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To: Raymann; sodpoodle; don-o
Re: sperm-vendor insemination

The first thing to determine, is whether we agree on one big point: that if a "medical" intervention preserves/restores our person-ness, our human-ness, this is good; but if a "medical" intervention destroys / impairs/ redefines our humanness, this is not-good.

And this is a judgment to be made carefuly, based on the widest and deepest human experience, not solely on your or my instant sense of "cool" or "not cool."

So: your thoughts, in principle, about restoring humanity vs replacing/ redefining humanity? Do you agree, at least, that there could be a difference, and an important one?

Example: the difference between treating a brain aneurysm by removing and replacing a faulty section of cerebral artery, vs. treating a difficult personality by removing your brain. An extreme analogy... but it illustrates the sifference between healing /restoring, VERSUS fundamentally re-visioning, what is MOST personal to us.

"And getting an artificial leg doesn’t restore the leg’s function but replaces it in a why that does not restore the body’s wholeness [?]"

In this case, the purpose of even an artificial leg is to restore personal mobility in an integral, personal manner. If the function of an injured leg can't be restored, the replacementof an artificial knee joint, or even the use of an artificial leg, would be very reasonable as it does not interfere with the meaning of a leg per se.

However, if a person wanted to replace their legs with a half a dozen gas-powered piston-driven mechanical legs on wheels, it would surely enhance their mobility, but not their human-ness per se. It would be absurd for that person to then enter a competitive marathon race, because that's one instance in which having one's real legs means something. Going faster than all the other runners on his six-legged gas-powered wheels, would fundamentally alter and degrade the meaning of "being a runner" or "winning the race" or even having much fellowship with other athletes, who are still recognizably human in their capacities.

(Got that?) =:oO Just trying to show how just achieving some wanted function, does not necessarily enhance your humanness --and may even detract from it.

"Still not getting you...I just don’t see how the only ‘humanizing’ way to conceive is by bumping uglies."

It depends on what species we're talking about. There's no way to "humanize" apes, for instance, by insisting that they pledge love, loyalty and unity of life, before they mate and breed. They have no transcendant "meaning" in ape mating, and thus would not be "demeaned" even by artificial reproduction.

(If scientists want to propagate rare apes by artificial insemination or even laboratory cloning, the apes would not be "depersonalized". They are not personal to begin with.)

However, our species is made up of "persons". Persons discern deep and intrinsic meanings from their sexual union. The outlines of this meaning have been understood by every human culture, on every continent, in every stage of human history. We admire and consider our best models, those whose sexual relations are full of meaning, and when that meaning comprises some degree of sacredness. We do not admire those who copulate like dumb beasts, without mindfulness and without honor.

"I don’t see why out of all of those, reproduction is somehow different."

It is different because human procreatiuon is more than animal reproduction. It procreates rational beings who have very deep and wide capacities for meaning. Of all human functions, the experience of embodied interpersonal union touches transcendance even on a natural level. It binds hearts and minds as well as bodies, gives rise to families, extended kinship, tribes, nations and civilizations, linking the two sexual genders and the 10,000 generations, and even providing a brush with Divine love and grace.

This is the only fitting way to bring into existence something so valuable and dignified as human life. Only sacred fertile union is a sufficiently dignified act to beget embodied-spiritual persons.

(As opposed to breeding apes or manufacturing machines, which is how your produce specimens, livestock, experimental subjects, commodities, products, or property.)

That is why every religion, from the most rudimentary to the most elaborated, recognizes and concerns itself with the meaning of marriage. Even atheists find themselves wanting the signs and ceremonies that say "our love is precious, our love makes life." Even gays, with their dead-end sex, still long for some fragment of meaning, want some parody of marriage.

There are people who lack even this level of meaning, who think sex is nothing more than bumping uglies. But even that proves the point: they are already substantially dehumanized. They have fallen far.

41 posted on 10/02/2011 7:43:01 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (In theory. there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is. -Yogi Berra)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

“The first thing to determine, is whether we agree on one big point: that if a “medical” intervention preserves/restores our person-ness, our human-ness, this is good; but if a “medical” intervention destroys / impairs/ redefines our humanness, this is not-good.”

Nope. I base my morality on the rights of the individual. It is not immoral for me to take any action that’s doesn’t violate the individual rights of any other human being. I can defend such a position very easily and with pretty damn good logic. On the other hand, you would have to define this ‘humanness’ thing and why it’s so important to keep the same.

But really that’s beside the point. Your mechanical legs point doesn’t really apply since there is no enhancement per se going on. While I’m perfectly willing to defend genetic and/or biomechanical enhancement, it’s simply not taking place here. This isn’t even in vitro fertilization…what’s happening in the body is all natural.

I think the problem is that you’re trying to apply a moral judgment on the process rather than the result. At a minimum this process involves three consenting adults (mother, doctor, donor) voluntarily engaging in a minor medical procedure. I don’t see a presumption of any violated rights of the resulting child so I just don’t see any immorality here.

And keep in mind that that the way you outlined it, it’s somehow more moral for a woman to go out and get a one night stand with a total stranger then to use AI, I’m at a loss there.

42 posted on 10/02/2011 9:10:28 AM PDT by Raymann
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Great response.

If anyone cannot differentiate between the miracle of human life at conception and repairing a severed limb - I can’t help them;)

43 posted on 10/02/2011 9:40:22 AM PDT by sodpoodle (God is ignoring me - because He is watching you.)
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