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January 09, 2013

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Hmm.

Lets have a homework session.

Q1: If everyone left Australia except a few Aborigines. And the Aborigines had an evolutionary vector such that, after a trillion years, the average genetic sample in the group was equivalent to, say, Sam the Chimp (currently in a cage at the San Diego zoo), then, at that time, would you say that the Aborigines are no longer "truly human" anymore?

Q2: You say: "they don’t look like us, they can’t do what we do..." Given that it appears you are arguing that "looks" and skillset are not valid criteria for discerning taxonomic ranking among primates, provide a ruleset by which we may determine which organisms on the planet are the 'true humans.'

Q3: Using your ruleset from Question 2, circle the organisms that are "truly human":

Swanscombe Man
Omo 2
Jebel Irhoud 4
Tabun C1
Klasies River Caves
Krapina
Skhul IX
Qafzeh VI
La Ferrassie 1
La Quina 5
Mt. Circeo 1
Saccopastore 1
Gibraltar 1
Shanidar 1
Amud 1
La Chapelle-aux-Saints 1
Mungo Man
Le Moustier
Neanderthal 1
Jebel Qafzeh 6
NG 6
Hofmeyr Skull
Peştera cu Oase
Yamashita-Cho Man
Cro-Magnon 1
Combe Capelle
Predmost 3

As I read this post, several important things came to mind to consider in evaluating the type of value that was assigned to human beings and the type of people that did the assigning and under what circumstances they were doing so. I think all these factors are relevant in a proper evaluation of the situation being covered here and how that situation relates to human value and methods used to arrive at it. The situations described by Amy's piece involves several factors that played a direct or indirect role in dehumanizing people: A sense of entitlement, an air of superiority, a colonization mentality, a opportunist temperament, underdeveloped justice system in a new territory, a club mentality of "you're either a member or you're not". In most cases nothing was done to stop these things because people yearn for acceptance of a club they have a high respect for and want to be counted members of and they value that membership higher than membership in the human race. They have been sold a lie that this other club surpasses the human race in ways that allows them to hold their nose up in the air of superiority. It is just another example of the basest of human vices...arrogance and pride. This is exactly the kind of children that the union of arrogance and pride bring into the world. That is one abortion I am fully in favor of.

To assume materialism and thus assign evolution as the only agent brings no worth at all to anything and thus to question how such a blind, pitiless, will-less, mindless agent weighs on worth is nonsense for there are no such things as round squares. Whim in isolation justifies something less than what the Christian means by worth and cannot rise to the challenge. “If something evolved out of human and into some other thing” is a pointless word game for it foists its own pure materialism as the ground of all things and yet asks how such a ground would impact “God’s standard of worth if God actually existed”. That is a nonsense question for it asks how a square hole would accommodate a round rock or what a round rock would do if asked to evenly fill up a square hole. “If no God existed, how would that impact the Value System of God if God existed”.


Nonsense.


Thus we must just leave the materialist to his word games of whim and fantasy built upon I-Feel for he will go out into the real world out there and think his fantasy "in here" of evil magically becomes a real dragon "out there" and so pretend to fight real evil in the real world all the while telling us Evil is but a fantasy based in I-Feel and not a Reality which exists independent from Fantasy and I-Feel. He then tells us his, the atheist’s fantasies, magically become real dragons “out there” while the Christian’s I-Feel is mysteriously incapable of making that very same magical leap to life. The materialist thus lives and dies for his fantasies which is nothing more than auto-hypnosis, or, an anxiolytic lie one tells one’s self.


There are Values to lives which transcends human whim. The ground for such lies in the Other and Outer beyond human whim, in Eternal Love wherein we find the immutable semantics of that eternal language which speaks of the everlasting worth of the created in concrete terms which no amount of evolution or human voting or human feeling can ever mutate and should any evolution or any human voting or any human feeling ever contradict God's Immutable Semantics of Love they will be forever evil/wrong and Him forever good/right. Of course this need not be said, for such an evolution is at best a servant, a slave, to the Uncreated Sighted Volition which precedes it.


Louis's tag to Pride is a nice point.


Pride is in God’s economy that fatal fall out of Love’s community. Other and not Self is Love’s Highest Ethic within that Eternally Sacrificed Self who Ransoms us. However, Pride is, or such preservation of Self at the expense of Other is, for Atheism, for evolution, the highest ethic. The God Who is love tells us the Self who dies is King, while atheism and atheism’s evolution tells us the Self who survives is King.

