Re: Dr. Dobson

From: Jim Armstrong <>
Date: Sat Aug 13 2005 - 02:33:29 EDT

Too simple, Terry. We're here, in the middle of things, and I submit
that it is our role. We are given it as a part of our stewardship. It is
the role for surgeons, and ethics committees. It is the role for
policemen, for those in positions of governance, and for men in
military organizations. Ultimately, we are responsible for making
interpretations about what it means to "protect and preserve life", and
in this case in particular, whether and how that extends to those in our
own time disabled by disease and circumstance, or even to future
generations. Like it or not, that is our role. What isn't our role is
the choice as to when we can lay aside the mantle of responsibility and
thoughtful stewardship in favor of simplicity when the going gets hard.
And that includes, I think, congnizance of and thought about the
implications of the attrition manifest in the natural processes of
reproduction, which is substantial. That too, I suppose, could be waved
off as some artifact of the fall, but I am not inclined to do so out of
hand. And if we are thinking about the potential for a life, then we
definitely have to do something about the DNA-bearning cells that we
shed in abundance every minute of every day of our lives and beyond.,
and all those sperm and eggs that don't have a chance for one reason or
another. How far do we back up in the protection and preservation of
life? There's something that is waving for our attention here against an
understandably passionate and resistant backdrop of culture and prior
understanding. We at least should not blow the waving flags off
summarily, or at least not inconsistently.

Or so it seemeth to me.


Terry M. Gray wrote:

> David,
> Ah, but that's God's business, not ours. We're called to protect and
> preserve life, especially human life (6th commandment). God gives and
> takes life as he sovereignly pleases. That's not our role.
> TG
> On Aug 12, 2005, at 8:06 AM, David F Siemens wrote:
>> Let me put it in its simplest form: God evidently doesn't care as
>> much about the survival of zygotes as Dobson does.
>> Dave
>> On Thu, 11 Aug 2005 15:23:57 -0600 "Terry M. Gray"
>> < <>> writes:
>> David,
>> 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.
>> TG
>> 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.
>>> Dave
>>> 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 persons.
>>> 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
>>> claim:
>>> "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. " ?
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page
>>> <*>
>> ________________
>> 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
> ________________
> 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 Sat Aug 13 02:35:39 2005

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