t f p g+ YouTube icon

Behold, the Man

Bookmark and Share

January 31, 2012 Tags: Adam, the Fall, and Sin

Today's entry was written by David Opderbeck. Please note the views expressed here are those of the author, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here.

Behold, the Man

Anyone interested in the faith and science conversation knows that there currently is considerable, heated debate over the problem of “Adam.” Genetic studies conclude that the modern human population could not have arisen from only one primal couple. Excellent Biblical scholars and theologians from various perspectives argue over whether “Adam” should be thought of as part of a population of early humans, or as an entirely non-historical figure. And of course, many Christians continue to insist that scientific data that appears to contradict a particular Biblical / theological interpretation of human origins should be rejected out of hand.

I’d like to suggest that this argument is in significant ways misplaced. The participants in this debate all seem to agree that what makes us “human” can be defined by genes and population studies. There is a pressing need for them to conform theology to population genetics, or to conform population genetics to theology, because the story of our genes is implicitly equated with the story of what it means to be “human.” The hypothesis that there was a “first human” – a capital-A “Adam” – can be tested in our genes.

But “genes” do not make us “human.” What makes us “human” is the irreducible phenomena of all of our material and immaterial being as persons.

Nothing we observe in the universe is flat. By “flat” I mean having only one aspect or “layer.” Consider, for example, an apple. What is it? Is it the fruit of an apple tree? The seed-carrier – the potentiality – of new apple trees? Beautiful and delicious? Skin, flesh, and core? Water and organic molecules? Caloric energy and roughage? Hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon? Physical laws? All of these things comprise some of what we mean by “apple,” but none of them are what an “apple” is. The reality that is “apple” cannot be reduced to any one of its aspects or layers.

It is possible to think of these aspects or layers hierarchically, with “higher” layers that emerge from “lower” ones. Physical laws emerge from quantum probabilities; molecules emerge from physical laws; seeds, skin, flesh and core emerge from complex arrangements of molecules; beauty and delight emerge from the connection of skin, flesh and core to human sense perception;1 “apple” emerges from all of this (and more) combined with the human cultural experience of this thing we call “apple.”

Notice that some “layers” can impinge or “supervene” on lower ones – for example, human sense perception and cultural experience do something to this thing confronting the subject in order for it to become “apple.” But notice also that “apple” is not merely a cultural construction. The word or signifier “apple,” of course, could be arbitrary, but there is an objective reality to the thing signified. The layer of human sense perception and cultural experience supervenes upon, but does not create, the lower-order reality from which it emerges.

Sociologist Christian Smith draws these strands together in a critical realist framework in his excellent book What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up. In a critically realist approach to culture and human personhood, Smith suggests, “[h]uman beings do have an identifiable nature that is rooted in the natural world, although the character of human nature is such that it gives rise to capacities to construct variable meanings and identities….” Culture is a social construction, but it is not merely a social construction. Human beings are social, but they are not subsumed by the social. The reality we inhabit is “stratified”: it includes both the reality of individual conscious human agents and the reality of the social structures that emerge from the cultures created by those agents. These “personal” and “cultural” layers of the world interact with each other dynamically, each continually informing and changing the other.

Smith’s approach is helpful, but perhaps it does not go far enough. For Smith, as for critical realists in general, the phenomena of human culture remain subject to some degree of granular disaggregation, at least analytically. A phenomenological approach suggests that no “thing” can be broken into components and still comprise that “thing” – the genes that encode for apple trees are not apple seeds, apple seeds are not apple trees, and apple trees are not apples. The critical realist framework of stratification, emergence, and supervenience functions as a very useful heuristic device, but to describe what an apple is, we must approach the phenomenon of “apple” in its fullness. To know whether something falls into the kind “apple,” we must hold an ideal of everything an apple is, and compare the subject to the ideal.

And because of the transcendence of the ideal concept of “apple,” we can begin to speak of the relative excellence of particular instantiations of apples. What is an “excellent” apple? What distinguishes the excellent apple from a poor one? We can only ask such questions if “apple” means something more than the particular physical specimen in hand, whether firm, sweet and tart, or bruised and sour.

