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Everything posted by needimprovement

  1. Habits If you have ever watched a baby trying to learn how to use a spoon for the first time, you were probably struck by the humorous sight of someone trying to find his or her own mouth! If you try to think of how it is you are able to find yours, you come to some understanding of the importance of habits. Habits are a form of second nature to us. Habits are things we do spontaneously, effortlessly, without thinking. It is easy to see why habits are invaluable in our lives. Imagine how it would be if every time you sat down to eat you had to begin all over again to learn how to find your own mouth in order to feed yourself! Habits are very significant in our moral life as well. As with the passions, when involving actions such as driving a car, that is, actions which are neither moral nor immoral, we can say that habits themselves are neither moral nor immoral. When the habit is a good habit we say that it is a virtue. This means that we can develop the virtue of going out of our way to help others, for example. A virtuous person is one who spontaneously does what is good because he or she has developed good habits. Here good living example becomes a way of life. Habits that are directed toward immoral actions are called vices. Bad habits form us to do spontaneously that which in the beginning called for a deliberate act of the will. For example, the first time a person steals something, he or she may feel a great degree of guilt in the awareness they have done something wrong. But after repeatedly stealing, the act becomes effortless. In stealing long enough the person takes on the identity of a liar. To determine the degree of responsibility in actions involving habits, we can use the same principle we applied to the passions. In other words, to the extent a person has been taken over by a particular habit, that person has a decreased amount of responsibility for what he or she is doing. By the same token, the individual is bound to avoid becoming entrenched in bad habits, and is obligated to try to replace them with good habits.
  2. Is it necessary that life begins with an egg and a sperm, or is it not? At this point in time, yes. If science figures out how to manipulate ova or DNA or whatever to create a new life, then we will have to reexamine how we define new life. But just for discussion, let's say that science can join the DNA of one egg into another, forming an embryo which grows into an adult human being. At some point, that organism becomes a unique individual, different from either one of it's "parent" eggs. As Catholics, I would believe that when that happened, a new human life was formed, and as such at that moment it became a human person. Since human parthenogenesis has not been demonstrated, we are free to believe whether or not it is possible. In reference to Christ, it is a matter of faith that he was incarnated by the action of the Holy Spirit, not by some parthenogenic event. We will never be able to explain this action scientifically, and accept it as a mystery of our faith. BTW, since you do not have a particular milestone for when a human embryo becomes a human person, why not consider it to be the moment of conception? Philosophically speaking, it's as valid a notion as any other time.
  3. We can solve this argument once and for all by making murder a practical. Explain any difference.
  4. Passions The passions or the emotions or the emotions are those iner forces that affect us both spiritually and physically in moving us to act in certain way. These passions, such as joy, love, fear and sorrow, are in themselves good, and they learn from an important dimension in our lives. But it id important to see that while under their influence we are restricted in out freedom. This restricting power on our freedomiis where the passions are potential sources of immorality. Some actions have no morl significance and so giving way to our emotions in such circumstances is also without moral significance. For example, the wild enthusiam at a basketball game is neither moral nor immoral in itself. Some actions are directly immoral and so the giving way to the emotions that move us to do such things increases our involvement in the action. What is more, the emotions such as fear, hate sorrow, can do more than move us to intensify our involvement in destructive acts to ourselves and others. The emotions can become overpowering and, under their influence, we temporarily lose our use of free will and so become dehumanized. While under the full impact of these emotions we are not responsible for our actions to the extent they have taken over. We are responsible, however, not to let ourselves become so dominated by these emotions. For example, one who has a violent temper is not fully responsible for his actions while he or she is acting in a rage. This person is, however, to see it that he or she checks these emotions before they get our of hand. We can see here how the threats to freedom can act upon one another in terms of moral responsibility. For example, a person who continually loses his temper has an obligation to do his best not to become dominated by his distractive feelings. He must also try to overcome his ignorance concerning why he is so prone to behave the way that he does. Once again, it should be made clear that the passions are themselves good. They become evil only when directed toward an evil action that dehumanizes us. The passions involved in sexual love in marriage, for example, are directed toward a good end; namely, the deepening of love and the procreation of children. The same thing can be said about the strong emotions of joy that are often experienced at celebrations or at the meeting of close friends who have been separated for a long period of time. A stoic rejection of the passions is not the goal of Christian morality.
  5. Thank you. Now let me rephrase the question. Why all medicines have side effects?
  6. Natural law refers to the laws that are built into the nature of life itself, and thus are knowable to all people in all societies. Murder, your example, is universally condemned in all societies, because it is know to reason that murder is a direct attack on the value of of human life. This universality of natural law holds true in spite the fact that different societies give very different interpretations to what it means to murder. For example, in our society we hold that killing out of vengeance is murdder. Other societies permit killing another out of vengeance, and no more consider it murder than we do in judging the morality of killing in self-defense.
