Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 04:13 pm
...well, abortion (or a discussion of it) has raised its ugly head in A2K once again.

In another thread...one of the religious fanatics is railing on and on about the savagery of abortion.

The advocates of reversing Roe v. Wade (mostly zealot Christians) keep railing on about how there is a heartbeat and there are brain waves....so there has to be, in their opinions, a "living human being."

Well...it is my opinion that a human embryo or fetus is no more a "living human being" than an egg is a chicken. And the fact that there is movement (rudimentary heart beats or brain waves) does not change that one whit.

But there is one facet...one question...of the debate that seems to get very short shrift from the Christian apologists.

From the Christian perspective...even if there were a living individual there....(something there is not!)...but even if there were a living individual there....what is the cost to that idividual in being aborted?

If the embryo is, as they are wont to insist, a living human being....the same thing happens to it as happens to every human being when it dies.

So what happens to it?

It is totally innocent....absolutely without any sins (except the Original Sin nonsense)...and it seems completely logical, from this Christian perspective, to suppose its soul instantly gets a free pass into Heaven...and it begins its eternity in complete bliss with the god the Christians worship.

So what is the problem?

Where is the foul?

Any of you Christians want to discuss this?


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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 04:42 pm
Re: ABORTION.......
Interesting questions Frank! I've never really seen teh issue discussed from this perspective before.

Frank Apisa wrote:
It is totally innocent....absolutely without any sins (except the Original Sin nonsense)...and it seems completely logical, from this Christian perspective, to suppose its soul instantly gets a free pass into Heaven...and it begins its eternity in complete bliss with the god the Christians worship.

So what is the problem?


In discussions with some evangelicals the concept of orignal sin isn't nonsense as you refer to it and that original sin may very well preventg the soul from entering heaven. Some branches of Christianity believe that a child (or fetus) that dies prior to being baptized is doomed to spend their after-life in "limbo". (In the Catholic Church they used to use the term "Limbus Infantium". Seems that they've dropped the idea over teh last 30 or so years though...).

Of course if one is led to believe that abortion is murder then there are the souls of the "murders" to consider as well...

I dunno.. it'll be interesting to see other's views on it.
0 Replies
 
Derevon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 04:52 pm
So when exactly does a fetus become a child in your opinion? A certain week? When it has reached a certain state? Who is to decide when a fetus becomes a child? As for the egg parallel, there is of course a huge difference between an egg and a fertilized egg. From a Christian point of view it's not really the degree of development the fetus/child has undergone that is relevant, but rather whether the fetus/child has a soul or not. Killing a fetus/child with a soul would of course be murder, and therefore totally unacceptable. Even if nothing is known for sure about when a soul comes into being, one simply cannot guess that it's in the third week, or fourth week or whatever. To be sure, one must assume that there is a soul involved from the earliest moment of the conception.

Also, the mother has no right to kill the child in her womb, because the child isn't her creation, but God's. She may be its host, but it certainly doesn't mean that she is entitled to killing it at her whim.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 06:32 pm
My view on the subject is rather complicated.

On one hand, I believe that at some point an embryo does deserve the chance to live (if pressed, I believe that point lies when the embryo would be considered a pre-mature birth and have a chance to live w/o it's host).

On the other, the quality of life for the child MUST be considered. I grew up in a household where my parents 1) couldn't afford children, 2) were children themselves when I was born, 3) were addicted to drugs, 4) were alcoholics. They had 6 kids overall.

I turned out fine (I think), but 3 of my other siblings have not turned out so well. They are also addicted to drugs (harder drugs than my parents) and are doing nothing with their lives but being a drain on society. My youngest sibling killed a family while driving a car when she was on cocaine.

This is not an easy issue to deal with. I guarantee you the remaining members of the family my sister killed wishes she was aborted (as does she at time from her jail cell).

My final view. No abortions if the baby has a chance to live outside the body. That baby must then be put up for adoption, and the mother sterilized.
0 Replies
 
pragmatic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 06:38 pm
I'm a Roman Catholic so I don't think it makes a big difference as the RC church is dead opposed to it. In ideal circumstances of the world, I too would be opposed to abortion - but the world isn't ideal and some parents don't know how to take care of their kids, not to mention the fact that public policy sometimes takes over so that abortion must be had - the example I am thinking of is China's one child policy.

let's be realistic! I think religion has to look at the practicalities of the world today and accomodate religion to the rest of the world's happenings. Abortion should be allowed but only in exceptional circumstances.

I personally do not approve of abortion if the child is unwanted: putting it up for adoption is a great alternative but these are personal issues and I don't think I have the right to interfere and tell expectant mother's what to do.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 07:45 pm
From a purely practical point of view, the state is far better off having regulated abortion upon demand than it is reverting to the old system. Prior to 1973, women with sufficient means could simply travel to another country to have a safe abortion. Women without means ended up either delivering children they could not support (and the "good christians" were certainly not lining up to pay the bills), or literally risking their lives in "back alley" abortions.

