Points of Controversy

22.4. Of Penetrating the Truth

Controverted Point: That an embryo is capable of penetrating the truth.

Theravādin: You are implying that an embryo can be instructed in, hear, and become familiar with the Doctrine, can be catechized, can take on himself the precepts, be guarded as to the gates of sense, abstemious in diet, devoted to vigils early and late. Is not the opposite true?

Are there not two conditions for the genesis of right views: another’s voice and intelligent attention?

And can there be penetration of the Truth by one who is asleep, or languid, or blurred in intelligence, or unreflective?