  7. Ignorance Ignorance is a threat ti freedom becuase in ignorance we can hurt ourselves as well as others. Consider, for example, that you have a close friend who is very sensitives about a particular aspect of his or her personality. You, however, find this trait of your friend to be amusing and never miss an opportunity to mention it. Months later your friend tells you about his or her feelings on this matter. You then suddenly realize that in ignorance you have been hurting your relationship with your friend. The same holds true with your relationship with God. We must always make an honest effort to properly inform our conscience. It is morally wrong to deliberately remain in ignorance about what is morally wrong. Another aspect of ignorance as a hindrance to freedom is seen in light of the mysterious nature of our own minds. So many of our deepest needs have their roots in the depths of the subconscious where we do not have access to them. This means that we may be doing a certain thing when we suddenly become aware that our deepest motives may be unworthy ones. Perhaps jealousy, revenge, or even hatred is motivating us to do what we are doing under the cover of friendship or perhaps our obligation to correct another. In conclusion, we are not responsible for that of which we are ignorant. But we are responsible not to remain ignorant to the extent we are able to do so. We must constantly work toward an ever greater understanding of ourselves and of our relationship to God.
  8. As the soul is ineffable, it is not easily subject to a quick definition. However, I will distill some of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in defining the soul (paragraphs 326-368). The soul is the "spark" of life, the spiritual principle of a living creature. In humans, the soul is the subject of human consciousness and freedom, and soul and body together form one unique human nature. The soul refers to the innermost aspect of a human, that which is of greatest value to the individual. The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the "form" of the body. In other words, it is because of soul's spiritual nature that the body (which is made of matter) becomes a living human body. Without the soul, the body is not animated. The soul is indivisible, it cannot be broken down; indeed, it cannot be measured. Human souls, at least, are immortal. I cannot use physical measurement to prove my definition of "soul." However, I have shown that it is quite reasonable and elegant, and that no other offered explanation is adequate. By Occom's Razor, the simplest explanation is likely the correct one. Therefore, the soul is the ineffable spark of life that animates living bodies. The interesting question then becomes, where does the soul come from? Now we get to God. I suggest you read this book: From Atheism to Catholicism, How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to the Truth. http://www.amazon.com/Atheism-Catholicism-Scientists-Philosophers-Truth/dp/1592766382 It is written by a man with a PsyD, is a member of Mensa, and in fact has sat on Mensa's committee on intelligence (or whatever its official title is). He is, objectively speaking by modern measurement, and extremely bright man - and a former atheist - and yet he has come to recognize the Truth. You should see why this former atheist rejected atheism. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if you read this book, you'll be convinced. Be careful what you read, you might find out you're not correct!
  9. Yeah, it's clear to me. I was talking about what goes on in the joining of egg and sperm to make a new life. Where is this unclear? Parthenogenesis is not possible (yet), and may never be. But let's say it was possible. When the two combined cells come together (asexually) and start forming an embryo, it's a new life. Where is THAT unclear? I don't know what the future holds. When such technologies are developed or are in development, perhaps we'll have to examine such technologies. Your cake anaology is flawed because it deals with an inanimate object. Apples and oranges.
  10. Responses from physicians, scientists, or SFN members sought and welcomed.
  11. It's crystal clear to me: Take the concept of regression. A "born" baby is human, right? Everyone can agree on that. One hour earlier, is that baby human? How about an hour before that? And so on and so on. It is clear that you can go back second by second all the way back to when Mr Sperm and Miss Egg meet, and the moment before then, and only at that moment and previously can we definitively say that there a unique individual has not been yet been created. Go forward a moment......we have a new life. Eggs by themselves will never form a new life. However, if we figure out how to parthenogenically get an egg or sperm cell to start dividing and to start a new life; when it starts dividing is when it becomes a new life. The moment that new life starts is the moment it becomes human.
  12. In China last year, 2,631 miners were killed on the job. In contrast, only 53 US miners died in 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/13/china.mining/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_world World explodes in joy as Chile miners emerge SAN JOSE MINE, Chile—A global audience watched captivated as the miners’ rescue operation got under way. People logged on and tuned in to read, watch and listen as they emerged from the depths of the earth. A CNN report described the mine as deeper than the height of the Empire State Building in New York City which is 1,250 feet or 381 meters. Read More....
