Re: Dr. Dobson

From: Glenn Morton <>
Date: Thu Aug 11 2005 - 13:22:35 EDT

Since this is to all, let me state what I think. I tend to agree with George that it is very difficult to come up with scientific evidence for the soul. But, it is very clear that society has decided that fetus's/prebirth babies don't have one in any case. Thus, either society decided this based upon some evidence (lack of language, sleeping most of the time etc), or they have decided it irrationally. Thus, while you don't see relevance of my post, I do. I would suggest that an examination of the reasons given for why Babies don't have in utero souls should illucidate evidence for what qualities people think of when they think of the soul, and it should illuminate when the soul comes into existence. If you think this is irrelevant to your point, so be it.
I don't think you can totally bypass the concept of whether or not the soul exists to focus entirely upon what is the evidence for its existence. It is like begging the question.
As to whether or not humans should decide who is or is not human (has a soul), history shows that we do a very bad job of it. Three popes had to declare that native americans were children of Adam in order to try to stem the mistreatment of these non-humans. Look at how the west treated the Africans--people who also could be practically viewed at the time as lacking humanity(soul). Many tribes of Native Americans viewed other Native Americans as not being quite human. And anyone who has sat next to survivors of the Japanese invasion of Singapore and heard their stories of how they were treated as subhumans can have any doubt that seeking the soul in other people is a dangerous task. So, I have no doubt that the question of who has and who doesn't have a soul is one that simply leads to problems. Asking when it comes to be also leads to the same problem--death to the soulless.

Carol or John Burgeson <> wrote:
>>The thread was about where the soul came into humans. Since we don't
kill things with souls, we therefore must have made a decision about
where the soul is. And that is why I am against people deciding from
science where and when the soul appears.>>

No, the thread was on a much narrower subject -- asking the question "is
there any evidence on the subject?"

You seem to be making the statement that (1) either there is no possible
evidence (which George also said), or (2) people ought not make any
decisions of this nature regardless of the evidences.

I am not sure which claim you are making.

There IS some negative evidence which points to the soul not being
present in a very new embryo (before the possibility of twinning is
gone). Whether (or not) this is persuasive to anyone is an open question,
of course.

My question hoped to elicit some rational argument for the claim that the
soul is infused at the "moment of conception." Dobson (apparently) claims
this position, as do a lot of people. But I cannot find any rationale for
it (the claim).

You say "...I am against people deciding from science where and when the
soul appears."
But this IS, like it or not, a perfectly valid question to ask. You
appear to be claiming that the question ought not even be asked. But it
is being asked.

A related question is "does the soul, as an entity, exist?" I choose to
bypass this one in order to narrow the focus.



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Received on Thu Aug 11 13:22:45 2005

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