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Everything posted by needimprovement

  1. Not quite? Do you have a scientifically supported alternative explanation? What a dichotomy! While science is bemoaning the "unsustainable" birth rate on earth, it is also rushing headlong into cloning. For what purpose? Superior humans? A master race? If you ever pray, pray that this does not occur, as both you and I will be eliminated from their world as "deficient". This is worthy of some refinement: 1) This question is intimately involved with the issue of differentiating Consciousness per se, and awareness and its distinct stages as outlined in the previous post. Regarding that, and knowing that "irritation" in its biological science meaning, is a property of any life form, how significant is it that there is physiomotor activity? is that a reaction or a response? 2) Factors that might bear on this might be intent and responsibility. Those can happen at three levels: the woman, her immediate circumstances, and society in general. So what is the woman;s intent? Is she wanting, willing, able and competent to be a parent? These days we seem to broadly assume that biological ability already includes parental competence.Does it? should it? If not, what constitutes competence? Ability? Knowing someone who is in child development, without thinking aobut it much it is pretty clear to me that I was, ans most people are, woefully ignorant of pre-natal, post partum, infant, and early childfood development factors from chemistry of bonding to developmental factors including diet and environment, not to mention psychoemotional state of parent(s). Regarding infants, a society in some rare circumstances may not be able to sustain an individual that is clearly unable to contribute and will be in some ways a liability. Our culture has that luxury, though it is yet carried our in a somewhat uncivilized way from the dimension of government. 3) And the idea of "honorary personhood" is fascinating. Good one! But legally, might it not come down to a matter of rights, concerns, or endangerment by virtue of physical symbiosis, or less likely, appurtenant property?
  2. Only the rich are concerned about this. There are too many peasants. In 1968, a great year for propaganda and the rise of the Hippies, a man named Paul Ehrlich put out a book titled The Polpulation Bomb. He was wrong about his prediction of mass starvation, but his book did influence some people. http://www.amazon.com/Population-Bomb-Paul-R-Ehrlich/dp/1568495870 Why doesn't the United States send more food to more people who are starving? Who's going to pay for it? Who is going to ship it? Who is going to distribute it? In the US, farmers are paid billions of dollars every year to grow nothing. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-04/most-u-s-farm-subsidies-go-to-10-of-recipients-group-says.html Why? Supply and demand. For example, if the government knows that the average amount of corn grown each year is around a trillion tons, then that's it. That's enough corn for food, cattle feed and any other use you might think of. They can't grow more. Why? Because no one will buy it and prices will go down. Farming is a business and every business needs to make a profit. And even if some surplus grain could be shipped to Africa, who pays for shipping? The taxpayer? And once it gets there, the corrupt government may impose an import tax, and then trucks will have to be rented to bring it to the villages. The other problem is bandits and even militaries who kill the drivers and take the trucks and food. Here, resources can be recycled. But, the problem is always money. If we recycle more aluminum, then the people who mine bauxite, the mineral from which we get aluminum, will mine less, which is good and bad. Less work means less employees, but it will stretch our supply of aluminum into the future. China has shown us a concrete method of population control in their one child policy. Here is a chart that shows where most population growth is occurring. http://chartsbin.com/view/xr6 I've learned thT In the United States, you have fewer kids. That's why schools, public and private, are closing. The Baby Boom generation is beginning to retire and is mostly past its prime child bearing years. No need to worry. This is alarmist talk that falls apart under scrutiny. Considering the farms, rivers, etc, I took the world population number, gave each person a two foot by two foot space to stand. I found that everyone at that time would easily fit in RI. The problem is not how many people there is. It is the logistics of feeding, clothing and caring for everyone.
  3. People have been singing this sad old song since Malthus in the 1700s, and the sky hasn't fallen yet. There is a lot more petroleum in the ground than many organizations will admit. It fits their agenda that we are running out of fuel and need to use other energies instead, although there is no current energy that will substitute for petroleum. What if there was a solution to any future energy problems, in the form of a baby who would grow up to discover/invent a wonderful, clean, renewable energy for the world, which would remove the stranglehold and power of the Middle East, but we aborted that child?
  4. I have learned from a friend that there is a flip side to this that is being played out in the US right now. Reduced birth rates after the "baby boom" of 1945 - 1960 are causing grave concerns over funding of public programs and especially the Social Security system. In fact the falling birth rate could be seen as leading toward a possible collapse of the US economic system in the not too distant future. The Catholic Church's "Solution" is the same as it has always been. Charity, Chastity, Sanctity. People should not have more children than they are able to support. Artificial methods are not required to do this. Chastity will accomplish it nicely. As for poverty, there are many possible solutions to this that do not require ABC methods and abortion. There are societies that are economically rich and spiritually impoverished, just as there are societies that are economically poor and spiritually rich. Each society and each community must find its own way in the matter of how to earn a living But the beat way combat "poverty" is to be rich spiritually. In this way one needs less, gives more, and is enriched both in this life and in the next. Im sure this is not the answer you were looking for but it is my answer.