  13. Threats to Freedom Once we realize the importannce of freedom in our lives, it is easy to see why any threat to our freedom is an attack on humandignity. Just as with our discussion of freedom, I will divide the threats to freedom into inner and external types. External threats to Freedom external threats to freedom are forces in society which directly endanger our quest for inner freedom. This includes such things as oppression, injustice and prejudice. Events such as the Revolution, people such as Jose Rizal and Martin Luther King, movemenst such as community development and women's liberation, are examples of the constant need to struggle against the forces of oppression in any form. Certainly, Christians must be in the forfront with those workingfor a free society. The Fathers of the second Vatican Council state: Whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment...disgraceful working conditions, where men are treated as mere tools for profit....all these things and other of their like are infamies indeed....Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator(Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, No. 27). The bishops go on to point that Jesus does not simply call us to heaven as individuals, but he also calls us as a people to the kingdom of God. We are nound by the love of Christ to work toward the perfection of society in preperation for the kingdom. Put in other terms, a Christian never goes to heaven alone. Our call from God comes in through the society in which we live. We are committed to work toward the perfection of society so that all people may find the means to become all they can possibly be. This may often involve reaching out and helping those whose freedom is being abused. Internal Threats to Freedom Internal threats to freedom are, as the term implies, the threats to freedom which come from within ourselves. The internal threats to freedom which we will discuss are ignorance, passions and habit. Within each of these in an element for which we are not responsible because we do not have total control of all our thoughts, emotions and life experiences. At the same time there is an element for which we are responsible. it is, of course, the responsible aspects of these hindrances to freedom that are the concern of moral theology.
  14. When the egg and sperm meet, it makes a zygote, not a recipe. "All the information" is not a collection of ideas, but a collection of genes - actual physical things. When you and your wife go into the dark room and sweat and moan and make up a cake recipe, you exchange ideas. When you go to bed and make love, two real, physical cells come together to begin an actual human being. If that joining did not occur, no human would be made. How can you say any other moment could possibly be the beginning of life?
  15. Inner Freedom Inner freedom, the freedom to be all we can possibly be, is a state of fulfilled being rather than a way of acting. Inner freedom means freedom from such things as isolation, suffering and death, in short, from all that prevents us from being fully alive. because all of us must die, none of us can attain total inner freedom while on earth. However, we can attain various degrees of inner freedom, and, by means of religion, the hope of perfect inner freedom after death. An example of a kind of inner freedom is found in the experience of two people who fall deeply in love, and in their love are set free in an experinece of unlimited happiness. The inner freedom of this love, for all its power and wonder, is obviously not total and final. A bribe, for example, cannot promise her spouse freedom from all suffering, much less can she promise him freedom from death. In short, her love does not have the power to make him all he can possibly be. Nevertheless, the inner freedom found in human love is real. Furthermore, it brings out two important thruths about inner freedom. The first is that inner freedom is found in a love relationship. It is love that makes us all we can possibly be. the second point is that the couple in love achieve inner freedom by means of external freedom. In other words, their daily actions toward each other are the means by which maintain inner freedom of love. if a husband, for example, "freely" chooses to be unfaithful to his wife, his freedom of action becomes the means of destroying his inner freedom to be he can possibly be in love. Ultimately, his action is a kind of antifreedom force. No matter how "freely" he chose to be unfaithful, he nevertheless freely chose not to be free. What is seen here is that in a love relationship one is free to do what he or she must do in order to be faithful to love. Human love, as we know it on this earth, eventually ends in death, but God's love does not. The Church's celebration of Easter is a constant reminder that the focus of faith in Chirst is notgrounded in his high moral values or his great wisdom. Rather Jesus offers to us a participation in his own total victory over death. It is the Christian hope that in Christ we will become all we can possibly be. The alleluias sung on Easter morning are grounded in Jesus' promise that "whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and belives in me will never die" (Jn 11:26), and in the realization that his promise will be fulfilled because he has given us the Spirit. It is St. aul who said, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will bring your moral bodies to life also through his Spirit dwelling in you" (Rm 8:11). We will, of course, reach our goal of total inner freedom only in heaven. The point is, however, that we will achieve total inner freedom only by means of external freedom. It is at this juncture that we see the impostance of Christian morality. Our moral actions are the means to achieving the inner freedom of perfect fulfillment in God. An immoral act is an act freely performed against one's own ultimate freedom. As with all people in a love relationship, the Christian is free to do what he or she must do in order to be faithful to love. Freedom without this fidelity to love is not freedom but license. The point is brought out in the story of adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In freely choosing to disobey God, they freely chose to undermine their own inner freedom. Just as a husband or wife is free to love his or her spouse, he or she is also bound by that love. We can see there the paradoxical truth that moral obligations are in the last analysis obligations to our own freedom. Lastly, it is worth pointing out that, just as inner freedom is not found in the possession of any external object, so too the hindrances to inner freedom come ultimately from within ourselves, in our free choice not to be true to love. We become, in short, our own obstacle to our own freedom, prisoners locked within ourselves. External Freedom External freedom is not the freedom to be all we can possibly be, but rather the freedom to do all we can possibly do. This is what most people think of when they hear the word "freedom". External freedom, in a Christian context, is a means to an end. We attain to inner freedom by responding to God's love in our daily actions. Thus morality can be seen as a free response to God's call to perfect freedom. There is then a paradox in human freedom. The paradox is that the free choice not to respond to God;s call is a free choice not to be free, because it is a free choice not to fully be. We bear within us not only the seeds of our own fulfillment but also the seeds of our own destruction. This is the meaning of sin.
