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Thread: Christianity Today Op Ed

  1. #1381
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill the Cat View Post
    Jim was. He distinguished between a preborn that HAD and DID NOT HAVE a functioning brain.



    Sure. Let's go far fetched... If we decapitate someone, and can biologically alter their heart to keep itself beating without the medulla, and hook them up to a computer that can simulate communication, we can say they are a person without a brain. Want to go further? Let's say we figure out how to transplant brains, and I hire someone to kidnap Brad Pitt and transplant my brain into his body, since my brain is me, then he would have no subsequent right to the body, and I would have committed no crime because the body is mine.



    Yes. The blastocyst is a self-contained and self-directed member of our species. The brain is only an organ that is being kept alive artificially. If the power goes out, the brain tissue dies. The blastocyst doesn't.
    A fully functioning brain is not part of any of my points in that post. What I'm talking about there is the difference between no brain and a minimally functioning brain.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

  2. #1382
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I said nothing about whether or not a fetus is of value to society. I said that it is inherently valuable in and of itself.
    "Inherent value" doesn't get you a foot closer to your conclusion here. Value doesn't confer a right, inherent or attributed by an external agent.


    --Sam
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


  3. #1383
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    "Inherent value" doesn't get you a foot closer to your conclusion here. Value doesn't confer a right, inherent or attributed by an external agent.


    --Sam
    I haven't followed this discussion closely, only skimmed it periodically. But value, in the context of this topic, usually is used in the sense of human dignity.

    Whether value is used synonymously for dignity, or the value is based in inherent dignity, the merit of the fetus is predicated on the assumption of worth, value, or dignity.

  4. #1384
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    "Inherent value" doesn't get you a foot closer to your conclusion here. Value doesn't confer a right, inherent or attributed by an external agent.

    --Sam
    If human life has no inherent value, then killing it becomes a morally neutral act.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  5. #1385
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    You can track the progress of development, sure, but to pretend that it's discrete divisions rather than a continuous, unbroken whole is pure dogma.
    I don't know how you come up with these bizarre extrapolations that you invent out of my posts and then argue against, but it would help if you could take a little time to try to understand the points being made before your respond. It would waste a lot less time.

    I'm not talking about discrete division in the way you keep trying to force the topic to. It is a simple fact that a brain develops in a baby. There is a period of time when there is no brain, no nerve tissue of any kind. Then gradually, some cells differentiate into nerve cells at the right place and the right time and a very basic nervous system begins to develop. During any of these times, there is nothing that would equate to 'consciousness' in the forming child. Nothing that would make it a person, there is no mind there yet (which as we know is where the person is). There is however a later time when an actual brain begins to form and a time after that where a very basic kind of brain activity begins to develop. Now somewhere between that and a later stages where the majority of those 100 trillion neurons most of us have this child becomes the very basic root of what we call a 'person'. We can't know exactly where, but somewhere between that most basic brain and 6 to nine months the childs 'mind' becomes a reality.

    And while we can't know exactly when that happens, we know that it isn't there in those early stages before the brain even has a few thousand neurons, and we know that by the time the fetus has reached 6 months gestation it IS there. So the point is, it happens DURING gestation, and we know enough to draw safe boundaries around when it hasn't happened yet. In times we know there is no mind, this fetus is not yet a human being or human person. There is no mind there yet. And without a mind, we don't consider any human flesh to have rights. When a persons brain has died there is only the body left, an empty shell, and it doesn't have rights.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 01-23-2020 at 06:24 AM.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

  6. #1386
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Assuming a normal pregnancy, a developing fetus does not merely have the potential to develop brain function, it inevitably will. But this has nothing to do with why we should protect it. A fetus is not inherently valuable because of what it could be but because of what it is.
    I'm not sure I believe that is a fair statement. What it is can't be separated from what it can become. A fetus that has failed to develop a brain will never become a human being. And because of what it can't become, it does not have value as a human being, while a normally developing fetus does have that value that is associated with the potential to become a human being.

    The issue is not value. A fetus has great value even from its first cellular division. But it is not yet a human being, and killing it is not yet murder. But it can, and normally will become a human being. And so neither is it simply 'two cells'. To me the distinction is not value, but when does the abortion become murder. When does the developing fetus become a separate human person and thus gain the right to be considered wholly separate from the mother as a person. I don't believe that is at conception. But I believe it is a good while before birth. Certainly by the third trimester, but probably by the end of the first or at the latest sometime in the early part of the second trimester is when that threshold is crossed. And after that point, every abortion that does not threaten the life of a mother murders a child. Before that transition, I don't believe an abortion can be fairly or legitimately classed as murder., even though in most cases it is wrong, because it is a developing child and will become a person if left to develop. That makes every abortion a travesty no matter when they are done, even necessary ones.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 01-23-2020 at 06:39 AM.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

  7. #1387
    tWebber Chrawnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    I don't know how you come up with these bizarre extrapolations that you invent out of my posts and then argue against, but it would help if you could take a little time to try to understand the points being made before your respond. It would waste a lot less time.

