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From the Moment You Began: A Panel on the Origins of Life

Saturday, March 25, 2017,

  • Location: Presentation Room

The event (or series) will explore the moments and processes during which human lives begin biologically and personally. While seeking to provide factual medical information and to share diverse examples of individual experiences, the purpose of the event is not to deliver simple, generalized answers but rather to provoke thought and spark discussion on where and how human life may begin and on how human life comes to possess value.

To explore the many facets of the event’s topics, there will be a series of speakers whom the attendees will be able to ask questions and talk to after the event. First, an obstetrician/gynecologist will discuss the biological beginnings of human life (and possibly briefly touch on major milestones of human development pre-birth.) Then, a NICU doctor will talk about a person’s first moments outside of the womb and the preciousness of an individual’s first moments directly interacting with the world. From the beginnings of biology, we will move on the to the beginnings of the mind, focusing on the mental development of a person. A doctor or biologist will discuss how sentience is defined and why humans are considered to possess it, and a psychologist or psychiatrist will discuss the development of the mind before and beyond birth.  

Second in the two events (or after “Intermission”), we will explore the diversity of people’s beliefs on when their lives began, whether it was after learning to cope with a mental illness, after a loved one died, or after they accepted a belief system. We hope to partner with both religious and nonreligious (such as the secular humanists) organizations to discuss experiences such as spiritual awakenings, conversions, being “born again” and the beauty of physical reincarnations. Through these partnerships, we also hope to host a dialogue on different religious teachings and philosophies about when humans’ spiritual lives begin and when souls appear, if applicable to the belief systems. For the mental side, we will also have speakers (PCC workers/ psychologists) share experiences of finding new life after finding the right treatments to manage mental illness.