  16. Or spirit = freedom, and for her spirit to be expressed freely into the world, she has to go deep within herself and her inner source. But to be "free" truly free, she must have complete control over herself and her desires, otherwise she is a slave to the world.
  17. The first thing you would have to do is define what is "Morality for yourself". Is it conformity only to your own personal code? If so then there is no way you could be "immoral" since you would never "defy" yourself or act against your own "morals" - you would simply change them. The only other option to this is to use some outside sorce as a guide, whether it be "civil law", or some religious or spiritual code which means your "sense of morality" is defined by "letting someone's external interpretation of spirituality (morality) mold my thoughts, emotions, and actions." Belief involves a couple of things that "awareness of the theory" does not. I can be aware of the theory of relativity but in order to believe it I need some other factors such as, knowledge of mathmatics and physics and/or knoweldge of the person advancing the theory and/or an inate sense of understanding of the subject. Believing something is an immoral, that is accepting it as an actual immoral and not just someone's "rule", involves some of the same things. When we are small we are taught by parents what is acceptable and not acceptable. What is right and what is not. Later on, as we grow older we begin to find out the reasons behind why certain things are immoral. We begin to see the adverse effects of immorality and how it hurts others. So when we are little, we are made "aware of the theory" and as we grow we learn the reasons behind the "theory" and come to "belief". This belief then allows us to more carefully and clearly apply the "theory" to given situations. As a simple example. "Lying is wrong". That is what we are told when we are little. That is the theory. Later, as we learn the specifics, we find that not all "Lying" (untruth) is wrong. -- You tell your spouse you feel fine when you don't because you don't want him/her to worry. - Not wrong. Your spouse tells you that he/she didn't get you anything for your birthday so she can really surprise you with something you've been wanting. - Not wrong. Why? No malice behind it. No intent to do harm.
  18. False. I'll discuss the law of Chirst that gives us the freedom to love in the deepest way possible. For the sake of simplicity, I will devide freedom up into two main types; namely, inner freedom and external freedom. Inner freedom refers to the freedom to be all we can possibly be. And external freedom refers to freedom of action, the freedom to do all we can possibly do. I'll include the threats to freedom such as oppression, injustice, prejudice, ignorance, etc. But I'll discuss it later, after work.
  19. Although there is a possibility of this discussion openning into religious or personal beliefs, but I was just looking for a scientific definition to compliment/contrast with the moral/ethical position of THIS LINK.
  20. Really?! Are you sure you have more freedom today than before? Or are you just demonstrating a false perception?
  21. 2 and 3 decides to kill the child I'm ok with this. first, the doctor is trying to save BOTH mother and child. The abortion is an unwanted outcome and that argument cannot be use since those cases are so rare. I think there is nothing immoral regarding that case since there was no choice to kill anyone. it is more arrogant on their part that they choose who to live or not. it is sheer arrogance to kill a child for one's convinience. there are atheists that are against abortion. abortion is not a religious matter, it is a human matter. no human has a right to take another life. If abortion is practical, murders should not be jailed. it works on the same principle
  22. Source: http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/05_relativism/relativism_transcription.htm 1. Argument for Relativism: Psychological 2. Argument for Relativism: Cultural 3. Argument for Relativism: Social Conditioning 4. Argument for Relativism: Freedom 5. Argument for Relativism: Tolerance 6. Argument for Relativism: Situations 7. Argument for Absolutism: Consequences 8. Argument for Absolutism: Tradition 9. Argument for Absolutism: Moral Experience 10. Argument for Absolutism: Ad Hominem 11. Argument for Absolutism: Moral Language Postscript: Cause and Cure Any comment? Excerpt: "Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day defined a good society as one that makes it easy for you to be good. Correlatively, a free society is one that makes it easy to be free. To be free, and to live freely, is to live spiritually, because only spirit is free—matter is not. To live spiritually is to live morally. The two essential properties of spirit that distinguish it from matter are intellect and will—the capacity for knowledge and moral choice. The ideals of truth and goodness. The most radical threat to living morally today is the loss of moral principles."
  23. It's a biological question, not historical one.
  24. IMHO, the unborn child shares in the mystery of human life. because human life is a gift from God, it is not ours to dispose of as we please. Ultimately, we do not belong to ourselves but to God who created us from nothing. it is true that the unborn child has but begun to develop, but this is no justification for abortion. The unborn child is not fully developed but niether is anyone on earth. each of us is in a different stage of growth and development on a journey toward final perfection. It is not for us to say that just becuase the unborn child has barely started on the journey of life, we have the right to fail to repect his/her life.
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