Are zygotes humans?

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newbie
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

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Where there is no love (in particular that of a mother), there is nothing.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Redfaery »

newbie wrote:As soon as the fertilized egg finds itself in the uterus (best on the upper part of the posterior wall), it will start producing hCG which permits its implantation. The natural way, the blastocyst is embedded into the endometrium by day 5 or 6. So you need good timing.
HCG production peaks around 60 to 70 days of gestation, decline by 80, and then increase until term.
The embryo will develop germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, endoderm) around day 14. From these layers later form body structures: organs, tissues.
eeeeehhhh....this doesn't always happen. IIRC, 2 out of 5 fertilized eggs fail to implant, and 1 out of three that DO implant are miscarried... many without the mother even realizing there was a pregnancy.

Are zygotes human? Well, are acorns oak trees?
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Grigoris »

Redfaery wrote:Are zygotes human? Well, are acorns oak trees?
Good analogy! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by A Ah Sha Sa Ma Ha »

https://books.google.com/books?id=cy980 ... an&f=false


According to Tibetan Buddhism, consciousness enters, the zygote when the sperm and ovum unite...

So if the zygote has consciousness...it is a being already...a sentient being...
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Taco_Rice »

Every time a human is born, that is another being can attain the Way...

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When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Redfaery wrote:Are zygotes human? Well, are acorns oak trees?
Good analogy! :twothumbsup:
Related to that...
If I plant two acorns, then a week later decide to dig one up, I have only one tree five years later.
For me to say I did not destroy a tree is not technically true, even if the acorn is not a tree.
A womb may be a necessary condition but a primary cause remains the zygote.
Regarding consciousness or when a zygote becomes a being, I don't have the expertise to say.
No one is equating an acorn to a tree, but that does not mean the opposite is therefore true :shrug:
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Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

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An acorn is a relative condition of an oak tree. From here on, I let my teachers speak for me.

:anjali:
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Queen Elizabeth II
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Queen Elizabeth II »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:They are viable since when they are implanted a human being comes out.
Sorry dude, but without the presence of a functioning uterus they are not viable. No matter how you frame it.
I sense that the two of you are just using 'viable' in different ways. In one sense it means capable of maintaining a separate existence, and so would only apply to a child after birth or one in the womb that had developed enough that it could survive if born prematurely. But in another and more recent sense it simply means capable of growing and developing and would apply to any fertilized ovum, even one in a petri dish. The former sense is the dominant one in embryology and the latter in botany (esp. with regard to seeds) but sometimes the latter is used even in embryology.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Redfaery »

Monlam Tharchin wrote: If I plant two acorns, then a week later decide to dig one up, I have only one tree five years later.
For me to say I did not destroy a tree is not technically true, even if the acorn is not a tree.
A womb may be a necessary condition but a primary cause remains the zygote.
Regarding consciousness or when a zygote becomes a being, I don't have the expertise to say.
No one is equating an acorn to a tree, but that does not mean the opposite is therefore true :shrug:
You're assuming that both acorns have equal odds of becoming trees. As someone who has both an oak tree and a uterus, I assure you reality is much different. If I were to go into my garden right now and dig an acorn sprout out from the ground, would that be the same as cutting down the oak tree it came from, even though that sprout has more likelihood of being eaten by a squirrel than becoming another tree? More to the point, if I somehow became pregnant, would I be committing infanticide if I took a pill to flush a zygote out of my body? A zygote that would likely be miscarried due to the IUD I have implanted for other medical reasons?
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Grigoris »

Monlam Tharchin wrote:A womb may be a necessary condition but a primary cause remains the zygote.
So what? If you have functioning eyes and a visual object (primary causes), but there is no light (necessary condition) can you see? No. In the same way if you have a zygote but no functioning uterus to support it, will it be viable? No.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Grigoris »

Queen Elizabeth II wrote:The former sense is the dominant one in embryology and the latter in botany (esp. with regard to seeds) but sometimes the latter is used even in embryology.
In which case zygotes ARE acorns! :)
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by kirtu »

Mother's Lap wrote:
Malcolm wrote:They can also be frozen, kind of a hellish bardo state, but what the hell. Samsara.
The being is unconscious at that point in gestation isn't it?
I don't know why Malcolm affirmed this.

