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« Archbishop Burke Stands Up For Life | Main | Cognitive Dissonance and the New Mass »

April 30, 2007

Comments

Tim J.

Yeah, the article states;

"But research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush."

Except embyonic stem cells are only *theoreticallY* more versatile. In terms of practical therapeutic results they have been completely useless because they are extremely unstable.

It's like if some scientists got all excited about the idea of developing a warp drive to travel at light speeds, and demanded that we throw half our research money toward that project, rather than toward developing better conventional rocket engines.

A warp drive is a very cool idea, but it is, in practical scientific terms, a complete fantasy.

In all the clamor for Embryonic Stem Cell research, there seems the unspoken implication that if we can only do enough research we will be able to "crack the code" and use embryonic cells to eradicate disease forever. None need suffer any more... heaven on earth.

Like the Warp Drive, it's a sexy idea... but a complete fantasy, at this point.

And, it involves KILLING some people in order to treat other people. No thanks. If I end up with some deadly disease, and they DO develop an embryonic stem cell cure for it, keep that needle away from me. I'd rather die like a man than allow another human being destroyed on my behalf. Get away from me, ya vampires.

Brian

Of course this won't get any front page coverage because it's not embryonic stem cells. How many diseases have embryonic stem cells cured now?

Daniel

Zero.

I suppose we should feel ashamed for standing up for life and promoting therapies that actually work... (Tongue-in-cheek)

Smoky Mountain

Tim J writes:

Like the Warp Drive, it's a sexy idea... but a complete fantasy, at this point

Tim,

I know you go on to express exactly the opinion that I'm about to express, but--I really dislike pro-life arguments regarding stem cells that involve their *current* lack of application. That is, statements like Brian's:

How many diseases have embryonic stem cells cured now?

It shouldn't matter. Maybe one day embryonic stem cells will be able to cure all diseases. It shouldn't matter. The ends don't justify the means.

Tim J.

Actually, Smoky, I wouldn't use the "warp drive" thing as a pro-life argument. To me it is just an indication of something out-of-whack... given the obvious lack of progress with embryonic stem cell treatments, it makes me think that there is some ulterior motive behind those who push for it SO hard.

Dean Steinlage

I recall Jimmy being a B5 (as well as B16)fan. Embryonic stem cell research has shades of the "Deathwalker" episode.

Diabetic since 1998

this is great news:-) People have been saying the "a cure is right around the corner" for a WHILE. Maybe they're finally right!

BobCatholic

>It also involves the use of adult stem cells, though that didn't keep The Times from spinning it as an argument for promoting embryonic stem cell research.

Remember, look at the little swinging watch as you are hypnotised:

There is no left wing bias in the media.
There is no left wing bias in the media.
There is no left wing bias in the media.
There is no left wing bias in the media.

There, you have been properly programmed, err, indoctrinated, err, brainwashed, err, informed by the media.

:)

Ed Pie

Maybe one day embryonic stem cells will be able to cure all diseases. It shouldn't matter. The ends don't justify the means.

True, but as long as embryonic stem cells are getting promoted solely from the unproven assertion that they're more useful, I think we've got a case of the means trying to justify themselves. When was the last time you saw a news article that made the "embryonic stem cells are better" assertion and based it on something more concrete than What Everybody Just Knows? I can't remember.

*bleat* We're trying to do something important here! Don't hold it against us if things only seem to be getting worse! *bleat*

If ESCR didn't have any political leverage (what Tim J alluded to) it would have been buried and all but forgotten by now.

Smoky Mountain

This comment from the article:

But research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush.

almost makes it sound like Bush and pro-lifers would oppose the research that led to this discovery, if you don't read carefully. Furthermore, the link to a heart attack application of stem cells that immediately precedes this comment regards adult stem cells. After this comment, there is no other mention of embryonic stem cells in the article. It's completely out of place. Sigh.

Verily319

Of course they associate it with Bush. It's like after the pro-life march, when all the headlines read something like, "Bush cheers on opponents of Roe v. Wade," etc. The propaganda is ridiculous. Bush is unpopular (albeit for totally unrelated reasons), so if you want to discredit something, just associate it with him.

and

Doesn't everybody love being the victim?

Yes there's bias, but it's not really as bad as you'd like it to be.

Jarnor23

Of course it's not as bad as we'd like it to be, it's far worse than that.