    I'm not talking about discrete division in the way you keep trying to force the topic to. It is a simple fact that a brain develops in a baby. There is a period of time when there is no brain, no nerve tissue of any kind. Then gradually, some cells differentiate into nerve cells at the right place and the right time and a very basic nervous system begins to develop. During any of these times, there is nothing that would equate to 'consciousness' in the forming child. Nothing that would make it a person, there is no mind there yet (which as we know is where the person is). There is however a later time when an actual brain begins to form and a time after that where a very basic kind of brain activity begins to develop. Now somewhere between that and a later stages where the majority of those 100 trillion neurons most of us have this child becomes the very basic root of what we call a 'person'. We can't know exactly where, but somewhere between that most basic brain and 6 to nine months the childs 'mind' becomes a reality.

    And while we can't know exactly when that happens, we know that it isn't there in those early stages before the brain even has a few thousand neurons, and we know that by the time the fetus has reached 6 months gestation it IS there. So the point is, it happens DURING gestation, and we know enough to draw safe boundaries around when it hasn't happened yet. In times we know there is no mind, this fetus is not yet a human being or human person. There is no mind there yet. And without a mind, we don't consider any human flesh to have rights. When a persons brain has died there is only the body left, an empty shell, and it doesn't have rights.
    Imagine being a Christian who believes in the existence of the soul and it's continued existence after bodily death and God as an unembodied mind/spirit and still arguing that the existence of a nervous system and/or brain is a pre-requisite for granting a human being personhood.

  8. #1388
    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxmixmudd View Post
    I don't know how you come up with these bizarre extrapolations that you invent out of my posts...
    I'm not inventing anything. You're the one arguing that at some specific point along the unbroken continuum of a human life, a being suddenly acquires a value it did not have literally a moment before. That's dogma.
    Last edited by Mountain Man; 01-23-2020 at 07:38 AM.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

  9. #1389
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrawnus View Post
    Imagine being a Christian who believes in the existence of the soul and it's continued existence after bodily death and God as an unembodied mind/spirit and still arguing that the existence of a nervous system and/or brain is a pre-requisite for granting a human being personhood.
    Imagine Exodus defining that the accidental death of an unborn fetus as only requiring a fine from the offending person, as opposed to a life for a life if the mother also died.

    Imagine that the Jewish Tradition, which forms the basis for Christian faith, does not consider the fetus a person until born, until its first breath.

    Imagine that for millenia, independent of scientific knowledge of the critical nature of the brain to the mind and personality, Christians have debated when the soul actually becomes connected, infused, with/into the child, and that for over 1.5 millenia many notable church fathers believed it was not at conception, but later, at quickening.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/soci...1869-1.1449517
    Source: above

    The Catholic Church’s current position on abortion is 144 years old. In the 1869 document Apostolicae Sedis, Pope Pius IX declared the penalty of excommunication for abortions at any stage of pregnancy. Up to then Catholic teaching was that no homicide was involved if abortion took place before the foetus was infused with a soul, known as “ensoulment”.


    Separate consciousness
    This was believed to occur at “quickening”, when the mother detected the child move for the first time in her womb. It indicated a separate consciousness.

    In 1591, Pope Gregory XIV determined it took place at 166 days of pregnancy, almost 24 weeks. That is the current legal limit for abortion in the UK. It was Catholic Church teaching until 1869.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Imagine for a moment that it is possible some the the dogma around the issue of abortion is not entirely scriptural.

    Imagine for a moment that there are times when science can inform our understanding of scripture.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 01-23-2020 at 07:39 AM.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

  10. #1390
    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I'm not inventing anything. You're the one arguing that at some specific point along the unbroken continuum of a human life, a being suddenly acquires a value it did not have literally a moment before. That's dogma.
    MM - I never said that. This is significant misunderstanding on your part.

    spectrum.jpg

    If I look at a spectrum. I can look on the right and see it is red. And I can look on the left and see it is violet. And I can look in the middle and see it is green.

    But I cannot define the precise point where it moves from yellow to green, or orange to red, or green to blue. But i can safely define a frequency where it IS yellow. And I can safely define a frequency where it IS green. And blue, And red. And orange.

    So, I am NOTsaying we can define a precise boundary to the minute, or the hour, or even the day where the baby has consciousness on one side and does not have consciousness on the other.

    I am saying that just like we can define green, or blue, or red without saying the precise boundary where they change from those colors, we can define a point given the state of development where we can know it does NOT have consciousness. And we can define another point where where we know it DOES have consciousness.
    Last edited by oxmixmudd; 01-23-2020 at 08:03 AM.
    He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets"

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