Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on the immorality of embyronic stem cell research

From Steve Chapman at Reason Magazine:

"This order," said the president, "is an important step in advancing the cause of science in America" and "protecting free and open inquiry." Harold Varmus, co-chairman of the president's scientific advisory council, said it showed the president would rely on "sound scientific practice ... instead of dogma in developing federal policy."

But one person's dogma is another one's ethical imperative or moral principle. Science can tell us how to build a nuclear weapon. But science can't tell us whether we should use it.Just because research may be useful in combating disease doesn't mean it's ethically acceptable. The infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment—in which the federal Public Health Service secretly withheld treatment from infected black men to learn more about the disease—might have yielded valuable data. But no scientific discovery could possibly have justified it.

This is a perfect example. We experimented on those that we really didn't think mattered in society that much. We took their life and experimented with it thinking that the ends justified the means. It was wrong and evil then, and it's wrong and evil now. It is immoral to experiment on human life. Period.

Research on embryonic stem cells is controversial because it requires the destruction of live human embryos. Supporters find it easy to minimize the significance of this fact because the embryos are only a few days old—nothing more than "blastocysts."

But if it's OK to destroy 5-day-old embryos to further scientific inquiry, is it OK to destroy embryos that are five weeks old? Five months? Eight months? Science can't answer that question.You don't have to be part of the pro-life movement to have qualms about this kind of scientific inquiry. James Thomson, the University of Wisconsin biologist who pioneered the field, has said, "If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough." The president's new order suggests we shouldn't think too much.

The thing that I have noticed about men's immorality, is that nature usually has it's way in explaining how and why things are wrong. Even without a belief in God, nature herself has a moral code, so to speak.

We thought that we could be as promiscuous as we wanted to. The 60's brought free love and, the birth control pill. We thought we could have sex with who wanted and however many we wanted, with no consequences. But nature told us we were wrong. Sexually transmitted diseases run rampant now, even in our young. Many of these leave women sterile and some even cause cancer. AIDS was discovered in the early 80's to remind us of the consequences of multiple partners and, of course, despite the pill, we felt we still needed abortion because if you were having sex with someone you didn't want to be the father of your child, then there had to be a way out.

And on top of all this, is the deep emotional damage done to all who bought the lie of free love. We are a people in dire need of a compassionate forgiving God who can take away our pain.

Luckily for us, we have one.

No doubt, we will continue to experiment on human life, just as we will continue to destroy our unborn children. We are a selfish lot. But nature always has a way of reminding us that actions have consequences.

Update: Bill Clinton doesn't understand human biology. Good grief.