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From: B. Harris)
Newsgroups: soc.history.what-if,sci.physics,,,
Subject: Re: PROOF OF LIFE AFTER DEATH (minus the holy water)
Date: 27 Aug 1998 17:33:32 GMT

In <> (Oren
Webster) writes:

>When asking Operation Rescue folk why - in the
>arguments about abortion - I had never heard the
>word 'soul', I was told (as I remember it) that
>the reason was that a human had no such stuffs
>until it took its first breath, as in God breathed
>into Adam after fashioning him (from snips and
>snails and puppy dog tails?). But they used the
>word 'spirit' here, and didn't seem too concerned
>about the word 'soul'. I believe some Greeks figured
>there were at least three such stuffs.

   Yes.  One for vegetative life (basically: metabolism); one for
animal life (basically: motion), and one for human life (basically:
intelligence and moral action).  But note that it's only the last that
confers humanity.  Most Christians (After Aquinas, I suppose) equate
the last Greek stuff to be the "spirit" (psuche or psyche-- wups, no
Greek letters) which is the root of "inspiration," and caries the idea
of both breath and divine infusion of living essence.  The Hebrew word
for wind and breath and soul "Ruach" (gee, no Hebrew letters. either)
is basically the same idea, and the verse in the OT where God
"breathes" the "breath" of life into the nostrils of Adam and he
becomes a living "soul" uses the same word throughout (so I'm told--
I'm no Hebrew scholar).

   Thoughtout most Christian existence, stillborn babies who did not
draw breath were not considered people, and were not buried in
churchyards or anything else.  No funeral mass for spontaneously
aborted clots, either.  It's only in the last century and this one
(with better artifical abortion technology) that the Roman church, then
the fundamentalist protestant sects) have started coming up with the
idea that the essential soul or spirit of humanity arives long before,
at fertilization.  New theology which the ancient scriptures (not
knowing about fertilization) somehow forgot to mention.  The God of
ancient scriptures is amazingly dumb about basic physics and biology.
It's not as though many such concepts cannot be explained to an
intelligent (but ignorant) 10 year old.  They can be.  It's that the
God of the ancient scriptures doesn't even try.  It's almost as thought
"He" doesn't know anything more than the people he's talking to.
Strange to say <g>.


                                       Steve Harris, M.D.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Backlash against HMOs: a declaration of war (was Doctor-bashing)
Date: 13 Apr 1999 12:04:50 GMT

In <> (Terri)
>On 13 Apr 1999 03:55:32 GMT, B. Harris)
>>In <> (William Bacon)
>>>>Infant mortality, for
>>>>example, is a good predictor, except to libertarians.
>>>A good predictor for?
>>A good predictor for how technically advanced a society is in care of
>>extremely premature infants.  Societies without the technology call 24
>>weekers "still births" or "miscarriages", and don't count them as
>>infant mortality.   Neat, huh?
>When I was doing my nurses' training in Ontario more than 30 years
>ago, we used an American Obstetrical Nursing textbook. I don't recall
>the name, but I do remember that we were told to disregard the 28 week
>rule in the book, because in Ontario a baby delivered at 20 weeks was
>considered a stillbirth not a miscarriage, and a live birth should
>such an infant be delivered alive. At that time apparently, in the US,
>births were considered miscarriages to 28 weeks of gestation. although
>I'm sure the 28 week preemie if born alive was treated. . This was
>important because the paperwork was different. An infant delivered
>alive  after 20 weeks, needed a birth certificate, a death
>certificate, and disposal by burial or cremation. If not alive at
>delivery, it was recorded as a stillbirth and still required either a
>funeral or cremation. At 19 weeks or less it was a
>miscarriage/spontaneous abortion and there was no need for any
>paperwork or funerals/cremation.
>Once there was a birth certificate the infant existed for statisitical
>purposes and would be  included in infant mortality calculations.

    Sounds like a very Catholic policy.  Though most of history if a
baby "drew breath" it needed a funeral and a christian burial.  If not,
it was considered tissue and disposed of.  Only when abortion became
safe and in some places legal did the Roman church decide that a child
became a child at conception.  Not that they changed their burial and
statistical practices any, the hypocrits.  Just try to get the priest
to baptize that clot.

    I do not know what the policies are in Canada today.  However, I do
know that whether or not a fetus is born "alive" is subject to a lot of
interpretation (how much gasping counts?), unless it's been dead a long
time.  Most fetuses with undeveloped lungs are born with heart beating.
Just not for long.

From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: Backlash against HMOs: a declaration of war (was Doctor-bashing)
Date: 16 Apr 1999 16:24:40 GMT

In <7f4uto$gkp$> (George
Conklin) writes:

>   But you cannot say that national health insurance is
>unethical. That is what you were saying.  It is highly
>ethical because the 'ethical professionals' say so.

    ROFL.  The Roman Catholic Bishops are the "ethics" professionals?
Because they merely say they are?  I guess they figure they've come a
ways since the inquisition.  For my money, however, forbidding a man
who is about to have chemotherapy to save his life, to store his sperm
so that he can eventually have children, and saying this has to do with
"morals"-- makes Catholic Bishops highly unethical.  Kindness is
ethical.  Telling somebody he's going to go to "Hell,"  just because he
wants to do the reasonable thing which hurts nobody and which will make
him and his wife happy, is downright dastardly.

    If a man and a woman are physically unable to have sex, for any
reason, cannon law in Roman Catholicism forbids them to marry.  Is that
ethical?  A wife who deliberately abstains from sex when she is
fertile, in order not to conceive, is not committing a sin; yet a woman
who uses hormones to influence her fertility is.  To avoid preganacy
she can use physics but not chemisty.  This is ethics?

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