I have no desire to see the "bad old days" return.
0 Replies
 
pragmatic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 07:55 pm
Setanta wrote:
literally risking their lives in "back alley" abortions.


Yes the back alley method - I see that as a really strong argument as to why abortions should be legalised. It reminds of the movie "The Cider House Rules" where Caine showed Mcquire what happens if a doctor refuses to perform abortion and the women is forced to back street methods. Too bad Mcquire was so stubborn at that time.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:02 pm
I've not ever seen that motion picture, however i did read Mr. Irvings' novel. It was a distrubing book, and only served to confirm my view on this matter.
0 Replies
 
xprmntr2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:28 pm
Re: ABORTION.......
Frank Apisa wrote:
ugly head


Hideous practice wouldn't have a pretty head, now, would it?
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:39 pm
Derevon wrote:
So when exactly does a fetus become a child in your opinion?


A fetus becomes a child when it is born.


Quote:
A certain week? When it has reached a certain state? Who is to decide when a fetus becomes a child?


A fetus is a fetus....a child is a child. A fetus becomes a child...when it becomes a child...when it is born.


Quote:
As for the egg parallel, there is of course a huge difference between an egg and a fertilized egg.


This apparently is in response to my saying that an egg is not a chicken. Are you prepared to argue that a fertilized egg is a chicken???


Quote:
From a Christian point of view it's not really the degree of development the fetus/child has undergone that is relevant, but rather whether the fetus/child has a soul or not. Killing a fetus/child with a soul would of course be murder, and therefore totally unacceptable. Even if nothing is known for sure about when a soul comes into being, one simply cannot guess that it's in the third week, or fourth week or whatever. To be sure, one must assume that there is a soul involved from the earliest moment of the conception.


Really?

And why is that?

How about assuming that there is no soul?

Or that the soul only comes into being when the fetus is born into the world as a child.

Or even better...how about ending after "we really do not know."



Quote:
Also, the mother has no right to kill the child in her womb, because the child isn't her creation, but God's.


Well...there might not be a God. But let's suppose there is a God....why must we suppose that the God does not want the fetus (or baby, if you insist) to die while still totally innocent? Maybe the God is lonely in Heaven...and the only visitors he gets are innocent babies (and fetuses) that die.


Quote:
She may be its host, but it certainly doesn't mean that she is entitled to killing it at her whim.


Why not?

If there is a God...the God has no problems about taking small children into Heaven in very unusual ways. Many got to Heaven because someone dropped an atomic bomb on them. Many got there by having their pajamas catch fire...or by being in a car crash.

Some got there because the god of the Bible slaughtered them when Pharaoh refused to do his bidding.

In any case...if the soul of the fetus ends up in Heaven for all of eternity...what is the damage?
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:43 pm
Pragmatic, there are a lot of Roman Catholic people here in Massachusetts that favor many forms of abortion.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:44 pm
Re: ABORTION.......
fishin' wrote:
Interesting questions Frank! I've never really seen teh issue discussed from this perspective before.

Frank Apisa wrote:
It is totally innocent....absolutely without any sins (except the Original Sin nonsense)...and it seems completely logical, from this Christian perspective, to suppose its soul instantly gets a free pass into Heaven...and it begins its eternity in complete bliss with the god the Christians worship.

So what is the problem?


In discussions with some evangelicals the concept of orignal sin isn't nonsense as you refer to it and that original sin may very well preventg the soul from entering heaven. Some branches of Christianity believe that a child (or fetus) that dies prior to being baptized is doomed to spend their after-life in "limbo". (In the Catholic Church they used to use the term "Limbus Infantium". Seems that they've dropped the idea over teh last 30 or so years though...).



Actually, St. Augustine taught that babies who die unBaptized got to Hell...albeit a place in Hell that does not have all of the tortures inflicted upon people who earn their way in.

Thomas Aquinas invented the Limbos...which he avered were places of perfect happiness and contentment...but minus the personal interaction with God...the so-called Beatific Vision.

But since he...and all other church fathers....also taught that the single most torturous part of Hell was the denial of the Beatific Vision...Aquinas' distinction was not a difference....and both essentially condemned unBaptized babies to eternal damnation.

Can't imagine anyone worshipping a God who would do that...except in abject fear of the God.
0 Replies
 
pragmatic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:46 pm
Oh wow! Actually I'm not suprised - I know that many people, despite their being Roman Catholic (and I mean truly Roman Catholic, not just paying lip service) do disagree with many of the church's conservative views which simply do not fit into today's world. Many European countries who are staunch conservatives see no point in the Church's opposition to homosexual marriages - "they should not be regualting what goes on in people's bedrooms." I quote one. So really, I'm not suprised, or at least, I am pleasantly suprised at that news - thanks for telling me, littleK.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:47 pm
Sure thing, Pragmatic.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:55 pm
Hey Kris...good to "see" ya.

