Is cloning an important topic in the abortion debate?

kid-dressed-as-spidermanCould cloning be an important issue for the very heated abortion debating? It’s gone from science-fiction to reality. Dolly the clone sheep entered our world, “on 5 July 1996.”(cloning) In fact she has already left it as, “she was euthanized on 14 February 2003, aged six and a half” middle aged for a sheep, because she, “suffered from arthritis in a hind leg joint and from sheep pulmonary adenomatosis, a virus-induced lung tumor.” (cloning) Cloning made news wave via during a cult’s 15 minutes of fame when the Raelians claimed, “cloning is the way to immortality” and started a religious movement based on Panspermia and a desire to clone their way to immortality. A young westerner would likely leap to the Star Wars Prequel trilogy immediately, given it’s commercial and merchandizing success with a key story component being a clone army. Beyond all these interesting cultural ripples, which themselves sometimes have offered important thoughts on the broader, philosophers and politicians have had to deal with reality in more practical applications, including the abortion issue.

“The most sophisticated defenders of abortion choice concede that the unborn, long before birth, is a human being, though they argue that it lacks a property essential acquiring the status of a moral person.” (Beckwith Pg. 65) Author Benard Nathanson , known for his 1979 work, Aborting America, has argued that since “Some human beings may not result from conception.” (Beckwith Pg. 74) conception cannot be the beginning of life. He, as others, are not denying the genetic identity of the newly formed distinct human individual (zygote) but sees this exception as a reason we can’t place the beginning of humanness there. He might ask, “Since a clone was never conceived, is it then never human?” Obviously the result would be just as human, just as Dolly was clearly a sheep, who lived, ate, died and even reproduced after being cloned.

The argument faces several difficulties. Beckworth admits that, “Nathanson is correct in asserting that a human clone would be a human being who has come into existence without benefit of conception.” (Beckwith Pg. 75) Beckwith’s defense is worth noting, even if he could have gone a bit farther. He states “This world only mean that conception is not necessary condition for a human being to come into existence,” And demonstrates a flaw in Nathanson’s logic. There is a very serious difference between a necessary and sufficient condition. For example a necessary condition for checking out a book at a library is going to the library (also having a library card, etc.) but that doesn’t necessarily mean one would check out a book, one could leave without doing so. A necessary condition always results in something taking place. So Nathanson’s demonstration only proves that conception is a sufficient but not necessary condition.

The idea that the clone would be originated without any conception is obviously false as well. It would only require material from a previous conception. This is similar to the humorous tale of the scientist who shakes his fist and God and says he is unneeded, that he can create life. God responds with “go ahead” and as the scientist begins to gather dirt from the earth God interrupts him, “not so fast, get your own dirt.” Nathanson is only pushing a problem back and creating a hypothetical situation similar to twins. However the zygote is produced, once it is a zygote it is fully human, and the “clone” distinction only describes origin, not value not value and thus leaves us back at the main question of the debate, should the genetic human be concerned less of a person when in the womb?

 

Beckwith, Francis J. Defending Life a Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice Cambridge University Press New York, NY 2007

Carroll, Robert T. Raelians The Skeptic’s Dictionary http://skepdic.com/raelian.html 1994 (Accessed 9/25/15)  (Note, obviously I’m not going to agree with a lot on this particular site, but it’s use was intentional, we should be skeptical of somethings, and all things should be examined, even our faith, but unlike this site, I think it stands up to examination.)

Cloning Dolly the Sheep, Animal Research.info http://www.animalresearch.info/en/medical-advances/timeline/cloning-dolly-the-sheep/ (Accessed 9/25/15)

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7 I Phone Apps every Christian Needs

Wither it be an iphone, or a droid (but mostly an iphone) many people are blessed with smart phones in this constantly connected digital age.  Sometimes it’s a painful tether to an office, or it can be a fun distraction during trips, what Christians should realize is that it is also a wonderful tool.

