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Posts Tagged ‘personhood’

“No individual exists without participation, and no personal being exists without communal being. The person as the fully developed individual self is impossible without the other fully developed selves. If he did not meet the resistance of other selves, every self would try to make himself absolute. But the resistance of the other selves is unconditional. One individual can conquer the entire world of objects, but he cannot conquer another person without destroying him as a person. The individual discovers himself through this resistance. If he does not want to destroy the other person, he must enter into communion with him. In the resistance of the other person the person is born. Therefore, there is no person without an encounter with other persons. Persons can grow only in the communion of personal encounter. Individualization and participation are interdependent on all levels of being.” p. 176-177 Systematic Theology Volume 1.

What does this mean in regards to abortion? I can’t find definitively what Tillich’s stance on abortion was, but I gather from this that he was “pro-choice”. Unless you can describe the interaction between fetus and mother as part of a communion thus establishing a person in the fetus. Or could you go so far as saying that the doctor who is aborting the fetus as “conquering” the fetus and thus destroying his personhood with his own?

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