The same is true of human “persons.” We can say almost nothing about a “person” merely by observing genes, because genes are not “persons.” Populations genetics studies can provide models of the dispersion of genes through groups of biological entities, but they can tell us nothing whatsoever about when the first “human person” emerged. Indeed, for population genetics qua population genetics, there simply are no “persons” – for this is a science of the movement of genes, not a philosophical, sociological, or theological description of “persons.”

So what of “Adam?” It is often suggested that in Romans 5:12 Adam is a type of Christ. But, in fact, in Paul’s thought, as well as for the early Church Fathers, Christ is the type, the typos, a notion derived from the “stamp” or “seal” on an official document. There is a hint in Romans 5 of a truth that would only become clarified later in Christian theology – that the pre-incarnate Christ, the second person of the Trinity, always was. Whereas Arius declared that “there was a time when he [Christ] was not,” Nicea established the orthodox Christology of Christ’s eternal sonship. Thus Christ is and was the Redeemer, the one for whom creation was made and in whose death and resurrection creation always finds its fulfillment. Adam’s failure was that he went against type – he did not conform to Christ but rather tried to become something else, and thereby the true nature of humanity was broken.

Is the typos of Christ reducible to a set of genes? Surely not. It resides not in genes or in any other created thing but rather in the Triune life of God Himself. We might speak, in a roughly analogical way, of ideas we hold in our minds – say, the idea of a perfect Bordeaux, ruby-red, silky, smoky, plummy, luxurious. We could labor to instantiate that idea, combining genes and terroir and water and light and care, and perhaps we might achieve it, to the point where upon taking a sip we exclaim, “this – this – is Bordeaux. Nothing else is worthy of that name.”

This is what God said of Adam, when he gave him breath and a name. It is not something that God said of any other creature, even apparently some creatures that a modern population geneticist or paleoanthropologist might designate as ancestrally human based on genes or bones. Yet that Adam, and each of us in that Adam, fail to participate fully and unreservedly in the true nature of the true human, the nature of Christ. And so Pontius Pilot, an unwitting prophet, said of Christ: “behold, the man” (John 19:5, KJV). And so also Paul invites us to see: the sinful man, the broken seal, the first created Adam; and the true type, the seal of humanity’s future, the perfect Adam, the Christ. None of this is about the definitions and categories of modern science, as helpful and important as they may be for the progress of scientific thought. It is, rather, about the fullness of what it means to be human.

Notes

1. Human sense perception, of course, is an emergent property of an even more complex set of relations that give rise to the human “person.”


David Opderbeck is Professor of Law and Director of the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology at Seton Hall University Law School. He is also working on a Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology at the University of Nottingham and is Pastoral Science Scholar with the Center for Pastoral Science.


View the archived discussion of this post

This article is now closed for new comments. The archived comments are shown below.

Loading...
Page 2 of 2   « 1 2
dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67795

February 8th 2012

Melanogaster,

Do you believe that a fertilized human egg has a soul, Dr. Garvey? … As for “soul,” I’m defining it as what lives on beyond our physical deaths.”

Was that a rhetorical question to Dr. Garvey?

I mean, why on earth would anyone answer “No” to that question?

Note: By “anyone”, I’m assuming anyone who a) believes in souls and the God of the Bible, and b) believes in the findings of modern biology (i.e. That at the moment of conception, the fertilized egg has the exact same DNA set as it will have should it be fortunate enough to be allowed to grow, be born and live to be 105; the 105 year old version will have the same DNA as the 1 second old version.)

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #67826

February 10th 2012

“Anyone who a) believes in souls and the God of the Bible,”

Sadly, the phrase immortal soul is not in the Bible.  When Paul spoke about life after death he was talking about the resurrection of the body and does not mention the “soul” anywhwere in this whole passage, although he does talk about Adam. 1 Cor 15:34-57.

Please note also the statement in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe . . . in the resureection of the body,. . . . .


melanogaster - #67859

February 11th 2012

don’t wrote,
“Was that a rhetorical question to Dr. Garvey?

Not at all.

“I mean, why on earth would anyone answer “No” to that question?”

I can think of many reasons, including reasons well-grounded in the biology you pretend to understand.

