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the narrator

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About the narrator

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  1. I was speaking from a legal perspective. No you weren't. You were disagreeing with the statement "That said an embryo is nothing like a baby." So do babies in utero. Ok, so now you at least agree that your description of comatose persons was wrong. As far as late-stage fetuses go, I agree that they have thoughts, feelings, and consciousness (which embryos and fetuses at least through the first half of pregnancy do not.) And I think those things should be considered by the woman when making her decision.
  2. A one day old child has intelligence, ability to communicate, and potential for independence. Have you never seen a newborn before? A comatose person has intelligence, can sometime communicate, and has potential for independence. It's basically a long nap. Family members very often choose to end the life of persons on life support.
  3. With respect, I disagree. smac97 has experience holding and cooing embryos. Nor does a comatose person, and yet we generally do not let Person A unilterally kill comatose Person B. Comatose persons have thoughts and feelings, and may have occasional or partial consciousness.
  4. Thousands of years of human culture, history, law, and language. Censuses don't count fetuses. US Law doesn't consider a fetus a person (nor does any other nation as far as I'm aware.) Most religions throughout history did not consider the fetus to be a person. Most persons don't consider a miscarriage to be the death of a person. Etc, etc, etc. Double homicide laws for pregnant women were largely done with the hope of giving personhood to fetuses to bolster the abortion debate, so my point remains. However, those even haven't been interpreted that way and are more viewed in harms caused to remaining family members, particularly the father, whose anticipated child (potential person) was killed and not a legal person. Similarly, discussions on alcohol and other drug abuse are all generally made in the context of the harm it causes the future person and not the fetus itself. In a time and culture when pregnancies were more likely to terminate with a miscarriage or still birth, the significance is that they have a living child. Yes. Some early Christians took this to mean that quickening was evidence of a living soul in the womb, but they didn't take it as far as conception. That really doesn't happen until Augustine, who thought that ejaculate contained a multitude of souls, and hence: A pregnant woman and a fetus cannot both have full rights. This is at the core of the abortion debate. Not really. The absence of the point means there is no point. Not sure how this is confusing for ya. Because autonomously breathing as a distinct human individual that has been recognized by the community is a well established notion of personhood. Appeals to fertilization for personhood only exist in the context of abortion. It's a bootstrapping definition constructed to appeal to itself. My personhood really doesn't have anything to do with biology. It's not like personhood came into being with microscopes. Rather its a complex notion that has arisen from tens of thousands of years of human existence involving culture, language, law, etc. Being alive is not nor has ever been the primary indicator of whether or not someone is a person. Rather it's only been a modifying characteristic of a person--whether someone is a living person or a dead person (or in this context, a potential person.)
  5. The rationale is the lack of a rationale for meaningfully calling an embryo a person--that is without forcefully retconning the term to include embryos for reasons other than the abortion debate. By that I mean the only time anyone really attempts to claim that an embryo is a person is when they are doing so as part of anti-abortion argument. There isn't any particular point besides the neonatal baby taking its first breath, I guess. (Which is, according to Genesis, is when the spirit enters the body.) I'm certainly open to the possibility of the prenatal fetus being viewed as a person while recognizing that it not legally such when it cannot possibly have full rights of a person when that would conflict with the already recognized full rights of an adult person. Personhood is a complex notion that involves multiple cultural factors. Any sort of metaphysics that imply there is a precise point when a fetus becomes a persons is just silly. Because those who make the "LIFE!" pro-life argument routinely betray (or acknowledge the insufficiency of ) the rationale when it comes to ending other lives--such as with persons on life support, capital punishment, war, etc. The recognition that a person is not mere cellular activity.
  6. I see this game being played all the time. The appeal to the vague and largely meaningless "life" is made because there is no meaningful sense in which an embryo or early stage fetus is a person. None. Abortion is wrong, they say, because IT"S LIFE! and it's wrong to murder a life. But then when it comes to those on life-support, who have clearly have more reasons to be viewed as persons and a living body, all of the sudden the absolute demands concerning life become less absolute.
  7. The question of when life begins in the context of abortion is a rather useless one. Rather the question should be when a person begins. This is less a question of biology and more one of philosophy and religion. For much a Judaism, following the Genesis account of God giving breath/spirit to Adam to become a living soul, personhood didn't begin until the newborn takes its first breath. This makes a lot of sense, as the success rate of pregnancies until the last century was rather low. It is for this reason that anti-abortion laws before the 20th century rarely showed a concern about the prenatal fetus but rather were enacted to protect women's health from dangerous abortion procedures and (coupled with anti-contraception laws) to prevent wives from sleeping around like their husbands were. It's not until modern medicine increased the viability of pregnancies that people began to view fetuses as actual persons rather than simply hopeful persons.
