Re: Dr. Dobson

From: David F Siemens <>
Date: Fri Aug 12 2005 - 10:06:39 EDT

Let me put it in its simplest form: God evidently doesn't care as much
about the survival of zygotes as Dobson does.

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 15:23:57 -0600 "Terry M. Gray"
<> writes:

I don't really find this point relevant at all. It's commonly brought up
in this debate but I fail to see how it matters. If most of the
inhabitants of heaven, hell, or limbo, come from human beings who die in
infancy (even early, early infancy), so what? The argument in the end
turns on what you believe the Bible teaches here. How many fetuses end up
in heaven or hell or whether the known universe can support them all is
of little concern.


On Aug 11, 2005, at 1:37 PM, David F Siemens wrote:

I find another matter also relevant. At least a third and perhaps 70% of
zygotes fail to implant. Assuming that all the offspring of Christian
parents become believers (right!), and that all zygotes are ensouled,
most of the redeemed will still be the offspring of nonChristians. At
least, on a little different claim, limbo will have more inhabitants than
either heaven or hell. This supports Glenn's argument that ensoulment
comes later than conception, though it cannot present a schedule. I
recall that originally Catholic views held that ensoulment came at
quickening. I'm not sure when they changed to the present position.

On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 11:01:57 -0700 (PDT) Glenn Morton
<> writes:
Political argumentation at the time of Rowe v Wade makes me make this
claim. Many Jewish groups don't beleive that the fetus is human. But
then, many Christians who advocate abortion don't think it constitutes
the killing of a human. I am going to quote a person who probably
doesn't want to be dragged into this, but I find his passage so relevant
to the discussion of the soul.

"But in any case, the Word of God was incarnate in the womb of Mary from
the first moment of conception. There was never an instant when what was
borne by the Annunciation on March 25th, nine months before Christmas, is
the celebration of the Incarnation.)( A human fetus is capable of
receiving the divine nature." George Murphy, Trademark of God, (Wilton:
Morehouse-Barlow, 1986),p. 87

And one should look at what the abortion rights people are saying. Here
is a case in point. Note how he defines the soul and then think about
WHEN this comes about. I doubt my year old grand-daughter yet has a soul
under his definition.

"One theologian who writes on the subject—Paul Ramsey—thinks that a human
egg cell becomes a human individual with a moral claim to survive if it
has been fertilized. Yet this egg cell has none of the qualities that we
have in mind when we proclaim our superior worth to the chimpanzees or
dolphins. It cannot speak, reason or judge between right and wrong. It
cannot have personal relations, without which a person is not
functionally a person at all, until months—and not, except minimally,
until years—have passed. And even then, it will not be a person in the
normal sense unless some who are already fully persons have taken pains
to help it become a human being in the full value sense, functioning as
such. The antiabortionist is commanding some person or persons to
undertake this effort. For without it, the fetus will never be human in
the relevant sense. It will be human only in origin, but otherwise a
subhuman animal.

The fertilized egg is an individual egg, but not an individual human
being. For such a being is, in its body, a multicellular organism, a
metozoan—to use the scientific Greek—and the egg is a single cell. The
first thing the egg cell does is to begin dividing into many cells. For
some weeks the fetus is not a single individual at all, but a colony of
cells. During its first weeks there seems to be no ground for regarding
the fetus as comparable to an individual animal. Only in possible or
probable destiny is it an individual. Otherwise it is an organized
society of single-celled individuals.

A possible individual person is one thing; an actual person is another.
If this difference is not important, what is? There is in the long run no
room in the solar system, or even in the known universe, for all human
eggs—even all fertilized eggs, as things now stand—to become human
persons. Indeed, it is mathematically demonstrable that the present rate
of population growth must be lowered somehow. It is not a moral
imperative th at all possibilities of human persons become actual

Of course, some may say that the fertilized egg already has a human soul,
but on what evidence? The evidence of soul in the relevant sense is the
capacity to reason, judge right and wrong, and the like.

This further illustrates why it is wrong for humans to decide who has a
soul. Such a definition would allow the killing of an infant prior to the
time when they speak. wrote:
It may seem obvious, but I just want to be sure I know
what you are talking about. But what makes you make this

"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. " ?

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Terry M. Gray, Ph.D.
Computer Support Scientist
Chemistry Department
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(o) 970-491-7003 (f) 970-491-1801
Received on Fri Aug 12 10:11:03 2005

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