Here is a list of FREE iphone apps that everyone Christian needs with a short description and a link to them on itunes.  A little disclosure;Once on the itunes site you will have to click on “view in itunes” to download them and some of them have both paid and free versions. It may be worth it to upgrade but I have been using the free versions of the apps listed below.

7. Sound Hound:

I’ll start off the list with something not specifically Christian. Lots of apps have wonderful uses for a Christian, Google Maps can get you directions to church or a church function, and Google makes a decent bible search engine when you are looking for a particular verse and can not remember it’s location.  Sound Hound was my pick to round out this article because music is such a vital part of the Christian life.

Apps are wonderful because they are something you can us on the go. You can now have praise music with you wherever you go, but if you still prefer to listen to the radio in your car, you can use this app to find out what K-Love, Air-1, or another radio station is playing so you can find out more about or even go to itunes to buy it.

Those flowers don’t look very Manly, but don’t let that chase you from using your Phone.

6. Air-1/ or K-Love

No where near a radio? Want to listen to some worship or Christian rock music while you jog, clean the house, etc?  Wither you prefer the softer music of K-Love or the slightly more edgy Air-1 as long as you have the app you can take them with wherever you go.

5. Pandora

Pandora is another not solely Christian app that can have a wonderful use for the Christian. We are commanded to worship  and what better time to do so when we are in our car? Focusing on God can readjust our attitude before or after a hard day at work, remind us not to make rude gestures to the guy who cut us off, or just prevent us from filling the car with other noise that isn’t edifying (positive for growth) for us.  Pandora is an internet radio app that lets you customize the channels on it. If you can find what you want on Air-1 or K-love you can plug in your favorite Christian Band (even the crazy hard core screamy wants that just sound like noise to me) and it will play songs from that band and other songs that are similar. Be warned it takes some adjusting, it may play a few secular songs you’ll need thumb down if you desire. If you prefer one type of music you will have to weed out some songs as you go along that may push the envelope of that genre.  It is worth it and you can have multiple channels so you can listen to what you are in the mood for.

4. Bible Gateway

Bible Gateway is an amazing site that you need to be using as a bible search engine and a browser based copy of scripture. You can easily and quickly switch between translations and view commentary ! The version on the web is superior, but it is great to have one when you are not at home as well.

3. Strong’s Concordance.

The free version is tied to the KJV but it is an essential even if you prefer a more modern translation. If your pastor starts talking about the Greek Hebrew or Aramaic, you can whip out your phone and follow right along.  Personally it makes even my home study better as it eliminates the flipping needed for the print copy and my iphone is a lot smaller than another book on the desk.

2. Bible. Is
Who has time to read anymore? (this was a trick question , the correct answer is Nerds, but we still can listen to audio as well.)  Listen to a book when your eyes or tired, or play through a passage on your way to work.  It even has a dramatized version.  Not all of the bible versions are on your phone and I have found it works best with wi-fi so it can properly stream every version. If you have good coverage you are fine.

1. The Bible (You version)

I once heard a sermon illustration comparing our phones and our bibles. We are often guilty have the phones glued to our hands. We would return to our homes if we left them behind, would ignore others to spend time on them, and would painfully miss them while we are gone. Would we do the same for our Bibles? Now we can combine the two and make sure to take the bible with us wherever we go.

I most often used You Version, but their others that are just as good like pocket sword.  With You version you can quickly change to whatever version is being read aloud or compared to, you can read your bible on the go, or while you wait at an appointment etc.  It can make a nice way to have a quick devotional in the break room, or a life saver if you have forgotten your bible at home. Because it’s with you anyways it can always make a great tool for imprompto evangelism(sharing our faith), apologetics (defending our faith), or polemics (combating incorrect theology within our faith.)

With Zazzle’s help you can even make your phone look like a bible ! Can’t say I have seen any one do it, but it would always be an interesting conversation starter.

This would make you feel more guilty about checking your facebook at church wouldn’t it?

Rather than have your phone be a mere distraction with these apps you can use it to Glorify God.

1 Corinthians 10:31 ” Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (NASB, Emphasis mine)