Abortion

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  • #6394
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    One of the new pro-death tactics is to acknowledge the easily proven fact that the baby is a human being and even a human life … but deny that it is a human [i:1i6jd5eg]person[/i:1i6jd5eg].

    #6395
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Judaism acknowledges life before birth, but still denies that it gains full human life until birth,

    “…a baby…becomes a full-fledged human being when the head emerges from the womb. Before then, the fetus is considered a ‘partial life.” (Halacha ie Jewish Law – though “Judaisms law” would be a better name because it does not represent the original laws of the Jews)

    “…each case must be decided individually by a rabbi well-versed in Jewish law.””

    “Historical Christianity has considered “ensoulment,” the point at which the soul enters the body) as the time when abortions should normally be prohibited. Belief about the timing of this event has varied from the instant of fertilization of the ovum, to 90 days after conception, or later. There has been no consensus among historical Jewish sources about when ensoulment happens. It is regarded as “one of the ‘secrets of God’ that will be revealed only when the Messiah comes.”(http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_abor.htm)

    My question is exactly that, when does the soul dwell within the child? My rationality tells me “when the child enters the world” (out of the womb) but that is human understanding. I agree fully with the previous quote that it is “one of the secrets of God” but because I believe the Messiah has come already I am at odds with Judaism on this issue.

    Another problem comes in interpreting the term “murder” in Scripture. “THou shalt not murder” is unbelievably ambigious. When is murder really murder? Why was God in favor of Joshua and the Israelites killing thousands of people for the sake of cleansing the lands? Can the Crusades be reconciled with the OT wars of herem? Again, what is murder?

    Can we judge murder?
    It boggles my mind, and I don’t think it is wise to argue when life is life, who can know but God what is life since He is the Creator? We are in charge of maintaining and caretaking the life on earth. Who can say an embryo is loved by God more than a mother or vice versa?

    #6396
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    one more thing worth noting:

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/jud_abor.htm says of Ex 21:22:

    “hat biblical passage outlines the Mosaic law in a case where a man is responsible for causing a woman’s miscarriage, which kills the fetus If the woman survives, then the perpetrator has to pay a fine to the woman’s husband. If the woman dies, then the perpetrator is also killed. This indicates that the fetus has value, but does not have the status of a person.”

    -as a Christian and not a Jew I still find this hard to ignore. However, I will not observe the writings of the Talmud or course, but their understanding of the Hebrew Bible often surpasses many-a-Christian.

    #6397
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I care nothing for Jewish law on the matter. The case against abortion can be made entirely from natural law or it can be made from Christian theology.

    [quote:3mlewvhq]My question is exactly that, when does the soul dwell within the child?[/quote:3mlewvhq]
    When does ensoulment happen? Something lives because it possesses a soul (this is true for humans, plants, animals, etc). Without a soul, something is not alive (James 2:26). Since a child is alive from the moment of conception, it is ensouled at the moment of conception.

    “Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does” (Tertullian, [i:3mlewvhq]The Soul[/i:3mlewvhq] 27).

    [quote:3mlewvhq]My rationality tells me “when the child enters the world” (out of the womb) but that is human understanding.[/quote:3mlewvhq]
    I do not understand how that is a rational conclusion. Was Christ not God in the womb? Did God not know Jeremiah before he was born? Did not John the Baptist leap in the presence of his Lord?

    Interestingly, ensoulment at birth leads into a form of Nestorianism. Mary did not give birth to God, she gave birth to only Jesus’s humanity. The divine soul then entered a human body.

    #6398
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    In the Greek James 2:26 is not “soul” but “spirit” (“pneumatos” meaning Spirit, or spirit). This is very different.

    In Biblical Hebrew soul is nephesh which is best translated into English as “life” or “vital breath”. Based on the Hebrew Bible it seems that the soul is alive when the child breaths. Thus Rabbinic Judiasm finds their conclusions differently than the Catholic Church.

    [quote:3o92mhyd]I care nothing for Jewish law on the matter. The case against abortion can be made entirely from natural law or it can be made from Christian theology. [/quote:3o92mhyd]

    Natural law is dictated by humankind. Jewish law was given by God to Israel. Chrisitans have much to learn and still use from Jewish law even though we are not under the Law. Paul said that the Law revealed sin. This does not have anything to do with abortion though of course, but the Law is not invalid. Christ fulfilled the Law, not abolished it.

    I suppose I said my rationality did _____ because I am a student of OT. In the back of my mind I still take the verse from Exodus that I cited very seriously, far more serious than Tertullian. I’m not saying Tertullian is wrong, I’m just saying that the Exodus passage must compell us to look more into the matter than what Tertullian suggested. His works are not canonical.

