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Author Topic: Fertility treatments, In Vitro Fertilization..  (Read 2988 times) Average Rating: 0
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TheTrisagion
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« Reply #90 on: October 23, 2013, 06:36:15 PM »

A couple anecdotal horror stories is not a good reason to form a basis of opinion on anything. I suspect if you would look at actual data, you would probably see that most IVF works out just fine for the couple.  Regardless of whether it does or does not has no bearing on it's moral status.

I don't think she is worrying.  As she stated numerous times, she asked a question for discussion purposes.

The whole idea of IVF is unethical. When you add "selective reduction" aka the deliberate abortion of "excess" human beings inside a woman's womb, that is murder.
I don't know enough to have an opinion. Are you saying that they fertilize a bunch of eggs and then discard most of them and just use a select few?  If that is the case, I would tend to agree with you.
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« Reply #91 on: October 24, 2013, 12:38:24 AM »

The whole idea of IVF is unethical. When you add "selective reduction" aka the deliberate abortion of "excess" human beings inside a woman's womb, that is murder.

Whend you do not add it how is in-vitro still unethical?
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« Reply #92 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »


They have the choice to be satisfied with what they DO have in life.  Children are not a necessity.  If God hasn't allowed them to conceive, so be it.
True. But they will always feel that void that comes with it. Nobody to follow after me actually hurts me deeply.


This is a problem YOU have to deal with.

So, when I was a kid, I wanted to marry Mr. Right, live in a house with a white picket fence, have 2 kids, and live the dream.

As I got older, I figured, one child would suffice.

Well, I got none of that...not even the picket fence.  Should I just call it quits?  Give up on life?  Pout and be unhappy until I die?

That's a choice the person must make.

I choose not to be unhappy, but, to take it as an opportunity to do other things with my life.  I am not held back by husband/children and am in a place in my life where I find I can contribute my talents and skills in other ways.

Life goes on.  We cannot be so attached to a dream that we stop living if that dream isn't achieved.  

This goes specifically against the Second Commandment of God - to not make idols for ourselves.  These desires, are idols, as they take over our lives, thoughts and very beings.  They pull us from God and His teachings, leading us to make our own laws, justify our own actions, in order to bow to the idols of our own making.



Hmmm...I don't know how to answer this, but I'll attempt.

I, as a newly wed, choose to go ahead and "multiply" . Smiley I did choose to marry, and with that comes other desires as well...like the one to have a child.
Upon multiple failed attempts (it's not about me, I haven't even been married one month yet, so this is just theoretically speaking) , am I to give up and find something better to do with my married life?
I'm sure some people (like James over here) will gladly say "yes, move on with your life and find something better to do". But some people actually DO want children. And they do not want them because they want to somehow fulfill their selfishness, but they actually genuinely want children. You can't compare this desire to anything else in the world. Like I said, it's not like you want a better car, or a bigger house. It's not like you want to harm somebody, or take away something that belongs to someone else. It's not an idol that you want to worship. You're not cheating on your husband. You're not being disrespectful to your parents. It has nothing to do with your neighbor. You just want a child. Sure. It comes a moment in your life when you might want to refocus that energy, and you might need to find another mission, but don't you want to try everything humanly possible to have a child? I would.

I'm not going against the teaching of the Church. I trust the Church. I was just trying to understand the reasoning behind the IVF being frowned upon. (besides horror stories that come with anything in life frankly)
Not quite sure the Fathers knew about IVF back then, so I can't go and read what they said about it.
Besides concubines, they knew nothing about it.

The only basis I see for opposition to IVF, besides obvious no-no's (anonymous sperm donor, egg donations, surrogate's womb), comes from questionable influence from the Vatican, which opposes IVF for reason that aren't clear at least to me.  Even Scholasticism has no coherent argument.  But then, a coherent argument isn't a hall mark of Scholasticism.

A case I have particular in mind is men who are missing a seminal duct (or some such thing) which happens in some Syrian blood lines, from the intermarriage of cousins preserving the gene.  Many men chose to have semen extracted and then their wives be inseminated with.  I cannot see any moral objection that makes any sense to that.

The only really moral issue is what is done with the "spare embryos."  ALL should be implanted (not all at once, but that is why "extras" are produced in the first place a lot of the time-many are implanted at one time in the hope that at least one will implant).
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« Reply #93 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »


They have the choice to be satisfied with what they DO have in life.  Children are not a necessity.  If God hasn't allowed them to conceive, so be it.
True. But they will always feel that void that comes with it. Nobody to follow after me actually hurts me deeply.


This is a problem YOU have to deal with.

So, when I was a kid, I wanted to marry Mr. Right, live in a house with a white picket fence, have 2 kids, and live the dream.

As I got older, I figured, one child would suffice.

Well, I got none of that...not even the picket fence.  Should I just call it quits?  Give up on life?  Pout and be unhappy until I die?

That's a choice the person must make.

I choose not to be unhappy, but, to take it as an opportunity to do other things with my life.  I am not held back by husband/children and am in a place in my life where I find I can contribute my talents and skills in other ways.

