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Tag: Substance Dualism

Predestination or Free Will? (Post 13)

We are exploring external conceptual problems that make Calvinism less plausible than its alternative–Arminianism. Last week, I outlined one external conceptual problem based on our default understanding of freedom. This week, I’ll look at a second external conceptual problem for Calvinism from philosophy: the fact that we have souls.

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Predestination or Free Will? (Post 11)

One of the best ways to learn something is listening to others with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. We often gain insights in our quest for truth only after their “outside” input. This is because we need one another to fill out our understanding and correct our errors. This is certainly the case as we wrestle with the question of predestination or free will.

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Saying “Goodbye” Well (Post 3)

In addition to a healthy theology of grief (last week), a healthy theology of death is also essential to being able to say “goodbye” well when the time comes. Having a “theology of death” may seem odd, morbid, and even wrong. Ours is such a life-affirming and life-focused culture that we rarely think of death. Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us don’t have a theology of death, much less a well-developed one. But this is exactly what we need in order to be able to say goodbye well.

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Four Steps to Determining the Morality of Abortion (8 of 8)

It remains to apply the reasoning of the morality of abortion to three other reproductive technologies: embryonic stem cell research, genetic testing, and human cloning. Are there ever morally appropriate uses of these technologies? I believe so in one case, and not in the other two cases. Let me explain why.


Four Steps to Determining the Morality of Abortion (7 of 8)

In vitro fertilization, embryonic stem research, genetic testing and human cloning are moral issues of our day closely related to the abortion debate. The underlying issues discussed in this series concerning the morality of abortion also apply to these important topics. Whether one takes and essentialist or functionalist view of personhood will also determine the morality of these practices and procedures.

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Four Steps to Determining the Morality of Abortion (6 of 8)

The alternative to life beginning at conception due to a human soul being present is a “functional” definition of personhood. This is the view underlying all pro-choice arguments. If this definition of life is correct, the pro-choice conclusion is completely reasonable. Yet there are at least five problems with the functionalist definition of personhood.

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Four Steps to Determining the Morality of Abortion (5 of 8)

Many object to my conclusion that life begins at conception.  The central objection is that we can’t observe a soul, to know when it begins. However, we can observe when certain life-sustaining functions begin. Therefore only when the fetus functions in these ways can we say it is alive. Yet this is well past the point of conception. So life must not begin at conception.

There are at least three responses to this objection.

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