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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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The Abortion Debate and Its Philosophical Underpinnings

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    The Canaanite deity El was represented in a physical form.

    Thank you for participating. I'm shocked and stunned that this needs explaining. The context is how the Imago Dei relates to humans, specifically within context of Jewish and Christians theology and how it is used to support a pro-life governmental policy.


    Contrary to modern US practices, I don't give out participation awards, but feel free to go buy one if that helps you.
    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    -Ghandi (Disputed)

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

      Thank you for participating. I'm shocked and stunned that this needs explaining. The context is how the Imago Dei relates to humans, specifically within context of Jewish and Christians theology and how it is used to support a pro-life governmental policy.


      Contrary to modern US practices, I don't give out participation awards, but feel free to go buy one if that helps you.
      The "image of God" is not literal. It refers to God making man with his characteristics and deserving honor. That we have a spirit and intelligence, are logical and rational and are different than the animals. We were created as perfect and righteous beings. We have morals and a conscience.

      And don't forget, Jesus who was a human, was also God.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

        Thank you for participating. I'm shocked and stunned that this needs explaining. The context is how the Imago Dei relates to humans, specifically within context of Jewish and Christians theology and how it is used to support a pro-life governmental policy.


        Contrary to modern US practices, I don't give out participation awards, but feel free to go buy one if that helps you.
        I just thought I would remind some people of the origins of the Israelites' religious beliefs.
        "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          I just thought I would remind some people of the origins of the Israelites' religious beliefs. hijack this thread for my own agenda.
          Fixed.

          Since you felt the need to do so, I'm going to state that you should further hijack or derail the thread, I will report you and ask for moderator adjudication. This is a notice.Stay topical or stay off the thread.
          “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

          -Ghandi (Disputed)

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Diogenes View Post

            Fixed.

            Since you felt the need to do so, I'm going to state that you should further hijack or derail the thread, I will report you and ask for moderator adjudication. This is a notice.Stay topical or stay off the thread.
            I have no desire to "derail" this thread. However, what is understood by the image of god/imago dei? Shouldn't terms be defined?
            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful" Attrib. Seneca 4 BCE - 65 CE

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Diogenes View Post
              Given the ever hot topic of abortion, I think a thread dedicated to the issues surrounding abortion would be interesting to flesh out the nuances of the debate.

              To serve as an example of what I'd like this thread to be I will give my position.



              I believe that what gives human beings moral and political consideration is based on, as a species, our higher brain functions, capacity for mental states, and overall, the general concept of being a "person". I believe that this is analogous to the Christian concept of the Imago Dei, just in a property dualistic sense and not a substance dualistic sense

              I do not believe that merely having human genetic content is sufficient to constitute a "human being" or sufficient to entail moral and political consideration even if the human genetic content meets the biological criteria for being "alive". For example, chimerism is document in humans where a single individual has two unique sets of genetic material (either from birth or through bone marrow transplants). I don't believe that these individuals are multiple persons or multiple "human beings". Also, a corpse would be human despite being not alive and not being a "human being". In light of congenital insensitivity to pain, I would be hesitant to use the ability to feel pain as necessary criterion to be a "human being". In light of brain dead patients, the aptly named "heart in a box", and artificial hearts, I would similarly hesitant to use a beating heart as a sufficient criterion for "human being".
              I have to disagree with most of this. I realize you are arguing from a philosophical POV, which I guess can change the argument somewhat....A creature with full human DNA is a human being, even if it's dead. If a dog dies, you bury the dog in the back yard, it doesn't cease to be a dog. If a person dies, it doesn't cease to be a human being, it does cease to be a person. To me, your argument is your views as to what makes something a human being is more fitting to be called a person. The Chimerism argument doesn't hold for that reason. Having full DNA of a human being means it's human. Having 2 distinct sets doesn't mean one negates the other.

              In light of the Sorites paradox, I personally accept foetal personhood after the 2nd Trimester as development of the neurological correlates to higher brain functions, mental states, etc becomes less distinguishable.than in the 1st Trimester.