ToNy

You are taking quite a gamble stacking the deck by assuming evolution here. Besides, many of us have already admitted that we don't ascertain humanity on anything material and evolution deals with material qualities of a human being, not immaterial ones, which define humanity. It is clear that a missing limb does not define you as something other than a human being, not does it diminish your value as a human being. So, we know that material qualities are irrelevant to this discussion of humanity. Just like the color of your car does not add anything to the functionality of the vehicle in question. If you want this discussion to be productive, you should focus on things that are relevant.

So Louis' answer to Q1 would be:

"Of course the future Aborigines in the thought experiment are 'truly human'--regardless of the fact that they have the DNA of a current chimp."

ToNy,

Thought experiment's which are nonsensical do not deserve an answer. You assume Materialism, and then ask the Theist do define who "that reality" (materialism) would impact God's value systems if God existed.

Nonsense.

If God, then, God would define the New Species you speak of, so, we would go to His Word, written, spoken, or otherwise, to answer your question in that future make-believe you posit.


Your question is nonsense for the reasons stated in my initial post.

What if we miniaturize that implant that allows a human being to control a robotic arm and implant it into a patient. The individual now has a mechanical arm and a brain implant that controls it. Does that mean that they are a machine? Does taking a look at a part determine the whole? Does it mean that because I find a certain size bolt in a machine that I know is used in a car, that this makes it automatically a car? You want to take parts and shove them in my face and want me to ascertain what the whole is from them? Why would I engage in such a silly and unproductive endeavor?

Jesus tells us all things human are valuable. Whores, thieves, lying tax collectors, the blind, the deaf, the mute, the gentile, the Jew, the Who-So-Ever.

We are told of a day when the lion will nap with the lamb. Non-Human life will be, at the end of the day, taking naps with little human children.

Slaughter belongs only to Atheism and Atheism's evolution as a Value System. In God's system such things (slaughter) are found within the Fall that just is Pride, which is Self and not Other, which is the inverse of Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self.

scbrownlhrm

"Thought experiment's which are nonsensical do not deserve an answer."

It is actually worse than nonsense. It cannot produce the results ToNy expects of it.

Its not nonsensical at all.

Determining which constructs in the cosmos are truly human is the heart of many issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and even biotech pursuits like the Neanderthal Genome Project and "designer babies."

But unfortunately its an issue Christians choose to avoid.

Which frankly speaking, as a matter of utility, it probably is in their interest to avoid the question for at least another decade. The population is just too ignorant about the Philosophy of Biology and the advances in biotech.

But anyway now that we're starting to get some realworld examples coming online (e.g. frankenfish approved by the FDA last year), these are the types of issues we'll see come up more and more.

Answer the questions if you get a chance.

ToNy,

We are told of a day when the lion will nap with the lamb. Non-Human life will be, at the end of the day, taking naps with little human children.


Slaughter belongs only to Atheism and Atheism's evolution as a Value System. In God's system such things (slaughter) are found within the Fall that just is Pride, which is Self and not Other, which is the inverse of Love's Eternally Sacrificed Self.

ToNy,

If no God, then even human humans have no "innate worth beyond human whim".


To say that a certain collection of words are the same thing as a human being is like saying that a certain collection of words is the same thing as the story of "Gone With the Wind". The story is so much more than just a collection of words and a human being so much more than an arrangement expressed in DNA.

If everyone left Australia except a few Aborigines. And the Aborigines had an evolutionary vector such that, after a trillion years, the average genetic sample in the group was equivalent to, say, Sam the Chimp (currently in a cage at the San Diego zoo), then, at that time, would you say that the Aborigines are no longer "truly human" anymore?

Tony, anticipating your response, I wanted to say something about it in the post, but it would have been too long. But here's the gist: Your comment (in light of all the previous comments you've made on this subject in the past) is the perfect fodder for atrocities against human beings. That is, it's the view that human creatures are just in a long continuum with other creatures, and that there is no such thing as a human being at all, that leads to the despicable idea that some human beings can be "feral jungle creatures" whose evolution was on a different track, and so didn't quite make it to ours.

Only if human beings are an actual thing with a nature can we talk of equality and trust that universal human rights will be recognized. This isn't an argument that what you say is false (though I think it is), it's only to explain one of the tragic consequences of believing the false idea that there's no such thing as a human being.

That's what I wanted to say about that. As for everything else, we've covered it enough times before.

