Cozying Up to a Brave New World
March 10, 2009
On March 8 President Obama signed an executive order allowing the use of taxpayer money to be used to destroy human embryos for scientific research. An article addressing this issue appeard today in the Wall Street Journal by Robert George. Dr. George is Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and is an intellectual champion of the pro-life movement.
Dr. George writes:
"Moderate" Mr. Obama's policy is not. It will promote a whole new industry of embryo creation and destruction, including the creation of human embryos by cloning for research in which they are destroyed. It forces American taxpayers, including those who see the deliberate taking of human life in the embryonic stage as profoundly unjust, to be complicit in this practice.
Mr. Obama made a big point in his speech of claiming to bring integrity back to science policy, and his desire to remove the previous administration's ideological agenda from scientific decision-making. This claim of taking science out of politics is false and misguided on two counts.
First, the Obama policy is itself blatantly political. It is red meat to his Bush-hating base, yet pays no more than lip service to recent scientific breakthroughs that make possible the production of cells that are biologically equivalent to embryonic stem cells without the need to create or kill human embryos. Inexplicably -- apart from political motivations -- Mr. Obama revoked not only the Bush restrictions on embryo destructive research funding, but also the 2007 executive order that encourages the National Institutes of Health to explore non-embryo-destructive sources of stem cells.
Second and more fundamentally, the claim about taking politics out of science is in the deepest sense antidemocratic. The question of whether to destroy human embryos for research purposes is not fundamentally a scientific question; it is a moral and civic question about the proper uses, ambitions and limits of science. It is a question about how we will treat members of the human family at the very dawn of life; about our willingness to seek alternative paths to medical progress that respect human dignity.
Read the entire article HERE.
One of the ironies of stem cell reasearch is that the real breakthroughs have come from stem cells that do not destoy human embryos. Why then the reluctance or outright hostility to pursue these options that present no moral delimmas? It is quite simple. To destroy human embryos serves the political and moral agenda of pro-abortion advocates. If destroying human embryos is good then why not those children that are positioned all along the developmental continuum? Make no mistake about it. Human embryos are human beings. They are imprinted with all the genetic information that they will ever possess as adults. Seniors, forty-year-olds, adolescents, children, toddlers, infants, third-trimester babies, and embryos are all human lives at various stages on the develpmental continuum.
Destroying human embryos for scientific advancement is nothing less than viewing human life in strictly utilitarian terms. There is nothing intrinsically valuable about human life because there is no imago dei. Therefore, why not destroy humans at their most vulnerable state? Why not use their parts to advance the health of the strong?
It is becoming more imaginable that we will live to see a world where the very young, very old, the ill, and developmentally hampered among us will be euthanized to serve the greater good. It will become the patriotic duty of old, weak, and unhealthy citizens to no longer burden what will be a state owned health care system. It will also be seen as the moral duty of those with no real "quality of life" to surrender the constituent parts of their bodies to be used for the health of the strong. And it will all be sold to us by warm, smiling, and "moderate" politicians.