  8. Oh shut up. If you want to accuse me of lying, misrepresenting, or misremembering, just say it. Unfortunately, there wasn't a stenographer at our zone meeting. So, yeah, just shut up.
  9. My mission president in 1999 banned FARMS materials in part because "one of their articles claims that the Prophet translated the golden plates by putting a stone in hat, and we know that isn't true because the scriptures teach us that it was translated by the gift and power of God." He later became a 70. This guy prided himself on being a learned know-it-all gospel scholar and loved to do those Q&A pure doctrine sessions that MPs are prone to do. Now, I don't think "coverup" is a proper description of what was going on, but these kinds of posts reek of being self-promotional borderline gaslighting.
  10. No. Because we were asking him for a foreword, not criticisms or peer review. Yeah, and I've heard about some of those... I stand by what I said. I stand by what I said: "this seems indicative of a lot of apologetic 'peer review' that largely involves passing something among friends and then publication regardless of whether or not criticisms are addressed."
  11. I've been arguing for quite some time that the different accounts need to be read differently. Joseph's memories of the vision changed as his theology developed and as new circumstances came into his life. To me, this (among many other things) points to the vision as being more of a vision rather than a visitation. Attempting to combine them together simply creates an incoherent and anachronistic beast.
  12. My point isn't whether or not they are scholars, it is whether they have the particular expertise required to make critical recommendations. On that, I would say Smoot is probably the most-qualified among the four, though even there his background and training is not in the Bible.
  13. So which of the four of you had the educational/professional background to provide better criticism of the problems that Bokovoy points to? I don't mean this as a criticism of any of you, but rather this seems indicative of a lot of apologetic "peer review" that largely involves passing something among friends and then publication regardless of whether or not criticisms are addressed.
  14. 1. The popularity of Jesus in the Gospels is likely an exaggeration. 2. Even if it wasn't an exaggeration, knowing his name and knowing of him is drastically different than being able to identify him on one's own. 3. It wasn't like there was a single body of antagonistic Jews following him around. 4. You underestimate how much photography today helps us remember faces. 5. The persons confronting Jesus in Gethsemane likely never saw Jesus themselves and would have had no idea what he looked like. On the road to Emmaus, the two disciples didn't even recognize Jesus--not because he was wearing a disguise, but because they probably only met Jesus once from a distance (if ever) and simply didn't recognize him. Jesus wasn't all the special--meaning there wasn't anything in particular physically that made him stand out. It was his words and actions that drew attention to him, and even those were relatively minor. He was just one of many self-proclaimed messiahs, and he spent almost all of his very short ministry outside of Jerusalem. This was a time before photography, video, TV, and even realist portraits. Without him saying, "I'm Jesus of Nazareth, look at me!" nobody would have the damnedest clue of who he was--besides his close disciples who spent time with him. I don't know why this is so hard to grasp.
  15. Christianity, Judaism, and virtually all major religions have been political religions at one point or another. It's quite clear now that the Pulse shooter committed his evil act in response to American foreign policy. Should only take you a few minutes to find that out. And US intervention and meddling in the Middles East predate Desert Storm by decades, particularly with Operation Ajax. After that ticked off Iran, we then supported Hussein in a fight against them, providing him with funding and weapons. And for good measure, with Iran-Contra we sold weapons to Iran to fight Iraq. The list of meddling in the Middle East, and the growing pile of bodies that resulted from them is well too long to list. The help that Kuwait asked for only came from a portion of its citizens, with a good portion of its others asking for Hussein to come in. Let's not forget that we trained Osama Bin Laden to fight the Soviets for us, and let him and the other mujahadeen high and dry after they were no longer needed--who used that training to also commit evil while responding to our meddling out there. (No, he didn't care about our freedoms or whatever we want to do in the US. He just wanted us out of their lands.) Our support of Saudi Arabia against Yemen has only added to the pile of bodies of dead citizens. Obama's drone doctrine with the goal of less US soldier casualties without caring for the lives of foreign citizens fueled the problem more, and Trump has poured jet fuel on it.
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