Pro life thought experiment


Really. From the Catechism:

Sure I did. I gave a definition from biology. :man_shrugging:


OK. So the Biblical description of “to learn good from evil and THUS to become like God”, is just a hyperbole, not to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, if ANYONE who is able to help someone and declines (even if he could do it by willing the problem away) without inconveniencing himself, and declines to do it cannot be called good or benevolent or loving. And ANYONE includes God.

Biology only gives a definition for the species, which is an arbitrary categorization. It is based upon the ability to procreate with another member of the so-called species. So someone who is incapable of procreation, or is only capable of procreation with some else, is not included. Oh, well. There is no reason to look for a productive conversation, if you are unwilling to dig into the interesting parts.


Absolute morality means that it applies to all people. It is absolute in that sense. It does not apply to birds or to comets. We do not hold birds and comets culpable for what they do, and with good reason. Similarly the detailed laws of moral human behavior do not limit God’s prerogative.


We do not judge God, or put Him to the test. That is because we acknowledge Him as above us. We are not capable of knowing in full the mind of God, and as His creatures, we have no right to put Him to the test.


Actually, the word “absolute” means that it is applicable to every moral agent. Since birds and comets are not thinking beings, it is obvious that “morality” is inapplicable to them. If God is a free being, who is able to tell right from wrong, then God is a moral being, who can be judged by his actions (or lack of them).

But I do. Your approach is that of a slave, who is not willing to question the actions of the slaveholder.

That is not an excuse. I have no problem with accepting that God (if he exists) is so much above me, that I am unable to even “see” that “far”. But that does not prevent me to challenge what God (supposedly) demands from me.

You know why are you not “allowed” to put God to the test? Because as soon as put God to the test, he will FAIL it. And then you must close your eyes, pluck your fingers into your ears, and chant: “I don’t hear you!”. Which is the quintessential “blind” faith.


If we cannot agree on the definition of morality, then our discussion cannot proceed in that direction. However there are plenty of aspects of morality that we do probably agree on. I suggest you explore one of those.

Or a creature who is not able to authoritatively question the actions of his creator. But unlike the slaveholder, God really does have a claim on my life, having given it to me in the first place.

But aren’t you doing more than that? Aren’t you questioning what moral law demands of God?

Only blind in to the extent of what I am incapable of seeing. There are no fingers in ears or hands over eyes.


Where is the fun in that? :slight_smile:

Authority is not the question. The parents who REALLY are the creators of the child, have no absolute right over the child. They cannot say: “I brought you into this world, I take you out of it”.

God is on “trial” here for allowing / performing all the atrocities in the world, AND THEN keeping us in the dark. The funny thing is that the apologists accept that there are atrocities, but TRY to explain them away with the attempts like the “greater good” defense. This attempt acknowledges that there is something to “defend”. They could simply declare that “might makes right”. But that principle is also questioned.

None so blind as those who do not want to see. :wink:


It would probably be more fun than this extended game of “is so!”, “is not!”

If the parents were actually the sole creators of the child, they would have that right. But they are not, any more than the workers on an auto assembly line are the creators of the cars they build. That analogy is crude. The actual comparison is even more striking than that.

That is your interpretation of what this discussion is. No one else here is putting God on trial.


No, they would not. But here you ran into the “minefield” of ensoulment. As we know, not even the church declares the moments of ensoulment.

I am sure they don’t. :slight_smile: But it happened before. Elie Wiesel and his fellow sufferers in the Auschwitz camp did put God on trial, a came to a guilty verdict. I don’t go that far. But from the behavior of God the last thing one could declare is that God is loving, caring or benevolent. Totally indifferent would be the way to put it.


It is a moot point because the parents are not the exclusive creators of their children. But if they were, why couldn’t they do anything they want with their creation?

I can’t answer for them, but you are the only one in this thread trying to out God on trial. You can do that all by yourself, but don’t expect others to engage you in that trial.


