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November 03, 2008

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“Modern science long ago resolved the question. We actually know when the life of a new human individual begins.”

I find this hard to believe, since we do not have a definition of LIFE itself.

For a good discussion of this issue, see Rich Cameron’s paper - "The problem of life's definition"

I read the white paper mentioned above – written by Maureen L. Condic, Ph.D. A 32 page file about when a piece of matter has life. And in the whole thing, not ONE mention of any definition of life at all.

And in her nice little glossary at the end of the paper, she defines a few dozen important biology terms for us. Does the word life appear here? Nope.

She does, however, provide a definition for “organism” – by quoting Webster’s dictionary.

By the way, there is no definition of organism either.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organism

This paper is an EXCELLENT example of why biologists make bad philosophers.

In this whole abortion debate we, quite literally, do not know what we’re talking about. This is because we DO NOT have a definition for life. This is because life is NOT a discoverable property of matter.

A scientist CANNOT invent a “life” detector.
The definition of life is NOT like the definition of Pi.
It CANNOT be derived by any pre-existing laws of the universe.
It is NOT a question for scientists.
It is merely a fight over whose matter classification taxonomy is going to get the most votes.

www. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_biology

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life

Sigh, people just still aren’t familiar with the philosophy of biology.

I’m gonna email her.

On a lighter note, Condic’s paper is a lovely example of graphic design. It’s worth reading just for its aesthetics.

We have no definition of life? Hmmm Then matter responded to this blog. How do we then distiguish between matter? Is there even a definition of matter since the living must provide the definition but we know not what is alive? Fascinating!

Hey ToNy,
If there is no definition of LIFE, then I will be perfectly reasonable and justified in considering you to be just as dispensable as the fetus that is aborted!

Hi ToNy, maybe this will help a bit?

http://8e.devbio.com/article.php?id=162

Damian,

>> We have no definition of life?

Nope. Read the links.

>> Then matter responded to this blog.

I'm mostly carbon nitrogen oxygen and hydrogen. So are you.

>> How do we then distiguish between matter?

A useful taxonomy - the Periodic Table of Elements.

>> Is there even a definition of matter since the living must provide the definition but we know not what is alive?

This sentence is unreadable.

kpolo,

>> then I will be perfectly reasonable and justified in considering you to be just as dispensable as the fetus that is aborted!

ya i don't believe objective moral laws exist.

Rick,

Still no definition of life in that paper either.

This was pretty easy. dictionary.com:

"the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally."

That took all of 12 seconds. BTW, when did 'wikipedia' become a valid source?

"A scientist CANNOT invent a “life” detector.
The definition of life is NOT like the definition of Pi.
It CANNOT be derived by any pre-existing laws of the universe.
It is NOT a question for scientists.
It is merely a fight over whose matter classification taxonomy is going to get the most votes."

Simply making things up doesn't make them valid. This sounds suspiciously like an undergraduate who spent too much money on a textbook for a class they didn't attend.

>> This was pretty easy. dictionary.com:...when did 'wikipedia' become a valid source?

when did dictionary.com become a valid source?

ask yourself, where did dictionary.com get this definition?

>> Simply making things up doesn't make them valid.

I didn't make it up. If you have seen a life detector, email me the blueprints.

Can you define "definition?" Can you define what it means "to define?"

How do you define "pre-existing laws of the universe?" Presumably not with a dictionary, as they seem to be questionable and subject to your approval.

"Matter classification taxonomy" What? Do you even know what this means? If so, where did you get your definition (see above).

What kind of life detector would you like? Since you claim there can be no definition of life, this is an impossible statement and therefore a nonsensical request.

If you question away any rights to a valid answer, then you question away your own rights to a valid answer, thereby refuting everything you've said as meaningless.

>> Can you define "definition?" Can you define what it means "to define?"

This word is not disputed. I only contend that material taxonomies are indeed, manmade conventions.

>> How do you define "pre-existing laws of the universe?"

These would be the laws of the universe, that pre-exist the presence of man.

>> "Matter classification taxonomy" What? Do you even know what this means?

A matter classification taxonomy is a taxonomy for matter.

>> What kind of life detector would you like?

A measuring instrument that could examine a construct and determine if said construct contained the property of lifeness.

