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Abortion=sin?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by blb01, Sep 6, 2005.

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  1. blb01

    blb01 Member

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    Although I am not a Christian, I used to be. One thing that still confuses me is abortion. I mean I can see why the morning after pill would be a sin, but anything else wouldn't make sense. The reason why that would be weird is because it's the doctor who kills the embryo, not the pregent woman.
     
  2. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    What difference does it make if a doctor kills the unborn child as opposed to the mother?
     
  3. Aqualung

    Aqualung Tasty

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    So if I handed you a gun and said, go shoot my brother, would you think that I have absolutely no blood on my hands? Do you think Judas Iscariot is clean? After all, he didn't actually kill Jesus, he just led the romans to him.
     
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  4. Linus

    Linus Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. The point is that someone (the mother) is deciding to kill the unborn child. It doesn't matter who actually does the killing. The mother supports it and in fact wants it to happen. In fact, it might make things worse if the doctor does it. In that case, you have a mother who wants to get rid of the child to such a degree that she decides to take action, and in addition you have a doctor who is a willing participant. Seems you are causeing more people to sin if you do it that way...

    I hope that made sense.
     
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  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    There are some who would disagree;
    http://www.postfun.com/pfp/blasphemy.html
    The word of God makes it clear to us that abortion is not a sin. In fact it's quite clear that to believe otherwise is nothing short of idolatry and blasphemy, and those are, quite definitely, sins.



    Psalm 139 and the Beginning of Life





    One of the most beautiful chapters in the Bible is Psalms 139. It speaks of God's constant, practically doting, love for his creation. It is distressing to see this chapter used by anti-abortionists as proof that life begins at conception. If you read the chapter in its entirety it becomes clear that our existence begins in the mind of God and that God's attentions follow us all of our days, through good and bad. Here are the verses that anti-abortionists use to twist this beautiful chapter to a common political tool:
    For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works: and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.



    These verses are used to prove that human life begins at conception. But there is nothing here to even suggest that. God conceives of us first. We read that a blueprint, of sorts, exists in a book, God's book. Before we are born God uses this to form our bodies. Nowhere here does this describe anything but the making of the human form. Nowhere here does it describe how we are imbued with a human soul. But there are numerous other places in the Bible where God makes it quite clear when and how we become a living being and not just an "imperfect substance" as mentioned in Psalms 139.





    Consider first, Genesis 2:7,
    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."​
    (The above is only a short extract see the site linked for the full article.)
     
  6. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    blb01, in my opinion, making the morning after pill a sin makes far less sense than making abortion a sin. The morning after pill can destroy the sperm before conception has happened depending on how soon afterwards it is taken. An abortion will always kill a being that is growing into a lifeform.
     
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  7. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Quite surprised where you stood on this Michel.
    Here is the Catholic position on this:

    Abortion
    2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72


    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74



    2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75 God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76



    [color=black][b]2272[/b][/color] Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

    [color=black][b]2273[/b][/color] The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    "The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being's right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death."80

    "The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights."81

    2274 Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.

    Prenatal diagnosis is morally licit, "if it respects the life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus and is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual. . . . It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence."82

    2275 "One must hold as licit procedures carried out on the human embryo which respect the life and integrity of the embryo and do not involve disproportionate risks for it, but are directed toward its healing the improvement of its condition of health, or its individual survival."83

    "It is immoral to produce human embryos intended for exploitation as disposable biological material."84 "Certain attempts to influence chromosomic or genetic inheritance are not therapeutic but are aimed at producing human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities. Such manipulations are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being and his integrity and identity"85 which are unique and unrepeatable.

    Peace be with you
    ~Victor
     
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  8. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    That seems to be untrue.
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist_c.htm
     
  9. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Unsurprisingly, I agree absolutely with Victor and the RC position on this one.

    James
     
  10. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I know Victor;

    This is probably been the root of all of my problems with relating to one faith -not just because of this subject, but because there are parts of every faith I feel I cannot morally endorse. Like all of us, I am a sinner - and if my morals make me even more of a sinner because I have a problem accepting part of the dictates of a faith, I can only hope for leniency 'When my day comes'. If I have to suffer because of the way I think, then that is the price I shall have to pay.:eek:
     
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  11. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    And here is a partial history ...

    5th TO 17th CENTURY CE (Various beliefs on whether abortion is murder):

    St. Augustine (354-430 CE) reversed centuries of Christian teaching in Western Europe, and returned to the Aristotelian concept of "delayed ensoulment." He wrote that a human soul cannot live in an unformed body. Thus, early in pregnancy, an abortion is not murder because no soul is destroyed (or, more accurately, only a vegetable or animal soul is terminated). He wrote extensively on sexual matters, teaching that the original sin of Adam and Eve are passed to each successive generation through the pleasure generated during sexual intercourse. This passed into the church's canon law. Only abortion of a more fully developed "fetus animatus" (animated fetus) was punished as murder.

