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Old 03-21-2016, 03:44 PM
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Default Historical discussion of abortion and ensoulment

A few related links:

https://www.ewtn.com/library/bishops/vasapelosi.htm

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/09/way-it-was

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestio...onception-maki
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Old 03-22-2016, 06:28 PM
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Thanks for posting the articles, I read all of them. The concept of ensoulment is inherently a religious one, and I've always avoided that in the question of abortion. Telling people that they can't kill unborn children because my special book and my invisible, big-sky guy don't allow it is counter-productive. So, generally are arguments about those points.

A historical discussion of abortion is something I would follow with interest and comment on.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah_ad_Din View Post
Thanks for posting the articles, I read all of them. The concept of ensoulment is inherently a religious one, and I've always avoided that in the question of abortion. Telling people that they can't kill unborn children because my special book and my invisible, big-sky guy don't allow it is counter-productive. So, generally are arguments about those points.

A historical discussion of abortion is something I would follow with interest and comment on.
It's one of the many subjects I chew on, now and then. I've made a couple of historically inaccurate statements on the subject, which I obviously try not to make a habit of.

It's not going to be a "Gotcha!" subject for you or anyone else. I'll commit to that, right now.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:15 PM
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What I found interesting about the articles on Augustine and Aquinas was the editorial comment that neither they - nor Aristotle - would have embraced such beliefs if they had the benefit of modern science to enlighten them. Presumably, this is because the author found the movie "Silent Scream" emotionally compelling, and assumes the writers they appreciate would agree.

I mean, besides the fact that there is simply no way to know that, why would one assume such a thing?

All three historical figures lived in a day and age when infant mortality and the rate of spontaneous abortions are believed to be much higher than they are now. People were in much closer proximity to death than they would be if Augustine or Aquinas had lived in, say, the United States in the 21st century.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:04 PM
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All three historical figures lived in a day and age when infant mortality and the rate of spontaneous abortions are believed to be much higher than they are now. People were in much closer proximity to death than they would be if Augustine or Aquinas had lived in, say, the United States in the 21st century.
It could well be that our ability to distance ourselves from death in food production as well as in the antiseptic privacy of the hospital prevents us from understanding the true value of life.
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:19 AM
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Abortion in American history:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...istory/376851/

Here is a brief history of the doctrine of ensoulment:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/abo_hist.htm
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Old 03-23-2016, 06:38 AM
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Where I erred was a lack of knowledge about the 2nd to 4th century period in Christianity. I knew about Augustine, and I knew about the influence of Aristotle on the doctrine of ensoulment and therefore on the theology of abortion. I wasn't aware of the brief flowering of condemnation he effectively put down by the weight of his influence. It is incorrect to say the argument of "Abortion is murder" was not present in the church, although it is correct to say that it was not a given, and not even the norm until comparatively recently.

Legalized abortion has saved lives. That is undeniable. Maternal mortality dropped substantially after Roe v. Wade. The Christian argument is that infant mortality went up. But that's an assumption. Population also went up. Christians are very concerned about unborn fetuses, because they are innocent. As many have noted, their concern for those same fetuses once they have emerged from the womb drops rather substantially.

I also find Christian opposition to sex education rather puzzling, and their insistence that sex education be of the abstinence variety. I don't consider sex education a panacea, but ignorance is surely part of the problem here. Wide availability of birth control and a lack of shame about requesting it, if it prevents abortion, must be desirable?
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:23 AM
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Question, is this thread only talking about the legal and social history of abortion or is it also for opinions on abortion?
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
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Question, is this thread only talking about the legal and social history of abortion or is it also for opinions on abortion?
I intended to scratch out the history both of abortion, and the related Christine doctrine of ensoulment. I've certainly expressed some related opinions. Say what you want.

I just wanted to make it known it was a musing thread, and not an attempt to set a trap of gotcha for anyone.
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Old 03-23-2016, 12:31 PM
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Here's an interesting article on Jewish positions on abortion...

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/featur...emium-1.572647
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