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Author Topic:   Embryo ethics: 400,000 Bush Babies
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 987 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 1 of 18 (395231)
04-15-2007 6:26 PM


In an article in the Boston Globe, Michael J. Sandel discusses the implications of the Bush administration's policy with regard to stem cell research. He states that the stance the president takes in this debate is morally inconsistent.

Some quotes may be in order.

quote:
"Opponents [to stem cell research] argue that the research is unethical, because deriving the stem cells destroys the blastocyst, an unimplanted human embryo at the sixth to eighth day of development. As Bush declared when he vetoed last year's stem cell bill, the federal government should not support 'the taking of innocent human life.'"

quote:
"[...] it is a striking feature of the president's position that, while restricting the funding of embryonic stem cell research, he has made no effort to ban it."

quote:
"But if embryos are human beings, to allow fertility clinics to discard them is to countenance, in effect, the widespread creation and destruction of surplus children."

quote:
"Rather than simply complain that the president's stem cell policy allows religion to trump science, critics should ask why the president does not pursue the full implications of the principle he invokes."

I think the answer to that last question is pretty obvious. Namely, it would mean that Bush would have to commandeer the wombs of 400,000 women, to order doctors to implant the embryos into those wombs, and to have the women carry the babies to full term. On top of that, he'd have to think of a way to explain all that to the tax payer.

Anyway, that's what the president would have to answer if he had thought things through. But I suspect he hasn't. This anti-science president isn't used to thinking things through, or else he would have seen the possible benefits of stem cell research for thousands, if not millions of people - real people that is, not blastocysts with the mere potential to become people - who presently have to battle with diseases that may in the future be cured thanks to this research. Instead, all this president sees is a petri dish with "innocent human life". I wonder how he regards his comb in the morning.

Is president Bush right in opposing stem cell research? Is he consistent? Is it even possible to take his position and still be consistent? I think no, no and no.

Discuss.

("Social Issues and Creation/Evolution" possibly?)

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Change "Embyo" to "Embryo" in topic title.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:13 AM Parasomnium has responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3896
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 18 (395249)
04-15-2007 7:38 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

Added by edit:

("Social Issues and Creation/Evolution" possibly?)

I don't see that this has anything to do with the creation/evolution debate, thus I've put it in the "Coffee House". Discussion of such is welcome at the "General discussion..." topic, link below. - Adminnemooseus

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : See above.


New Members should start HERE to get an understanding of what makes great posts.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 12:52 AM Adminnemooseus has not yet responded

    
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 987 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 3 of 18 (395337)
04-16-2007 12:52 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by Adminnemooseus
04-15-2007 7:38 PM


Social Issues et cetera
content deleted, see "General discussion..."

Edited by Parasomnium, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 4 of 18 (395347)
04-16-2007 1:13 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Parasomnium
04-15-2007 6:26 PM


Speaking as a supporter of stem cell research, I see no contradiction in his moral stance. He sees those embryos as human beings at the same time that he sees there's nothing he can do to save those embryos except to violate other people's rights by forcing women to take in the embryos.

I consider myself a moral person. I think that I have a moral obligation to try to save a drowning person by jumping in to save him. Am I contradicting my moral stance if there's a drowning person, my hands are tied, and I refuse to force a bystander to jump in risking his life to save the drowning person?

If we must question somebody's moral (in)consistency, it would have to be the moral (in)consistency of fundamentalists not lining up to volunteer to be implanted with the already existing embryos and to adopt orphans.

Added by edit.

I find it hard to believe that someone who has always been so proud of his grasp of the English language and actually double checks everything for spelling and grammar accuracies actually misspelled the word "embryo" in the title. :)

Edited by Tazmanian Devil, : No reason given.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Parasomnium, posted 04-15-2007 6:26 PM Parasomnium has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by obvious Child, posted 04-16-2007 1:22 AM Taz has responded
 Message 10 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 2:39 AM Taz has responded

  
obvious Child
Member (Idle past 2406 days)
Posts: 661
Joined: 08-17-2006


Message 5 of 18 (395350)
04-16-2007 1:22 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taz
04-16-2007 1:13 AM


True, however, if he had consistant beliefs, Bush would be for the banning of IVF methods as they destroy human life. He may not be able to save those in the past, but he could save those in the future. This is essentially the same argument for banning abortion. The aborted are gone, a sunk cost but one can prevent future abortions.

