Monday, March 7, 2011

Conceptus


Rooting around a little more in some questions I raised recently, about death and afterlife and babies and the infirm, I realize I should have addressed this as well: it's estimated that more than a quarter of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortion. (For the excitable, that means they die and are expelled without any outside intervention.) The actual number is likely to be significantly higher, since many pregnancies occur and end without the woman even knowing. This makes god the most prolific abortionist of all time.

Which raises the question, preceded by a couple of givens according to those opposed to women's choice: Life, we are told, begins at conception. God, we are told, knows our whole life even before we're born. So, what of those blastocysts, those embryos, those concepti -- stillbirths, for that matter; anencephalics, too -- that die at god's hands, before even leaving the womb?

Based on the religious arguments against abortion, it would seem every combination of egg and sperm, at no matter what time after their joining, represents a fully-rightful human life. So what happens when they expire from godly causes? If they're god-loved humans with pre-planned lives, surely they go to heaven. But in what form? Are they, like my iMac, my Macbook, preloaded with iLife? And the software takes them to what point in their pre-known lives? If they become what they'd have been anyway had they not been aborted by god, what's the point of going through all this life on the home planet? Or would he actually keep them as they were, maybe wiggling in petrie dishes? I'd think not, but what do I know? Related question: since they'd never lived "outside," never had any relationships, with whom would these former clusters hang out? Obits are full of declarations of heavenly reunions; in fact, the certainty seems to be the main selling point for real estate on the streets of gold. Isn't this a problem?

And what's the difference between abortions by god and abortions by man? Surely he wouldn't hold the fetus responsible for the act of its mother? (Not that there's much evidence of godly fairness in the doling out of earthly misfortune, but still...) So what's all the fuss about abortion, such a tiny fraction of which are at the hand of man? It's all human life, right? If so, they must surely go to heaven, yes? If they don't, they're not humans in the religious sense, right? But we're told they are...

I'd think these are all questions that the anti-abortion crowd, who seem to be the main contingent of Republican leaders since November, forsaking all serious interest in the economy, education -- in short, in our future -- to subject women to their religious beliefs, ought to be able to answer. Expected to answer. Required. To be consistent. Because it's not just about their religious beliefs: if that were all it was, I'd be as silent on the subject as Mike Huckabee was on Bristol Palin's pregnancy as opposed to that of Natalie Portman's. (Ms Portman, of course, is a walking dog-whistle for the RWS™: Harvard educated, Hollywood employed, smart, liberal. Scientist. And, let's not overlook: Jewish.)

But the fact is, it's political. I fully understand why many people are against abortion; like nearly every other human being, I'd hope it would continue to become ever more rare. (I'd also hope that those who'd force women to have babies would be willing to fund programs that make unwanted pregnancy less likely, and programs that help feed and clothe and educate the kids born into hopelessness. Which will never happen.) Nor do I have a problem with churches demanding their members reject it; just as I have no problem with churches that refuse to sanction same-sex marriage.

But when a group does everything it can to force its religious beliefs on an entire nation, including those who believe otherwise, it's a different matter entirely. And the above questions, if tainted with a little sarcasm here and there, are completely serious: if you demand that our country subscribe to your religious beliefs, the least you should do is to answer them.

While making sense.


14 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Its simple Sid, God doesn't like babies, sort of endearing actually.

Think how I felt, going to a Catholic School for 1/2 a year, they said even TOUCHING YOURSELF was a Mortal Sin(the kind your effed for eternity even if you say an infinity of Hail Marys)and since I started touching myself as soon as my embryonic fingers showed up, I just doubled down and started touching myself even more, still do.
And nothing Racial, just practicing my Crotchety Old Man Schtick,
Without Roe V Wade, there'd be Conservatively, another 50 million people around, driving slow in the left lane, parking in firelanes, trying to pay for groceries with library cards, talking in movies, isn't it crowded enough already?

Abortions legal baby, keep it Safe, Legal, and Cheap, I mean Available to the huddled Asses, I mean Common Folk.

Frank

Sam Spade said...

I felt a little inspired and conducted research. I think I'm slightly stupider than I was a few minutes ago.

I mentioned the other day that abortion providers should be honored, because I thought that babies below a certain age automatically went to heaven. Not so: "A little baby, as cute and as innocent as it looks, is not saved, is not regenerated, is not justified and is not a child of God. Babies are born in sin and are dead in sin (Psalm 51:5; Eph. 2:1). As they get older their depraved sinful nature will manifest itself in many ugly ways." I thought it was just my kids! Note that this is from Psalms, thus the old book, not just some Christian guilt thing.

