The Human Soul and Abortion Morality

Jul 2007
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When does one get a "soul", and where within us does a "soul" reside?



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"There are two elements almost universally thought to separate human beings from all other forms of life. One of these is a chiefly religious concept, the other a conceit of a different order. The first is the widely believed religious notion that there resides within each of us a unique, and uniquely human, Soul that distinguishes homo sapiens from all other life forms. The second generally accepted hypothesis is that the self conscious human Mind makes us unique among all earth's creatures.



Certainly there seems little else in our anatomical or chemical makeup that might confer special consideration for our species on the part of nature or the Divine. As an example, all primates have limbs that end in structures much like our hands and feet, all have hearts, brains, and expressive faces. It is said that the opposable thumb is one of the unique features of human beings. But does any one believe that our human souls reside in our opposable thumbs? Or how about in the structure and the chemical composition of our "new, unique" DNA, might the soul reside there? The structure and chemistry of the DNA in all living species is simply a longer or shorter repetition of the same four chemical bases. In fact, the qualitative and quantitative differences between the DNA of a "normal" chimpanzee and a "normal" human being is a little more than one percent, while considerably more DNA variation than that is exhibited between "normal" human beings and some others of us born with certain chromosomal abnormalities.

If there truly is within every person a Soul, it must reside somewhere in the exceptional consciousness, of self and of abstractions, that emanates from the living human brain. The soul, therefore -- if indeed there is one -- must be found in what we call the Mind. If this is correct, then because of what we know of the finite time necessary for the structural and functional differentiation, growth, maturation and "hard wiring" of the cellular and organic features that make up the sensate human brain, it can be stated with almost 100% certainty that human consciousness does not begin to waken until sometime after the 24th week of intrauterine life...."
 
May 2007
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My religion teaches that the soul identifies with a particular human life and potential personality at the time of conception.



Furthermore, the soul is not a material thing, and therefore, has no material qualities or limitations.



Therefore, asking "where" the sould might reside -- where it is.. how we could detect or measure it.. is a bit like saying:



"Hey Fred, I think the apples on the ceiling are gettting rotten, could you please get me a Corvette so I can adjust the screws on my mother's weasle?"



The soul identifies with or is manifested through its attributes in the body. In other words, think of a beam of light reflecting off a mirror. The mirror might relfect the attributes of the light, but the light is not "in" the mirror and the mirror does not cause the light's existance. The mirror is simply the vehicle by which the light appears in that particular context.



Anyway, this is why I think abortion is a grave and serious matter. I get weary of these rationalizaions, such as "well, such and such doesn't appear until this or that stage of pregnancy."



To me, that sounds like an elaborate excuse. Almost like a four-year old who gets caught eating cookie dogh and then says, "but mommy... I didn't really spoil my supper with COOKIES.. it was just dough... and dough isn't really cookies.. it's just potential cookies... and who is to say the dough would have become cookies...a natural occourance could have prevented the cookies from ever coming out of the oven.. so, Mommy, how can you really say I spoiled my dinner with cookies?"



Yeah, right, whatever.



I'm not opposed to abortion being legal. I'm just saying that if we can admit the actual wieght of the action -- that it is, indeed, the destruction of human life -- then maybe we can finally be honest with ourselves and one another about this subject.
 
Apr 2007
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mytmouse57 said:
My religion teaches that the soul identifies with a particular human life and potential personality at the time of conception.



Furthermore, the soul is not a material thing, and therefore, has no material qualities or limitations.



Therefore, asking "where" the sould might reside -- where it is.. how we could detect or measure it.. is a bit like saying:



"Hey Fred, I think the apples on the ceiling are gettting rotten, could you please get me a Corvette so I can adjust the screws on my mother's weasle?"



The soul identifies with or is manifested through its attributes in the body. In other words, think of a beam of light reflecting off a mirror. The mirror might relfect the attributes of the light, but the light is not "in" the mirror and the mirror does not cause the light's existance. The mirror is simply the vehicle by which the light appears in that particular context.



Anyway, this is why I think abortion is a grave and serious matter. I get weary of these rationalizaions, such as "well, such and such doesn't appear until this or that stage of pregnancy."



To me, that sounds like an elaborate excuse. Almost like a four-year old who gets caught eating cookie dogh and then says, "but mommy... I didn't really spoil my supper with COOKIES.. it was just dough... and dough isn't really cookies.. it's just potential cookies... and who is to say the dough would have become cookies...a natural occourance could have prevented the cookies from ever coming out of the oven.. so, Mommy, how can you really say I spoiled my dinner with cookies?"



Yeah, right, whatever.



I'm not opposed to abortion being legal. I'm just saying that if we can admit the actual wieght of the action -- that it is, indeed, the destruction of human life -- then maybe we can finally be honest with ourselves and one another about this subject.


Agree 100%
 
Feb 2007
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mytmouse57 said:
Anyway, this is why I think abortion is a grave and serious matter. I get weary of these rationalizaions, such as "well, such and such doesn't appear until this or that stage of pregnancy."


Oh, like at fertilization?



 
Jan 2006
2,866
3
Columbus, Ohio
mytmouse57 said:
My religion teaches that the soul identifies with a particular human life and potential personality at the time of conception.


That's wonderful, but what does your reason tell you?



Furthermore, the soul is not a material thing, and therefore, has no material qualities or limitations.



Therefore, asking "where" the sould might reside -- where it is.. how we could detect or measure it.. is a bit like saying:



"Hey Fred, I think the apples on the ceiling are gettting rotten, could you please get me a Corvette so I can adjust the screws on my mother's weasle?"