Amy,

>> "it's the view that human creatures are just in a long continuum with other creatures, and that there is no such thing as a human being at all, that leads to the despicable idea that some human beings can be "feral jungle creatures" whose evolution was on a different track, and so didn't quite make it to ours."

so if evolution was true, then you'd stop being a Christian?

Or do you choose to see evolution as false because you find the ramifications "despicable."

Louis,

the thing is Louis, DNA is the first thing Christians mention when they talk about discerning the "true humans" from the non-humans.

But if your selection criteria doesn't involve DNA, nor does it involves looks or skillset as Amy indicated above.

Then what does it involve?

ToNy ...this is really not that complicated. Are they generally capable of interbreeding? ...producing offspring? ....then they belong to the same species. That species is called human. You belong to that species, then you are a human being. It doesn't matter if that is a modern human, an extinct human or an isolated group of humans. ...unless you have a specific reason to make this confusing (like for instance to excuse a declaration to subhumanity for our offspring, or your black neighbor, or your jewish baker, or asian housekeeper...), there is no real confusion from a scientific point of view...

ToNy,


DNA is A thing we point to for Human. Volker's Speciation testifies of that definition. It is not the ONLY thing. You seem to assert that it is, and I can't see why you do that. It isn't even the first thing we point to. It is, probably, the third thing.

If Evolution were false would you be a Christian or Theist? Probably not. There are other factors for you. Give others credit for being as thoughtful as you. Material Stuff just does not out weigh all the other arenas which bring us to know and taste of the God Who just is love and so cannot by itself (material) wholly make or wholly break that line. Nothing I see in my microscope shows me "my wife", just as, nothing I see in my microscope can tell me "my wife is not real".

ToNy,

Do dead people have human DNA?

Do dead people have a right to life?

I agree that it's a tragedy when certain groups of people are defined out of humanity and treated inhumanely as a result. But it seems like from a pro-choice perspective there's something question-begging about the point being made here when applied to the unborn. When you characterize the pro-choice side as an example of "humans being defined out of the human family," you're assuming that they are, in fact, human, which most pro-choice people do not believe.

I don't think it make sense to characterize the pro-choice side as "defining humans out of the human family" until you've established that the unborn are, in fact, individual human beings. But once you've established that they are, in fact, individual human beings, then you don't need this argument.

I don't see what purpose this argument serves or even what the conclusion of the argument is supposed to be. Is it just meant to be a guilt-by-association type argument? Or is it an argument from analogy? By itself, it doesn't tell us anything about whether the unborn are, in fact, human beings, and it doesn't tell us anything about whether abortion is morally permissible.

Sam,

The OP is not about pro-choice / pro-life as far as I can see. Others have simply slipped that into the thread.

The OP restates something CS Lewis once said, to the effect of, "People do not need to be taught something new so much as they need to be REMINDED of something already taught....."


Don't murder.
Don't lie.
People matter.
Truth matters.

And Etc.

Of course, some hold that Logical Error is not bad, for a Fun Lie is better than an uncomfortable truth.......

Hence the need to be Re-Told over and over......

Etc.


Sam, the argument isn't to convince people the unborn are human. Rather, this post is mainly directly towards pro-lifers. It's to show how good we are at convincing ourselves that some human beings aren't human, and therefore, the idea of universal human rights is not one that's obvious to people, but one that has to be taught and fought for. It's merely to convince people that we have to do a better job at this because it's something the human species fails at consistently. So it's not the arguments for human rights themselves, it's an argument for making the arguments.

Secondarily, if anyone who isn't pro-life reads this, my hope is that they'll question their certainly that one can separate members of the human species between those who are valuable and those who are not valuable. My hope is that they'll realize that we're easily fooled by our own desires to get rid of people. And then my hope is that they'll look into the arguments that we've made for why such a thing should never be done.

I don't think people object to the idea that the unborn are human offspring of human parents. Rather, they object to the idea that they're valuable and worthy of human rights (see here).

This isn't a new idea in history, as the same arguments about instrumental properties have been made over and over about various groups. Our situation is nothing new, and we'll never be able to relax, thinking the argument has been won, because the new group will come along and the arguments will start all over again.

Amy,

I missed your point, but having had you explain it further, I understand now, and I fully agree with you.

Except this part: "I don't think people object to the idea that the unborn are human offspring of human parents."