Life goes on.  We cannot be so attached to a dream that we stop living if that dream isn't achieved.  

This goes specifically against the Second Commandment of God - to not make idols for ourselves.  These desires, are idols, as they take over our lives, thoughts and very beings.  They pull us from God and His teachings, leading us to make our own laws, justify our own actions, in order to bow to the idols of our own making.


I would say you are correct on those who are unmarried and use rent a sperm to get that kid that they want, without the Mr.  (renting the womb I think is pretty obvious on the no-no factor).

But for married couples using technology to conceive using their own sperm and eggs for their womb isn't that at all.  In cases where their sperm and eggs cannot conceive (it happens) or their womb can't carry to term, they have to consider adoption-something that those who can conceive and have children the usual way can consider.  But just helping things along....nothing wrong with that.
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« Reply #94 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

A couple anecdotal horror stories is not a good reason to form a basis of opinion on anything. I suspect if you would look at actual data, you would probably see that most IVF works out just fine for the couple.  Regardless of whether it does or does not has no bearing on it's moral status.

I don't think she is worrying.  As she stated numerous times, she asked a question for discussion purposes.

The whole idea of IVF is unethical.

How's that?

When you add "selective reduction" aka the deliberate abortion of "excess" human beings inside a woman's womb, that is murder.
That it is. However frequent it is done, however, does not make it necessary in IVF.
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« Reply #95 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

It is because things like IVF go beyond the limits of human nature which was left by God that the man and the woman have children and together with children they are a family unit. So, the reasons are both physiological and spiritual. People should consider things like adoption and reducing abortion, instead of altering the idea of human nature with its real consequences. I have a post on my blog about this very issue:

http://romanianorthodoxyinenglish.blogspot.ro/2013/10/the-temptation-of-going-beyond-limits.html
So we should drop the kidney transplants and dialysis, and just let 'em die?
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« Reply #96 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

The position(s) of the Church is/are more complicated than your statement , ' Orthodoxy and other Christian denominations absolutely are against any methods of conception other than "the traditional" way'would lead one to conclude.

This "The Illumined Heart" transcript from AFR and an interview conducted with Father John Breck is helpful. http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/struggling_with_infertility

Consultation with your priest may be path for many infertile couples to consider, unfortunately however, depending upon the personality and pastoral prudence of any particular priest, I am not sure that idea is good for everyone. (In other words, I've known my share of priests with whom I would not discuss this matter with under any circumstances. On the other hand, I can think of  dozens of priests, numerous monks and nuns and probably five Bishops from three different backgrounds and jurisdictions who, even though they have differing final opinions on parts of the subject  would be wonderful counselors.)

" 'Struggling With Infertility'  6 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 are clinically infertile. Infertility presents a heartbreaking struggle for many Orthodox couples who wonder whether it is God's will for them to be childless, or whether new fertility technologies (and which ones?) are appropriate. In this edition Kevin speaks with Orthodox theologian and ethicist Fr. John Breck about infertility and what options Orthodox Christian couples have to deal with it within an Orthodox context." http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/struggling_with_infertility

The largest Orthodox Church, for instance, does not object to artificial insemination involving a couple:
Quote
In the prayers of the marriage celebration, the Orthodox Church expresses the hope that childbirth, while being a desired fruit of lawful marriage, is not its only purpose. Along with «a fruit of the womb to profit», the Church asks for the gift of enduring love, chastity and «the harmony of the souls and bodies». Therefore, the Church cannot regard as morally justified the ways to childbirth disagreeable with the design of the Creator of life. If a husband or a wife is sterile and the therapeutic and surgical methods of infertility treatment do not help the spouses, they should humbly accept childlessness as a special calling in life. In these cases, pastoral counsel should consider the adoption of a child by the spouses’ mutual consent. Among the admissible means of medical aid may be an artificial insemination by the husband’s germ cells, since it does not violate the integrity of the marital union and does not differ basically from the natural conception and takes place in the context of marital relations.
https://mospat.ru/en/documents/social-concepts/xii/
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« Reply #97 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

This "The Illumined Heart" transcript from AFR and an interview conducted with Father John Breck is helpful. http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/struggling_with_infertility

I stopped reading at the point where the good Father said that erectile dysfunction is the inability to ejaculate. Not sure I want to go on with something that gets basic biology that wrong. Roll Eyes

Haven't read that transcript, but are you sure that he didn't want to say that people with erectile dysfunction can't actually ejaculate, or can they?
They can.  What good is does is another question.
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« Reply #98 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

Ioan,
I see you mention adoption. Do you know what an adoption process is like? I've been reading into that as well, as it is brought up as an excuse to go against IVF.
One thing that can happen is to get a baby, bring him home, feed him, wash him, bond with him and two days later have him taken away from you because the birth mother changes her mind and wants her baby back. While, I won't judge the birth mother for wanting her baby back, the pain the adoptive parents feel is unbearable. Adoption is not for everyone, as IVF is not for everyone. Both methods have in the end the desired result (if God allows it). 