And as far as anyone being the victim, I think the thousands and thousands of aborted children count in my book. I'll do what I can to fight back.

Yes there's bias, but it's not really as bad as you'd like it to be

Google search results:
"stem cell research"............2,780,000 hits
"embyonic stem cell research".......3,290 hits

Justin West

I find this pretty exciting. Also exciting, however, is that they may in fact have found http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10971-cheap-safe-drug-kills-most-cancers.html>a cure for cancer. The catch is that it's not marketable because it's not patentable, so little funding outside the university level is being thrown at it...sigh...

JohnH

1. Proof from Google searches!
2. Notice that when the media mention that Bush isn't an embryonic stem cell research fan, they don't remind/tell you that Bush expanded ESCR funding by allowing some funding. Clintion never allowed any funding.

Brian

Is there anything morally wrong with ESCR on animals? I mean as long as its done for the right reasons, just like any good science. Obviously if its done to perfect the technique on animals before moving onto humans, that's wrong. But can animal embryos morally be used to make cures for human diseases, kind of like this: Argentine cow clones to produce insulin in milk
(coincidentally this also has to do with diabetes, but its a treatment not a cure).

Mary Kay

it makes me think that there is some ulterior motive behind those who push for it SO hard

If ESCR didn't have any political leverage

Tim and Ed, masters of understatement. The reason for all the hype? Because it would be an "acceptable" justification for abortion.

Tom Simon

Funny, when I google "stem cell research" (in quotation marks) I get 1,880,000 hits; "embryonic stem cell research" (also in quotation marks) gets 1,180,000. Not much of a drop, is it? If I misspell embryonic by leaving out the R, as our anonymous friend did, I still get 10,600 hits.

A word of advice: If you're going to lie about your evidence, at least tell a lie that would support your argument if it were true. Irrelevant lies are hardly better than facts.

And Mary Kay, you are exactly right about the motive behind the hype. It's not the only motive, but it's probably the most important one.

BillyHW

You see, this is the reason Jesus never ate with the journalists.

Leo

Not strictly on topic, but for those who want to study bioethical issues further and read some good arguments, I commend the UK's
Linacre Centre.

"The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics exists to help Catholics and others to explore the Church's position on bioethical issues. Its perspective is informed by Catholic moral teaching, but in defending such teaching it seeks also to enable dialogue with those of no religious faith."

Smoky Mountain

Google search result counts:

"stem cell" ... 34.50 M
"embryonic stem cell" ... 1.18 M
"adult stem cell" ... 0.39 M

"stem cell" -"embryonic stem cell" -"adult stem cell" ... 27.7 M

I don't know how accurate the google search result counts are. However, I think the most telling sign of bias is the lack of a label (embryonic vs. adult) on most results as evidenced by the 4th query above.

Smoky Mountain

FYI if you're not familiar with google syntax -- the hyphen before the phrases in the fourth query are NOT's to google. So, the fourth query is:

"stem cell" AND NOT "embryonic stem cell" AND NOT "adult stem cell"

Matthew L. Martin

Dean--I share your reading of "Deathwalker" as regards this situation, but the reference that keeps coming to mind for me is a line from the Akallabeth:

"And men made sacrifice to Melkor, that he might release them from death."

Ed S

John

The five stages you quoted are commonly know as the five stages of grief. The model was introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying. They apply to everyone facing very difficult, often unexpected, situations. Normal people usually progress through them in a step-like fashion, ultimately arriving at acceptance of whatever was so very difficult at the beginning. Each of us spend different amounts of time and efforts at the different stages. Some, however, never get to acceptance but languish along the way and become very frustrated people.

I see a lot of that behavior in the above posts, especially those of the "die-hard" traditionalists who refuse Vatican II teaching.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will prevail over our wills.

Ed S

Oops wrong combox. Sorry

Some Day

I would say much knowledge of medicine and technology is already known, and conserved within masons and such. The cure for cancer is probably already hidden some where.

The thing is that the devil, being an angel knows almost everything there is to know in Creation. And he can certainly reveal that to his followers.

I believe Bl.Palau said that the American continent was already known by the judeo-masonry, and the Devil actually took his agents there.

There are some pretty well known ones too though...

DaVinci and his "flying machines" and so forth...

Esau

Uhhhh... Some Day, I don't quite know what to say except that I think you need to stop reading into conspiracy theories.