Maybe it's the Catholics who believe babies are automatically saved? Immediately I come across this: "As medical science increasingly marvels at the personhood of the unborn child, and as social science is ever more aware of the disastrous impact of abortion on both mother and society, the theological implications of abortion have been largely ignored." Could there be any more wrongness packed into such a short space? I'm not sure.

Resigning myself to live in placid ignorance on this one topic, I try to salvage my time by looking into a topic I've never quite understood. What do religious Jews think happens after death? Immediately I run into this, which L. Ron Hubbard would be proud of: "To summarize briefly, when the body dies, if the person merits it, a small portion of the soul remains with it to keep it connected with the soul's source, anticipating the general revival of the dead at the time that G-d decrees. Different parts of the remainder of the soul may go to different places. One might be reincarnated into a new body in an attempt to rectify another of its spiritual aspects, or for other purposes. One part might go to a level of Paradise. Another might go to Gehinnom for a period, to remove the sins of that life and prepare it for a future one. Another part might join temporarily with an already living person, to assist it with its rectification and in the process gather more merit."

These are literally the first three pages I came upon. So much for this year's theology lesson. Perhaps someone more stalwart than I am can make more progress.

Sid Schwab said...

Thanks, Sam. Clarifying.

Anonymous said...

Good spadework Sam.

Jews believe in reincarnation???

Who knew?

But, the word must be spread to all of mankind before judgment can come, right? So I have been told.

But there is always more mankind being born to be informed of "The Good News."

Always wondered about this, an endless supply of souls waiting in line to be fed into the meat grinder of the world.

Only, in the end to:

Rest in Pieces!!

Logic groans and face-palms!

EugeneInSanDiego

Anonymous said...

"White Evangelical Christians are the group least likely to support politicians or policies that reflect the actual teachings of Jesus. It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture. Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message."

From "Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus"
SeeIt@:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phil-zuckerman/why-evangelicals-hate-jes_b_830237.html

The explanation of the author of "Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus" misses one explanation that I have been pointing to - like forever. The author states succinctly many points I try to get across in my posts, but does not see that it all makes sense if one understands that logically, EV "Christians" actually embrace and embody the spirit of the Anti Christ.

The Anti Christ is just that - he is believed to be the exact opposite of scriptural Jesus, in every way.

Thus, 'Feed the poor' becomes Starve the poor; 'Heal the sick' becomes Perish the sick ; 'Teach the ignorant' becomes Ignore the ignorant and "Love one another" becomes Love only one's own.

This is the way most EV "Christians"
think, and it is because they made a Satanic deal, with so-called conservatives, to worship the power of American Caesars, in return for laws that advance their agenda.

Jesus warned them about Caesar, but in their pride, they joined him and turned the teachings of love and redemption into a weapons of hate and destruction.

They have weaponized Christianity!

EugeneInSanDiego

Sid Schwab said...

Hard to disagree with your point, Eugene, although they all would, to the last man.

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Having been raised Catholic in the days of the Baltimore Catechism, I think I can say with some authority that the lost conceptuses will go to LIMBO, where all babies who diet before baptism could clean turn the milk bottle of their souls, born stained with immortal sin, from black to white.

Where they will wait till the end of the world to be allowed into heaven.

I always felt sorry for those limbo babies.

And you are so right to raise the question - why would god put 1/4 of all babies in Limbo?

Great post.

SeaSpray said...

I am protestant and so we don't believe in Limbo. Actually a Catholic friend of mine called me in the 90s and asked about limbo and protestants, because she heard they were doing away with limbo. If I were Catholic ...that would be really disturbing ..unless they acknowledged all babies go to heaven. Maybe they did?

Anyway, good questions.

As a protestant, I fall in line with what Billy Graham has taught.

***Children automatically go to heaven if under the age of accountability.***

That most certainly covers aborted or miscarried babies. So why did God create them in the 1st place?

I don't know. Perhaps because he still wanted them to be in existence/learning in heaven.

Heaven is a fascinating topic and has always been one of my favorite topics to learn about.Children do continue to learn and grow in heaven. So do adults. We continue on with the same personality,skills/talents,etc., and we will be know as we were known, but in glorified bodies that will no longer fall prey to sickness and decay. The resurrected body of Christ is the example. he was visible, solid and could be felt when touched and he ate food ..yet he was able to materialize into a closed off room to see the disciples. (I heard a physicist once say that we only live in 3 1/2 dimensions (width,length, height and time moving forward, but they believe there were more than 13 dimensions), and so he could've been operating in another dimension. (There is so much we don't know in our limited human existence)

I have also heard, that some hold to a theory that we will revert back to the age of 33 ..that because Christ died at 33 ..it is considered to be the age of perfection. I have read accounts where older people do regain their youth. So many neat things in heaven ..even with just the glimpses given to us through scriptures and NDE's and visions. Subjective - I know. But, definitely interesting. I believe in the existence of heaven and hell because Christ talked about it and also because of the writings of Paul and some other scriptures.

