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Oct 16, 2005



I'm confused.

"Catholic bishops says that the procedure poses a risk of harm and is mostly an effort to select out genetically imperfect embryos."

How does this logically lead to this: ?

"After reading this, I've changed my mind about the true nature of resistance to stem cell research. I don't think it really has much to do with ethics at all."

How does a risk of harm not involve ethics? How does the embryionic selection not involve ethics?

Graham Glass

Hi Lurker,

People make choices all the time that cause a ripple effect of both good and harm. For example, every dollar you spend on yourself is a dollar you could have spent helping someone else.

On a larger scale, every war we fight in the name of a greater cause involves the certain death of soldiers and civilians on both sides.

There are very few choices we make that don't have positive and negative impacts. In this case, we have a huge positive impact (improving the lives of millions of people) and a tiny negative impact (maybe hurting an embryo that is going to die anyway).

That's why I don't think that this argument is about the pros and cons of the research itself, because the positive outcome is so overwhelming.


jennifer rice

Yes, I agree with your conclusion. This guy, a few hundred years ago, would have greatly objected to the notions that the world is round, or that the earth is not the center of the universe. I think the core issue is: if we take away the mystery, how will we be able to cling to the idea of God? Religion only persists when there are things we can't explain. Our small steps towards explaining our world are viewed as attempts to kill religion and strip God of power. People who think this way are, paradoxically, showing their lack of faith.... they intuitively know that their need for God will die when everything makes sense. BTW, I'm not saying that God doesn't exist... but the Church is a great marketer. The Church knows that to promote a belief (or product, or service) you have to focus on meeting (or creating) a need. And for the past thousand years or so, that need has been the fear of the unknown. Life and death, the last frontier... and thus the stem cell issue becomes much more than ethics; it's one more step towards the decline of Church power...

Benjamin Booth

Conflicts between religion and science are a clash of false-truths on either or both sides. All religion is not equal. For our own souls' sake, it's dangerous to lump it all together. Only three options exist: 1) No God 2) God exists but hasn't yet revealed himself to us 3) God exists and reveals himself to us

Assuming the third option, only one fo the world's 'religions' today can be right. Does this irk you, oh Relativist? All claims of God's revelation to man have crucial tenants that make them mutually exclusive. They simply cannot coexist as truth. So, you have to throw them all out or believe in the thing that is actually true.

As a Christian, there is nothing about what I believe that has a conflict with honest science. Of all possible things some of my friends and I can study today, the 'hard' sciences of biology and engineering are the most compelling.

Don't forget, some of the world's greatest discoveries were made by scientists who put their trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ's death.

Genetic engineering is fascinating and should be explored to its fullest ethical potential. Not sure I agree with the Catholic bishop on this one. Nevertheless, the question will always remain: when is a human life a life? If it's also helpless, the rules always get sticky.

David Bueche

While federal funding of stem cell research is currently forbidden, corporate funding is not.

If stem cell research is so promising and the results so fabulous (or lucrative), why is no one risking their own capital? Do JNJ, MRK, and ABT wait for federal funding to develop their drugs?

The truth is that corporations know that boycotts would follow if they spent their own money to harvest humans. (Can't risk losing all that lovely money, you know!) No one wants to be first to market with Soylent Green.


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