Author Topic: The soul and identical twins?  (Read 798 times)

Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: The soul and identical twins?
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2017, 10:57:24 AM »
QMR, can you expand on "the embryo is not a human prior to ensoulment," please?  It seems like this could be a problematic statement (if true) for Catholics in opposing embryonic stem cell research, which, I believe, uses embryos/blastocysts only up to 4-5 days old.  But maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you're saying here?

Also, what do you mean by the conjoined bodies being an aggregate in the above post?

I don't see why it would be problematic regarding embryonic stem cell research anymore than it would be problematic regarding abortion - medieval thinkers held ensoulment to occur at 40 or 80 days post-conception and yet they still condemned abortion.  Sure, we don't know the exact moment of ensoulment, but that wouldn't make these things licit, for we are still interfering with the normal generative process, and in addition we are acting with recklessness due to our lack of knowledge.

An aggregate is the combination of two or more things which doesn't have a substantial form of its own.  For instance, a pile of rocks is an aggregate.
The real purpose of traditionalist polemics is not to find truth, but to attempt to construct an epistemological fortress rendering one's worldview impervious to attack.
 

Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Re: The soul and identical twins?
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2017, 11:11:07 AM »
QMR, can you expand on "the embryo is not a human prior to ensoulment," please?  It seems like this could be a problematic statement (if true) for Catholics in opposing embryonic stem cell research, which, I believe, uses embryos/blastocysts only up to 4-5 days old.  But maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you're saying here?

Also, what do you mean by the conjoined bodies being an aggregate in the above post?

I don't see why it would be problematic regarding embryonic stem cell research anymore than it would be problematic regarding abortion - medieval thinkers held ensoulment to occur at 40 or 80 days post-conception and yet they still condemned abortion.  Sure, we don't know the exact moment of ensoulment, but that wouldn't make these things licit, for we are still interfering with the normal generative process, and in addition we are acting with recklessness due to our lack of knowledge.

Thank you, QMR.  I'm thinking of it being problematic in terms of trying to convince others that it's wrong or shouldn't be done, if it's ceded that it's not even a human at the time they are doing their research.  (And the same would go for early abortions.) 

Quote
An aggregate is the combination of two or more things which doesn't have a substantial form of its own.  For instance, a pile of rocks is an aggregate.

I'm still trying to get this in my mind, so bear with me.  But wouldn't conjoined twins be something different than an aggregate, since they at one point were one substantial form that for whatever reason was halted/disrupted in the process of splitting and becoming two substantial forms?  Or what am I misunderstanding here?

Thanks again.
 

Offline CilantroTamales

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Re: The soul and identical twins?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2017, 07:48:24 PM »
My belief is that identical twins each has a soul - even as far back as conception.  A single-cell human is made up of 1000s of molecules, maybe millions of atoms, that are eventually going to split.  Why can't they already hold the souls?  I.e. the first thousand molecules have soul "A" and the other 1000 have soul "B".  In other words two souls are not "sharing" one body, they each have their own distinct physical characteristics.  Basically take the budding "video" and run it backwards (all the way to conception), you could technically be able to trace each back to their own molecules, atoms, etc.

Full disclosure: I have absolutely NO expertise in this matter.  My twins are fraternal.  My brother's twins appear to be identical but we've never discussed this concept before.  Obviously, if the Church teaches something different than what I've said, then I disavow the above.  :)