I don't quite think anybody has actually developed the cure for cancer given its nature.

Some Day

I am just taking from Bl. Palau.

Consperacy theories are made by the very ones who the theories are about.

That discredits any true attacks on secret forces, because conspiracy theorists have already loonified and mocked it.

But plenty of saints have talked about it.

Its just not something that "they" would like to be very public.

St.Louis de Monfort himself said his writings would be destroyed by the devil or at least hidden in an "old chest".
That is exactly what happend.

Read The "Burning Prayer" for Missionaries from St. Louis. It speaks about those who would destroy the evil within the world.

So not everyone is a conspiracy theorist.

In fact I try not to speak about it.

It is imprudent of me to do so, as it as you immediately posted, discredits me as a stupid conspiracy theorist.

But trust me I am not.

I am no false rightist nor some idiot UFO believer.

Mike Petrik

There is an emerging consensus that embryonic stem cells can (and likely will) some day be produce extraordinary medicla benefits. That, I'm afraid, is fact -- not hype.

If we couch our arguments as grounded in scientific or medical efficacy, we are very likely to lose -- and probably should. Our real concern is moral, and here we have the high ground -- the truth. We may still lose this battle, but at least we will be fighting on the proper front.

Esau

Mike Petrik:

Unfortunately, what you've stated above may, in fact, be true.

I cannot see, based on research and a certain understanding of stem cells (albeit, rudimentary in nature), how it cannot.

The only thing supporting us is the fact that it does go against our Christian morals; but whether in the end that is enough in a secular world that looks to Science as its 'god', this may not matter at all.

In the end, as you have rightly alluded to above, it's the fact that we should fight against it that really matters, no matter how great the opposition or how convincing the Science is.

Smoky Mountain

Mike Petrik,

I made a similar point to yours upthread. However, Ed Pie made a good point in response:

as long as embryonic stem cells are getting promoted solely from the unproven assertion that they're more useful, I think we've got a case of the means trying to justify themselves.

So long as embryonic stem cell research provides no results, I think we do no harm by pointing that out (as long as we're clear that it's wrong regardless of it's results).

Mary Kay

There is an emerging consensus

Mike, whose consensus?

Esau

Mary Kay:

Mike might be alluding to, among other things, the following from the White House Fact Sheet:

The potential of embryonic stem cell research.

Many scientists believe that embryonic stem cell research may eventually lead to therapies that could be used to treat diseases that afflict approximately 128 million Americans. Treatments may include replacing destroyed dopamine-secreting neurons in a Parkinson's patient's brain; transplanting insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells in diabetic patients; and infusing cardiac muscle cells in a heart damaged by myocardial infarction. Embryonic stem cells may also be used to understand basic biology and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new medicines.

Link:
Fact Sheet: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Mike Petrik

Yes, Esau, and according to my many scientist friends (including serious Catholics) there is much more. While years away from significant therapeutic value, most scientists agree that, at least theoretically, embryonic stem cells should be extremely useful -- much more useful than adult stem cells. In fact, the prospects make them so giddy that all too many rationalize away the fairly obvious moral concerns.
I appreciate Ed Pie's rhetorical point, I do. But it really is more rhetorical than logical. Without our well-grounded moral inhibitions, we would be nuts not to allow science a free reign to research the field. The scientific and medical prospects associated with ESCs, while still prospets rather than facts, are legitimate and serious. But the use of embryonic stem cells does involve the destructive use of a human life as a means to an end; and this we know is wrong, even if the end is good.
And Esau, while I do very much generally agree with your 12:45 post, I would differ in only this slight respect. The morals implicated should properly be understood as transcending Christianity. The moral law imprinted on the hearts of men (i.e., natural law) is what is involved here. Science should be an ally in leading to the conclusion that such cells are human in nature, but all too many scientists abandon good science in favor of very bad ontology.

Smoky Mountain

Science should be an ally in leading to the conclusion that such cells are human in nature, but all too many scientists abandon good science in favor of very bad ontology.

Very well said.

Lana

What does it mean to be "human"?

Esau

Mike Petrik:

You bring up a very good point above in terms of the Natural Law.

However, given the very nature of embryonic stem cells, the question that arises many times is how are you to conclude (and I'm strictly speaking from a secular perspective) that such embryonic stem cells in such a pre-mature state can actually be considered a total human individual?