>> Since you claim there can be no definition of life, this is an impossible statement and therefore a nonsensical request.

I do claim there is no definition of life. This question is posed to those that claim there is.


Tony has a pet rock. Seems like everything else gets to smelling really bad after awhile. :)

He, of course, has no explanation for this!

Say Willie, Willie, are you saying that Tony plays around with his own dung?! :} That seems to be what he likes to do in a figurative way. Especially in the way he chooses to debate.

Again, since you claim there can be no definition of life, this is an impossible statement and therefore a nonsensical request.

Circular definitions (commonly taught in third grade) are invalid. Your answer is completely meaningless.

William, Ronald,

WWJD?

Shawn,

I claim A

they claim B

I proposed a method by which they could illustrate B.

if they did, B would be true.

not circular at all.

"A matter classification taxonomy is a taxonomy for matter."

Defining a word or phrase using the word or phrase as the definition = circular definition = meaningless.

I enjoy reasoning with people when they have valid arguments, but I don't have time to keep going in circles. If you have something coherent and cogent to discuss, I'm happy to.

If not, I can't waste any more time on this.

A taxonomy is a system for classification.

Why?

Do you disagree?

Tony said: "WWJD?"

Indeed!!
Do you genuinely care?

I think Jesus knows what life is and treasures it from the moment of conception. He condemns abortion as a sin. I think the text of the Bible supports that interpretation.

I think the natural order is clear to Christ. After all he made it. To the extent science understands the natural order it is true.

Ronald apparently did not get my poor joke but I don't think that you didn't get the joke. You ignore/deny what can be clearly perceived. Your heart is hardened. Eventually this will result in unfortunate consequences. There is however good news in Christ if you can accept Him.

Okay folks, I have a question. Did we suddenly become materialists, or something? Do we believe that there's something more to life than the material or not? Seems to me that on this question of "when does life begin?" we're having a hard time remembering which side of that debate we're on.

Please let me explain, but understand that I'm okay with the notion that abortion is a sin. Please do not construe anything I write here as an attempt to justify abortion.

Here's a quote from the original post, and Greg Koukl made a very similar claim a few weeks ago on STR Radio:

"From a purely biological perspective, scientists can identify the point at which a human life begins."

Does human life or "personhood" require a soul? I don't why anyone would think it wouldn't… the real you is software, not hardware… don't you think? We invest a fair amount of time and energy defending the view that the soul is immaterial, that we are not just meat in motion. And indeed Dr. Koukl also recently answered a call on STR about the immaterial nature of the soul, and may I say he did a splendid job of making the case.

But if we say that life begins at conception then aren't we accepting the materialist's position that there's nothing more to us than our cells? Do we believe that human life is bound up right there in those first cells? Unless we're materialists, how could we believe that? A person needs a soul, do they not?

It seems to me that in order determine scientifically when human life begins, when "personhood" begins, we would have to have a way to detect the arrival of a human soul. And yet, it's clear that a human soul is not something that could be detectable since it is decidedly NOT material.

I cannot conceive (pardon the pun) of human life without a human soul. Why anyone would define human life and not require the presence of a soul is beyond me. It's the human soul that gives us our status as a person… our soul is who we are, not our bodies.

Can someone explain to me what I'm missing?

TRoutMac

William,

No, i don't get the joke.

Yes, my heart has been hardened by the Philosophy of Biology.

Pete Chadwell,

Christians don't want to use the S word in debates about abortion because they would lose.

But really, deciding when a construct does or does not have a soul is the essence of the issue - NOT merely the citing of one material process (fertilization) among a chain of billions of processes that happen to make a human.

Well, I'm a Christian and, quite obviously I'm perfectly willing to use the word "soul" in a discussion about abortion. So I'm not sure that comment is all that helpful.

But I am convinced that when it comes to human life, the soul is where the action really is. If there's no soul, then there's no human life and no "personhood."

But notice at this point that I'm not claiming to know, for example, that the soul does come into existence at conception, nor am I claiming to know that the soul does NOT come into existence at conception. I'm saying that unless the soul is material, we can't know when the soul comes into existence… at least not on a scientific basis. It might be the case that the Bible can steer us in one direction or the other on this issue, but it seems to me there's no way that science can.