“Note: By “anyone”, I’m assuming anyone who a) believes in souls and the God of the Bible, and b) believes in the findings of modern biology (i.e. That at the moment of conception, the fertilized egg has the exact same DNA set as it will have should it be fortunate enough to be allowed to grow, be born and live to be 105; the 105 year old version will have the same DNA as the 1 second old version.)”

It won’t be the same, demonstrating your arrogant ignorance of modern biology, but that’s beside my point.

I agree with David when he wrote, ““genes” do not make us “human.” What makes us “human” is the irreducible phenomena of all of our material and immaterial being as persons.” Now you’re saying the polar opposite for what appear to be political reasons! 

So let me get this perfectly straight: at the moment of conception, ensoulment occurs, and cannot occur at any other time during life. Assuming I’m correct about your position, please answer the following questions:

1) How long does conception take to occur?
2) Why should the soul exist at conception, except for thinly-veiled authoritarian political reasons?
3) Is conception the only “moment” at which a soul comes into existence?

dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67866

February 12th 2012

Melanogaster,

It [the 105-year old’s and the 1-second old’s DNA] won’t be the same, demonstrating your arrogant ignorance of modern biology, but that’s beside my point.”

I go into a store and ask the salesman if he has the white New Balance sneakers, model XYZ in size 11D. He says “Yes, we have two pairs left.” I say “Great, I’ll take either one.” He says “Either one? But they’re not the same.” I ask “What do you mean they’re not the same?” He says “Well, they look exactly the same, but the molecules in this pair are different from the molec…” And I arrogantly and ignorantly interrupt him with “OK, Einstein. I think I see where you’re going with this. Just give me the $&#! sneakers, either pair. I’ve got things to do.”

Are you telling me that if somehow a DNA sample was taken of zygote XYZ, and XYZ was fortunate enough to be born, but unfortunately, 50 years later XYZ got dragged into court for a crime, and the CSI folks got a DNA sample from 50 year old XYZ, that CSI would NOT say that it matched the original zygote’s DNA?

Again, are you saying the CSI folks would say the DNA samples did NOT match?  

Your, and apparently David’s, definition of “human” is so very remarkable, I don’t have the time or space right now to provide all the remarks it deserves. So, I’ll skip to your ending three questions:

1)“How long does conception take to occur?” Answer: instantaneous. [Aren’t there some old jokes about a woman who says she’s “little bit pregnant?]

 

2) “Why should the soul exist at conception, except for thinly-veiled authoritarian political reasons?” Here’s a quote: “these days everything is political.” [NYT’s Paul Krugman]

3) “Is conception the only “moment” at which a soul comes into existence?” Can you think of a better one, that’s not based on some arbitrary, utilitarian criteria (e.g. a heartbeat or first breath)?

 

Melanogaster, you could have saved yourself some grief and typing time if you just answered simply that you are not “anyone” (per my definition above).

 


melanogaster - #67885

February 13th 2012

“Are you telling me that if somehow a DNA sample was taken of zygote XYZ, and XYZ was fortunate enough to be born, but unfortunately, 50 years later XYZ got dragged into court for a crime, and the CSI folks got a DNA sample from 50 year old XYZ, that CSI would NOT say that it matched the original zygote’s DNA?”

No, I’m not. I’m telling you that they wouldn’t be exactly the same. Those of us who are familiar with modern biology can even tell you where the differences will be found.

“1)“How long does conception take to occur?” Answer: instantaneous.”

Please define the event in the most modern biological terms you know and understand, then.

“2) “Why should the soul exist at conception, except for thinly-veiled authoritarian political reasons?” Here’s a quote: “these days everything is political.” [NYT’s Paul Krugman]”

You didn’t answer the question.

“3) “Is conception the only “moment” at which a soul comes into existence?” Can you think of a better one, that’s not based on some arbitrary, utilitarian criteria (e.g. a heartbeat or first breath)?”

Answer the question, please.

dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67894

February 13th 2012

Melanogaster,

Answer the questions? Me?

Sorry. No.

Again, I was quite clear that my initial question, which started all this, was directed ONLY at “anyone.”

It’s quite apparent to me that you are not “anyone.” Conversation over.