Consciousness enters the zygote as soon as the sperm and egg unite (unless this is just another vision). The consciousness selected the mother and father (not necessarily intentionally - it was drawn to them karmically - unless this part is another vision but generally this has been taken as literal).

Therefore we can assume that a consciousness did indeed unite with the IVF zygote. But not much seems to happen with the consciousness until later in development. If the zygote is frozen then possibly the consciousness would be aware of that since it is aware of it's environment.

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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Losal Samten »

kirtu wrote:
Mother's Lap wrote:
Malcolm wrote:They can also be frozen, kind of a hellish bardo state, but what the hell. Samsara.
The being is unconscious at that point in gestation isn't it?
I don't know why Malcolm affirmed this.

Consciousness enters the zygote as soon as the sperm and egg unite (unless this is just another vision). The consciousness selected the mother and father (not necessarily intentionally - it was drawn to them karmically - unless this part is another vision but generally this has been taken as literal).

Therefore we can assume that a consciousness did indeed unite with the IVF zygote. But not much seems to happen with the consciousness until later in development. If the zygote is frozen then possibly the consciousness would be aware of that since it is aware of it's environment.

Kirt
Khenpo Rinpoches: "The moment mind enters between the two essence elements, there is a brief instance of intelligence, feelings, blissfulness or whatever; immediately following this, however, consciousness is trapped and enters a state of total neutrality. Awareness and conceptions are not waking up, but rather are sinking into a state of rest or unconsciousness- it is like the individual has fainted".

Consciousness only starts to rouse at the fifth week, after which it gradually becomes more aware.

Khenpo Rinpoches: "In general, the teachings describe four kinds of beings that enter the womb, 1. buddhas, 2. ordinary beings, 3.cakravartins, 4. great bodhisattvas. When it comes to buddhas, they enter the womb with awareness, reside in the womb with awareness, leave the womb with awareness, and live in awareness after leaving the womb. On the other hand, regular sentient beings enter, reside, and leave the womb without awareness or knowledge; thus, sentient beings more or less move through the changes in a state of blindness or unconsciousness.

...the teachings state that very fortunate beings with excellent karma and some degree of realisation are also aware of entering the womb. Once such example is a cakravartin who will rule the four continents. So cakravartins, other beings with a great deal of merit, and those with a high degree of realisation are aware of entering the womb. However, they are not aware of residing in the womb or leaving the womb.

There is also the case of great bodhisattvas who reside on the bhumis. Similar to fully enlightened buddhas, they are aware of entering, residing in, and coming out of the womb. But the teachings explain that their degree of awareness during these times depends upon the extent of their realisation".
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Monlam Tharchin wrote:A womb may be a necessary condition but a primary cause remains the zygote.
So what? If you have functioning eyes and a visual object (primary causes), but there is no light (necessary condition) can you see? No. In the same way if you have a zygote but no functioning uterus to support it, will it be viable? No.
But what of the case where there is a viable zygote and a functioning uterus, and one then removes the zygote?

I also notice an ambiguous position in this thread.
If a zygote is not a human, then something like the morning after pill for instance does not "impede" a human being, if "kill" is too strong a word.
Yet people take the morning after pill precisely to avoid the possibility a human birth in the future.
So one simultaneously takes action to avoid giving rise to a human while saying one is not giving rise to a human being.
It seems some slice up the causation differently, sometimes in the same thought, and that is where the crux of the matter lies.

For what it's worth, I was once on the opposite side of the fence on the whole wad of issues that come with this subject.
That is until I began reading opinions of Buddhist teachers.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Malcolm »

Queen Elizabeth II wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:They are viable since when they are implanted a human being comes out.
Sorry dude, but without the presence of a functioning uterus they are not viable. No matter how you frame it.
I sense that the two of you are just using 'viable' in different ways. In one sense it means capable of maintaining a separate existence, and so would only apply to a child after birth or one in the womb that had developed enough that it could survive if born prematurely. But in another and more recent sense it simply means capable of growing and developing and would apply to any fertilized ovum, even one in a petri dish. The former sense is the dominant one in embryology and the latter in botany (esp. with regard to seeds) but sometimes the latter is used even in embryology.
I mean it in the same sense we say a seed is viable, i.e., given proper conditions it will produce a plant.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Grigoris »

