the application of reason to observable facts, in the following discussion:

Science has demonstrated that all living beings are composed of the same inanimate elements ó hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, etc.-and the chemical substances composed by these. We can in fact affirm that all living beings ó from protozoans to human beings ó are essentially made of the same "stuff". These chemical substances and elements are what a living being disintegrates into when it dies.

But what is it that makes them alive? Elements and compounds don't just pull together by chance to form life. There must be an active principle that causes them to integrate in specific manners so that what was formerly inanimate, several, disintegrated, and passive would become animate, one, integral, and active. If the material universe is composed of the same basic chemical elements, there must be something in living beings ó some ingredient or component ó that non-living beings do not posses.

What is it that pulls these elements together in such a way as to form a cabbage and not a mouse, a mouse and not a cat, a cat and not a man? If all of these living beings are made of the same elemental stuff, there must be something in them that differentiates them from one another.

What happens when a living being dies? Everyone knows that the material body disintegrates back into the various chemical compounds and elements, such that after death, one can no longer speak of these as a mouse or a cat or a man.

This animating and specifying principle of every living being is called the SOUL. Without it, simply no integration of chemical elements can occur; and by deduction, where there is an integration of chemical elements in such a way as to allow the resulting being to act immanently and spontaneously, there must be a soul. Life begins when the soul is infused into capable matter; and death occurs when the soul is separated from the body.

Medical science, in establishing that the fertilized ovum is alive (animated) and that the biochemical configuration of the fertilized ovum is undoubtedly human (specified), has thereby provided experimental evidence to suggest that AT THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION, AT LEAST ONE HUMAN SOUL BEGINS TO EXIST.

How is it possible for a fertilized ovum to have the right to life even when it does not show signs of consciousness?

We must treat the fertilized ovum as a special case, since it is the very beginning of human life. Obviously, since no specialized organs for the external senses exist yet, the faculties of the soul of the fertilized ovum are still empty of experiential data. Nevertheless, the mind, "tamquam tabula raza" (like a blank slate) is there waiting to be written on as soon as the sense organs attain appropriate stages of development.

It is interesting to note that with the electroencephalograph (EEG), electrical brainwave patterns have been detected in fetuses as early as six weeks after conception.