 

For anyone else (besides melanogaster) out there reading this, consider something I remember learning in school. It has to do with what might have been called a part of “risk management”. Where one needs to make a decision with imperfect information, the decision-making process can be strengthened by seeking to control for Type 1 vs. Type 2 errors. The Type 1 error (e.g. A jury convicting a defendant who is in truth innocent) is considered far more serious than the Type 2 error (e.g. A jury exonerating a defendant who is in truth guilty). Given the possibility of an “incorrect” decision, one should try to protect against the worst-case scenario. Stated differently, if two bad outcomes can result, make as certain as possible that the actual result is the lesser of two evils.

Now, a sane, prudent, Christian decision-maker would use this accepted element of hypothesis testing by stating something like “We know that the fertilized egg (zygote) is alive and, of course, is human life. Also, we believe that humans receive souls from God and thus become a full human being, one made in God’s image and likeness. THEREFORE, unless you’re certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the zygote has not already received its soul, you MUST NOT kill it. Given the potential outcomes of (A) murdering an innocent, soul-bearing human being, or (B) allowing the zygote to go to term (to the disappointment/inconvenience of the parents and potentially difficult life awaiting the newborn), the latter (B) is the lesser of two evils.”

In short, if you feel there’s any chance of the Type 1 error [(A) murdering an innocent, soul-bearing human being], then you keep your hands (and your scalpels) off!

Doesn’t that make sense?

 


melanogaster - #67944

February 15th 2012

“Answer the questions? Me? Sorry. No.”

You’re not sorry at all. Why say you’re sorry when you’re not?

“For anyone else (besides melanogaster) out there reading this, consider something I remember learning in school. It has to do with what might have been called a part of “risk management”. Where one needs to make a decision with imperfect information, the decision-making process can be strengthened by seeking to control for Type 1 vs. Type 2 errors.”

My point is that I can prove unequivocally that neither you nor any Christian denomination uses your alleged criteria in practice. 

“Stated differently, if two bad outcomes can result, make as certain as possible that the actual result is the lesser of two evils.”

So why didn’t the Christian right use that principle in the sunup to the Iraq war?

“Now, a sane, prudent, Christian decision-maker would use this accepted element of hypothesis testing by stating something like “We know that the fertilized egg (zygote) is alive and, of course, is human life.”

So what? So is a sperm.

“Also, we believe that humans receive souls from God and thus become a full human being, one made in God’s image and likeness.”

I agree. After this, you go off the rails to an abortion rant because your position is entirely political and has no basis in science:

THEREFORE, unless you’re certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the zygote has not already received its soul, you MUST NOT kill it.”

Of course, I’m not talking about killing anyone. I’m simply stating, theologically, that you don’t use your stated criteria for deciding which humans have a soul (emphasis on the singular here).

“Given the potential outcomes of (A) murdering an innocent, soul-bearing human being, or (B) allowing the zygote to go to term (to the disappointment/inconvenience of the parents and potentially difficult life awaiting the newborn), the latter (B) is the lesser of two evils.””

Yet I never saw any high-profile Christian right-winger concern for the souls of all those Iraqi children who were killed, plenty of them Christian!

“In short, if you feel there’s any chance of the Type 1 error [(A) murdering an innocent, soul-bearing human being], then you keep your hands (and your scalpels) off!”

I’ll state it simply: as a principle, like me and every other Christian church, you simply don’t treat conception as a point of ensoulment or DNA content as a means for determining who has a separate soul. That is purely political posturing, and I can prove it.

dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67947

February 15th 2012


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67948

February 15th 2012


beaglelady - #67828

February 10th 2012

It seems that perhaps the Neanderthals were not the soulless, art-challenged dimwits we assume them to be:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21458-first-neanderthal-cave-paintings-discovered-in-spain.html


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67831

February 10th 2012

Roger,

“Sadly, the phrase immortal soul is not in the Bible.”

Actually it is: “But the sons of Abraham with their victorious mother are gathered together into the chorus of the fathers, and have received pure and immortal souls from God” [4 Maccabees 18:23]

Are you saying those who get to heaven will have bodies but not souls? That the bodies will not be animated?

I really don’t understand what you’re talking about.

Lots of soul talk can be found in the Bible. Like this: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” [Mat 10:28]

I’m still waiting for Melanogaster to answer my question.

Would you like to try answering for Melanogaster, Roger?