Back to the babies, they will recognize their parents. I have wondered if I miscarried in past. It would be neat to meet them in heaven someday.

As a Christian, I don't believe in reincarnation. If that were the case, then Jesus wouldn't have needed to die to atone for our sins... which through belief in him as the son of God and that he died for our sins, spent 3 days in hell and rose again is what gives us salvation. It is sincerely asking him to live in our hearts as savior and Lord. It is making the choice to want to be a Christian. In reincarnation ..you either come back as a higher or lower individual ...based on how you lived this life. So it would be inconsistent to embrace reincarnation with Christianity. And if everyone always returned in some form ...wouldn't we have a a significantly higher world population?

There is a book written by a bridge building in faith pastor, Jack Hayford. he used to be the pastor of a church in Van Nuys CA. I think he wrote the book because his d-i-l was miscarrying babies.
It's called "I'll Hold You in Heaven" (based on the scripture in which King David tells his baby boy that had just died ..."I'll hold/go to you in heaven"and is for anyone that has ever lost a child. Here is a link to it. The comments (pro/con) were interesting.

http://www.amazon.com/Ill-Hold-You-Heaven-Revision/dp/0830732594/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299953997&sr=1-1

I will be doing a post about a fascinating book, written by a medical doctor regarding after life and miracles. I will let you know when I put it up. I loaned the book to one of my docs and the last time I saw him, he commented that it was a powerful book and that he bought FIVE of them and then gave me a new copy. I will be giving it to a doc I sometimes had theological discussions with when I worked in the hospital.

What did you mean when you said, "And, let's not overlook: Jewish.)"

SeaSpray said...

I said "Actually a Catholic friend of mine called me in the 90s and asked about limbo and protestants, because she heard they were doing away with limbo."

Correction: I meant to say "about limbo and *Catholics"

Protestants don't believe in limbo.

Dr S, what did you mean when you said, "And, let's not overlook: Jewish.)" ?

It is apparent to me that Eugene does not have any understanding of the scriptures or Christians ..true Christians. So off the wall it's amusing and scary that people think that way.

I am an evangelical Christian. I go to a large evangelical church. I was married in a Presbyterian Church and attended for a few years. It is not the denomination ..but Jesus Christ in your heart. I've been to various denominations and occasionally a Catholic church.

The Christians I have been blessed to be around are nothing like what Eugene describes ..but I just live it...while he forms erroneous opinions. So off the wall. Wow!

Are their psychwacks out there? Oh I am sure in any denomination/faith. But certainly not the majority.

His making those statements would be akin to my telling you a whole bunch of untruths about surgeons and how to perform surgery. You know the facts ...but I am so sure I am right ..truth doesn't matter.

Sid Schwab said...

Jewish refers to those who follow the faith of Judaism.

I'm sure I don't have to explain the rest of it. Surely you're not unaware of the connection between anti-Semitism and various RWS™ theories of who controls Hollywood, the media, and how that is responsible for the end of civilization; who are collaborators and traitors, heathens, killers of Jesus, unpatriotic, unAmerican, undeserving.

So, if you don't believe in limbo, it doesn't exist? If Catholics do, it does? If Hindus believe in Ganesha, does he exist? If you don't does he not? Is one person's belief what makes something true? Is it additive? Because there are more people in the world who disbelieve what you believe than those who share your beliefs.

Those embryos that go to heaven in your view: how are they imbued with memories, personality? Is it doled out in some way? Based on what? These are the questions I was asking, the answers to which, I'd think, would be worked out in the minds of those who make claims of personhood, who seem to know what heaven is like, in detail. Whose beliefs they seek to impose on the rest of us.

And yet, it's as simple as "they believe this, we believe that..." Someone is wrong. Which has no impact on those who seek to see their particular beliefs become the law of the land.

Why can't people just say, I believe this because it helps me cope. You believe something else, and that's fine. I have no desire to impose my beliefs on you or to make them part of our country's laws?

I know the answer. Do you?

SeaSpray said...

Anti-Semitism among Christians has to be in the minority. Christians are usually staunch supporters of Jewish people and Israel.