  5. As more people want limited resources, those resources will become more expensive. At that point, it will become economically efficient to use things like wind and solar power, and as more people use them, they will become cheaper and, being unlimited, will not go up in price. I have a friend who recently went to a place where some of the businesses have put up those skinny windmills to generate power. It looks odd right now because it is rare, and it probably won't work as a solution everywhere, but he expect this to spread as it becomes economically feasible for people by the price going down, and as the price of electricity goes up. The same place uses salt water for its city water by putting the water through reverse osmosis. I don't understand precisely how this works, but it's a system whereby the salt water goes in, and the tap water comes out. We have a lot of water in the oceans....
  6. You failed to consider manpower (population) as contributor to positive economic progress. Let me say also that linking a broad based problem such as "poverty" to a single root cause such as "population growth" is overly simplistic.
  7. Is the fetus a person? well, you say scientifically, no. Is that debatebale? your criiteria is brain activity. Scientifically, I can argue DNA makes a person a person. And technically, I would be right. and then we could argue back and forth "scientifically". A criteria must be agreed on. Let's address this conscious brain for just a moment as it defines personhood. Something a month old (born) baby lacks? And does someone who is under anesthesia lose personhood during that period? They do not have a "conscious brain" at that time. Or someone who is "brain dead", survives and revives. It's happened. Do they lose personhood and then regain it? Since abortion was brought out, I think it is more fruitful to define abortion to people. Can you drop the crap about clones?
  8. The only way to produce a person, in any of his or her forms or at any stage of personhood, is to begin via the contact between egg and sperm. No contact, no human life, no person. Suppose a woman who is pregnant maybe 8months 3rd trimester, walks into a bank. Bank gets held up by robbers who shoot the woman, she survives but the baby doesn't. Robber Joe get charged with man slaughter etc... Same woman, pregnant 3rd trimester, goes to an abortion clinic, and Joe performs the abortion killing the child, and is paid, and goes free. is that okay?
  9. When life begins is a biological question, not historical one. Since we both can agree you need to have an egg & a sperm, we now are tasked to answer when life begins after their joining.
  10. point of order: the question is when does life begin? Not "When does consciousness’ begin?". Life begins at conception. I believe it is, Some believe it isn't. Who is right? Scientists apply conditions that would also make people in comas worthless. Some secularists apply principles that would make people with mental defects or physical ailments not really "living". Now, Moontanman, when does fetus acquire consciousness? when is fetus a person?
  11. There's no such thing as over-population. However, there is over-consumption and improper use of resources. There is always a call to reduce poor populations. However, rich populations consume MUCH more than poor populations and poor populations have a MUCH greater need for family connections/support and a young workforce. The reality is rich populations don't want to "help" poor populations - they just want the poor populations to disappear to make more room for the so-called advanced societies of wealthier populations. The 3 R's for being environmental change is: Reduce Reuse Recycle They are in that order for a reason. It doesn't matter if societies have 0 kids or 10 kids per couple - if they do not reduce their waste, reuse what they do have, and THEN recycle what cannot be reused - over-consumption will continue. the problem is people may have less children, but they do not reduce hardly ANYTHING else. Almost without exception, every person I know with a smaller family than mine spend more money, more land, more energy, and more resources than my entire household.
  12. I came across this site http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop where I found the world population to be approximately 6,276,000,000. I then checked http://www.netstate.com/states/geography/tx_geography.htm and found the area of Texas as 268,601 square miles. One square mile is 640 acres and hence the area of Texas is 268,601x640=171,904,640 acres. Thus if you fit the entire population of the world into Texas each person would have 171,904,640/6,276,000,000 = 0.027 acres. 0.027 arces is the same as 1176.12 square feet. A quick search on a web site that lists homes for sale and I see that the average 3 bedroom home, so I take it that this would be for 3 to 4 people (that is a couple sharing one bedroom) is just over 2000 square feet. So 1176.12 square feet for one person is a big area.
  13. In order to engage in the argument you have to concede this point, as you've done.
  14. in the scenario with the recipe and the cake, the recipe for human reproduction is a sperm and an egg which are both present and in place by the time zapatos and his wife come out of the room. however, in the cake analogy he come out of the room with nothing in place, just a list of things that need to be put in place. its not the same at all. its not a horrible analogy but he failed to identify the fertilized egg as the cake already in the oven! for the guy who keeps talking about killing living things such as cheek cells and things. you need to understand what being pro-life means. pro-life means that we do not intentionally kill living human beings. the cells in your mouth are not in themselves human beings. obviously we kill all kinds of living things and most pro-lifers probably enjoy a good steak now and then. however the cow is not human beings and either the cells in your mouth.