Notice one other thing: If we presume for a moment that the soul is imputed at birth and not at conception, I don't know why I should conclude that abortion is then "okay." Do we somehow believe that in order for an activity to be a sin, that activity MUST be shown to be murder? Obviously, that's nonsense. Abortion can be a sin, and I believe it is, even if it turns out NOT to be murder.

Furthermore, we ought to conclude that, from God's perspective, there aren't degrees of sin. All have fallen short of God's perfect righteousness and given that fact, it doesn't appear to matter BY WHAT DISTANCE we fall short, it only matters that we DO fall short. So concluding that abortion is not murder, but is nevertheless a sin, in no way minimizes or reduces abortion's severity.

At any rate, the inconsistency here is that some folks seem to be relying on what materialist science has to say about when life begins even though they would reject the idea that the soul is merely material.

That bothers me.

TRoutMac

Tony said: "No, i don't get the joke."

I guess its not much of a joke if I have to explain it. If you give the same care and feeding to pets, which are living creatures, as is required by a rock (a rock requires no care or feeding), which is not living, they will die. The process of deterioration that results will smell unpleasant. No second career in comedy for me.

Is biology a philosophy or rather informed by philosophy? This is the issue highlighted by the ID movement; philosophy posing as "science".

TroutMac is trying to have a serious conversation and makes some good points.

It seems to me that it is reasonable to maintain, as the science of biology does, that a fully human individual organism exists at the moment of conception. TroutMac is suggesting that a fully human person requires a soul but perhaps not the organism?

I don't think I am prepared to say as TroutMac does that "our soul is who we are, not our bodies." It seems to me that the Bible does give some indication that we as individuals are both soul and body in a way that is difficult for us to understand.

God is our creator and would be responsible for body and soul. Perhaps this happens in a way similar to the glory of the Lord filling the house of the Lord that Solomon built.

William wrote:
"I don't think I am prepared to say as TroutMac does that "our soul is who we are, not our bodies." It seems to me that the Bible does give some indication that we as individuals are both soul and body in a way that is difficult for us to understand."

It seems rather obvious to me, from a Biblical perspective, that humans are dichotomous at the very least… that is, a body and a soul. The Bible clearly speaks of these as two distinct entities. Sure, during our life on Earth the two entities are bound together to some extent. But look… sorry to toss in a real downer here, but nearly eight years ago I watched my first born child die at the ripe old age of 18 days. (Trisomy 13) As Christians, we understand that the soul is independent of the body in the sense that when the body dies, the soul continues on. I will see my son in Heaven one day. He still exists… it's just his body that's gone. I don't know how this understanding could be denied from a Biblical perspective.

Regarding death, sure… we have our medical definitions as to when we declare a person "dead". But who has the last word on that? Doctors, or God? We may know when brain activity ceases or we may know when the heart stops beating, but how do we know whether the soul has departed? With regard to my son, we considered his death to have occurred when we could no longer detect his pulse. But how do I know that God hadn't taken his soul prior to that? Seems to me I couldn't possibly know that, given that he was unconscious for some time prior to that.

I'm sorry if that's all painful to read about, but I assure you it's not nearly as painful to read or write as it is to witness first-hand.

The point is, I'm not a materialist and therefore I figure that human life and personhood requires something immaterial… a soul.

A few weeks ago Dr. Koukl (for whom I have a lot of respect) said on STR that our scientific knowledge confirms that life begins at conception. I don't know how such a claim can be made by someone who rejects materialism. Either Dr. Koukl doesn't consider a soul to be part of the equation of personhood, or he thinks science can detect a soul in the first divided cells.

Does that make sense?

TRoutMac

William,

>> If you give the same care and feeding to pets, which are living creatures, as is required by a rock (a rock requires no care or feeding), which is not living, they will die.

Some rocks actually require a LOT of care and feeding. Millions of dollars in equipment in fact. Just ask the fine folks at Apollo Diamond.

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_diamond

>> Is biology a philosophy or rather informed by philosophy?

The Philosophy of Biology is a branch of philosophy.

The Linnaean Taxonomy is just a chart made in 1735 By Carolus Linnaeus. But as ShawnSTL said above, “Simply making things up doesn't make them valid.”

>> philosophy posing as "science".