Many would simply look upon it as nothing more than a cell than an actual human.

I remember when I was extracting cells in a hen oviduct back in college, it becomes pretty difficult to consider such as actually a hen itself.

Brian

What does it mean to be "human"?

To be human is to be created in the image of God. All human organisms are human by their very nature. It's not based on whether or not an individual possesses the qualities that the public associates with "humanness." All members of the human species are deserving of dignity of one created in God's image.

Lana

To be human is to be created in the image of God.

What does it mean "to be created in the image of God"?

Esau

Brian,

To illustrate my point above, with only Natural Law as guide, do you consider totipotent or even pluripotent cells a total human individual? If so, why?

Mike Petrik

Very good points, Esau. I would respond by saying that the question posed is not a scientific one, but an ontological one that should look to moral philosophy for the relevant principles and to science for the relevant facts. An understanding of this actually brings home your key observation. For example, it probably is rational (or at least reasonable) for one to apply moral principles in concluding that the essence of humanity is grounded in some degree of consciousness (which is not to say there aren't defects imbedded in such a conclusion). So your point really is an insightful one. To a large extent, while natural law may well tell all of us that human life is important and should not be relegated to the status of an instrument or means to an end, *why* that is is important in understanding what we mean by human, and that may well be grounded in Christian morality rather than natural law as such. Indeed, the fine points of ensoulment are probably not written on the hearts of men.

Bridget

What does it mean "to be created in the image of God"?

According to Aquinas, "It is clear, therefore, that intellectual creatures alone, properly speaking, are made to God's image." And, "Man is said to be the image of God by reason of his intellectual nature." And, "to be to the image of God belongs to the mind only."

Brian

Esau,

I was answering Lana's question - trying to get a Catholic answer on the board before the Gnostic word play begins. But I can take shot at your question.

To illustrate my point above, with only Natural Law as guide, do you consider totipotent or even pluripotent cells a total human individual? If so, why?

I guess you have to start with the assumption that all members of the species homo sapiens are deserving of human rights. If human rights are based on some type "human" quality, we end up with the mess we're in today.

Let me make sure I understand my science. It's my understanding that totipotent cells can develop into any organ(s) and pluripotent cells can develop into many types of organs. But these cells can't develop into other species. If I've got something wrong, please correct me.

These cells, even though they don't look like the humans we know, are one complete human. They don't develop into babies by adding pieces in the way that a foundation develops into a building. They develop just like we do by using energy to grow and develop from the cells that already exist. Everything that they become grows out of what they already are. In this sense we are the exact same organism we were at the moment of conception, just as we're the same organism we were when we were babies even though we appear much different now.

I guess that's the best I can do. I'm better at summing up someone else's ideas simply than making a fool-proof argument of my own.

Esau

Brian:

I was answering Lana's question - trying to get a Catholic answer on the board before the Gnostic word play begins

Actually, I meant to distract you from falling prey to any potential Gnostic games that may have been lying in wait and prevent any such deviations from this all-important topic.

At any rate, you need to consider the particulars of what you have stated here.

These cells, even though they don't look like the humans we know, are one complete human.

There are certain ramifications to such a statement that I believe you may not have seriously considered.

To make my point -- do you believe that each of these cells contain a 'soul'?

Brian

To make my point -- do you believe that each of these cells contain a 'soul'?

Yes. You can't grow a soul, it's immortal. Does this fall inside or outside of natural law?

Anyway, what's the question that follows this answer?

Naturaly, man should not die, so is death within Natural Law?

I am glad you ask intelligent questions, but they become "Byzantine" when they don't aide the situation...

Its like being invaded by a bunch of Turks in Constantinople and the most imperative arguement is if Adam had a bellybutton?

Lana

Are souls within cells?
Are cells within souls?

Some Day

My post above sorry.

Smoky Mountain

Don't feed the Lana, er...troll.

Some Day

But your intelligence is certainly not in your brain...

Whoops, the Mountain patrol said not to feed the products of monkey evolution.

Esau

Brian:

That's just it -- you can't really argue from a Natural Law perspective since a cell is what it is -- a 'cell', and not a total human individual.

The point being -- to suppose a mere 'cell' actually constitutes a complete human individual would be ludicrous just as one saying that an arm or a leg are actually different human individuals.