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #67836

February 11th 2012

Dont Blame,

The “Appochrapha” do not appear in the Protestant Bible.  Jesus was speaking in Aramaic and using a Semitic word that can be translated as soul, but does not have the same philosophical baggage as the Greek word for soul.    

Paul does not use the word “soul,” Psyche, a Greek word with strong philosophical connotations.  “Psyche” is often translated as Mind, as in Psychology which is the study of the Mind.  Paul uses the word spirit, which comes from the word for “wind” to describe the inward essence of a person. 

The problem with the use of the word “soul” other than it being unscriptural, unless you include Maccabees, is that 1) It confuses the Mind with the Spirit which brings about a  dualistic view of humanity,  2) this dualism makes it seem that humans can think their way to salvation, rather than be transformed by the Spirit of God.  3) The immortal soul is understood as a immutable “thing” that Melanogaster is looking for, while the human spirit is a Relationship to either God or this world. 

God has given us the ability to relate to God or not.  We are not like other creatures who must follow their instincts and cannot make decisions to do right or wrong.      


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67833

February 11th 2012

Melanogaster’s broaching the subject of fertilization was quite timely, given the furor the current presidential administration has caused by forcing religiously-affiliated institutions to provide insurance coverage for things (in this case, abortifacients and other contraceptives) which are against the teachings of their religion.

Of course, the issue is NOT contraception, first and foremost, but rather whether the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is being violated. Nevertheless, I’ve heard many voices in the media citing the popularity of contraception, even among Catholics. Something’s popularity has nothing whatsoever to say, of course, about whether that something is right or wrong.

I looked into the history of contraception, specifically, on how it has been viewed in Christian circles. Interestingly, up until the 20th century, ALL Christian denominations considered contraception sinful. But at the 1930 Lambeth Conference, the Anglican church declared that contraception could be permissible in certain limited circumstances. So, the Anglican’s were the first to open the door a crack. Today the door is wide open, maybe gone completely, at least for virtually all Christian denominations.

The permissibility of contraception is certainly not part of historic Christian teaching. It’s a relatively modern “tradition”, if you want to call it that. Probably like divorce.

Maybe it’s like one of those ‘traditions of men’.

 


Roger A. Sawtelle - #67837

February 11th 2012

Don’t Blame,

Or maybe its like slavery or the death penalty.


beaglelady - #67838

February 11th 2012

dont_blame,

Is this the right forum to preach against contraception?  Besides, is it right to turn poor women into baby machines? Perhaps poor people would like to limit family size and provide food, clothing, and education for all their children.


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67839

February 11th 2012

beaglelady,

“Is this the right forum to preach against contraception?”

Who’s preaching against contraception? Me?

I just stated some current and historical facts about contraception.

I didn’t stray into more subjective, arguable realms.

 


beaglelady - #67841

February 11th 2012

“I didn’t stray into more subjective, arguable realms.”

 So then you didn’t say,

“Maybe it’s like one of those ‘traditions of men’.


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67848

February 11th 2012

beaglelady,

“So then you didn’t say, “Maybe it’s like one of those ‘traditions of men’.””

Is that a trick question?

Of course I said that. It wasn’t necessarily a factual statement, but rather a speculation based on facts.

It’s a fact that the permissibility of artificial contraception (AC) was not part of Christian church teaching for 1900 years; AC was considered sinful. It was not included in the “tradition” of the church. It is something else.

Although it doesn’t have only four letters, “tradition” is almost a dirty word in some circles. Yet St. Paul emphasized the critical importance and value of closely following tradition (i.e. the teachings of Christ and the Apostles that are “handed down”). He never gives at any one time a comprehensive list of everything included in this tradition. Maybe you had to be there. (See John 21:25.) He also talks about a different, dangerous kind of tradition, the ‘tradition of men’.

Of course, neither St. Paul nor anyone else writes in Scripture about AC. They also don’t mention Ponzi schemes, genocide or internet pornography. Maybe they didn’t feel the need to.

There’s virtually no end to what’s not noted specifically in Scripture. Tradition, almost by definition, contains more, but includes Scripture.

AC is not included.

 


beaglelady - #67851

February 11th 2012

The problem is, you can retroject anything at all into your “tradition” and then claim that the church has always taught it. I see nothing wrong with most forms of contraception.  Women should not be treated like breeding stock.

btw, how many children do you have?