I would say most people act as if they believe that Carolus Linnaeus chart was in some way divinely conjured. It is merely a useful taxonomy, posing as gospel.

>> It seems to me that it is reasonable to maintain, as the science of biology does, that a fully human individual organism exists at the moment of conception.

It actually seems reasonable to me as well. In the same way that it seems reasonable to divide the VHS tapes from the DVD videos at Blockbuster video. But make no mistake about it. There is no law written in the fabric of the cosmos which says how to sort organisms, nor how to sort your video store. It is MERELY and ONLY the application of a taxonomy.

Tony said "It is MERELY and ONLY the application of a taxonomy."

Is it then arbitrary, capricious and unrelated to reality?

Tony also said: "The Linnaean Taxonomy is just a chart"

Yes & no, and it may not accurately reflect reality in part or all. Can we know if it does or doesn't?

What makes something useful?

And again Tony said "There is no law written in the fabric of the cosmos which says how to sort organisms"

You are certain about this how? Or do you mean that you think we can not know it reliably or certainly?

The Bible claims otherwise I believe and Christ would have no difficulty explaining it to you.

There remains the heart problem.

Mark 8:17-18

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: "Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don't you remember?

Psalm 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.


>>Either Dr. Koukl doesn't consider a soul to be part of the equation of personhood, or he thinks science can detect a soul in the first divided cells.

TRoutMac, welcome to the blog!

I don't see any reason to think that human nature is divided such that we acquire a soul at a later time than a body. Human nature is human nature, and that nature has both physical and immaterial aspects. If you're going to define the "soul" (or, more likely, "personhood") as "certain observable abilities that science can detect" (after all, if you're asking for something science can detect, you're asking for a physical demonstration of certain abilities), then you have most definitely moved into the materialist camp that doesn't find intrinsic value in human nature, but only instrumental value as humans acquire certain abilities that the rest of the population deems "valuable." Of course, the loss of these abilities would then revoke that value.

So who decides the standard of abilities? The standard of acceptable abilities will be arbitrarily decided upon by the people in power, and my guess is that the acceptable abilities for infants will creep up in age, while the acceptable abilities for the elderly will climb down in age. Defining value by anything other than human nature has not worked out well for certain groups in the past, and I don't feel inclined to give anyone that kind of power to decide who's in and who's out.

Amy wrote:
"I don't see any reason to think that human nature is divided such that we acquire a soul at a later time than a body."

Thank you, Amy.

I don't see any reason NOT to think that human nature is divided such that we acquire a soul at a later time than the body.

Perhaps we could think of it this way: We know that the body can "post-exist" the soul, so it could just as easily "pre-exist" the soul. That is, we know that the body remains AFTER the soul has left the body, therefore it doesn't seem so outlandish to suggest that the body can get built before the soul is imputed. And in fact, this seems to be how Adam was created… the soul was imputed to Adam after his body was formed. (Genesis 2:7)

I take your second paragraph to mean that, since there is some ambiguity here with respect to our ability to determine when life begins and what qualifies as human life, you'd like to err on the side of caution and let conception be the default position. That way we're covered.

I don't think that's an unreasonable solution. I would simply say that it's not really a scientific solution. And that's okay, don't get me wrong… I'm not pushing for a scientific solution. In fact, I don't think there is one. But Dr. Koukl claimed that SCIENCE had discovered when life begins. That's the claim I'm taking issue with and I maintain that if personhood requires a soul, and if we are to reject materialism, then we can't very well claim that science has determined for us when human life (personhood) begins.

I will also reiterate that I am NOT questioning whether abortion is a sin… I accept that it is. I'm merely questioning whether it's MURDER.

Thank you.

TRoutMac

William,

>> Is it then arbitrary, capricious and unrelated to reality?

Actually, if monotheism is true, it may coincide EXACTLY with the taxonomy that God uses. It would be nice if, say, in the back of the bible a chart similar to the Linnaean Taxonomy was provided. Then at least the Christians could point to something. But without a divine communiqué, any taxonomy is equally as legitimate as any other.

>> The Bible claims otherwise I believe and Christ would have no difficulty explaining it to you.

YES! THIS is how you must argue the abortion debate. Not with biology as Melinda has done. It has NOTHING to do with biology.