    The objections raised using Christ and John the Baptist in the womb could possibly be anthromorophisms or expressions to clue the reader into JEsus’ apprehension by the Holy Spirit. God can know anything before birth, of course God know Jeremiah before he was born, but does that prove something?

    #6405
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    [quote:1rzuiwlk]In the Greek James 2:26 is not “soul” but “spirit” (“pneumatos” meaning Spirit, or spirit). This is very different.

    In Biblical Hebrew soul is nephesh which is best translated into English as “life” or “vital breath”. Based on the Hebrew Bible it seems that the soul is alive when the child breaths. Thus Rabbinic Judiasm finds their conclusions differently than the Catholic Church. [/quote:1rzuiwlk]
    [color=darkblue:1rzuiwlk]Rabbinic Judiasm also denies Christ as Moshiash. Why should anything they say bare any weight in regards to doctrinal issues. Certainly we use their culture and ways as a way to understand early times but considering they are still bickering even amongst themselves I don’t know why I should consider their view on the matter. [/color:1rzuiwlk]
    [quote:1rzuiwlk]Natural law is dictated by humankind. Jewish law was given by God to Israel. Chrisitans have much to learn and still use from Jewish law even though we are not under the Law. [/quote:1rzuiwlk]
    [color=darkblue:1rzuiwlk]As I said, we certainly do use much of Jewish philosophy. After all, we are the extended family of God now.[/color:1rzuiwlk]
    [quote:1rzuiwlk]Paul said that the Law revealed sin. This does not have anything to do with abortion though of course, but the Law is not invalid. Christ fulfilled the Law, not abolished it. [/quote:1rzuiwlk]
    [color=darkblue:1rzuiwlk]Really? Which parts do you follow?[/color:1rzuiwlk]
    [quote:1rzuiwlk]The objections raised using Christ and John the Baptist in the womb could possibly be anthromorophisms or expressions to clue the reader into JEsus’ apprehension by the Holy Spirit. God can know anything before birth, of course God know Jeremiah before he was born, but does that prove something?[/quote:1rzuiwlk]
    [color=darkblue:1rzuiwlk]I doubt it. Anthromorphisms are used to grasp concepts we couldn’t possibly in our limitations (like the Trinity). An infant kicking inside a mother is very real.[/color:1rzuiwlk]

    #6406
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I must correct my previous notion on this matter. In fact, after reading more into the subject, I came to fully agree with the Church’s view on the fact that abortion is never right, even when the mother’s life is at stake. Same thing with contraception. I’ve found these paragraphs while reading about religion and abortion on wikipedia and I think it sums up the point quite well:

    [i:b05m523p]Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache, to the late Pope Paul VI in his Humanae Vitae, to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion. Although the Roman Catholic Church has always considered abortion a grave offense, it has at times punished the offense differently depending on the stage of pregnancy in which the abortion was performed. For example, under Pope Gregory XIV excommunication was prescribed only for those aborting a “quickened” child. “Quickened” refers to the stage of pregnancy in which the child can first be felt to move. Excommunication is a formal recognition of the reality that a person is no longer in communion with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, and is no longer eligible to receive the various sacraments. The person excommunicated can contritely confess the sin (material cooperation in an abortion) to a priest and be received back into the Roman Catholic Church.

    The Roman Catholic Church today firmly holds that [u:b05m523p][b:b05m523p]”the first right of the human person is his life”[/b:b05m523p][/u:b05m523p] and that life is assumed to begin at fertilization. The equality of all human life is fundamental and complete, any discrimination is evil. [u:b05m523p]Therefore, even when a woman’s life appears jeopardized, choosing her life over her child’s is no less discrimination between two lives – and therefore morally unacceptable[/u:b05m523p]. <img loading=” title=”Wink” /> However, the Roman Catholic Church does make a clear distinction between direct abortion & indirect abortion. Direct abortion as a means or an end is always viewed as a moral evil. Indirect abortion occurs when treatment used to save the life of the mother has the secondary side effect of killing the unborn child. An example of indirect abortion is seen in cases of ectopic pregnancy where the fallopian tube would be removed with the unborn intact, saving the life of the woman, but resulting in the indirect death of the unborn. The Roman Catholic Church only recognizes very rare cases where indirect abortion is permissible and views the vast majority abortive procedures to be the result of procuring a direct abortion.