P.S. I saw you called the IVF process a monstrosity. I've seen lots of babies bringing happiness to the infertile parents. I won't call that a monstrosity.

I'm not with Ioan on this, but to be fair, kidnapping babies has brought happiness to infertile parents, but monstrosity fits.
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« Reply #99 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

This "The Illumined Heart" transcript from AFR and an interview conducted with Father John Breck is helpful. http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/struggling_with_infertility

I stopped reading at the point where the good Father said that erectile dysfunction is the inability to ejaculate. Not sure I want to go on with something that gets basic biology that wrong. Roll Eyes
I almost did this with Fr. Josiah Trenham's talk on sex, where he said that drugs prolonging sexual desire like Viagra are forbidden. Viagra doesn't "prolong sexual desire" (though I disagree with Father on that being a bad thing in any case), it just enables the man to do something with the desire he has.

but I went on through the rest.  It confirmed my first impression.
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« Reply #100 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

Are you saying wanting a child is a bad thing?
Like a sin? Or what?

I mean it's not like you want a car, or a big house...We're talking about wanting a child, that parents are willing to offer to God.

If you call IVF a monstrosity, what do you call the end result? The baby?

And please forgive me if I sound pushy. I'm really trying to understand the concept of IVF being a bad thing.
You have to consider where Ioan is coming from:
I believe sex is highly over-rated

This is the greatest understatement ever. But it's this obsession with abstinence that causes the over value. I am sure one of the free marketers could explain the structure of that economy.

But really, sex is the worst.

Thinking of sex makes me puke my guts, really.
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« Reply #101 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

Are you saying wanting a child is a bad thing?
Like a sin? Or what?

I mean it's not like you want a car, or a big house...We're talking about wanting a child, that parents are willing to offer to God.

If you call IVF a monstrosity, what do you call the end result? The baby?

And please forgive me if I sound pushy. I'm really trying to understand the concept of IVF being a bad thing.

Well, if you want to bring a child into the world and cannot conceive one, you have the option to adopt one if you wish.

IVF is bad thing because it is not the natural way, not what God intended. And what God intended was not really a mechanism, but that two human persons (man and woman) procreate and establish a family. This is actually a very deep mystery of life, the way humanity functions. You cannot replace it with a mechanical process; it all becomes a dead thing, a walk towards, well, monstrosity. The result of such a monstrosity (and the word is not used passionately) would be a person with a soul (no doubt about it!), yet his entire existence will be marked by such an abnormal conception in ways that we know and don't know; we definitely don't want to go along this path. Plus, our real problems are abortions and adoptions (we can't be ok with so many babies being, well, murdered and many around the world who don't have anything to eat or a place to stay). Wanting IVF is really an exotic thing with horrendous ramifications and consequences, while not seeing that there are different solutions and crucial problems that need to be fixed instead. Just how I see things and based on that article which was written by prominent Romanian scientist/nun.
Is it the natural way, the way God intended, to have the mere thought of sex make one puke?
I believe sex is highly over-rated

This is the greatest understatement ever. But it's this obsession with abstinence that causes the over value. I am sure one of the free marketers could explain the structure of that economy.

But really, sex is the worst.

Thinking of sex makes me puke my guts, really.

You're not going to conceive many children "the natural way, what God intended" puking on your wife instead of impregnating her.
Won't do much for your marriage either: a girl usually takes offense at such a reaction when she is trying to be desirable.

Being conceived in a rape outdoes the monstrosity factor of IVF, and many throughout the ages have over come that.
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« Reply #102 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

How many times have we read at misuses and abuses?

Would you wish your sons and daughters experimented on?  You cannot possibly guarantee that this would not happen.

What kind of abuses can be done to one zygote that would not stop it from being implemented?
They are used in human experimentation.  Like monkeys.

They want to mandate left over embryos are used for embryonic stem cell research, although adult stem cells have been used in hundreds of thousands of actual treatments that have cured actual people (vs. 0 cures with embryonic stem cells).

No, it is not necessary that zygotes would be abused in IVF.  It is, however, a fact that they are.
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« Reply #103 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

I'm sure at least some of what I have to say will sound insensitive.  It's not my intention.  I've had this sort of conversation when invited to talk to people in troublesome situations like this, and it's really not possible to spell out the Church's thinking without having to deal with a "hard saying" that is difficult for the hearers to understand or accept and for the tellers to communicate.  

When we read Scripture, children are spoken of as a blessing.  When couples today have children, they speak of those children as blessings.  But the two are rarely the same.  

In the past, children were a blessing from God, and people who could not have children may have suffered pain because of the deprivation of this blessing, perhaps they felt shame or inferiority because of it, or were made to feel so by others, but they had no choice but to come to accept it, and/or adopt, participate in the rearing of relatives' children, etc.  