  15. Wait, consider the vertex made by two straight edges, such as the edges of two sheets of paper. You can make the vertex move at infinite velocity if you choose the angle between the edges to be zero.
  16. I think the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe.
  17. Your new mathematics-obsessed friend says to you, "I have two children. One is a boy born on Tuesday. What is the probability I have two boys?" The first thing you think to ask him is, "What the heck does Tuesday have to do with it?" "Everything!", he replies... So what is the probability?
  18. If so, how? If not, why not? I quote from the Wikipedia article on Hypnosis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnosis
  19. quote from the Wikipedia article on "digital physics": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics I haven't read the article in detail, although as I understand it, one version (not the original) was given by the great American physicist John Wheeler. Looking at the summary of the article I also see that an extreme version of this is "The Matrix", that we're in the middle of super-gigantic simulation. Without going into detail, I have a notion this is a wrong-headed notion because of Godel's theorem , but I would like to hear from more knowledgeable people than I about the pros and especially cons of this idea.
  20. To shift this discussion a bit to a particular situation. Was talking with a philosophy department chair who is worried that some of his philosophy courses will be eliminated from the liberal arts curriculum and replaced by science ones. Going by the title of this thread, what kind of advice or solid reasons can one give this beleaguered professor?
  21. Prompted by posts on another thread ("Can there be any intelligent science pursued without any philosophy?"), I'd like to pose the following: One thing I'd like to imagine is a debate between the philosophy students and science students. Each would be required to stay within their own discipline and argue for the value of each. Any science students using philosophy to defend science would be disqualified (or would lose). They could only prove the value of science using scientific and non-philosophical arguments. The philosophy students would use philosophical arguments to defend the value of philosophy.
  22. I think you're partway there. Perhaps if you were to take some to consider this matter from a purely philosophical angle, that might be helpful. We have to be careful not to become quasi-utilitarian as Catholic Christians, in terms of who's "needs" are more important. That opens up a whole new can of worms.
  23. Here's a pretty simple solution that should tell us all everything we need to know about the existence of the soul, and that's our own consciousness. Now, before anyone jumps the gun, I'm not talking about consciousness in general, or what causes it (because I know there are medical explanations for consciousness), but more referring to the unique consciousness, or the "window" into the world that each and every one of us has that is completely different and separate from everyone elses...our individuality, if you will. If you consider your own consciousness, and why "you" are "you" in the first place...it all becomes clear that for each individual to actually have a unique perspective of their own, it has to come from something that supercedes the natural world. Just a thought anyway.
  24. the moral laws which derive from our nature are given by the Creator and written in every human heart so every human has a knowledge of them, I am speaking of the universal law summarized in the decalogue. There is also a morality of obedience to laws of just human government, whether of states or human organizations which bind citizens of those states or members of those organizations, and of course to the Church who has Christ as her head, binding on members of that Church. So even someone with no personal knowledge of or relationship with God has a moral sense and also a "common sense" to know that if those universal laws are broken there will be consequences, personally and for society. Whether or not you label that sin, disorder, psychosis or whatever, the reality of those consequences is apparent and indeed forms the basis for much of world literature, and the older myths and legends of all societies. Two truths cannot contradict each other and both be true. Either a.) one is true and the other is false; or, B.) neither are true because there is no such thing as objective, unalterable truth. Solution B.) is contrary to human experience. If B.) were the correct solution, then we would have to conclude that Hitler, Stalin, Paedophiles, Rapists & Murderers are not necessarily authors of evil, but rather they were human beings like you and me pursuing "their truth" as they saw it, and who am I to tell them that they are wrong to do it. If we reject the existence of an objective truth, then we reject the existence of right & wrong and good & evil. Yet, everyone I have ever met has had a sense of right and wrong, and their has always been large areas of agreement between people about what is right, and what is wrong. In fact, even most criminals recognise that what they are did what wrong, it is simply that they chose to do it anyway. The rejection of truth empties this life of all meaning, it reduces life to being a series of sensual experiences, after which one dies, and it is as if that person never existed, at least once s/he is forgotten within 50 yrs, or so. Therefore, I would encourage you to hold position a.) - there is an objective truth. However, for there to be an objective truth, there must have been an author of that truth. Humans couldn't have evolved into an objective truth, it must have come from outside humanity, from above, therefore, if you hold a), then it follows that there must be a God. If God exists and has authored one truth, then presumably he has revealed this to us - there would be no point concealing the truth from us. As a Catholic, I believe that God has revealed his truth to us in Jesus Christ (cf. John 14.6), and that to proclaim his message of truth with clarity throughout every age he established one Church (cf. Matt. 16.18), and that this Church continues to guard and proclaim the deposit of Faith revealed by Christ. .
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