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 Post subject: What's a person?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:32 pm 
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This actually ties into the metaphysics discussion, but let's do it separately here. As with the "Evil" thread, if you already know the standard Catholic scholastic answer, please don't spill the beans yet.

What is a person?

(We're going to follow up with the question "What is a human person?", but let's start with the more general question.)

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:51 pm 
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Well, I've used the following argument:

Premise: The unborn children have human DNA.
Premise: The unborn children are alive.
Premise: Thus they are living human beings.

Conclusion: they have the right to life, since all human beings have that right.

I usually avoid using the term "person" since the discussion will inevitably go into the legal definition of a person rather than the moral definition.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:51 pm 
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A person is an entity possessed of rationality and will. I’m tempted to stipulate free will, but since we are considering a person and a human person as separate things, I’ll hold off and simply stick with will. Thus, in addition to a man or woman, a dog or bull is also a person; a rock or pond (or corpse!) is not.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:03 pm 
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BobCatholic wrote:
Well, I've used the following argument:


We're not up to arguments yet. We're just looking for definitions :)

Fill in the blank. A person is a(n) _____________________ .

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:05 pm 
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Christopher VandeLinde wrote:
Thus, in addition to a man or woman, a dog or bull is also a person...


Really? We'll have to come back to this later, because I would say they are not persons under your definition because they aren't rational. But let's set that aside for the moment and see what other people come up with.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:23 pm 
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BobCatholic wrote:
Well, I've used the following argument:

Premise: The unborn children have human DNA.
Premise: The unborn children are alive.
Premise: Thus they are living human beings.

Conclusion: they have the right to life, since all human beings have that right.

I usually avoid using the term "person" since the discussion will inevitably go into the legal definition of a person rather than the moral definition.
The 14th Amendment, which was key in the Roe v Wade case, only gives that right to those who have been born. I have said many times that the President and the Congress cannot pass any laws forbidding Abortion until either Roe v Wade is over turned or the Consitution is amended to grant that right to Everyone. Abortion talk from canidates is a smoke screen. An attempt to get votes. Any law they pass would be judged against the roe v wade decision and its interpretation of the 14 amendment. That must change first. THEN we can pass sane anti-abortion laws that protect both women and children.

FYI, as far an science is concerned a Fetus or Embryo IS considered to be Human. Hence the term "Human Embryo"

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:33 pm 
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I'm not interested in what the legal definition of a person is. It might be wrong--but how could we know unless we know what a person is?

Nor can science answer the question. It can provide pertinent evidence, perhaps, but not a whole lot about personhood in general (as opposed to human personhood).

So, please, let's not divert this thread into an abortion discussion. I might even have to ask the moderators (politely, of course) if they would split out any such posts, because they're guaranteed to sidetrack us before we really get started.

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 Post subject: Re: What's a person?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:39 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
This actually ties into the metaphysics discussion, but let's do it separately here. As with the "Evil" thread, if you already know the standard Catholic scholastic answer, please don't spill the beans yet.

What is a person?

(We're going to follow up with the question "What is a human person?", but let's start with the more general question.)


Can I drop a vague hint?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:25 am 
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an entity with a will.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:22 am 
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A person is a human being. Period.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:42 am 
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BobCatholic wrote:
A person is a human being. Period.


So the Three Persons of the Trinity are human beings?

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 Post subject: Re: What's a person?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:42 am 
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Michael Francis wrote:
Can I drop a vague hint?


Not yet, please.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:36 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
BobCatholic wrote:
A person is a human being. Period.


So the Three Persons of the Trinity are human beings?



I stand corrected. Persons include human beings and divine beings.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:07 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I might even have to ask the moderators (politely, of course) if they would split out any such posts, because they're guaranteed to sidetrack us before we really get started.


The thread seems to be doing well so far.

We have enough abortion threads, so let's keep this one on topic.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:55 am 
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BobCatholic wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
BobCatholic wrote:
A person is a human being. Period.


So the Three Persons of the Trinity are human beings?



I stand corrected. Persons include human beings and divine beings.


How about angels? How about E.T.? (I'm not picking on you; I find asking questions is the best way to get even better answers.)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:15 am 
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Are two or more individuals a person?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 10:49 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Are two or more individuals a person?


I'll feed the fire

Like conjoined twins or two differ different people counted as a single person?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:13 am 
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Ooo. Good question. Let's leave cojoined twins out of it for the moment.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:01 pm 
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Two individuals can be considered one person as a husband and wife are joined and become one. They are no longer Mr Smith and Miss Jones but rather Mr and Mrs Smith. Two prefixes to indicate two individuals and one name to indicate one person.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:11 pm 
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So the mortal sin of one is imputable to the other?

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