I've run into a lot of people lately who will admit the unborn are human in the same sense that a finger or an ear is human, but they do not think the unborn are individual human beings.

volker,

>> "ToNy ...this is really not that complicated. Are they generally capable of interbreeding? ...producing offspring? ....then they belong to the same species. That species is called human. You belong to that species, then you are a human being. It doesn't matter if that is a modern human, an extinct human or an isolated group of humans"

If this is your ruleset, then it is most likely the case that we can sucessfuly mate with many of the samples listed in Question 3 above.

Which, if we were to reanimate these creatures, then this would result in some interesting looking new church members:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LucySmithsonian.JPG


>> "there is no real confusion from a scientific point of view..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem

"But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels" (2 Tim. 2:23).


>> If Evolution were false would you be a Christian or Theist?"

Not a Christian. Because it doesn't say much about whether or not Jesus of
Nazareth is the creator of the cosmos. Regardless, we don't have a working model
of abiogenesis anyway. So it just doesn't change much for me eitherway.

But I was really curious about Amy's answer. I don't know why she avoids it.
Maybe she's not sure herself. I don’t know what the 2013 Christian perspective
is on this issue. Indeed I noticed the debate has gotten a lot more muted over
the last couple years. It doesn't seem to come up on the blog much anymore.
Craig just keeps repeating the line "I'm agnostic on this issue"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSc92EDm5gU

so I'm thinking the debate has kinda played out for now. It doesn't seem to be a deal breaker
for them eitherway.She seems to be threatened by "the view that human creatures are just in a long continuum with other creatures."


But if evolution is true, that’s exactly what we're left with.


One group of us walked left, whilst another group of us walked right.

Sometimes we might have got together for sex.

http://goo.gl/Agaxf

But after a while the group on the left, got smart and invented zoos.

But the group on the right, stayed dumb and we put them into zoos.

You guys are ok with putting some primates behind bars. And some of them you're
not. At some point you're going to have to address the issues presented by
modern day biology, and create a Christian definition of what exactly is a child
of God. You can't just stamp your feet and get mad when others don't choose to
use your taxonomy, or insist that some sort of universal definition exists in a
bio lab basement somewhere.

ToNy,

Primates?

Human vs. Chimp?


You are asking us to define which is a child of God?


As I said, you are stating a materialistic framework and then asking the theist how that real-world would affect the real world of God’s value system if God really existed. Round cannot, no matter how many times you ask, accommodate square.

God would tell us how to define any new creations He fashions. I imagine there are all sorts of creations He has of which I do not know. Lions, Lambs, and Humans will all take those long leisurely naps together in peace as already described to you, in His system. This system of slaughter we find ourselves in now is merely that of the Fall which is but Pride, which is but Self over Other, which is the inverse of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self.



Your last post confirmed that this question really is nonsense and confirmed what Amy said: “…..it's the view that human creatures are just in a long continuum with other creatures, and that there is no such thing as a human being at all….” That’s pure Materialism, and then you follow it with “How would this affect God’s value system if God really existed?”

Given this materialistic framework, your question of the theist of how this would affect God’s value system is nonsense. God will tell us how to define any new creations He fashions. Your question, being nonsense, does not deserve more than that.

The following is the answer to your “If evolution were true” question and its impact on the Christian’s experience with the living God. It’s honest. It’s valid. If you don’t like it, you can ask yet again: Evolution and Material vectors alone just don’t give us the whole show. Material Stuff just does not outweigh all the other arenas which bring us to know and taste of the God Who just is love and so cannot by itself (material alone) wholly make or wholly break that line. Nothing I see in my microscope shows me "My Wife", and thus I cannot “Know Her” no matter how long I look through those lenses, just as, nothing I see in my microscope can tell me "my wife is not real" and thus I cannot “Know She Isn’t” no matter how long I look through those lenses. The fullness of “My Wife” is just too much for any microscope to accommodate, because Round just cannot accommodate Square.



The God Who is Love precedes Material and His modes of creating from above, from within, or from beneath any natural processes whatsoever which we want to describe makes nonsense out of any sort of blind, agentless process void of Power’s Sighted Volition. That is why there are Values to lives which transcends human whim. The ground for such lies in the Other and Outer beyond human whim, in Eternal Love wherein we find the immutable semantics of that eternal language which speaks of the everlasting worth of the created in concrete terms which no amount of evolution or human voting or human feeling can ever mutate, for such is Immutable, and, therefore, should any evolution or any human voting or any human feeling ever contradict God's Immutable Semantics of Love they will be forever evil/wrong and Him forever good/right, and as there just is no such thing as an evolution which can mutate the immutable, the semantics of love’s eternal language just are the final appeal.

