Jugis 2 days ago
But crystals and fire aren't the same as embryos and fetuses, and the nature of "growth" and how one (the unborn human) "reacts" versus the other (two) cannot be easily confused due to their very distinctiveness. But as far as your census reference goes, God also said nothing about counting any non-Israelite people, either, and no one I know of is arguing against their status as persons. That along with textual context of the passage tells me and Christians in general that the census had a "spiritual" purpose beyond merely counting a human's status as a person. Levites were counted differently than the other tribes, and some censuses concerned battle-readiness. And I know the reference you are making to Exodus 21:22-25, and I admit I don't have a good answer for that and it has always puzzled me. I can't argue that "God fails to express that fetuses are people" but that's not the same as the assertion that fetuses aren't people, logically. "They just aren't" is your personal conclusion. Again you mention a rabbinical standard, but again, I have to say I don't know what Judaism says about that. I do need to research it, but I don't belong to that religion. You keep asserting that having never breathed also equates to never having a soul, but you never responded to the Psalm 139:13 I made reference to in this context, which is admittedly poetic. How about Genesis 25:23, which states, "The Lord said to her, 'Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.'"? Again, that's probably written long after the fact, but it does show some literary evidence of pre-born personhood. And of course, there is the famous prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 which speaks of a boy to be born to a young woman (speaking of personhood even before birth), and that before the child was even old enough to tell right from wrong, the two foreign nations spoken about would be judged by God. That is much more impressive if you believe in it prophetically. But it gives a sign of personhood being assigned by God, at least literally, before the fact.