Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A rare, well-balanced discussion of the ESCR issue

by William Saletan in his editorial on Obama's Embryonic Stem Cell Research decision.

Agree or disagree where you may, but at least this person recognizes that moral questions are not merely irrational religious beliefs.

He is for the decision, I believe. It's just refreshing to see that someone understands that opponents of embryonic stem-cell research have moral objections as valid as moral objections to torture.

He sums it up pretty well here:

Think about what's being dismissed here as "politics" and "ideology." You don't have to equate embryos with full-grown human beings—I don't—to appreciate the danger of exploiting them. Embryos are the beginnings of people. They're not parts of people. They're the whole thing, in very early form. Harvesting them, whether for research or medicine, is different from harvesting other kinds of cells. It's the difference between using an object and using a subject. How long can we grow this subject before dismembering it to get useful cells? How far should we strip-mine humanity in order to save it?
Later in the article he does talk about opponents being "on the losing side of history". Mr. Saletan and others should recognize that history isn't a line of progress, but a tree with many dead ends along the way. Even evolutionary charts show this. In other words, Change isn't always Progress.

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