Malcolm wrote:I mean it in the same sense we say a seed is viable, i.e., given proper conditions it will produce a plant.
Fair enough. In which case we can say that a zygote MAY be viable given proper conditions. Does that make it a human though?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
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"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Malcolm »

kirtu wrote:
Mother's Lap wrote:
Malcolm wrote:They can also be frozen, kind of a hellish bardo state, but what the hell. Samsara.
The being is unconscious at that point in gestation isn't it?
I don't know why Malcolm affirmed this.
It is because the gandharva has only three indriyas when it enters the fertilized ovum, according to the The Nanda-garbhavakranti-sūtra:

  • Nanda, in the nineteenth week, the four organs of the fetus in the womb mother’s womb, the eyes, the ears, the nose, and the tongue fully formed. In the beginning when entering the womb initially only three faculties were attained, these being the body, life and mind.




Sensations, according to Desri Sangye Gyatso's commentary on the Medicine Tanta, occur only in the 24th week:
  • In the twenty-fourth month the “moving everywhere” wind clear matures the functional and hollow organs. At that time, also the thoughts of happiness and suffering, the objects of sensation, become known.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Malcolm »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:I mean it in the same sense we say a seed is viable, i.e., given proper conditions it will produce a plant.
Fair enough. In which case we can say that a zygote MAY be viable given proper conditions. Does that make it a human though?

Yes, because a gandharva, a consciousness seeking rebirth, has entered the fertilized ovum.

If the zygote is not viable, it will not survive implantation. But conception cannot occur without three things, as the Medical Tantra states:
  • First, from a man and women’s non-defective semen and blood, and a consciousness impelled by action and affliction, the five elements assemble, the cause of conception, in the womb. For example, it is equivalent with fire produced from fire sticks.
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by Grigoris »

Malcolm wrote:Yes, because a gandharva, a consciousness seeking rebirth, has entered the fertilized ovum.
So, for you, a fertilised ovum is a human being?
If the zygote is not viable, it will not survive implantation.
In which case a zygote is not viable, per se. You just contradicted yourself.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
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明安 Myoan
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Re: Are zygotes humans?

Post by 明安 Myoan »

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Monlam Tharchin wrote:There's a lot of anger in your post :shrug:
There is no anger in my post, you are projecting.
It may be your sense of humor or a cultural difference, we don't know each other that well after all. But words like "pretty bloody obvious" and using "just" in that way come across as dismissive to me, an average native English speaker.
Having a different viewpoint is not automatically trolling. Saying it's trolling is a way to dismiss others without helping them understand your own point of view. I personally would be curious to see a response to some of the things brought up in the thread and not an ad hominem.
Different to what? The discussion I am having is about the viability of a zygote without the presence of a uterus to support it. It is pretty straight forward really.
Sure, humans aren't born outside of a uterus. Yet humans aren't born without a zygote either.
I leave that topic to the experts. I think my post was more directed towards RF so I'll try better to keep my threads straight. Sorry for any projection of views you don't have.
Sherab Dorje wrote:Unless "on the opposite side of the fence" means that you believe that a zygote is viable without a functioning uterus? Coz I am not promoting any views, just stating the (biologically) flippin' obvious!
By "opposite side of the fence" I meant especially in regards to the quote below and my reply:
Redfaery wrote:More to the point, if I somehow became pregnant, would I be committing infanticide if I took a pill to flush a zygote out of my body? A zygote that would likely be miscarried due to the IUD I have implanted for other medical reasons?
Here is my opinion where we may diverge.
I don't think one can simultaneously form the intention to end a possible human birth by taking a morning after pill then say that the way it does this (flushing the zygote) does not end a human birth. Even if a woman is not sure if there's a zygote or what a zygote is.
If the intention remains to end a human birth, then that is considerable.

I realize this could easily turn into an abortion discussion, so I'm trying to stick very closely to the treatment of a zygote and its potentiality.
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

Reciting the nembutsu and believing in birth in the Pure Land naturally give rise to the Three Minds and the Four Modes of Practice. -- Master Hōnen
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