    Catholics who procure or participate in an abortion suffer ¬´ipso facto latae sententiae¬ª (automatic, literally by that very fact the sentence is incurred) excommunication under Canon law, provided that the person knows of the penalty at the time the abortion occurs. The Roman Catholic Church also considers the destruction of any embryo to be equivalent to abortion. The following practices are considered immoral because they are likely to involve the destruction of an embryo: any birth control method that potentially may prevent implanation (IUDs, Emergency contraception, Hormonal contraception, i.e. “The Pill” ); embryonic stem cell research or therapy; and in vitro fertilisation (which almost always involves the discarding of a fertilized embryo and is also considered immoral for other reasons). However, the Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S. state that it is moral to provide the “Morning After Pill” or Emergency Contraceptive if fertilization has not occurred to victims of rape or incest ( <img loading=:” title=”Question” /> I find this quite tricky, but…). Further, Roman Catholic women may use hormonal birth control methods if they remain celibate during the course of treatment. ([b:b05m523p]NB[/b:b05m523p] – Natural Family Planning is an excellent topic to read about. It should be more publicized! <img loading=” title=”Very Happy” /> )

    In sum, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that direct abortion is always a grave evil. The Second Vatican Council in 1965 referred to abortion as “an unspeakable crime” in the document Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World):

    [b:b05m523p]”[F]rom the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.” [/b:b05m523p]
    A conciliar Constitution is the most authoritative expression of Catholic faith that exists because they are only issued with the affirmation of a vast majority of all the bishops in the world in union with the Pope. Roman Catholic leaders often explain that modern advancements in scientific and medical knowledge of DNA and pre-natal development have simply affirmed the Roman Catholic Church’s understanding of the beginning of human life.[/i:b05m523p]

    #6410
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Victor wrote:

    [quote:go7x0ui4]Really? Which parts do you follow? [/quote:go7x0ui4]

    I couldn’t remember where but found what I was talking about. Paul speaks quite positively of the Law in the first half of Romans but not in a way that takes anything away from Grace. Romans 7:7 says “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law…” The context here is the Roman church seems to be having difficulty (both Jews and especially the Gentiles) incorporating Jewish Law and grace as sufficient for salvation, but still, the point is that the Laws of Sinai reveal sin, otherwise “[We] would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘you shall not covet'”. (Ibid)

    [quote:go7x0ui4]Rabbinic Judiasm also denies Christ as Moshiash. Why should anything they say bare any weight in regards to doctrinal issues. Certainly we use their culture and ways as a way to understand early times but considering they are still bickering even amongst themselves I don’t know why I should consider their view on the matter.[/quote:go7x0ui4]

    Why does anything they say bare weight? When they reveal Scripture like the Exodus verses to support their interpretation of life, it must be carefully weighed, especially as they often understand the OT quite well. That’s why theologians study the OT and the Talmud, Midrash, etc., not because its authoratative, but like any commentary it can be very useful. Jews have theologians too. Yes, they bicker amongst themselves, but so do Christians.

    [quote:go7x0ui4]I doubt it. Anthromorphisms are used to grasp concepts we couldn’t possibly in our limitations (like the Trinity). An infant kicking inside a mother is very real.[/quote:go7x0ui4]

    Of course infants can kick, and John the Baptist is said to have kicked at the coming of Jesus. Does this prove he had a soul? Not neccessarily, all babies kick because that is their nature, they just kick.

    I’m not pro-abortion at all. I just like to take a look and weigh all the options and arguments, and in this case I am unwilling to blow of Judaisms use of Exodus just because it was interpreted by Jews. If my professor had advocated abortion using that passage of Exodus I still would have given it much thought though not being convinced of it in my heart.

    To wrap it up I respect the RC position <img loading=” title=”Neutral” />

    #6413
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    The Jewish opinion of a verse means little to me if it disagrees with the opinion handed down in Sacred Tradition. Tertullian and the early Fathers interpret Exodus differently as regards abortion:

    “The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22‚Äì24]” (Tertullian, [i:2gf537rn]The Soul[/i:2gf537rn] 37).

    [quote:2gf537rn]Paul speaks quite positively of the Law in the first half of Romans but not in a way that takes anything away from Grace.[/quote:2gf537rn]
    The Law is fulfilled, not abolished, true. But it is also largely inapplicable to the Christian life.

    If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech: and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law. Hebrews 7:11-12

    Translation, in this case, means change, as seen in the NAB rendering:

    If, then, perfection came through the levitical priesthood, on the basis of which the people received the law, what need would there still have been for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not reckoned according to the order of Aaron? When there is a change of priesthood, there is necessarily a change of law as well. Hebrews 7:11-12

    [quote:2gf537rn]Of course infants can kick, and John the Baptist is said to have kicked at the coming of Jesus. Does this prove he had a soul? Not neccessarily, all babies kick because that is their nature, they just kick.[/quote:2gf537rn]
    The baby can kick because it is alive. And the baby is alive because it possesses a soul, as I mentioned earlier.

    [quote:2gf537rn]In the Greek James 2:26 is not “soul” but “spirit” (“pneumatos” meaning Spirit, or spirit). This is very different.