              Since I don't believe the zygote, embryo, foetus is a person, I don't believe that the government has any reason to interfere with an abortion outside of the typical issue of medical licensing, other general medical requirements like with surgical environments, or emergencies. Starting with the 2nd Trimester, I believe the government has the prerogative to limit abortions for serious or immediate medical reasons and that the government does not have the prerogative to ban abortions for emergency use.
              But Sorites paradox is just that, a paradox...when is enough... enough? To make it an arbitrary line that requires higher brain functions, etc, is just that, an arbitrary line. If allowed to develop chances are very likely the zygote DOES progress to the point you would consider a "human being". But, IMO, that individual should have the same rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" as anyone in the US.

              Of course, the best way to prevent abortion would be through a wide variety of birth control methods (which would include drug avoidance [including alcohol], abstinence, condoms, and vasectomies) and sex education about those methods. Given that Plan B is designed to prevent implantation, I would consider it more along the lines of contraception rather than abortion.
              I agree prevention is the desirable goal. I'm reminded of the old joke of "why do I only have 3 children? Because I didn't want four!" So, I got a vasectomy because my wife and I were fertile! I have mixed feelings though on Plan B.





              "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

              "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
                I have to disagree with most of this. I realize you are arguing from a philosophical POV, which I guess can change the argument somewhat....A creature with full human DNA is a human being, even if it's dead. If a dog dies, you bury the dog in the back yard, it doesn't cease to be a dog. If a person dies, it doesn't cease to be a human being, it does cease to be a person. To me, your argument is your views as to what makes something a human being is more fitting to be called a person.
                I don't have an issue with "human" and "human being" are treated the same or "human" is used for genetic content and "human being" is used fro the organism as a whole, I have no issue with such usage as long as "person" is not used interchangeable with "human" or "human being" in the aforementioned usages. I do believe though that the abortion debate ultimately is a debate over 1) whether or not "human" and "person" are meaningfully distinguishable and 2) at what point are both simultaneous. I do believe that "human" and "person" are distinguishable (even within Christian theology [despite the complications the term "person" has within Christian theology] ), so the controversy lies with point 2. Neither I nor Christian theology use human genetic content or the condition of being a human organism to constitute "personhood". Christian theology allows for non-human persons and I'm open to the idea of non-human animals constituting "persons.


                The Chimerism argument doesn't hold for that reason. Having full DNA of a human being means it's human. Having 2 distinct sets doesn't mean one negates the other.
                I use chimerism to who that individuals with 2 distinct sets of DNA reasonably are not multiple persons as a favoured point of pro-lifers is the uniqueness of foetal DNA.

                But Sorites paradox is just that, a paradox...when is enough... enough? To make it an arbitrary line that requires higher brain functions, etc, is just that, an arbitrary line. If allowed to develop chances are very likely the zygote DOES progress to the point you would consider a "human being". But, IMO, that individual should have the same rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" as anyone in the US.
                I use the 2nd Trimester as line as that's around when the brain areas of the cerebrum, mid-brain, and cerebellum are distinct and neural development is increasing at a raid pace. A zygote has no cognitive functions and that's easily distinguishable. I think its about 5 weeks the forebrain becomes distinct but that's the precursory to the cerebrum. I draw the line as the organ of the brain becomes distinguishable and precise neural development becomes indistinguishable. The Sorites Paradox is ultimately an issue of the (in)distinguishable nature of a gradient. Comparisons of the end are easy as they are distinguishable whereas comparing progression along the gradient is difficult. For attribution of "personhood", once it starts to become difficult to distinguish neural development, I err on the side of caution and label a foetus a "person".

                I agree prevention is the desirable goal. I'm reminded of the old joke of "why do I only have 3 children? Because I didn't want four!" So, I got a vasectomy because my wife and I were fertile! I have mixed feelings though on Plan B.
                I would agree that a vasectomy is the most efficient way to prevent pregnancy.


                “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

                -Ghandi (Disputed)

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