Monday, January 23

Conceptions on conception, God and life

This would be where I push more buttons, I do believe, and this is directed at  those who of the mind that 'life begins at conception'.

I have no desire to argue against that claim on merits, for until there is a scientific method of detecting a soul, any discussion as to when a body is 'ensouled' is entirely speculative.  Instead, I wish to engage the matter from a scientific and philosophical perspective.

Let us start from the scientific perspective.  Ignoring the various methods of human intervention (abortion/contraception), the medical community has known for some time that approximately 22% of fertilized eggs never reach implantation and are excreted during the monthly cycle.  Additionally, of those fertilized eggs which DO reach implantation and generate a chemically-recognizable pregnancy, 31% will result in a miscarriage of one form or the other.  Here...let me help ya.

100 zygotes * 22% = 78 implanted zygotes
78 implanted zygotes * 31% =  24 miscarriages
22 + 24 = 46% ; 100% - 46% = 54% of fertilized eggs CAN reach maturity and be born.

Note these numbers don't concern themselves with contraception and/or abortion techniques (which lower the zygote->baby rate by another 22%), just how we are built by God.  And this is what I'm on about.

If we say....
1. zygotes are ensouled. (life begins at conception)
2. Over 45% of all zygotes are never born
3. these ensouled beings carry the stain of Original Sin

...then how does this inform our understanding of God?  How do we reconcile this with the notion of a loving, caring and merciful God?  If those things are irreconcilable (as I believe they are), then what must we change?

Is God not loving, caring and merciful?
Is an unborn ensouled at some time other than conception?
Is there not Original Sin?

For myself, I am far more inclined to believe that the unborn is ensouled around the quickening, when they begin to move and function as beings independent of the mother.  I also do not believe in Original Sin (but I have talked about that before). 

But y'all need to figure it out for yourselves.


  1. We could start to figure this out more sensibly if we admit the soul is not a product of conception or biological viability, but is eternal and transcends any given moment in our space and time.