Now we have better means of family planning, we have reproductive technologies, etc., and we also have a more materialistic view of life.  According to this view, children are

an asset
a commodity
a project
a tax break
an attention-grabber
a "life experience"
a status booster, etc.  

Having children is considered to be the real transition into adulthood by people who have children.  If I can't have children, the "blessings" that are I'm missing out on are these subjective blessings for me, for my life, and for my standing in my family, my community, and my society at large.  It's not (or at best it is equally) about not having the objective blessing of children.      

Personally, I think that it is unfair for homosexually oriented people to be told by the Church that their only option according to the gospel is to opt for celibate chastity or enter into a heterosexual marriage, and yet what other option is there according to the gospel, even if it brings them a lot of grief and involves a lot of sacrifice, re-ordering of their lives, overcoming of desires, etc.?  I also feel it is unfair to tell infertile couples that it is wrong to use the new reproductive technologies, but that they should instead adopt or accept that it may not be God's will for them to have the children they desire for whatever reason.  But according to the principles of the gospel, I have a difficult time advising anything else.  

Precisely because of the esteem with which the Orthodox tradition regards marriage, sexuality, and children, I feel that these technologies, by taking the active procreative role of husband and wife and transforming it into a passive, goal-oriented laboratory procedure, are an abuse--they fundamentally conflict with our beliefs about these things.  The love of a man and a woman which causes them to join themselves to each other in physical union with the hope/intention of having a child (itself a sacramental, grace-bearing, grace-conferring experience) is now envisioned as a more "animal" phenomenon, separated into its constituent biological parts, and manipulated by medical practitioners.  Their mandate is to ensure that a child is conceived, and so they follow their procedures in a controlled environment.  They may respect your religious views, but they're not required to respect them more than their patients.  Moreover, these technologies involve other real issues of significant moral, ethical, and theological import: how many ova are fertilised vs how many are implanted, what is done with the "leftovers" (themselves human beings created in the image and likeness of God, albeit created in an atypical manner), and so on.      

The statement that someone posted above...

Quote
IVF offers the chance for a man and a woman to procreate. You need one sperm and one egg. Period. Does it matter where the fertilization happen? I mean, the fertilized egg will be transfered  3-5 days later into the mother's uterus where it will grow how it's supposed to grow, and the fetus will come out ...well...a human being. It's not like IVF will somehow alter our DNA and the end result will be some sort of mutation, an abomination, a monster. No, sir! The baby will be a human being, directly related to the mother and the father. So what's the problem?

...already betrays an acceptance of a non-Orthodox understanding of sexuality, procreation, and the bearing and rearing of children.  Here, a child is not a blessing, it is a commodity, and IVF is a project undertaken to obtain that good.  As long as the supplies come from the spouses and the genetic material is not altered, and the end result is manifestly human, "what's the problem?"  Well, I suppose one is free to look at it that way, but I don't think we can say this is how the Church views it.  Our current theology may need to consider these technologies and adequately address their validity from our particular faith perspective (as opposed to just signing on to RC declarations or leaving it exclusively to a couple to decide as they see fit), but based on what we can say here and now, I think the attempts to justify IVF and related technologies leave much to be desired.    
As much as I hate to take issue with you Mor, but in fact taking children as a commodity isn't modern. It's quite ancient: did Hagar have any say in getting impregnated?  St. Clement of Alexandria talks about procreation in ways that make AI seem romantic.

There were ancient means of "reproductive technology."  that they verged on or were actual superstition (like eating mandrakes), the principles are the same.

How different is it to view a woman only as a tool for pleasure than to reduce her to a baby making machine?  And yet neither are recent viewpoints.

Say, for instance, if a woman has a hysterectomy, and then had a transplanted one (like a kidney.  At present, I don't think this is possible).  Should she be forbidden to conceive in the normal course of events?
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« Reply #104 on: October 24, 2013, 02:06:18 AM »

I'm sure at least some of what I have to say will sound insensitive.  It's not my intention.  I've had this sort of conversation when invited to talk to people in troublesome situations like this, and it's really not possible to spell out the Church's thinking without having to deal with a "hard saying" that is difficult for the hearers to understand or accept and for the tellers to communicate.  

When we read Scripture, children are spoken of as a blessing.  When couples today have children, they speak of those children as blessings.  But the two are rarely the same.  

In the past, children were a blessing from God, and people who could not have children may have suffered pain because of the deprivation of this blessing, perhaps they felt shame or inferiority because of it, or were made to feel so by others, but they had no choice but to come to accept it, and/or adopt, participate in the rearing of relatives' children, etc.  

Now we have better means of family planning, we have reproductive technologies, etc., and we also have a more materialistic view of life.  According to this view, children are

an asset
a commodity
a project
a tax break
an attention-grabber
a "life experience"
a status booster, etc.  

Having children is considered to be the real transition into adulthood by people who have children.  If I can't have children, the "blessings" that are I'm missing out on are these subjective blessings for me, for my life, and for my standing in my family, my community, and my society at large.  It's not (or at best it is equally) about not having the objective blessing of children.      

