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Cathal O Madagain

PHLB09 2011 Lecture 3 PJPII: o It is wrong to kill something that might be an innocent human o A fetus might be an innocent human o It is wrong to kill a fetus Can challenge these by questioning either of the premises Why is the fetus a human? o JPII: It has a soul Only in 1869 that any Church Pontif officially declared that a fetus is given a soul at the moment of conception. The exact timing has been very ambiguous How do we know it has a soul? o Bible tells us so (does it?) o Modern genetic science gives us a good indication - zygote has DNA People didnt have a clear idea of the process of conception and fertilization...could be why there is nothing prior to modern texts concerning this matter Thus, it can be safe to deduce that using religious stances arent very effective when trying to convince someone who knows nothing of the matter Whats a soul? o Consciously experiencing self? Our ability to move around, think, animate the body Some argue that the mind is not the brain, the conscious experiencing self is not just a summation of parts of the bodybrain o Immortal part of person Independent of consciousness? More of an exclusively religious perspective Starting from premise that we live forever, the body is temporary, soul lives on past death Either of these dont really provide a convincing stance, or explicitly say where the soul begins, or what happens at the moment of fertilization Consciously experiencing self: o Zygote has no brain, no nervous system, is immobile, has no eyes, no ears, etc. o From moment of conception, zygote is NOT conscious .there really seems to be very little grounds to say that this is where the conscious experiencing self begins, likewise its ridiculous to claim that DNA is the beginning of the consciously experiencing self Immortal component of person, independent of consciousness, etc o Then how do we know that its implanted at fertilization of egg? o It could be implanted in one sperm. Or at 40 days, or at quickening
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