[Buddha-l] This pope

Vicente Gonzalez vicen.bcn at gmail.com
Fri May 13 16:55:30 MDT 2005

Stephen H. wrote:,

SH> The Catholic view is that each individual is created as an unique and
SH> *indivisible* soul.  However, a problem arises in the cases of twins,
SH> triplets etc -- in the case of monozygotic twins etc, the division into more
SH> than one individual only occurs at around 14 days.  This implies that until
SH> they become distinct individuals each with their individual souls at that
SH> stage, the single fertilized ovum cannot have a soul and therefore is not
SH> human.  There is also the inherent contradiction that the souls of some
SH> individuals are present from the moment of conception while for others not
SH> until 14 days has elapsed.

probably this problem belongs to a Catholic forum. Anyway, the
Catholics views are not only those of the Opus Dei, The Christ Legion
or Ratzinger. The actual view is just another one. Between XII and
XIX centuries, the death of a fetus was considered just an homicide
and only when he was fully developed (Gregorio IX in 13th century).
According St. Thomas, the soul enters in the body at 40 days (80 in
the female). The abortion as a "murder" performed in the first
moment of conception, it appears in 1869 by means Pope Pío IX.

In a general view, in the History the Catholic church maintained in
this topic the investigation around Aristotle, hilomorfism, and that
type of things. Then mostly centered in the evolution of the beings to
establish the existence of a soul.

Contrary to what some people say in this thread, the conservative
reactions appears in the rich countries. In the third world the people
don't have power or privileges to lose. There are alternative views in
Catholicism who are very strong. Leonard Boff in Brasil is a clear
example which more than 100.000 religious communities. The Crurch is
plenty of good people in society or reclusion with beneficial views.
And also there is another part of that Church, supporters in the safe
distance, of tortures and genocide in South/Central America.
This type of people are the defenders of a radical morality because
they need a strong sectarism to remain in the summit of their
pyramids. But it appears not only in the Catholicism or other religion
but in any other group. Unfortunately, in this world the psychopaths
inhabit the social elites  and religions are not an exception. 

SH> implications for Buddhists believing in rebirth, but perhaps less
SH> intractably so.

yes. As you knows, in Buddhism there is not a sacralization of the
life as some divine essence. The cow, the dog, the monkey, the human and
the scholar, all the beings are expressing the same truth  despite the
sounds arising from their mouths. There is not a direct relation in
supporting rebirth except if one falls in the belief of a self passing
among different bodies. 

Probably, reading to Budhaghosa, we prefer in an instinctive way the
death of a fertilized ovum than the the torture of a monkey in a
pharmaceutical laboratory. 


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