60 Anti-Abortion Arguments Refuted (part 5)
by, 07-09-12 at 01:25 PM (453 Views)
(continued from previous post)
However, note that that discovery does not prevent God from deliberately doing something-or-other to the Universe on occasion; all the discovery really means is that, from God's perspective, the Universe is much like a stage play (Shakespeare was right!), with lots of total randomness built into it to make it interesting (mostly via the Free Wills of intelligent beings), and God could just sit back and enjoy the show, if that was all God wanted to do. (And if God decides to throw some equivalent of a water balloon at the stage, giving some planet a Flood, well, by Religions Definition, God has the power to do that, and Science so far can't say anything about it except "So far that hasn't happened here.)
The preceding means that no ordinary human conception requires God to be involved. God might or might not choose to be involved, for example to Cause the Start of Something That Yields a Virgin Birth. However, just because some Religion might claim that God is always involved, for the specific purpose of creating souls at conception, that doesn't mean that Religion is correct --or even has any real idea of what it is talking about!
Thus, because of the Law of Cause and Effect, DNA is entirely in charge of the process of conception, and also for the later growth process of the resulting "zygote", not God. And that fact wasn't known to humans until the 20th Century, well after various Religions had arbitrarily claimed God creates souls at conception, when they also thought God had to be involved to make a conception happen in the first place --but God, of course, knew the real facts, regarding the Law of Cause and Effect, all along.
It is understandable that Religions made that claim about souls, to explain various then-unknown things, such as the physical activity of an unborn human in a womb (which turns out to have the Evolution-based purely instinctive purpose of encouraging bones to strengthen in a reduced-gravity environment; ask any astronaut). Previously, centuries earlier, Religions had made other claims ("The Earth is at the center of Creation"; "God is directly influencing most day-to-day events") to similarly explain various other unknown things.
However, when Science proves that such claims are wrong, or unnecessary, then Religions need to stop spouting nonsense. All they do is look stupid, and lose devout membership. They were definitely wrong about the Earth and day-to-day events, and because Religions refused to admit it for a long time, they were also proved stupid, and they did indeed lose a lot of devout membership.
Meanwhile, Religions claim that the soul is the source of Free Will for a human, that it is the most important aspect of a person, and is intimately associated with the concept of "I". This is the primary reason why, by claiming that unborn humans have souls, Religions conclude that unborn humans also qualify as persons.
On the other hand, the conclusion has a weakness. What if it can be shown that the idea, of unborn humans having souls, makes no sense? Why should the claim be believed, then? And why should unborn humans be called persons, then?
So let's start with DNA and the Law of Cause and Effect, which are in charge of growth in a womb --what does an unborn human need Free Will for? The claim (and, logically, the conclusion) goes against fact!
Then there is that other fact, previously mentioned, about 50% of conceptions failing to survive until birth --and God most certainly knows that. Furthermore, God has direct access to the DNA, and can "read" the genetic code, and will know exactly which zygotes will die from fatally flawed code. Religions claim God is smart, so why would a smart God make souls for known-to-be-doomed zygotes (what do they need souls for)? A better question might be, why are Religions so stupid as to make claims that are so obviously inconsistent with each other, that God is smart, but makes souls as automatically as a mindless machine, just because human conceptions occur?!? Far more likely is the probability that human preachers invented the claim out of sheer prejudiced egotism.
Next, recall the "twinning" problem. Imagine God creating a soul for a zygote at conception, but a few days later the organism splits into triplets. Since souls are immune to merely physical events, this means only one of the three will have a soul, that God has to "come back" to the scene to create two more souls. On the other hand, God is supposed to be smart and knowledgeable. If God knows in advance that there will be triplets--or even that there might be triplets-- then isn't the smartest thing to do is simply wait for the splitting to happen, before making any of the three souls? Yet this violates the claim that God creates souls at conception! But so what? Religions have been wrong about their claims, before!
And what about those "chimera" humans? They each start with two conceptions, and later two human organisms merge to work together as a single team/organism, in just one overall human body, without death happening to either original organism --so chimera-humans should have two souls, right? Unless Religion is wrong again, and a smart God doesn't always create souls at conception, but waits until a better time.
Finally, think about this: If a body is a vehicle for a soul, well, when building an automobile, even we humans are smart enough to not install a driver before the vehicle is ready to be driven --and God is supposed to be lots smarter than us! There are still other reasons (to be presented later) why it would be dumb for God to do what Religions illogically claim, regarding making souls at conception (the "vehicle" argument isn't the only one why God might wait the whole time until birth).
In the end, regarding the concept of "I", when good data such as scientific facts are considered, or when actually-self-consistent Religious claims are thoroughly evaluated, perhaps the most appropriate/relevant word is "gestalt". If the living "I", a person, is more than the sum of its parts, then it can't begin to exist until all the crucial parts are together. And that is why this anti-abortion argument fails; just because the human-DNA part begins to exist at conception, it isn't more important than the other parts added later.
9. "Unborn humans are persons, generically." FALSE. For proof, just imagine a flying saucer landing in front of you, and an extraterrestrial nonhuman alien entity emerging and politely asking you for directions to, say the Alpha Centauri star system. You might not know the answer to that question, but would the alien qualify as a person? If so, why? Because whatever generic characteristics that particular nonhuman possesses, that lets you identify it as a person and not as an unusual type of animal, unborn humans don't have those characteristics. Measurably animal-level are the minds they do have!
Regarding those small "growing" electronic machines previously mentioned, the thought-experiment involving them seeks to match their development with the way humans develop. So, even after nine months of parts-acquisitions, these machines would also be merely animal-level in their mental abilities. Not persons, yet. Anyone who has no problem with that, but does have a problem with equating unborn humans to mere animals, is simply exhibiting prejudice.
10. "Personhood is an innate characteristic of the human species; therefore unborn humans are persons." FALSE. The statement requires supporting evidence which is what, exactly? The fact that some humans exhibit personhood! This logic may appear circular, but it really does matter what order statements are made. So:
A. Traits of personhood are defined.
B. Some humans are observed to exhibit those traits.
C. It is now claimed that personhood is a species-wide characteristic, on the basis of that evidence. If NO humans exhibited traits of personhood, then humans cannot be claimed to possess that characteristic.
D. All humans must now be declared persons, since that characteristic has been claimed to exist species-wide.
A. Traits of serial killers are defined.
B. Some humans are observed to exhibit those traits.
C. It is now claimed that being serial killers is a species-wide characteristic, on the basis of that evidence. If NO humans exhibited traits of serial killers, then humans cannot be claimed to possess that characteristic.
D. All humans must now be declared serial killers, since that characteristic has been claimed to exist species-wide.
ABSURD! In both cases, step C is illogical. And there is no other way to reach step D from step B. The net result is that not all humans can automatically be called serial killers, and not all humans can automatically be called persons.
Finally, is personhood an innate characteristic of mere electronic machinery, even it if is "growing" machinery that we know can one day achieve person-class mentality? Anyone who says "no" to that question, but also says "yes" for the equivalent question about an unborn human (biological machinery), is simply exhibiting prejudice.
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