And, coming from the other side of the coin, how can you suppose that a mere 'cell' actually contains a 'soul'?

Brian

Are souls within cells?
Are cells within souls?

Souls are within humans. The newly conceived human who consists of only totipotent cells contains a soul. The slightly older human who consists of pluripotent cells contains a soul. Souls, not being physical, are not within cells; nor are cells within souls.

Some Day

Well Natural Law involves property.

It is natural for man to own things.

Yet he does not own himself...

He belongs to God.

So not only is the person's rights put into play,

but most importantly, God's rights.

Brian

sorry Smoky, you posted while i was writing

Lana

But your intelligence is certainly not in your brain...

So why is it ok to harvest organs from brain dead people?

Esau

Souls are within humans.


Exactly!

So, given that perspective, please provide me with your reason why you should believe that such cells cannot be used for research?

Smoky Mountain

sorry Smoky, you posted while i was writing

No problem...there seems to be a tip-off of a troll on these forums -- they post cutesy one-line word games, always under an alias we've never seen before.

I know I'm be uncharitable here, but I think it's safe to assume that if they truly wanted a dialogue, they wouldn't speak in riddles.

This forum is for communication!

Some Day

Its not!

Brian

Esau, Does natural law include a Creator? I mean isn't the natural law built on that premise?

It's one thing to argue from a purely natural law standpoint (which is based in truth) and it's another to argue from a completely secular/relativist standpoint (which is not based in truth).

I don't mean to attack you; I ask because I'm wondering. Thank you for playing devil's advocate - it's difficult but good for me.

Smoky Mountain

This forum is for communication

Its not!

Then what's it for?

Some Day

LANA, I was making fun of you not saying where intelligence is!

But if you calm down and think like a Catholic I'll let you be.

Some Day

This is why I post quickly Smoky.


It's not

refers to Lana's post on brain harvesting

Lana

Its not!

Are you sure?
"A faithful Catholic may also make provisions for the donation of his own organs in the event of his death whether it is determined by cardio-pulmonary or neurological criteria."
http://www.ncbcenter.org/FAQ_BrainDeath.asp

Brian

So, given that perspective, please provide me with your reason why you should believe that such cells cannot be used for research?

Such cells don't come from nowhere. They're conceived. These days that sometimes happens in very non-traditional methods (isn't theraputic cloning something like injecting a nucleus into an egg and then zapping it to life). But they're conceived nonetheless. And by my argument that once conceived he's the same complete organism he will be in 80 years (he it lives that long) he therefore has a soul.

Some Day

The thing is what is death?

Death consists of the soul separating from the body.


If you cannot live with out artificial help ( and this does not mean tube feeding) because your brain does not work, you are or will be dead.

When this death occurs, cardio-respritory death will soon follow. Then (at some point) the soul will separate.

The Church is not a doctor, so it will not go and say "yup his heart stoped".

But She has said that death is when the soul separates from the body.

Esau

Brian --

I still don't see how what you've said here:

Esau, Does natural law include a Creator? I mean isn't the natural law built on that premise?

...actually advances your argument.


Please elaborate.

Brian

"A faithful Catholic may also make provisions for the donation of his own organs in the event of his death whether it is determined by cardio-pulmonary or neurological criteria."

Holy Hobby Horse Batman! Lana, would you mind moving that topic back to the Speedo thread where it was started?

Lana

once conceived he's the same complete organism he will be in 80 years (he it lives that long) he therefore has a soul.

What does "once conceived" mean? Exactly at what point is that? When sperm meets egg?

Esau

Such cells don't come from nowhere. They're conceived. These days that sometimes happens in very non-traditional methods (isn't theraputic cloning something like injecting a nucleus into an egg and then zapping it to life). But they're conceived nonetheless.


Kindly explain how these cells, in and of themselves, actually constitute a human being?

And by my argument that once conceived he's the same complete organism he will be in 80 years (he it lives that long) he therefore has a soul.

But that's just it -- an essential component to a human being is the 'soul'. Therefore, where is the 'soul' in these individual cells?

Lana

Therefore, where is the 'soul' in these individual cells?

Especially when one considers that two days later, the cells may divide into two embryos. Is souls arise at conception, where did this second soul come from two days later?

Some Day

Souls are not physical.

An infinte amount of angels can fit on the point of a needle.