The question is how to determine if something is human or not. That's not a nonsense question. Of course humans exist. We just want to know who is and who isn't human.

"God will tell us how to define any new creations He fashions." -scbrownlhrm

In other words, you'll just know in your heart? You'll just use your gut feelings? That's what the Victorian imperialists did, I'm afraid. That's what led to all the atrocities. Apparently God didn't speak plainly enough or forcefully enough to those imperialists back in the 19th century.

scbrownlhrm, "child of God" meaning "those organisms which will be judged by the father upon their death"

For example christians don't believe a dog can sin. But they do believe a teenager can sin.

And there are many organisms for which they are not sure if sin is possible or not. Hence question 3.

It will become increasingly important for Christians to develop a working model regarding which organisms they will and will not consider of the set of God's elect--i.e. the "intrinsically valuable" organisms.

Many very deep-rooted theological problems come up, if molecules-to-man evolution is true.

Many more come up with the advent of bio-technology and genetic modeling. Particularly in the last 10 years.

As Craig Venter wrote:

"I view that we're now in what I'm calling "The Digital Age of Biology". My teams work on synthesizing genomes based on digital code in the computer, and four bottles of chemicals illustrates the ultimate link between the computer code and the digital code. Life is code..."

edge.org/conversation/what-is-life

You guys are clinging to horrendously naive and out-dated platitudes regarding the practice of taxonomic ranking, the definition of species, and life. You can ignore these issues and call them "nonsense" for now. But as more biotech comes online, you're eventually going to wake up in a world full of all sorts of derivative organisms, and you'll be forced to deal with these issues head on then.

Anyway, if its only scbrownlhrm who responds anymore, then...oh man... it is time to move on.

It's been a great 10 years. But this is my last post. I'll see you all again on the other side of the river Styx.

But as you bite into your Frankenfish next year, look to the west and think of ToNy. And, as always, keep studying your

wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_biology

you're gonna need it.

Last post ToNy?

From Q & A # 272:


".....what shall I say in response to your final paragraph? “C’mon Man!” You know better than that. You can be a theist and a Christian and accept the documentary hypothesis of the Pentateuch as well as a Darwinian theory of evolution, if you think that’s where the evidence leads (see Q&A # 253, 269)."

William Lane Craig.

His Light both is given and comes to the Created and that readily in what we call a thousand years which is simply His leisurely day. Some try to say the trend is agent-less and of course His Finger is Sighted which disqualifies the question outright but even short of that we can humor them for we see His Word Manifest in but Three Days, first Written, then Corporeal. Truth to Corporeal takes but a breath, but a casual Three Days, but a blink within Three Thousand Years and the Man that stands here today has it all at his disposal. Love Every Man. And there it is. The child of the I and the You, the husband and the wife, and whatever proceeds is thus the We to be so loved, and so on forever for we are patterned after Love Himself in Whom Being itself regresses to Love's embrace among the I and the You wherein the Singular-We streams uncreated. In half a million years He could do this all over again and beat biology to the punch quite easily, for what biology takes half a million years to do He will take but Three Days to Write yet another Book for whatever invention we wish to invent. Written. Spoken. God-In-Man, Man-In-God. All in but Three Days. Truth, and then, Corporeal, and then, Truth-Corporeal. Word made Flesh. All Three Vectors are Strong and Present within the quiet of Three Days in His casual ebb and flow within Love’s embrace. As if God cannot speak as fast as He creates is the silly premise of the questioners here. Molecules to Man assumes no Agent and thus all questions of value systems impacting God’s Child which are built upon such a premise are nonsense questions for Power’s Sighted Volition precedes Material and His modes of creating from above, from within, or from beneath any natural processes whatsoever which we want to describe make nonsense out of any sort of blind, agent-less process void of Power’s Sighted Volition for there just is no such thing as an evolution which can mutate the immutable, and thus the semantics of love’s eternal language just are the final appeal whether we start at A, or Z, or anywhere in between.

“Christ did not come to preach any brand new morality. The Golden Rule of the New Testament (do as you would be done by) is a summing up of what everyone, at bottom, had always known to be right. Really great moral teachers never do introduce new moralities: it is quacks and cranks who do that. As Dr. Johnson said, ‘People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.' The real job of every moral teacher is to keep on bringing us back, time after time, to the old simple principles which we are all so anxious not to see."


C.S. Lewis


As ToNy leaves us with his parting shot, I saw
this timely post to warm us all up after the house that God built was dismantled by ToNy[in his own judgement].

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