Friday, February 29, 2008

A short response

This post isn't anything big, but it's something to get things rolling again. It's short response I wrote to something I read on that was so wrongheaded that I felt I had to respond to it. Below is the original statement, in quotes, followed by my short response.

"Many conservative Christians also oppose stem cell research fearing this murders potential babies. With this logic, every time you scratch your nose, you have potentially killed human beings since all cells have potential for human life."

The above statement reveals that you either know nothing about stem cell research or else you are being intellectually dishonest. Stem cell research does not involve "potential" babies, it involves creating human embryos, which are actual babies, for the purpose of harvesting their stem cells for research purposes. Human embryos are human beings. If their development is uninterupted or unimpeded they mature into adult human beings someday. Therefore, conservatives object to stem-cell research because 1.) It creates a human life, which, if allowed to develop to full maturity will indeed become a fully functioning adult human being, and then kills that human life, and 2.) because it treats that human life as a means to an end rather than as an end in and of itself.


thekid said...

Hey Gord,
It sounds like the general type of misleading statement people with an anti-conservative agenda like to say about conservatives. It should be specified that it isn't stem cell research conservatives are against but "embryonic stem cell research". These are the kinds of statements people like to make in order not to really engage in fair discourse. Glad to see you are considering writing again. It must have been in the stars yesterday as I also posted a short blog. Sorry to have missed chatting with you this morning.


Maria Kirby said...

I guess I have a problem with the idea that human life is a sacred end in and of itself. I believe that all life including plants, animals, bacteria and viruses is sacred because it is all made by God. It is his creation. It is for his glory.

I think God created us as means by which he brings all of his creation into harmony and under his lordship. In following Christ we give up our lives for others. Embryos don't have the choice of giving up their lives, but I see a parallel between the function of stem cells and what Christ did for us. It seems to me that Christ asks us to follow in his footsteps. It would be a lot easier if someone else made the choice of how I sacrificed my life.
I'm not sure where you visualize the soul fitting into all of this, but I'm not sure we're doing embryonic souls a dis-service by sending them to heaven. My concern is more with what does sending embryonic souls to heaven do to our souls.

thekid said...

Your comments brought to my mind a conversation we had on this blog a long time ago here. While I too think of all life as sacred, I don't think that makes all forms of life equal. For one thing, we humans are gifted with reason rather over instinct.

Your comments are highly thought-provoking. I'm thinking about parallels between embryonic stem cells and what Christ did for us and I wish you would elaborate a little bit. My first reaction is that stem cells cannot offer us salvation but perhaps better qualify for the role of "the least of these". But maybe that is not the parallel you are making. My other thought is that do you mean we should think of all humans whose lives have been sacrificed against their will share in the sufferings of Christ? I would say he is definitely present in the sufferings of his people through history but his sacrifice was made willingly.

Does assuming that the souls of embryonic stem cells (and the aborted) go to heaven just make us feel less guilt over not intervening on their behalf? Your final statement gets at the essence of the problem. What kind of people are we? Will we, the ones with power, extend or improve our life on earth at any cost?

I appreciate your thoughts and hope you'll elaborate a little bit now. Sorry to hop in before Gordon to give a response. I look forward to what he'll say too as I find him to be much wiser than myself and far better at articulating things.

Maria Kirby said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I've posted a response at under Sacred Life part A and B. I don't know if I answered your questions or not, though. Feel free to ask again. Maybe the short answer is I feel we are all called to follow Christ in living a life of sacrifice, and sometimes that means physically dying too. I think in America we forget about all those who were martyrs for their faith. That some how that's all in the past now. And in the future Christ is going to rescue us from our trials and tribulations.

While I think it is great that our President wants us to have better morals in science and not kill embryos, I can't understand why the same logic doesn't apply to Iraqis or Afganistani. These are people who may not go to heaven, where as the innocent soul of embryo would. Wouldn't it be more important to save the life of those who could choose Jesus and would be saved from hell, than those that can't and would automatically go to heaven?