Souls are spirits as well.

The same applies.

Lana

An infinte amount of angels can fit on the point of a needle.

How many souls does one human body have?

Some Day

One, yet if they are destined to be twins, God already know that.


Plus when a demon possses a person, your soul is still there.

Don't ask stupid questions please.

I would never say anything to divert you from the Catholic Faith.

Lana

Don't ask stupid questions please.

Don't make stupid statements please.

Esau

Some Day:

I'm not necessarily siding with Lana here, but could you kindly restrict your comments to something more on-topic on this thread?

I apologize, but it's just that I'm very interested in continuing this topic from a more Scientific/Christian standpoint.

Some Day

That is the point.

In an arguement you must sometimes enter a definition mode to complete the arguement.

Esau

Some Day:

Okay -- you answer my questions then:

1. Kindly explain how these cells, in and of themselves, actually constitute a human being?

2. An essential component to a human being is the 'soul'. Therefore, where is the 'soul' in these individual cells?

Lana

If the cells grow two heads like I've seen on TV, is that one soul or two?

Smoky Mountain

Is it possible that it's a trap to try to explain how the soul relates to the physical body at any level (whether to a one-celled zygote or to a 20 year old). Is perhaps the most honest answer, "we don't know - therefore we choose not to draw an arbitrary line between when we can and cannot willfully kill a fetus"?

Some Day

Lana,
I would ask you to shut up, but that would be rude.

But on the other hand, you are not following the rules either.

But I won't get down to your level.

Ask questions that will benefit your spritual life or stop it.

Esau:
I'll answer #2 first since it is the easiest.

Sprits are "where" they act. An angel can be in the Sun preventing it from shooting a destructive flame from wiping us, and then at his will be at the 7:00 Mass adoring Our Lord or both since he is not physically bound.

A soul is the spiritual part of the two part human. We have a soul and a body.
A human is both, without a soul it is mortal flesh, nothing. A soul without a body means the person died.

Now mixing in with question #1, these cells are now a human because God puts the soul into them at conception. The science comes in to explain conception. The uniting of the two sex cells.
At this point God creates the soul.

Now there is human. Both a physical biological and spiritual being. That is the essential thing to know. The soul is the most important part, it is the substancial form. The body whether a heap of cells or a colosal Goliath, is the body of a human because of the soul.

Bridget

If the cells grow two heads like I've seen on TV, is that one soul or two?

If there are two functioning heads, Jimmy considered it to be two persons.
http://www.jimmyakin.org/2005/02/ethical_questio.html

Lana

If there are two functioning heads, Jimmy considered it to be two persons.

So how many persons is it if there is not yet any functioning head?

I would ask you to shut up, but that would be rude.

After you.

Some Day

The same here Bridget.

Two simultanous rationals imply two souls.

Unfortunately the woman looks muslim, therfore no baptism is possible.

But God is merciful. There I'll reserve opinion nor enter discussion as to their eternal destiny.

Some Day

Lana the Quizical:

When are you going to stop asking pointless questions?

I honestly ask this in good faith, because it would seem that you are not here to learn, contemplate and admire God , His Church and His theology, but rather to question them.

Esau

Some Day:

I've got to admit, some of what you've said in your post above have some rather interesting insight to it, as it almost seems you were coming off the precipice of substantiality.

But allow me to take these in small bites, as I attempt to grasp the exact meaning of your statements.


Here's one comment of yours that would seem to allude to something (though not exactly) I was attempting to get to in my exchange with Brian.

...without a soul it is mortal flesh, nothing.


Thus, the very cells that actually exist within us, by themselves, would not constitute the human person as, by themselves, are not and do not contain a 'soul'.

This is the dilemma.

Lana

When are you going to stop asking pointless questions?

LOL. When are you?

Esau

Clarification:

When I said above, Some Day, I meant your May 2, 2007 5:13:21 PM post.

Some Day

Yes Esau,

By themselves they do not. Because they are part of us because our soul is acting within them.

If your arm gets cut off, your soul ceases to act in it, therefore is not "there". But if you put it back in, it will again.

So a heap of cells without a soul is either a severed part of the body or a dead person.

I honestly don't see the dilema.

Lana

So a heap of cells without a soul is either a severed part of the body or a dead person. I honestly don't see the dilema.

The dilemma is in the "either".