And anyone that knows the scriptures would know that God loves the Jewish people ..his chosen people. he even says something like those that bless Israel will be blessed and those that curse Israel will be cursed. And Jesus was Jewish.

And if it wasn't for the Jewish faith, Christians wouldn't exist. Our court system is based on the Judeo-Christian ethic.

Anyone persecuting a Jewish person or any other person is just plain ignorant. The crucifixtion had to happen. it was God's ultimate plan of redemption.

Sadly some people take things out of context and twist to their own views. I've often said there are things that were done inn the name of Christianity that God had no part of.

Jesus was not murdered. he could've ended it all at anytime. he was the willing sacrifice ..taking on all the sins and sickness, etc of mankind. he wasn't guilty. All the temple sacrifices pointed to Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice. Once and for all satan was defeated. if he knew what would happen that Jesus death represented his defeat and God's victory ..he never would've allowed it to happen.

John 3:16.

That was the ultimate love of God for mankind.

Most people don't believe in Christianity. But that doesn't mean it's not the right way.

Free choice. people choose to not believe and God does not interfere.

I know the scriptures say that God breathes his spirit into us. And so perhaps that is enough and then the life grows in heaven.

Protestants believe the scripture that says ..to be absent in the body is to be present in the Lord. No purgatory or limbo.

I am not forcing my views. You asked questions and I am sharing my understanding.

God loves everyone. We are his creation. We live in a fallen ..imperfect world that also has evil in it. it was not his original intent.

You can believe whatever you want. I have a friend who tries to force her husband to go to church and I tell her stop. Even God doesn't do that and the Holy Spirit is a gentlemen.

But, when you here some Christians trying to lead people to salvation ..there is no gain for them.(Other than knowing their soul is saved for eternit, which is a big deal actually)But ..You can't work your way to heaven. you can't be good enough. It is thru grace you are saved. It is akin to rescuing someone from a burning building if they believe in hell. If you really believe in hell as Jesus warned about more than anything else he taught ..then you don't want people to go there and so you share the faith. But ..it is always a personal choice.

And so now I know I have pretty much sealed my mental midget status in here, but that's okay. :)

If you really care to know, there are plenty of scholarly works you could research. I would be curious to know why an atheist or agnostic "sees the light" and chooses God. What changed them.

I will be putting a post up about a book that I would be curious to have your input on, written by a physician, based on his personal experience. Like I said, my doc bough 5 copies after reading mine.

Anonymous said...

"It is apparent to me that Eugene does not have any understanding of the scriptures or Christians .. true Christians."

By your own past statements, your understanding of Christianity - and what you 'fall in line' with - is based on what you call "Theology" - a compendium of apologist thought devised to smooth out the inconveniences caused by what the bible says Jesus actually said and what the apologist needs him to say, to make a world where wrong becomes right - Far Right! Whereby Christ's teachings of love and redemption become a gospel of hatred and fear.

Thus we see you write: "As a protestant, I fall in line with what Billy Graham (the famous Jew hater) has taught."

So do you "Fall in line" with his son saying that the tsunami shows that Jesus is coming back? That he punished the Japanese to teach us a lesson about socialistic feeding and healing the poor and tolerating Gay marriage perhaps?

Someone has noted that the disaster took place shortly after republican TeaBaggers took control of the House and started slashing funding to every program designed to help struggling people while giving more tax breaks to obscenely wealthy corporations.

And, after “Conservative” greed began to rob pensions to beggar hard working middle class people; and now begin calling for laws to eliminate child labor laws and using the IRS to investigate women who abort spontaneously, or otherwise.

What does your “Fall in line” theology tell you about all of that? Who do you believe Jesus is directing his supposed anger at?

"Fall in line" is actually what I see as being the disastrous problem with most, but not all evangelicals; I direct my criticism at those I describe as "Antichrist Christians" - of which I number you - SSWoman.

Because, you are clearly a fan of Caesar, as long as he is a republican; and you have, in the past at least, been enamored of that textbook "psychwack" Glen Beck who infamously denounced Christ's admonition to care for the poor.

My understanding of Christianity and scriptures has nothing to do with theology; it is based on understanding wrong, when I see it, and acknowledge right, even if it is going to cost me financially or socially. I do not fall in line!

"The Christians I have been blessed to be around are nothing like what Eugene describes..”

Perhaps you are not listening!

EugeneInSanDiego

Sid Schwab said...

"Someone has noted that the disaster took place shortly after republican TeaBaggers took control of the House and started slashing funding to every program designed to help struggling people while giving more tax breaks to obscenely wealthy corporations."

That was me.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I knew it was someone smart!!

EugeneInSanDiego

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