It has everything to do with who thinks they are holding God’s taxonomy, and who's God is the right one.

Amy,

>> I don't see any reason to think that human nature is divided such that we acquire a soul at a later time than a body.

In the case of identical twins, the body (for twin 2) exists before the soul. The totipotent cell is only given a soul when it goes rogue - and breaks off from the primary developing construct. So, though it may be a day old, its soul is only instantiated post cleavage – as per traducianism.

Curiously, several totipotents are constructed in the development of a new human. But in some way, God knows to not give these cells a soul - unless one of them floats far enough away.

Tony,

It troubles me that you seem to miss the essence of the claim in Psalm 19 and its implications for all knowledge including biology.

Tony said: "It would be nice if, say, in the back of the bible a chart similar to the Linnaean Taxonomy was provided."

You will have to be satisfied with the front of the Bible in Genesis.

Tony said: "It has everything to do with who thinks they are holding God’s taxonomy, and who's God is the right one."

Not quite. It has everything to do with the reality of God, not what you or I think.

Tony also said: "any taxonomy is equally as legitimate as any other."

No, you say above that it must also be associated with reason and utility.

Tony said: "In the case of identical twins, the body (for twin 2) exists before the soul."

Again, you know this how? Are you now using biology in a way that you suggested was inappropriate when it came to determining when human life begins?

Are your heart and mind in harmony?

Will,

>> You will have to be satisfied with the front of the Bible in Genesis.

Yes I think this is how you should properly argue the abortion issue. You NEED to cite Genesis – i.e. the divine word. Else, you’re merely campaigning for your own taxonomy.

>> It has everything to do with the reality of God, not what you or I think.

It would be nice if there were, say, a divine monolith in which constructs could be placed and the name of the organism could be displayed on a screen. But, for whatever reason, the reality is that God didn’t create such a testing device. Hence, we are indeed merely trying to match our taxonomy to God’s.

>> you say above that [a taxonomy] must also be associated with reason and utility.

No I didn’t. In a godless universe, one taxonomy is indeed equally as valid as another.

>> Tony said: "In the case of identical twins, the body (for twin 2) exists before the soul." Again, you know this how?

If this were not the case, then one body could have two souls. This seems to be the case when we consider the Hensel Twins, for example. So it is possible that my rendering here is incorrect. God didn’t provide us with many rules for his soul-matter binding process, so there is indeed a lot of guess work involved. But in the case of identical twins, since we do know that totipotents are not all given souls, it seems rational to conclude that a soul is only instantiated post cleavage. It could be that God knows which of the 14 or so totipotents is going to go rogue, and he instantiates two souls prior to cleavage. This would be curious because two souls would, for a time, occupy one body, quite unusual – though it does seem to be possible – as in the case of demon possession or when demons are cast into pigs in the bible.

But I don’t believe in souls so, whateva…

>> Are your heart and mind in harmony?

Perfectly so.

Tony said: "It would be nice if there were, say, a divine monolith in which constructs could be placed and the name of the organism could be displayed on a screen......God didn’t create such a testing device."

Reminds me of Genesis 2:19-20.

Concerning the heart/mind business haven't you said in previous threads that you wished that Christianity is true?

Tony said: "In a godless universe, one taxonomy is indeed equally as valid as another."

How is that statement validated?

>> you said in previous threads that you wished that Christianity is true?

totally. I also wish it was possible to fly, and that humans didn't age.

>> Tony said: "In a godless universe, one taxonomy is indeed equally as valid as another." How is that statement validated?

In the same way that, in a godless universe, all ethical systems are equally valid. Or, all Blockbuster Video store organization charts are equally valid.

If there is no platonic ideal with which to compare the system to (as there is in, say mathematics and physics) then man just chooses his own scale.

Some Video store taxonomys will, for example, produce more money. If this is the scale you choose, then this taxonomy could be said to be "better" than the others. But only because it does something useful to the observer.

Tony,

If you wish that Christianity is true but your mind says its not, this seems to indicate to me that your heart and mind are not in harmony.

In recognition of this at least I see some hope that your mind will come around. Ravi Zacharias' ministry occasionally uses a slogan that says something like "what I believe in my heart must make sense in my mind."

See:

http://www.rzim.org/USA/home.aspx

If you have the opportunity to engage someone from this ministry I think that you would be blessed.