If the child is created in vitro, then there is a third party. Of course that is not relevant. Presumably you speak of God. Might be a good idea to substantiate that argument with facts. :slight_smile:

Because we (in this day and age) do not consider the child to be a property, to be disposed of at the whim of the parents. In the ancient times, the deformed children were thrown off the peak of Taygetus - as the story goes - or they were disposed of in some similar manner. Today that is an unacceptable practice - at least in the so-called “civilized” world. In the third world it still happens. We try to keep alive seriously deformed newborns - at an incredible expenditure - even if they will predictably die soon. That amount of money could be used to help staving children. But generally speaking humans are not particularly rational. (I am not rational when it comes to my family - but at least I am not going to lie about it.)

Maybe not, because they are unable to mount a feasible defense. If they could, there would be a vigorous presentation of ideas. :wink: Of course, every futile attempt to explain away the problem of evil is just another misbegotten defense of God.


I submit that the reason we do not consider the child to be the property of the parents is that we don’t consider the parents as being solely responsible for its creation. However, since you like to talk about artificial intelligence, I submit that if the “parents” create a seemingly sentient software program, society would agree that they are within their rights to terminate that program at their whim. The reason we treat the creation of children as a special category of created things with rights, etc., is that we see the parents’ role in that creation as fundamentally different from their role in painting a picture or sculpting a statue. The child is not totally theirs after birth because it was not totally theirs before birth. They cooperated in its creation, but we’re not exclusively responsible for it.


“We” don’t? Again, if you wish to bring in the question of “ensoulment” you should be prepared to present actual evidence for your position. Don’t forget, IF there is a God, and IF he agrees with you, he is very welcome to come to you aid and present the unquestionable proof for all your assertions. But until that point, all you have is your unsubstantiated opinion.

That is a very interesting question, one of my favorite problems. If it comes to that, I will be on the forefront to fight for the right of the continued existence of (artificially) intelligent programs. But there are many questions to be resolved. Is the unplugging of an AI the equivalent of inducing sleep in a human? Or is it the equivalent of killing? If the killing of a human would be a fully reversible action, it would not be considered a serious problem. The severity of an action is directly proportional of its “reversibility”. But this should be explored in a different thread. :slight_smile:


I have not referenced ensoulment, so I don’t know why you keep bringing it up with me. As for my opinion, I would like to hear what alternate explanation you have for granting special status to this one particular thing built by two people so that they many not stuff it and mount it on their mantle the day after it comes out of their factory.


You kept on emphasizing that the actual parents are not the “sole” creators of the child. I read this as a reference to God, and the “soul” infused at the conception. That is why I brought it up.


They are just homophones.


The key question is: is there an expectation that these thousands of embryos will actually be born? If so, I don’t find it strange or offputting to answer that I would save the embryos.


You can attempt to redefine terms all you want, but I’ve already demonstrated that the Church speaks of the “morality of human acts”.

No; ours is the approach of a student as to a teacher, or of a child as to a parent. Yours is of an equal to an equal. Hubris, thy name is Scowler… :wink:

Except when it fits your agenda, you mean. Then, you’re totally willing to forget your myopia, and instead claim you see as far as God does… :man_shrugging:

Again: “Scowler knows best.”

No, it’s more like “I trust you”, which is the quintessential element of faith.


Considering that embryos would be stored in computer-controlled containers of liquid nitrogen, you would have a hard time disconnecting them from their controls and safely carrying them out of the building and then finding a suitable place to reconnect them to a source of liquid nitrogen. 1000 embryos would probably be stored in many many such tanks. If there was a five-year old child around that you could save, you might want to save him first and then enlist his help in carrying tanks of embryos.


I speak of the actual meaning of the word. If the church speaks of something else, that is not my problem.

Actually, I am an inquisitive student. But anyhow, a student CAN question the teacher, and a child CAN question the parent. And if the teacher or the parent is unable / unwilling to explain, then he loses the respect.

Show me a positive test, which confirms what you say about God, and I will eat humble pie. You see, I am wide open to consider real evidence. But hearsay and browbeating are not “evidence”.

Trust needs to be earned. If it is just demanded without proof, it is “blind trust”. And one mustard seed’s weight of evidence trumps a thousand tons of faith.

This whole “give and take” reminds me of an old joke. Two guys walk around in Africa, and see a lion stalking them. One of them opens his backpack, takes out his running shoes and puts them on. The other one laughs, and says: “Do you think you can outrun the lion in those shoes?” And the first one answers: “No, but it is sufficient that I can outrun YOU”.

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