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67840

February 11th 2012

Roger,

“Or maybe its like slavery or the death penalty.”

What do you mean?


Roger A. Sawtelle - #67871

February 12th 2012

Don’t Blame,

Slavery is not prohibited in the Bible.

The death penalty is prescribed in the OT.

Now the Church is against slavery and some parts of the Church question the death penalty.

 

  


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67881

February 13th 2012

Roger,

When I used the term ‘tradition of men’, I meant traditions/things which a) have never been part of historic church teaching, or, perhaps more subtly, b) have been attempted to be added but which conflict with previous tradition.

As I said in #67858, we should not be surprised to see over time some things being added to traditional teaching, provided, of course, that they do not contradict what came before.

The death penalty had always been permitted, provided certain conditions are met. It’s similar to “Just War” theory. Neither the death penalty nor war was considered inherently evil. Certain instances of them can be justified. (God never commands anyone to do inherently evil things; He did command the Israelites to wage war.) As far as “some parts of the Church” questioning the death penalty, some parts of the church are always questioning something, especially authority (2 Cor 13:10; 3 John 1:9).

The proscription of slavery was added but did not contradict any previous teaching. Although Christ never explicitly approved of slavery, neither did he explicitly condemn it. Apparently, He thought there was so much other, more serious sinning going on (see Mat 15:19) that slavery could wait for later. Heck, you could even make a case FOR slavery (Mat 20:27; Rom 6:18)! [I added that last bit for giggles. Something you can have fun with.]

So, I don’t see the teachings on slavery and the death penalty as meeting the definition of ‘traditions of men’.

 


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67858

February 11th 2012

Beaglelady,

You started off by complaining “Is this the right forum to preach against contraception?”

I think I can reasonably assume that you would just as easily say this is not the right forum to preach FOR contraception.

Yet in that post and every post since, you’ve been trying to make a case FOR contraception. Do you think you’re acting appropriately, according to your own standards?

And then you ask me “btw, how many children do you have?” [Would you also like my name, address and social security number?]

What’s the relevance of how many children I may or may not have? Your question reminds me of those who complain that the commander-in-chief has no business sending our troops to war if he himself was never a soldier or doesn’t have any children in the military. And maybe you shouldn’t study or make nuclear arms policy unless you’ve actually experienced a nuclear disaster? Maybe not become a neurosurgeon unless you’ve had a lobotomy?

“The problem is, you can retroject anything at all into your “tradition” and then claim that the church has always taught it.”

Your (my?) tradition? It’s not my tradition, it’s church tradition.

There are least some things in the tradition that the church has NOT “always taught”. This should have been anticipated from the start: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” [John 14:26] So, Jesus is saying it’s not enough just to remember everything He said (and did). The church will receive help over time (“he WILL teach you”) to discern ALL truth.

We see early examples of this: How to address initially the matter of Apostolic succession [Acts 1:15-26]; how to deal with questions regarding circumcision [Acts 15:1-31]; how to communicate such decisions [Acts 16:4-5]; what the Lord’s supper really means [1 Cor 11:23-34].

Over the course of the years, other issues come up regarding the faith and morality. And they’re settled. And they become part of the Tradition.

Makes sense to me.

In my earlier posts, what did I claim as fact that you think is not a fact?

While you’re thinking about that, and in the interest of “balance”, here’s a viewpoint from another female. She provides some interesting historical perspective on the contraception issue. http://www.cherokeetribune.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Michelle+Malkin-+‘To+stop+the+multiplication+of+the+unfit’ &id=17493289&instance=secondary_story_left_column

 


beaglelady - #67863

February 12th 2012

“What’s the
relevance of how many children I may or may not have?


It’s very relevant. You come here preaching against contraception, but do you put your money where your mouth is?  I want to see if you are willing to have, feed, clothe and educate a large number of children.   Besides, you should first talk other Catholics out of using contraception.  The practicing Catholics I know seem to have the same number of children (usually 2-3) as everybody else.  That’s kind of strange, isn’t it?


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67869

February 12th 2012

Beaglelady,

“You come here preaching against contraception…”

Where did I say I was against contraception?