    Augustine had little influence over the beliefs of Eastern Christianity. They retained their original anti-abortion stance.

    St. Jerome wrote in a letter to Aglasia: "The seed gradually takes shape in the uterus, and it [abortion] does not count as killing until the individual elements have acquired their external appearance and their limbs"

    Starting in the 7th century CE, a series of penitentials were written in the West. These listed an array of sins, with the penance that a person must observe as punishment for the sin. Certain "sins" which prevented conception had particularly heavy penalties. These included:
    • practicing a particularly ineffective form of birth control, coitus interruptus (withdrawal of the penis prior to ejaculation)
    • engaging in oral sex or anal sex
    • becoming sterile by artificial means, such as by consuming sterilizing poisons.
    Abortion, on the other hand, required a less serious penance. Theodore, who organized the English church, assembled a penitential about 700 CE. Oral intercourse required from 7 years to a lifetime of penance; abortion required only 120 days.

    Pope Stephen V (served 885-891) wrote in 887 CE: "If he who destroys what is conceived in the womb by abortion is a murderer, how much more is he unable to excuse himself of murder who kills a child even one day old." "Epistle to Archbishop of Mainz."

    Pope Innocent III (?-1216) wrote a letter which ruled on a case of a Carthusian monk who had arranged for his female lover to obtain an abortion. The Pope decided that the monk was not guilty of homicide if the fetus was not "animated."

    Early in the 13th century, Pope Innocent III stated that the soul enters the body of the fetus at the time of "quickening" - when the woman first feels movement of the fetus. After ensoulment, abortion was equated with murder; before that time, it was a less serious sin, because it terminated only potential human life, not human life.

    St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) also considered only the abortion of an "animated" fetus as murder.

    Pope Sixtus V issued a Papal bull "Effraenatam" in 1588 which threatened those who carried out abortions at any stage of gestation with excommunication and the death penalty. Pope Gregory XIV revoked the Papal bull shortly after taking office in 1591. He reinstated the "quickening" test, which he said happened 116 days into pregnancy (16½ weeks).

    - see ReligiousTolerance.org
     
  12. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    That was interesting. I hadn't realised that the RCC had ever held such a stance with regards to abortion. I'm pretty sure they no longer hold to such ideas as the quickening otherwise their stance on abortion would be different to ours (which is an absolute prohibition with the exception of circumstances which would result in the death of both mother and child) but as far as I can see we are of one accord on this issue.

    James
     
  13. Fire Empire

    Fire Empire Member

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    This is interesting. Just wondering, according to the Bible, at what point does the soul arrive in the fetus? Is it at conception? 2nd trimester? We haven't found any passage to specify this either way--maybe one of you could help to enlighten us?
     
  14. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I believe the critical demarcation in Judaism is at 40 days.
     
  15. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    I saw this for the first time when Pah showed it to me weeks back. I suppose I could quote dozens of other early church fathers to show the RC position is still the same. Some date as far back as 70 A.D. but I hesistate because I do not know if it will have any affect of having everybody understand that catholics know where to go for proper doctrine. Bishops, priests, etc. can be wrong. I've said this before. Doctrine lies in mind of the Church operated by the Holy Spirit. Even if some of it's parts (priest, bishops, etc.) are going in a different direction. It's got a way of working itself out. ;)



    The Least
    ~Victor

    PS-Surely James can respect this. Our faith systems work very similar. :)
     
  16. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Apparently the Holy Spirit was AWOL or confused for a very long time. Sorry.
     
  17. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    The Early Church did indeed establish the dogma of the soul and it was reversed four times (maybe five). Where to go for proper doctine (teachings of the Church) for today's (being any day throughout history) postion is as it has always been.

    Deut's comment
    is appropos
     
  18. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Why would you think that? The HS works thru man. That itself complicates the situation. The HS has a tendency of working thru human faculties. As I said, there are many writings that show the Catholic position as it stands now. How is that confusion or absent?

    ~Victor
     
  19. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Since you have made it clear that you do not wish to work thru the "narrow" definition we attempted to explain. It really is just your opinion unless you can stick to my explanation on post #59 http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18554&page=7&pp=10.

    ~Victor
     
  20. Radar

    Radar Active Member

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    Why care if it is a sin or not. And who is any body to say what is a sin and be judged by man about abortion. If this god really finds fault in it then he will deal with it on some kind of judgement day. Besides the holy books are filled with contradictions any way so who really is to say this that or the other is a sin.
     
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