1. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '06 13:301 edit
    In a discussion in Debates, Ivanhoe and Halitose take the position that human beings exist from conception (i.e. fertilization of the egg by sperm). According to this paper from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists on page 5: "60% of fertilizations don't survive long enough to cause a missed menstrual period".http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/ethics/ethics092.pdf

    Thus, apparently most "human beings" "die" before they or anybody else know they exist according to this view. What are the theological implications of this to Christianity in particular? If most human beings either are eternally damned or sent to Heaven regardless of any act they do in life (because a zygote doesn't do anything good or evil or accept Christ as his personal Savior), what's the point of this whole excursion on planet Earth for the minority like us?
  2. London
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    07 Mar '06 13:36
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Thus, apparently most "human beings" "die" before they or anybody else know they exist according to this view. What are the theological implications of this to Christianity in particular? If most human beings either are eternally damned or sent to Heaven regardless of any act they do in life (because a zygote doesn't do anything good or evil or accept Ch ...[text shortened]... avior), what's the point of this whole excursion on planet Earth for the minority like us?
    For the record, I believe they are neither eternally damned nor sent to Heaven (not in the way human beings who have attained the age of reason, anyway).

    That doesn't mean those of us who are fortunate to have lived are freed from our responsibilities towards God and creation.
  3. Cape Town
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    07 Mar '06 13:39
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Thus, apparently most "human beings" "die" before they or anybody else know they exist according to this view. What are the theological implications of this to Christianity in particular? If most human beings either are eternally damned or sent to Heaven regardless of any act they do in life (because a zygote doesn't do anything good or evil or accept Ch ...[text shortened]... avior), what's the point of this whole excursion on planet Earth for the minority like us?
    A related question, how close is a soul to a persons mind. By this I mean if you die as a 2 year old are you a 2 year old in heaven? If not does that mean I wont be me anymore after I die and therefore why would I want my soul, which isnt really me at all, to go to heaven?

    Cultures with a history of high infant mortality do not name thier children or even truly consider them human until several months after birth. Many mothers start to consider thier children human as soon as they know they are pregnant.
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '06 13:43
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    For the record, I believe they are neither eternally damned nor sent to Heaven (not in the way human beings who have attained the age of reason, anyway).

    That doesn't mean those of us who are fortunate to have lived are freed from our responsibilities towards God and creation.
    Then what happens to them? Do you believe in transmutation (I think that's the word) of souls?
  5. Cape Town
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    07 Mar '06 14:05
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    For the record, I believe they are neither eternally damned nor sent to Heaven (not in the way human beings who have attained the age of reason, anyway).

    That doesn't mean those of us who are fortunate to have lived are freed from our responsibilities towards God and creation.
    So the question now is: When is the age of reason attained?
  6. London
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    07 Mar '06 14:14
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    A related question, how close is a soul to a persons mind. By this I mean if you die as a 2 year old are you a 2 year old in heaven? If not does that mean I wont be me anymore after I die and therefore why would I want my soul, which isnt really me at all, to go to heaven?

    Cultures with a history of high infant mortality do not name thier children or e ...[text shortened]... rth. Many mothers start to consider thier children human as soon as they know they are pregnant.
    A related question, how close is a soul to a persons mind.

    This depends on the philosophical conception of soul you're using. For Descartes, the two were identical. For Aquinas, what we call the 'mind" is really a set of powers of the soul - i.e. intellect, memory, reason etc. The soul, here, is the essence of the human being. IIRC, Plato held that the human mind contained three "souls" - only one of which was immortal.

    By this I mean if you die as a 2 year old are you a 2 year old in heaven? If not does that mean I wont be me anymore after I die and therefore why would I want my soul, which isnt really me at all, to go to heaven?

    The soul is the definition of you.

    Cultures with a history of high infant mortality do not name thier children or even truly consider them human until several months after birth.

    Really? Any concrete examples?
  7. London
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    07 Mar '06 14:21
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Then what happens to them? Do you believe in transmutation (I think that's the word) of souls?
    I don't know what the term "transmutation of souls" means (though I think I've heard it before). Could someone post a definition (all my Googling seems to bring up something about cats)?

    In the case of the unborn, I think their souls remain in limbo.
  8. London
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    07 Mar '06 14:23
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So the question now is: When is the age of reason attained?
    While it probably varies from person to person, I think it would be somewhere around six or seven years of age.
  9. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '06 14:261 edit
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I don't know what the term "transmutation of souls" means (though I think I've heard it before). Could someone post a definition (all my Googling seems to bring up something about cats)?

    In the case of the unborn, I think their souls remain in limbo.
    I meant that the soul goes into another zygote until it finally finds one that gets to the "Age of Reason". Limbo? Forever?
  10. London
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    07 Mar '06 14:40
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I meant that the soul goes into another zygote until it finally finds one that gets to the "Age of Reason". Limbo? Forever?
    no1: "Limbo? Forever?"

    Yep.

    no1: "I meant that the soul goes into another zygote until it finally finds one that gets to the "Age of Reason". "

    That wouldn't make sense in the Thomistic conception of the soul. The soul is the essence of a particular human being in all respects - physical, mental, genetic etc.
  11. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '06 15:07
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    no1: "Limbo? Forever?"

    Yep.

    no1: "I meant that the soul goes into another zygote until it finally finds one that gets to the "Age of Reason". "

    That wouldn't make sense in the Thomistic conception of the soul. The soul is the essence of a particular human being in all respects - physical, mental, genetic etc.
    Why is God sending most human souls to Limbo forever?
  12. London
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    07 Mar '06 15:17
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Why is God sending most human souls to Limbo forever?
    Why not? They can't enter Heaven due to original sin, and don't deserve Hell as they've never sinned. Limbo as a state of eternal natural happiness sounds like a perfectly nice place to be.
  13. The sky
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    07 Mar '06 15:19
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    While it probably varies from person to person, I think it would be somewhere around six or seven years of age.
    What exactly is "the age of reason"? I assume it has to do with certain cognitive abilities, but which and to which degree?
  14. London
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    07 Mar '06 15:211 edit
    Originally posted by Nordlys
    What exactly is "the age of reason"? I assume it has to do with certain cognitive abilities, but which and to which degree?
    In this context, I'm using it in the sense of an age at which a person can take [full?] moral responsibility for his/her actions. This would entail a sufficiently developed reason that they are able to make moral judgments of right/wrong about various actions.
  15. Subscriberno1marauder
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    07 Mar '06 15:24
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Why not? They can't enter Heaven due to original sin, and don't deserve Hell as they've never sinned. Limbo as a state of eternal natural happiness sounds like a perfectly nice place to be.
    It's a very strange idea; given the numbers in the article I mentioned, then most people are never absolved of original sin. Jesus' dying on the Cross can only possibly benefit a minority of Mankind. It's seems to me that for order for RCC doctrine to make sense, either the idea of ensoulment at conception has got to go or the idea that Jesus died for Mankind's sins does. They don't seem to work together given the physical realities of pre-embyro mortality.
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