Sunday, April 28, 2002


Yes, I am obsessing about this issue. I think there's nothing more important to the future success and happiness of mankind than the full exploration of this science. Here are some further recent articles and my replies:

The Weekly Standard:
There sure IS debate over federal funding for embryonic stem cell research; just because "Bush has spoken" does not mean the question is closed. Of course, as you neglect to mention, what is at stake in the congress right now is not federal funding, but an outright ban on cloning. Talk about vague political speech. I'm glad that you mentioned that Harry and Louise originated in opposition to the Clintons' nationalized health care, because it highlights a point you seem to be missing. The Clinton plan was rejected by, not just insurers and doctors, but by Americans who did not want the government involved in their health care. Cloning opponents like to paint supporters of research cloning as part of the "biotech lobby", "Hollywood", or as forsaking morality in a rush to embrace the benefits of genetic science. They insist embryos have moral standing. That is NOT the only morally informed view. Many see an early stage embryo for what it is: a few to a few hundred cells with no brain function, no self-awareness, no soul. We rebel against the anti-cloning position, because equating a zygote to a human being is in itself morally grotesque. Laying the scientific and logical bankruptcy of the "embryo equals person" position aside, the equiviancy argument offends at its core the idea of what it is to be a human being. We are more than biology. Should we mourn the loss of an early term pregnancy as we do that of a three-year old child? The discarding of an embryo after research should cause the streets of London to fill as when the Queen Mother passed? Should Whitman have written "Oh Zygote, Oh Zygote"? Should we celebrate the abortion of an "evil embryo" (if we learn to detect such) as we will when Charles Manson finally chokes on his own bile? The barbarism lies not merely in foreclosing the benefits of embryonic research. The greater obscenity results from twisting the meaning of "human being" to include embryos.

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