Agreed, and saying that the immaterial somehow interacts with (or even is relevant to) the material is a bit like asking your grandmother to pass the ketchup using telekinesis.



If the mind is immaterial and has no location, then it has absolutely nothing to do with our physical experiences. Therefore, how could anything physical happening to a certain object with a certain location in space-time (abortion) affect something that is allegedly transcendental of that very space-time?



The soul identifies with or is manifested through its attributes in the body. In other words, think of a beam of light reflecting off a mirror. The mirror might relfect the attributes of the light, but the light is not "in" the mirror and the mirror does not cause the light's existance. The mirror is simply the vehicle by which the light appears in that particular context.


That's a poor allegory because 1) the photon is something measurable in the physical world and 2) the light doesn't affect the mirror (unlike the soul supposedly interacting with the body).



Anyway, this is why I think abortion is a grave and serious matter. I get weary of these rationalizaions, such as "well, such and such doesn't appear until this or that stage of pregnancy."



To me, that sounds like an elaborate excuse. Almost like a four-year old who gets caught eating cookie dogh and then says, "but mommy... I didn't really spoil my supper with COOKIES.. it was just dough... and dough isn't really cookies.. it's just potential cookies... and who is to say the dough would have become cookies...a natural occourance could have prevented the cookies from ever coming out of the oven.. so, Mommy, how can you really say I spoiled my dinner with cookies?"



Yeah, right, whatever.



I'm not opposed to abortion being legal. I'm just saying that if we can admit the actual wieght of the action -- that it is, indeed, the destruction of human life -- then maybe we can finally be honest with ourselves and one another about this subject.


Funny how I don't have to rationalize myself in ridiculous religious conceptions such as the soul in order to agree with you on this point.
 
Mar 2007
21,385
6
Ga
mytmouse57 said:
My religion teaches that the soul identifies with a particular human life and potential personality at the time of conception.



Furthermore, the soul is not a material thing, and therefore, has no material qualities or limitations.



Therefore, asking "where" the sould might reside -- where it is.. how we could detect or measure it.. is a bit like saying:



"Hey Fred, I think the apples on the ceiling are gettting rotten, could you please get me a Corvette so I can adjust the screws on my mother's weasle?"



The soul identifies with or is manifested through its attributes in the body. In other words, think of a beam of light reflecting off a mirror. The mirror might relfect the attributes of the light, but the light is not "in" the mirror and the mirror does not cause the light's existance. The mirror is simply the vehicle by which the light appears in that particular context.



Anyway, this is why I think abortion is a grave and serious matter. I get weary of these rationalizaions, such as "well, such and such doesn't appear until this or that stage of pregnancy."



To me, that sounds like an elaborate excuse. Almost like a four-year old who gets caught eating cookie dogh and then says, "but mommy... I didn't really spoil my supper with COOKIES.. it was just dough... and dough isn't really cookies.. it's just potential cookies... and who is to say the dough would have become cookies...a natural occourance could have prevented the cookies from ever coming out of the oven.. so, Mommy, how can you really say I spoiled my dinner with cookies?"



Yeah, right, whatever.



I'm not opposed to abortion being legal. I'm just saying that if we can admit the actual wieght of the action -- that it is, indeed, the destruction of human life -- then maybe we can finally be honest with ourselves and one another about this subject.
I'm really getting tired of agreeing with you. But once again, you have taken my crude thoughts and made it something much more. Excellent post.
 
May 2007
6,007
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USA
Kat,



My reason tells me Baha'i theology is probably spot-on when it comes to explaining the nature of the soul.



Otherwise, I'd porbably either be an Eastern Orthodox Christian.. or, who knows.. I might have even stayed an Atheist/Agnostic.



Either way, I'm glad to hear that you also are not a cheerleader for abortion.
 
Feb 2007
2,265
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mytmouse57 said:
Either way, I'm glad to hear that you also are not a cheerleader for abortion.


Oh, please. Who is?



Being pro-choice doesn't mean you are pro-abortion. I know plenty of people that are pro-choice that wouldn't have an abortion for themselves. They do believe, however, that that is each person's individual decision and government has no right to interfere in it.



Most pro-choice people would love to do away with abortion. Better, affordable and reliable birth control, sex education in the schools, that's the way to do away with abortion.
 
Jan 2006
2,866
3
Columbus, Ohio
mytmouse57 said:
Kat,



My reason tells me Baha'i theology is probably spot-on when it comes to explaining the nature of the soul.


Excellent. As long as that is what you have personally found to be true with your reason and the weighing of evidence, rather than just an appeal to authority; your opinion respectable even though I must disagree.




Otherwise, I'd porbably either be an Eastern Orthodox Christian.. or, who knows.. I might have even stayed an Atheist/Agnostic.



Either way, I'm glad to hear that you also are not a cheerleader for abortion.


As I've said before, I do believe that the 'mind' and the brain are the same thing. It is true that aborting a fetus before the brain develops isn't harming a conscious being, but that doesn't mean that the fetus will not one day develop into a conscious being, and likewise it does not mean that the fetus itself is not life. Therefore, it would plague me to have an abortion (and I guess in this context, it is fortunate I cannot since I am a male), but I do not think early trimester abortions should be illegal.



But, even though my opinions on this issue have been battling it out, and one side or the other has been gaining territory and losing some every now and then; I've usually kept the same opinion that no matter my personal opinions on the morality of abortion, the opportunity for others to make that choice should still remain legal.



Plus, a good reason why I am pro-choice is for the following reason: Abortion just as common where it's illegal (CNN).

"Report: Worldwide, one in five pregnancies ends in abortion

Report: About 70,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions"