Thursday, October 30, 2008

Celling Out

The problem with birthdays is that they make us think our lives began when we were born. It's how old we are, after all. Rather an embarrassment for non-abortionists. That's the current preferred term for us, right? Non-abortionists?

Just watched a little science thing about embryonic stem cell cloning and the like. Someone's saying it's not an embryo unless it's in a womb with a woman who agrees to carry it. Hm. Sort of like it's not a baby unless there's someone who agrees to care for it. Like that Illinois case with the botched abortion, where the surviving, uh, baby? -- fetus? gasped out its brief, uh, life? -- for 45 minutes until it, uh, died? -- terminated? It's so hard to get the termination, I mean terminology right. That's probably why God called himself the Word.

Clearly it's not about agreeing whether or not life should be allowed to live. If it's life, it is meant to live. Even vermin, even monsters and criminals, are meant to live, whether or not they should. Regarding the research, someone has come up with the ingenious solution of doing the typical clone thing, placing a nucleus inside a modified egg, so that a whole cell is formed and can divide. The trick they've come up with is that they've altered the nucleus by mutating the gene that organized the development into an actual organism. This particular expression of a complete set of human DNA can never, never, ever develop into a human organism.

So is it human?

We return to the abortionist mindset, that says only whatever arbitrary degree of development can be diagnostic of humanity. Potential development doesn't count, with them. They persist in calling life, potential life. They mean mature life, but words are what they use to lie with. The reason I'm bothering to write this is that I realized it's not about potential any more than it's about DNA. We don't mind killing cancer cells, even though they are fully human cells. It's not about cells. It's about what they are meant to become. That includes the DNA, and it includes its development and its maturity.

Christians have an analogous idea, in the three salvations. There is justification, the moment of salvation; there is sanctification, the outworking in one's life of holiness; there is glorification, the judgment of reward and the receiving of a new body, the resurrection body. You know, the one that the abortionists would call human. Which is the important salvation? They are a trinity.

It's just an analogy. But another part of it is that there are all sorts of seeds. Some fall on rocks, some on the hard clay, some the birds get. Some are tares and some are wheat. We concern ourselves, or perhaps God concerns himself, only with the good seed. The rest are thrown into the fire.

See? If it never can develop into a mature life, because it never can develop at all, it's not human life, not human seed -- it's just human DNA. We're not talking about starting an embryo outside the womb and then destroying it. Location isn't what defines an embryo.

Does a simple mutation define the difference between human and not human? Yes. Just the same as a simple decision defines the difference between saved and not saved, Heaven or Hell. Should we be able to determine the fate of some cell's DNA, human or not? We broach the subject every time we have heterosexual sex, if we do. It's Hamlet's dilemma -- who refused to slay King Claudius at his prayers, lest he go to heaven. Human actions have eternal consequences.

I don't know if I'm right. It's just argumentation, based on reason and analogy. I don't really know much about life -- when we get our human spirit -- at conception or some time after. I say I don't know, because I haven't been told. I expect it's at conception. What then of a cloned cell? -- say, a nucleus of mine placed in a prepared egg. Does it partake of my own spirit, which grows with the cell in size but not in nature? So that my clone has the same spirit that I do, as it has the same DNA? Which develops spiritually in its own way, as epigenetics causes variations in the expression of its genes?

I think so. Don't have a problem with that, any more than I'd have a problem with my son partaking of the same percentage of my spirit as he does of my DNA, and the rest from his mother. As for some individual cell, its spirit, such as it is -- linked as it must be with its DNA -- I am not concerned with ethical considerations of its death. Such cells do not have the breath of life -- they terminate, they don't die -- thus the pre-Fall world had metabolism, but had no death.

As I say, I could be wrong. I'm open to instruction. But I think I'm right.

Of course I do.


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