Personally, I think that it is unfair for homosexually oriented people to be told by the Church that their only option according to the gospel is to opt for celibate chastity or enter into a heterosexual marriage, and yet what other option is there according to the gospel, even if it brings them a lot of grief and involves a lot of sacrifice, re-ordering of their lives, overcoming of desires, etc.?  I also feel it is unfair to tell infertile couples that it is wrong to use the new reproductive technologies, but that they should instead adopt or accept that it may not be God's will for them to have the children they desire for whatever reason.  But according to the principles of the gospel, I have a difficult time advising anything else.  

Precisely because of the esteem with which the Orthodox tradition regards marriage, sexuality, and children, I feel that these technologies, by taking the active procreative role of husband and wife and transforming it into a passive, goal-oriented laboratory procedure, are an abuse--they fundamentally conflict with our beliefs about these things.  The love of a man and a woman which causes them to join themselves to each other in physical union with the hope/intention of having a child (itself a sacramental, grace-bearing, grace-conferring experience) is now envisioned as a more "animal" phenomenon, separated into its constituent biological parts, and manipulated by medical practitioners.  Their mandate is to ensure that a child is conceived, and so they follow their procedures in a controlled environment.  They may respect your religious views, but they're not required to respect them more than their patients.  Moreover, these technologies involve other real issues of significant moral, ethical, and theological import: how many ova are fertilised vs how many are implanted, what is done with the "leftovers" (themselves human beings created in the image and likeness of God, albeit created in an atypical manner), and so on.      

The statement that someone posted above...

Quote
IVF offers the chance for a man and a woman to procreate. You need one sperm and one egg. Period. Does it matter where the fertilization happen? I mean, the fertilized egg will be transfered  3-5 days later into the mother's uterus where it will grow how it's supposed to grow, and the fetus will come out ...well...a human being. It's not like IVF will somehow alter our DNA and the end result will be some sort of mutation, an abomination, a monster. No, sir! The baby will be a human being, directly related to the mother and the father. So what's the problem?

...already betrays an acceptance of a non-Orthodox understanding of sexuality, procreation, and the bearing and rearing of children.  Here, a child is not a blessing, it is a commodity, and IVF is a project undertaken to obtain that good.  As long as the supplies come from the spouses and the genetic material is not altered, and the end result is manifestly human, "what's the problem?"  Well, I suppose one is free to look at it that way, but I don't think we can say this is how the Church views it.  Our current theology may need to consider these technologies and adequately address their validity from our particular faith perspective (as opposed to just signing on to RC declarations or leaving it exclusively to a couple to decide as they see fit), but based on what we can say here and now, I think the attempts to justify IVF and related technologies leave much to be desired.    
On the womb transplant, it seems I'm more up to date than I knew:
Quote
Woman Pregnant After Uterus Transplant
The first woman to receive a uterus from a dead donor is now pregnant, her doctors announced in Turkey.
Sert was born without a uterus, but her ovaries were intact, according to a hospital press release. The condition affects one in 5,000 women, according to the hospital.
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2013/04/15/woman-pregnant-after-uterus-transplant/
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« Reply #105 on: October 24, 2013, 03:28:50 AM »



Example of "non-Orthodox understanding of sexuality, procreation, and the bearing and rearing of children".

It's the example of perfect lack of sexuality, procreation and the rest of the results of the human fall. The Theotokos is the New Eve who (without seed) gives birth to Christ, the New Adam who restores human nature back to its original deified state (like the angels). This example transcends the state of man after the fall, takes man back to the divine. IVF would go even below the fallen state, into aberration and non-being.
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« Reply #106 on: October 24, 2013, 03:34:01 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?
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« Reply #107 on: October 24, 2013, 03:35:57 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
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« Reply #108 on: October 24, 2013, 03:45:00 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Gen 1, 28 and 2, 24 disagree with you.
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« Reply #109 on: October 24, 2013, 03:48:04 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Gen 1, 28 and 2, 24 disagree with you.

No they don't. Being fruitful and multiplying doesn't mean "have sex", but is meant in a spiritual way. All The Fathers and many saints speak about this. It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.
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« Reply #110 on: October 24, 2013, 03:51:08 AM »

"Uniting in one flesh" also in spiritual way?
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« Reply #111 on: October 24, 2013, 03:53:39 AM »

"Uniting in one flesh" also in spiritual way?

Yes, they felt what is called divine eros, in a state of God's Grace, between them. But we fell from that and God left sexuality for being fruitful and multiplying (which became impossible for God to accomplish by Himself).
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« Reply #112 on: October 24, 2013, 03:58:52 AM »

Something impossible for God? What?
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« Reply #113 on: October 24, 2013, 04:00:19 AM »

Something impossible for God? What?

What do you mean?
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« Reply #114 on: October 24, 2013, 04:01:45 AM »

Something impossible for God? What?

