Friday, November 25, 2005

RedState on stem cells

From Steve Z's comment on Augustine's diary on stem cells:

Transplantation of adult stem cells is the moral equivalent of a blood transfusion--inflicting minor, temporary harm on a voluntary donor for the great benefit of a patient. Use of cord blood or placental cells after birth does no harm to either mother or child. Morally, taking embryonic stem cells kills a human being who could otherwise live for 70 or 80 years to try to prolong the life of an elderly person by a few years, and no clinical benefits have yet been obtained.


Better start ringing up the mass murder charges against all those fertility clinics. Destroying human beings who could have otherwise lived for 70-80 years.

The diary in and of itself gets a lot of its facts wrong and is completely misleading, but you can read the diary for yourself if you want--that's not my main purpose. In the diary, however, Augustine assumes that we inhuman liberals would somehow be in favor of a "The Island" style organ farm with cloned humans--as if that is the inevitable valley floor that one would land in should one start down the "slippery slope" of blastocyst-based embryonic stem cell research, in roughly the same way that conservatives assume that we inhuman liberals will all monomaniacally select Hillary to be our next presidential candidate. The sad truth is that beliefs like these demonstrate conclusively that these conservatives have no idea what the liberal mindset is, or what we believe.

To a religious conservative like Steve Z must be, there is no moral difference between blastocyst-based stem cell research, and harvesting cloned humans for organs--because rather than think rationally about the obvious moral differences between the two (and any moral philosopher anywhere along the spectrum of Hume, Mill or Kant would tell you so), Steve Z and his ilk base their decisions on a codified set of principles handed down from superiors that cannot be questioned.

Suffice it to say that I'm expecting the firebombing of fertility clinics to commence any day now. It's the only logical course of action for these people.

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