Lana

If there are two functioning heads, Jimmy considered it to be two persons.

If one person goes to hell and other person to heaven, where is the body?

Brian

Kindly explain how these cells, in and of themselves, actually constitute a human being?

If I go past my understanding of the science, please correct me. A newly conceived embryo has it's own unique DNA. The DNA is not the person, but is evidence that a person may exist. It proves that the embryo isn't merely a mixture of the parts that made it, but something new altogether. You can think of the middle school science example of baking a cake - in the oven the ingredients go through a chemical change and become something new altogether rather than being a simple, separable mixture of ingredients. At conception two human parts come together to make a human organism.

Now, as I said, DNA is evidence that a person may exist. As Some Day has pointed out you may have a dead body or you may have a part of a body (living or dead) or you may have a real live person. I guess test is to let it live. If its dead it doesn't grow. If its just a body part it may grow but its not ever going to go through the life cycle that humans do. If it is indeed a living human it will continue to progress through the natural life cycle. Embryos become babies, children become adolescents, and men become old men.

As far as I know there's no test for a soul. If it's human it has a soul and if it has a soul it's human. The soul reflects itself through the body. So you can't say that because an embryo doesn't have the qualities we associate with "humanness" it's not human. It's soul is the same as mine and yours, it's just unable to reflect itself in the same way that yours and mine does. We know that all humans have a soul because we have a Creator who made us in His image. We don't resemble God by our bodies but by our souls. It's by our souls that we are made in His image. If this isn't true, then I think it would be hard to uphold natural law.

Some Day

This is old i know it is to Lana | May 2, 2007 5:46:56 PM

Forgot to press post.


Well if it is a newly formed human it is not dead, heck it just started living. And if it was a severed body part, you'd think the servered person would know.

Esau

Brian and Some Day,

A cell in and of itself does not constitute a total human individual. This would seem just as riscible as the notion that an arm or a leg can actually be considered one.

I mean, when I extracted cells from a hen oviduct back in college, are you telling me then that the stuff in my pipette contained an actual 'hen'?

Some Day

The embyro is a very small human.

It it has the same dependancies as a baby.

You need to feed it.

In fact it has less, you don't need to nap it or clean after it.

And it is a human because a soul is in it.

The severed part has no soul acting in it.

The new embryo does.

A dead person had a soul, which you could losely call a heap of individual cells together in one very together form.

Come on Esau, I expect better from you.


Why would abortion be intrinsically wrong if it was only a heap of cells?

Brian

A cell in and of itself does not constitute a total human individual. This would seem just as riscible as the notion that an arm or a leg can actually be considered one.

It's hard to deal with hypotheticals when we have something we can't even see. Where did this cell come from? If its not a total human individual, what would need to be added to it to make it a complete human being and not just a part like an arm or a leg?

I mean, when I extracted cells from a hen oviduct back in college, are you telling me then that the stuff in my pipette contained an actual 'hen'

I don't know enough about hen biology to know what you're talking about. I'm going to guess that chickens reproduce like us with male and female seeds (I always wondered how farms get chickens to lay eggs every day). Were you removing the hen's unfertilized eggs? In that case those are just hen body parts. If you were removing fertilized embryos, those are chickens. You can't separate the embryo back into its male and female seeds (body parts), a new chicken has been created. You can tell it's a chicken because if you leave it in it's natural environment it will either progress through the chicken life cycle or die of natural causes. If it were just some body part, it could never become the cute fuzzy chick you see at 4H exhibit at the state fair.

Brian

If there are two functioning heads, Jimmy considered it to be two persons.

If one person goes to hell and other person to heaven, where is the body?

Lana, The body is in the ground where they buried it. If I'm not mistaken, you don't believe in the resurrection, so why do you care what will happen to the body. If I am mistaken, I apologize.

Brian

On a slight tangent - I don't see anything wrong with doing ESCR on our chicken embryos from this example as long as, like all things, it's done for a good purpose. Is this consistent with Church teaching?

Esau

It's hard to deal with hypotheticals when we have something we can't even see. Where did this cell come from? If its not a total human individual, what would need to be added to it to make it a complete human being and not just a part like an arm or a leg?


Brian:

I believe that's the whole point -- the answer to that would be: 'a soul'.

Brian

But if it doesn't have a soul it's never going to have one. We can't grow souls, we have one from our first moment of existence.

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