Then why doesn't God remove sin and evil from the world? Is it impossible for Him? No, it's man's free will that He doesn't wish to overturn.
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« Reply #115 on: October 24, 2013, 05:44:37 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)
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« Reply #116 on: October 24, 2013, 07:53:26 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)

Yet, the modern obsession has reached, not paroxysm (that was before), but normality.
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« Reply #117 on: October 24, 2013, 07:54:15 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Wow, you have some seriously weird hang ups about sex.  Shocked
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« Reply #118 on: October 24, 2013, 07:56:26 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)

Yet, the modern obsession has reached, not paroxysm (that was before), but normality.

Who are you talking about here? Because I do agree with you. The world is obsessed with sex. BUT.....don't take it out on the married couples who want to raise children. There's nothing wrong with wanting babies. I've asked you before. Do you think wanting children is a bad thing?
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« Reply #119 on: October 24, 2013, 08:05:27 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Wow, you have some seriously weird hang ups about sex.  Shocked

Hangs ups? No hang ups, just calling it what it is, a product of the fall, a plan B. Did you read my previous post about divine eros? But that takes a different attitude of the soul. After all, there is a divine eros between God and man, but we do realize it is devoid of any impurity and carnality.
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« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2013, 08:08:10 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)

Yet, the modern obsession has reached, not paroxysm (that was before), but normality.

Who are you talking about here? Because I do agree with you. The world is obsessed with sex. BUT.....don't take it out on the married couples who want to raise children. There's nothing wrong with wanting babies. I've asked you before. Do you think wanting children is a bad thing?

I am not forcing anybody to accept my views. My job is only to offer them in all their honesty and perhaps mention my sources for them. It's anybody's choice if they want to investigate what I say and apply it in their lives. So, I much less want to argue about them.
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« Reply #121 on: October 24, 2013, 08:26:04 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)

Yet, the modern obsession has reached, not paroxysm (that was before), but normality.

Who are you talking about here? Because I do agree with you. The world is obsessed with sex. BUT.....don't take it out on the married couples who want to raise children. There's nothing wrong with wanting babies. I've asked you before. Do you think wanting children is a bad thing?

I am not forcing anybody to accept my views. My job is only to offer them in all their honesty and perhaps mention my sources for them. It's anybody's choice if they want to investigate what I say and apply it in their lives. So, I much less want to argue about them.

Ok...but you can't expect people to agree with you, not even understand what you are saying. In your opinion all of us should stop having sex with each other and practice divine eros. Not only I don't see how the entire world will get to that point (I mean we are talking about His Grace here...it's a highest nature a human can reach), but when it WILL happen...I think it will be the end of the world. Literally.
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« Reply #122 on: October 24, 2013, 08:35:27 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Gen 1, 28 and 2, 24 disagree with you.

No they don't. Being fruitful and multiplying doesn't mean "have sex", but is meant in a spiritual way. All The Fathers and many saints speak about this. It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.
It was the ancient obsession with asceticism (yes, it can be an obsession) that caused many to Stoicize the teachings of the Church.

Yes, they disagree with you.  And your Stoic Fathers.
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« Reply #123 on: October 24, 2013, 08:35:39 AM »

It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

You obviously haven't seen old confession manuals if you believe that. (The most popular one among Greeks, Amartolon Sotiria, dates from the late 1500s.)

Yet, the modern obsession has reached, not paroxysm (that was before), but normality.

Who are you talking about here? Because I do agree with you. The world is obsessed with sex. BUT.....don't take it out on the married couples who want to raise children. There's nothing wrong with wanting babies. I've asked you before. Do you think wanting children is a bad thing?

I am not forcing anybody to accept my views. My job is only to offer them in all their honesty and perhaps mention my sources for them. It's anybody's choice if they want to investigate what I say and apply it in their lives. So, I much less want to argue about them.

Ok...but you can't expect people to agree with you, not even understand what you are saying. In your opinion all of us should stop having sex with each other and practice divine eros. Not only I don't see how the entire world will get to that point (I mean we are talking about His Grace here...it's a highest nature a human can reach), but when it WILL happen...I think it will be the end of the world. Literally.

Like I said, I don't expect anything. It's your choice if you agree. Mine if I agree with you.  I never said sex doesn't have it's place in this world. But, it is also a responsibility and we are also called to progress along the spiritual axis, to return to our initial state from which we fell.
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« Reply #124 on: October 24, 2013, 08:43:37 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Gen 1, 28 and 2, 24 disagree with you.

No they don't. Being fruitful and multiplying doesn't mean "have sex", but is meant in a spiritual way. All The Fathers and many saints speak about this. It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.
It was the ancient obsession with asceticism (yes, it can be an obsession) that caused many to Stoicize the teachings of the Church.

Yes, they disagree with you.  And your Stoic Fathers.