    In Biblical Hebrew soul is nephesh which is best translated into English as “life” or “vital breath”. Based on the Hebrew Bible it seems that the soul is alive when the child breaths.[/quote:2gf537rn]
    Pneumatos comes from the root word pneo, which is to breathe or blow. The connection with nephesh is appropriate and James 2:26 still stands.

    The Jews and the early Fathers spoke of the soul and the spirit separately based on function. The soul is the animating force of the body and the spirit is the rationality. But despite considering their functionality separately, the soul and spirit comprise one whole in man. You can see this linkage in such verses as Genesis 7:22, Job 34:14-15, and Isaiah 42:5 as well as throughout the early Fathers.

    [quote:2gf537rn]Natural law is dictated by humankind.[/quote:2gf537rn]
    No. Natural law is dictated by God upon the hearts of man. Natural law is God’s law that is so obvious that one does not need revelation to know and comprehend it.

    For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these, having not the law, are a law to themselves. Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them: and their thoughts between themselves accusing or also defending one another. Romans 2:14-15

    #6437
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I guess Benedict, you as a Catholic are obliged to follow Sacred Tradition. For myself I am not obliged to follow JEwish tradition but I find much wisdom in it for daily living. For example, one of my favourite past-times used to be to read Midrash devotionals, they were quite remarkable for me because they see and understand Scripture in a very unique light. Truth can be found apart from Sacred Tradition can’t it?

    The reason I cited Exodus was for two reasons: (1) the penalty of causinig abortion is big, and (2) the penalty of killing the mother is bigger. Tertullian is right in commenting that the penalty was big, but I believe abortion in his age was not as hot of a topic as now, and the Ex passage reveals another aspect, that killing the mother resulted in greater punishment. Again, I am not pro-abortion.

    Sorry if I dont’ use the quote thing I’d just rather just work with the discussion for now. The Law is “largely inapplicable” is a sketchy saying for me. What is to distinct “largely” from the opposite? I’m not sure I understand how the Law can be largely but not completely inapplicable. Your discussion of the Law through Aharonic and Levitical priesthood is hard to understand, could you develope your thought clearer so I can interact? I’m not sure what it had to do with abortion. Also your use of the word “translation” confuses me.

    All babies kick, as I’ve said and that makes them alive of course. Catholic doctrine requires all Catholics to follow the interpretation that the moment life is born it contains a soul, if you read up on soul and spirit in a Protestant Systematic Theology book or the like you’ll find many different ways that the phenomenon of the soul can mean, but a Catholic is required to ignore these arguments. As C.S. Lewis once said to the Catholic Church asking for his membership:

    “The real reason I cannot be in communion with you is… that to accept your Church means not to accept a given body of doctrine but to accept in advance any doctrine that your Church hereafter produces.”

    As with all languages, the root of a word does not equate to the forms it takes on as a language develops. Pneumatos from pneo “breathe or blow” really doesn’t apply to the understanding of this text. The word is still pneumatos and pneumatos still means Spirit or spirit. Nephesh simply shows that the Hebrew understanding of life came from the activity of breathing, they did not have a developed systematic understanding of soul as the Greeks, and it can be argued as it is being done continually today by many theologians that are understanding of soul is more influenced by Greek culture than what the Scripture actually tells us. It is also wrong to say that the Jews spoke of the soul and spirit separately based on function. If you mean the Jews involved with the Hellenists shortly before and after Christ then this is true, but the ancient Israelites show no evidence of a developed understanding of soul as the Greeks.

    Gen 7:22 does not work. We have words used for nostril, breath, and living raw thing.
    The job passage if you look up the meaning of the words are heart and spirit (like breath later in the sentence). v.15 reveals nothing of soul it’s the flesh/body.
    Isa 42:5 reveals that breath used is to convey intelligence of a divine reflection, and the spirit is again the breath, wind, etc.

    All these passages reveal that the concept of the soul, via Greek philosophy is not present in the OT.

    “In [the] Old Testament texts one does not find the later philsophical sense of “soul” as an animating principle or as a non-corporeal nature that will survive the body, that is, after death. Rather its usages are focused upon personal, physical life now.” (Garrett, James Leo Jr. “Systematic Theology)

    To be honest, I’m not sure why I stated that natural law is dictated by men, really it is from God, you are quite right.

    I guess what I will say in conclusion is that the concept of soul indwelling life is a very poorly understood section of Christian theology that many Christians debate endlessly. Catholics have an easy way by submitting to the Pope, but like C.S. Lewis I’m not Catholic and so far my reason is his. Also, I find all interpretations of Scripture worth looking into and I will submit to its inclusion or rejection in my own understanding based on Scripture testimony alone, and for this simple reason, I find that the lack of teh concept of soul in the OT and the Hellenized concept of soul accepted and continued in teh Roman Catholic church to compel me to remain forever suspicious of the concepts surrounding the understanding of soul.

    My hands hurt.

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