You seem to think that if there is no God then the terms valid, better, useful still have meaning. I don't.

You seem to think that your reason and definition of utility are valid but you reject God, the source that explains how these concepts have meaning.

After this:

“Modern science long ago resolved the question. We actually know when the life of a new human individual begins.”

Tony said: "I find this hard to believe, since we do not have a definition of LIFE itself."

We went to this:

">> It seems to me that it is reasonable to maintain, as the science of biology does, that a fully human individual organism exists at the moment of conception.

Then Tony said: "It actually seems reasonable to me as well."

So it seems that you do agree with the original point of this post, that the science of biology does provide a reasonable, well established and uncontroversial (within the science) explanation of when an individual human life comes into existence.

Unfortunately, your response, lacking God, understandably has to be something like; So what?

I think that, lacking God, reason, utility and validity have no validity, so there would be no point to your responding in the first place. Yet you do feel a need to respond.

>> If you wish that Christianity is true but your mind says its not, this seems to indicate to me that your heart and mind are not in harmony.

Eh? I wish that it was true that I didn’t have to pay taxes, but my mind says it’s not gonna happen. But I don’t feel myself losing “harmony” over it.

>> You seem to think that if there is no God then the terms valid, better, useful still have meaning. I don't.

Recall that I’m not an atheist. I think there might be a God, I just don’t think he’s Jesus. As I’ve said before, epistemology is deeply troubled in a godless universe. It’s a definite Achilles heel to my worldview. But, as Greg has said on his show, something like, ‘you’re not going to find complete resolve no matter which philosophy/theology you dive into.’

>> Then Tony said: "It actually seems reasonable to me as well." So it seems that you do agree with the original point of this post, that the science of biology does provide a reasonable, well established and uncontroversial (within the science) explanation of when an individual human life comes into existence.

The definition of life is fairly controversial in biology circles. Lynn Margulis does a great job of outlining the ongoing debate in her book “What is life”.

tinyurl.com/6dr78m

But is it reasonable to draw the line at fertilization? Sure. For one thing, if we were to draw the line at the creation of sperm, it would just be too hard to prosecute people for masturbating and killing their children. There would simply be too much paperwork and we couldn’t build enough jails. So for this reason, it’s reasonable to move the date back a bit.

But without access to God’s taxonomy, we are all indeed merely campaigning for our own reasons to choose one system over another. And since the scientific method cannot reveal taxonomic data about matter, invoking science in the abortion issue is superfluous.

Tony said: "But without access to God’s taxonomy"

I remind you of Psalm 19. You have access.

Tony also said : "the scientific method cannot reveal taxonomic data about matter"

So your favorite litany of "carbon nitrogen oxygen and hydrogen" is also invalid.

Yes I think citing verses like Psalm 19 is really the ONLY way to properly argue the abortion issue. You have to convince your opponent that you know which God is the right one, and that they should change their religion to Christianity, and that God has revealed taxonomic data via the bible in verses liike Psalm 19.

It's unfortunate that Christians do not pursue this line of argument - and hide behind the fallacy that matter taxonomys can exist without God.

>> your favorite litany of "carbon nitrogen oxygen and hydrogen" is also invalid.

as stated before, the periodic table of elements is indeed a taxonomy. it's merely a chart that labels energy in different forms. But the universe doesnt care where we draw our circles around energy. One could just as easily divide the universe into, say, water and not_water. It just wouldnt be as easy to work with if you were, say, trying to build a computer.

Tony said: "But the universe doesnt care where we draw our circles around energy."

The universe can't but God does.

Tony also said: "Recall that I’m not an atheist. I think there might be a God"

This does not quite get to theism unfortunately and until you get there the question of the divinity of Jesus is probably premature. That was C.S. Lewis' path.

It seems to me that your acceptance of order in the universe such that it is useful, supports the existence of God revealed in Christianity. This is general revelation, the point being that the world we observe shows us God. Our observations can give us real truth. Refer to Romans 1:18-20. That is why the scientific observation of when a new human individual life begins can have validity.

Tony said: "You have to convince your opponent that you know which God is the right one"

I don't think this is how it works. The "opponent" needs to hear the gospel message but whether it is received or not is not the apologist's responsibility.

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