Teachings and fathers aside, we are struggling with humanity as it is. Let us all do what we think is pleasing to God, not to us.
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« Reply #125 on: October 24, 2013, 08:50:54 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Wow, you have some seriously weird hang ups about sex.  Shocked

Hangs ups? No hang ups, just calling it what it is, a product of the fall, a plan B. Did you read my previous post about divine eros? But that takes a different attitude of the soul. After all, there is a divine eros between God and man, but we do realize it is devoid of any impurity and carnality.
Yes, I did read it. Your position seems to be very gnostic.
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« Reply #126 on: October 24, 2013, 08:56:08 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Wow, you have some seriously weird hang ups about sex.  Shocked

Hangs ups? No hang ups, just calling it what it is, a product of the fall, a plan B. Did you read my previous post about divine eros? But that takes a different attitude of the soul. After all, there is a divine eros between God and man, but we do realize it is devoid of any impurity and carnality.
Yes, I did read it. Your position seems to be very gnostic.

I don't consider it gnostic at all. But I prefer each investigates the matter on their own if they wish. I am not trying to convince you! That's your job! Smiley
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« Reply #127 on: October 24, 2013, 09:33:45 AM »

I believe the main issue with IVF revolves around what happens in the lab with the egg/sperm/zygote.

If there is even the slightest chance that these may be abused in some way, then the whole process is negated.

Neither husband, nor wife, have control over their reproductive material once it has left their bodies.  The woman truly doesn't know how many eggs have been harvested, nor what has been done with them.  Neither does the husband know what his sperm will be used to fertilize.

As for the zygotes, well, it stands to reason that they "store" the "extra" to be used if the first attempt of implantation fails.  However, if they implant 8 zygotes, and all 8 take hold....what now?

Now we have a critical pregnancy that often results in the loss of fetuses because of overcrowding, etc.

Furthermore, can the couple actually support 8 children of the exact same age, and give them the upbringing they deserve?  

At this time many parents choose to abort a certain number of the embryos.

What of the zygotes that are still in deep freeze?  Technically, as stated above, they ought to be implanted at a future date.  Well, what if the mother is already in her 40's, and implanting will most likely not be successful in the future, without much added hormone therapy, which in itself is questionable, because of the harm it causes the mother's body?

What if, while the little innocents, are lying in a freezer somewhere, the new parents struggling with raising 8 kids, decide they cannot possible handle any more?  What if due to these struggles, the couple divorces?

What's to become of the 5 additional zygotes in the freezer?  Buried before even living?  Is that fair to those 5 individuals?

This is a very complicated process, with many, many things to take in to account.  

Unfortunately, most couples, blinded by their desire to procreate, never think about any of these possibilities, or often don't think of a zygote as living, while Joey, Suzy, Olga, Mike, and Sam lye freezing in a synthetic container next to Johnny, and James.

When all these possible abuses are contemplated, which in all honesty cannot be controlled by the couple, it seems like other avenues ought to be explored - adoption, foster care, etc.

I completely understand the pain and the yearning of the married couple to have children.  However, one must consider the fate of all those children, not just the lucky one or two who actually get born to see the light of day.

My prayers for all couples who find themselves in this situation.


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« Reply #128 on: October 24, 2013, 10:01:41 AM »

As much as I hate to take issue with you Mor...

After reading your reply #101, I can't stop laughing, I really can't!  So you feel free to take issue with me all you want, sir, because I love you.

Quote
...but in fact taking children as a commodity isn't modern. It's quite ancient: did Hagar have any say in getting impregnated?  St. Clement of Alexandria talks about procreation in ways that make AI seem romantic.

There were ancient means of "reproductive technology."  that they verged on or were actual superstition (like eating mandrakes), the principles are the same.

How different is it to view a woman only as a tool for pleasure than to reduce her to a baby making machine?  And yet neither are recent viewpoints.

Say, for instance, if a woman has a hysterectomy, and then had a transplanted one (like a kidney.  At present, I don't think this is possible).  Should she be forbidden to conceive in the normal course of events?

I concede your points about how "children as commodities" and "women as..." are not recent viewpoints.  But I don't know if we can make the case that, according to the teaching of Scripture, this is what children and women are.  Certainly, we read of these things in the historical accounts preserved in Scripture, but I'd chalk that up to God working with people where they are, with all their human and cultural limitations.  But in terms of the Scriptural teaching?  Is the point of those passages really that children are commodities or what have you?  I wouldn't say so, and it's based on that understanding that I spoke.

I'll also concede your point about St Clement, and about the Fathers more generally, if I can expand on it.  Really, I can't understand how they read Scripture and came up with even half of their teachings on sexuality which go against the plain sense of the words.  I think, on this issue at least, there was definitely some other agenda that, being categorised under "chastity" or "virginity", seemed to legitimise those "anti-sex" views.