Your statement is a matter of your opinion. Frankly, I’m not much interested in opinion. As someone once said “Opinions are like [final part of our digestive/elimination system], everybody’s got one.”

I’m much more interested in facts, logic and history.

You’ve said many things since melanogaster first brought up the subject of fertilization. But you refuse to address the current and historical facts about contraception that I noted. You’ve avoided answering my question.

So, I’ll ask you again, what did I claim as fact above that you think is not a fact?

put your money where your mouth is…I want to see if you are willing to have, feed, clothe and educate a large number of children.”

I keep hearing about a woman’s “right to choose” and her “reproductive rights”. But as soon as any “reproducing” actually happens, then all of the sudden, rights (mine) are replaced with responsibility (mine again!) to take care of the baby. Since when, and on what basis, did I get delegated the primary responsibility for someone else’s progeny? Used to be the woman could do any number of things besides forcing her way into my pocket. Used to be she could a) ask her husband/significant other and/or immediate family and/or relatives and/or friends (and maybe in modern times, Planned Parenthood?) to help out, or b) put the baby up for adoption. But now, she comes immediately to me, or I have to go immediately to her to save the day? Says who? What has changed (other than a modern abdication of responsibility)?

Lastly, you wrote: “The practicing Catholics I know seem to have the same number of children (usually 2-3) as everybody else. That’s kind of strange, isn’t it?”

I’d bet the practicing Catholics you know would also admit that in the past they’ve enjoyed sunny days and sundaes, triumphed over some of life’s hurdles, and succumbed to sin. Would that be strange?

 


beaglelady - #67870

February 12th 2012

It’s obvious that you are against contraception.  Are you the same as Marty? You sure sound like him.  


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67877

February 12th 2012

Beaglelady,

Who’s Marty?

And what is your purpose here?

To play games guessing the identities behind the BioLogos usernames, especially of those who see things differently than you? [By God, I think you actually DO want my address and SSN!]

To proudly proclaim emotion-driven opinions?

Or is it to comment, curry or even convince, using facts and reason, Scripture and science? Apparently not.

Oh, and btw… based on your earlier comments, you seem to be of the opinion (what else?) that I’m Catholic. I never said I was Catholic.

And why should you care what, if any, denomination I am? [Would you like to know my race, also?]

Besides, of what value is a label, like “Catholic”? Not much value that I can see. You can find “Catholics” ranging anywhere from John Paul II to Joe Biden, from Mother Teresa to Katherine Sebelius. (Did you know that Adolph Hitler was raised Catholic?) “Catholic” doesn’t tell you much.

I actually think most Catholics are seriously deluded (54% of them voted for Barack Obama).

No, I never said I was Catholic.

I will say this, however. The smartest and soundest people I’ve ever known happened to be Catholic. And the smartest, deepest things I’ve ever read or heard happened to come from Catholics. And if nothing else, I think I should at least respect any institution that’s survived for 2,000 years, and this despite preaching and holding to beliefs which rub so much of humanity the wrong way.

And I do.

 


beaglelady - #67884

February 13th 2012

<blockquote> I never said I was Catholic.</blockquote>

Do you deny it?

<blockquote>(Did you know
that Adolph Hitler was raised Catholic?)
</blockquote>

True, and the pope didn’t excommunicate him.


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67893

February 13th 2012

Beaglelady,

“True [Adolph Hitler was raised Catholic] , and the pope didn’t excommunicate him.”

And Jesus didn’t excommunicate Judas. You going to stop following Jesus, now? 

And this endless “Catholic” thing. Jesus Christ! Help us and save us! Why are you so obsessed with details about me?  Why your continual attempt to divert focus away from the arguments and instead attack the arguer?

Are you no longer capable of offering anything besides emotion-driven opinions and ad hominems?


beaglelady - #67896

February 13th 2012

Why are you unwilling to answer questions?


dont_blame_me_blame_evolution - #67898

February 14th 2012

Why are you unwilling to answer questions?”

I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. But I’ll take a lesson from one who claimed to be.

“But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.  Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?”
But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge; so that the governor wondered greatly.”

 

 


beaglelady - #67912

February 14th 2012

Nice dodge.


Page 2 of 2   « 1 2