So it would seem abortion is now a forgiveable sin in this upcoming holy year of mercy...

http://www.koat.com/news/priests-may-forgive-abortions-during-holy-...

Sayeth the Pope himself.

What do you think of this? It's almost more insulting than the original saying that abortion is an unforgiveable sin. This way it's "up to the archdioses" or "up to the priest that they "may" grant forgiveness...." So Woman A may be forgiven, but not Woman B...I wonder what criteria they use to forgive some but not all women for this unspeakable sin, (sarcasm)...

May the Lord be with you.

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He probably won't be charged with double homicide but it will definitely factor into the sentencing.
If the charge isn't double homicide, the fetus isn't a human being.

@Strega — If the charge isn't double homicide, the fetus isn't a human being.

Don't get too fascinated by legal terminology.

In the law you have what are called terms of art, which are legal terms that gain their meaning through legal definition alone, not via common usage.

One of the most widely-cited examples in the law is "act of God." Ask an attorney and s/he'll tell you that the terminology does not and is not intended to affirm the existence of God because "act of God" is a term for events outside human control, such as sudden natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible.

In many jurisdictions, the terminology has been replaced by less controversial terms such as force majeure, which means exactly the same thing.

If a man kills a pregnant woman, is that considered a double homicide in the USA?

Yes, in both federal law and most state jurisdictions. 

No, @Bob, I'm not looking for a mystical time. That's exactly the opposite of what I'm trying to say. The process from conception to birth is continuous not discrete and there is no magical point of time when the child becomes real. The legal line we draw is by necessity (if we want a law we have to pick somewhere) and is unfortunately imperfect.

"Objectively, she's living, genetically distinct and human from conception onward"

Bob, to say this is an objective statement is simply false. Living and genetically distinct I can agree. Human? We don't know because some fertilised eggs will never make it. They cannot become human, they are not viable. It is you who are attempting to make objective claims and draw lines. I am trying to say there are no lines to be drawn. The issue cannot be solved in absolutist terms. Instead, as in so many areas of ethics, we have to settle for our imperfect best attempts at maximising the overall good.

If you seriously think the termination of a collection of cells that have no nervous system, no pain receptors, no way to suffer is the same as termination of a foetus that, if it was outside the body we would call a baby, then I'm afraid we have to finish here. I cannot counter that level of WTF.

Incidentally, the absolutist position opens itself to the satire of Monty Python - every sperm is sacred. Every sperm cell can potentially become a human similarly to a fertilised egg. Presumably you do not wish to call masturbation an act of homicide. Therefore you are drawing a line, not me. Your line is the point of conception but it is just another line. There is no objectivity to it.

I totally agree with Simon...well said...

Living and genetically distinct I agree. Human? 

Human because it is objectively genetically human, with 23 pairs of chromosomes and a full human genome.

Again, raising Monty Python is just a red herring because sperm is haploid. It's not at all the same thing and I suspect you know that.

We're all just a collection of cells.  Terminating the living organism composed of a collection of human cells is what we call homicide.

 Dr Bob.......A fully formed human is far more than just a collection of cells....A fetus  is surely a living organism  but without a FUNCTIONING  brain....What makes a human being so special is our BRAIN....When the brain does not function, we are legally dead....A fetus in the 1st trimester does not have a Functioning brain .. So how can it be murder, if aborted, if it was never fully alive?

I think you can make a case that from a legal perspective the start of human life should be the same as our definition of human death - the presence or absence of heartbeat or brain function.

Then you have to realize that a substantial majority of abortions occur after the onset of heartbeat and brain function, both of which do indeed get going during the 1st trimester.  The pro-abortion lobby has aggressively fought your idea that legal life should match legal death for that reason.

If we're being honest with ourselves, though, when a human living organism goes into cardiac arrest or coma, we try to save them.  The person is legally dead, but we perform CPR, we launch into expensive medical interventions.  If there is any hope that heartbeat and brain function will be restored so that they can have a reasonable life, we intervene heroically with surgery and ventilators.

That's the moral thing to do, isn't it?

Then how can that not be the case for the living, growing, human organism of the unborn child when we know that the absence of heartbeat or brain function is only temporary?

I think you can make a case that from a legal perspective the start of human life should be the same as our definition of human death - the presence or absence of heartbeat or brain function.

Why should it?

For me?  Neither.   The outcome is the same in both cases - a human being is destroyed, and my intent was to destroy him/her. 

So, in the case of spontaneously aborted conceptions, does God make those happen with intent? When God lets things happen that kill people... things He could stop because of his omnipotence... that is basically intentional. God is a murderer.

Yes but God has a plan, @Unseen. Doesn't that make you feel better about it?

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