I can't speak to your point about uterine transplants because my thinking on organ transplants is not as solid as it once was.  I had a lengthy conversation with a psychologist once about the heart, and he mentioned that there was some fairly big quantity of nerves directly connecting the brain to the heart, and that there have been documented cases of people who've received heart transplants and suddenly have memories and experiences of the donor, even if they never knew him/her.  I spoke to him about some of the Orthodox theology of prayer, and specifically about the role of the mind and the heart in this, and he seemed to feel it was confirmed to some extent by science.  After that, I'm honestly not sure if I agree with *all* transplants.  In principle, I do (I don't like people suffering and dying), but that heart stuff really threw me for a loop.       
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« Reply #129 on: October 24, 2013, 10:06:51 AM »

Wow! I never heard of that, Mor. Here is an article I just found about the phenomenon.  Shocked Shocked Shocked

http://guardianlv.com/2013/06/organ-transplants-cellular-memory-proves-major-organs-have-self-contained-brains/
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« Reply #130 on: October 24, 2013, 10:07:20 AM »

Do you say there would be no procreation in Eden? What?

You mean before the fall? No, Adam and Eve lived in state of Grace, like the angels. God was going to multiply our race in ways similar to the way He made Eve by filling Adam's rib.
Gen 1, 28 and 2, 24 disagree with you.

No they don't. Being fruitful and multiplying doesn't mean "have sex", but is meant in a spiritual way. All The Fathers and many saints speak about this. It's only the modern obsession with sex that cause many to want to modernize the teachings of The Church. To each, their own.

Not that this is the thread in which to pursue this tangent seriously, but LOL.  Those stupid Hebrews and their primitive, tribal views, it's a wonder God chose them.  We thank God that Greek philosophy saved us from the pitfalls of enjoying sex.    
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« Reply #131 on: October 24, 2013, 10:09:57 AM »

But some people actually DO want children. And they do not want them because they want to somehow fulfill their selfishness, but they actually genuinely want children. You can't compare this desire to anything else in the world. Like I said, it's not like you want a better car, or a bigger house. It's not like you want to harm somebody, or take away something that belongs to someone else. It's not an idol that you want to worship. You're not cheating on your husband. You're not being disrespectful to your parents. It has nothing to do with your neighbor. You just want a child. Sure. It comes a moment in your life when you might want to refocus that energy, and you might need to find another mission, but don't you want to try everything humanly possible to have a child? I would.

Except adoption? Or foster care?

With the caveat that this is totally my own personal opinion, I think that people who truly want to have children but are unable to get pregnant, would move heaven and earth to adopt or become foster parents. I think that if their motivation is to truly parent and care for children, that is what they would do. The adoption process is no less onerous than IVF. There are millions of children out there who pray every day for a "forever family."
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« Reply #132 on: October 24, 2013, 10:17:59 AM »

But some people actually DO want children. And they do not want them because they want to somehow fulfill their selfishness, but they actually genuinely want children. You can't compare this desire to anything else in the world. Like I said, it's not like you want a better car, or a bigger house. It's not like you want to harm somebody, or take away something that belongs to someone else. It's not an idol that you want to worship. You're not cheating on your husband. You're not being disrespectful to your parents. It has nothing to do with your neighbor. You just want a child. Sure. It comes a moment in your life when you might want to refocus that energy, and you might need to find another mission, but don't you want to try everything humanly possible to have a child? I would.

Except adoption? Or foster care?

There are millions of children out there who pray every day for a "forever family."

Watch this documentary.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365084296/

Like I said...is not as easy as it sounds, and not everybody is a good fit for adoption.
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« Reply #133 on: October 24, 2013, 10:45:58 AM »

But some people actually DO want children. And they do not want them because they want to somehow fulfill their selfishness, but they actually genuinely want children. You can't compare this desire to anything else in the world. Like I said, it's not like you want a better car, or a bigger house. It's not like you want to harm somebody, or take away something that belongs to someone else. It's not an idol that you want to worship. You're not cheating on your husband. You're not being disrespectful to your parents. It has nothing to do with your neighbor. You just want a child. Sure. It comes a moment in your life when you might want to refocus that energy, and you might need to find another mission, but don't you want to try everything humanly possible to have a child? I would.

Except adoption? Or foster care?

There are millions of children out there who pray every day for a "forever family."

Watch this documentary.
http://video.pbs.org/video/2365084296/

Like I said...is not as easy as it sounds, and not everybody is a good fit for adoption.

I would submit that if you are not a good fit for adoption, then you should seriously examine your motivation for wanting to become a parent, as well as your fitness to be one. A dear friend of mine adopted 3 older children from Ukraine and while the process was expensive, frustrating, stressful and all the rest, it was no more so than IVF.

Again, just my opinion, but if a person's true motivation is to love and care for children, then they will do whatever it takes - including adoption and foster care, because they understand that there are children out there who need them.
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« Reply #134 on: October 24, 2013, 11:07:14 AM »

I truly don't understand how can you compare having your own children with having somebody else's children. Sure you will develop love for that adopted child. It will grow and you will make sure that child is well taken care of. But you can't compare the two. The woman carries in her own body a child for 9 months. The relationship between the fertilized egg and the woman forms instantly and develops and grows and nobody that is not a Mom can comprehend this feeling. And nobody can possibly ask from somebody to just give up on the dream to have their own children and just go ahead and adopt because there are so many children ready "to be saved".
I just simply don't agree. Not from the point of view of a woman ready to bear children.
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