I hope many, many Catholics see the light...and champion the right of a woman to have control over her body.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 08:57 pm
Good to see you too, Frank.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 09:08 pm
Diverging from the question, long ago and far away I was a very staunch roman catholic, and a science major, and I remember now believing that the fertilized egg had all the genetic wherewithal for personhood and that when implanted in the the uterine lining, it was a go.

I don't think so now. At this point I think the embryo and then fetus (two different stages, if I remember my embryology, but I don't recall the exact time of change re the definition) are essentially parasitic to the host until such time as they are viable in the outside world. Which has long meant to me, birth.

I'm torn personally on questions of viability at various week totals, and have qualms about third trimester abortions. But I hang. presently, with the woman's right to choose to be host, whatever the reasons pro and con her choices.



As to Frank's poised - and posed - question, it's interesting.
It's hard for me to go back to remember my own microcosm of belief, and to plug in now to what I think the one and only god or many gods or spiritual essence of the world would want, if he or she or they or it was involved in such a human activity as wanting or wishing...

and I can't come up with a neg on abortion from any of those entities re the eternal (so called) happiness of the fetus.

I might be able to come up with an argument for simple biological reasons, that things ought to act out physiologically as they are programmed - excuse me for speaking mechanistically - abortion is an unnatural interruption. But then, nature interrupts birth fairly often on its own.

This stretch of an argument reminds me of the antibirthcontrol arguments of my youth. (Yawn). That birthcontrol pills adjustment of hormones is unnatural, and that rhythm - interrupting by calendar - is ok.

Pshaw.

I can understand people agree with that. I don't.
0 Replies
 
pragmatic
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 09:12 pm
Frank Apisa wrote:
Hey Kris...good to "see" ya.

I hope many, many Catholics see the light...and champion the right of a woman to have control over her body.


One argument the right to life activists have thrown to that woman's right argument is its the baby's right to have a life. This argument certainly makes things a bit more difficult but my general stance is I support Abortion because of today's practical realities and because it is a woman's right to have control over her body.

There's my stance in a nutshell.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 09:23 pm
Well, if i don't get my post wiped out by another PM, i'll try this a third time.

Among Roman Catholics, the equivalent of Protestant charismatics and fundamentalists are the ultramontane Catholics. At the time of the Counter-Reformation, conservatism took a strong hold on church leaders, who felt they were fighting for the survival of the Church. Later, during the French revolution, there was indeed an assault upon the Church, or at least upon its wealth and privilege. Maximilian Robespierre controlled the Comité de salut publique (Committee for Public Safety), and he was a middle-class lawyer devoted to the rationalism of the philosophes. The Church in France in 1789 owned about twenty percent of the land, although only a handful of the clergy actually controlled and benefited from the land. The revolutionary settlement was to require priests to swear allegiance to the State, and to be paid a salary by the State. This would undercut the authority of the episcopate and the Pope. Many parish priests were as impoverished as their congregations, and they were willing to take the oath (in French, to swear is jurer); many others--primarily in areas in which the aristocracy were leading a counter-revolution and were willing to support the priests--were "non-juring," refusing to take the oath. When Napoleon came to power, he basically kidnapped the Pope and forced him to agree with the revolutionary settlement. It took years to get his assent, and he repudiated it as soon as he was free to do so. By then, however, France was resolutely secular, and the conservative priests languished in out-of-the-way parishes--those who were able to become Bishops basically had to keep their mouths shut on the issue of "non-juring" priests and the revolutionary settlement. But the conservatives lived on, although having no organization and little popular adherence.

With the second Vatican council, however, the conservatives, now openly avowed their principles and took pride in the label "ultramontane"--which means supporting Papal authority over national or diocesan authority, which is ironic, because their beef was with the abolition of the Latin mass, a product of the Pope's reform council. Many parishes continued to celebrate the mass in Latin, and many French Bishops openly opposed reform in the church.

The most notorious ultramontane Catholic in the United States is Hutton Gibson, father of the actor Mel Gibson. It is not clear whether or not he became ultramontane before moving to New South Wales. His wife was Australian, and he either sought such a community there, or found one which appealed to his religious conservatism. He has been accused of gross anti-semitism, a subject upon which i don't have an opinion because i don't know if it is likely true, and don't care enough about Hutton, or about Mel Gibson, to find out.

Ultramontane Catholics in the United States and elsewhere in the world now make common cause with Protestant fundamentalists on social issues, and for obvious reasons, in particular on the issue of abortion.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Jul, 2005 09:24 pm
pragmatic wrote:
Frank Apisa wrote:
Hey Kris...good to "see" ya.

I hope many, many Catholics see the light...and champion the right of a woman to have control over her body.


One argument the right to life activists have thrown to that woman's right argument is its the baby's right to have a life.


There is no "baby" involved. It is a fetus. It has the same "rights" as a cancerous tumor or a wart.
0 Replies
 
 

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