He's obviously not. I've had this discussion before with some fundementalists. Usually most of them avoid the elephant in the room. Either they are ignorant (very possible) or they do not want to examine their illogical processes in their decision making (again probable).

In Bush's case I don't think either actually apply as Dubya has a long history of making ignorant decisions while being surrounded by informed people who are telling him what he needs to know and then calling for Daddy to pull him out of his self dug grave.

Edited by obvious Child, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:13 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:56 AM obvious Child has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 6 of 18 (395359)
04-16-2007 1:56 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by obvious Child
04-16-2007 1:22 AM


obvious writes:

True, however, if he had consistant beliefs, Bush would be for the banning of IVF methods as they destroy human life.


How does invitro fertilization destroy human life?

He may not be able to save those in the past, but he could save those in the future. This is essentially the same argument for banning abortion. The aborted are gone, a sunk cost but one can prevent future abortions.

Again, I see no contradiction in his public moral stance. Let me explain why.

I believe that gay people should have all the rights that us straights have. I believe that they should have be able to get married, express their love in public (hold hands, kiss, stuff like that), and talk about their loved ones the same as we do without being told "why can't you keep your disgusting lifestyle out of my face?" Afterall, people talk about their heterosexuality everytime they talk about their husbands, wives, kids, etc.

But that belief of mine belongs to a much larger issue: freedom of speech. I believe that we should be able to express our opinions without being quieted by the majority. The son of a bitch Fred Phelps ought to be able to express his anger and hate without being a target of a legislation. Racists should be able to express their bigotted opinions. All people should be able to express their opinions without fear of reprisal by the majority... as long as they don't directly harm anyone.

Yet, one of the questions that people who are applying to become a citizen of the United States is "Have you joined any organization, including the Communist Part, or become associated or connected therewith in anyway?" What the hell kind of question is that? Is being a communist illegal in this country? Are we still living during the Red Scare? Is McCarthyism not dead?

But at the same time as I despise such a question, I have not voiced that much against it. Why? Because I have decided to focus my attention on the particular freedom of speech of gay people and similar subjects. I simply not have the time to worry about every freedom of speech related issue that have and will ever exist. Am I, then, a hypocrite for not strongly voicing my objection of such a question on the citizenship application?

I'm sure if we dig deep enough we can find some obscure subject related to a person's known moral/political stance and proclaim hypocrisy.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by obvious Child, posted 04-16-2007 1:22 AM obvious Child has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 2:53 AM Taz has responded
 Message 12 by obvious Child, posted 04-16-2007 2:53 AM Taz has responded

  
Nuggin
Member (Idle past 783 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 7 of 18 (395360)
04-16-2007 2:06 AM


Bush is absolutely consistant
Bush's position on this is absolutely consistant -

Every decision Bush has made is based on a few simple factors -

1) Will this shore up my base?
2) Does this require me to actually do anything?
3) Can my funders get money from this some how?
4) When does Teletubies come on?

Let's look at some past winners -
Should people get to write off their huge gas guzzling Hummers as a business expense?
1) Will this shore up my base? You bet!
2) Does this require me to actually do anything? Nope, the accountants do the work.
3) Can my funders get money from this? Hell ya, increased Hummer sales = money, increased gas consumption = more money.
4) When does teletubies come on? Soon George, just sign the bill.

Stem cells -
1) Base? You bet! This is abortion (or at least close enough that we don't have to change our signs)
2) Require action? Nope.
3) Can funders make money? Pharmaceutical companies treat illness, stem cells cure illness, we're the long money?


    
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3766
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 8 of 18 (395361)
04-16-2007 2:07 AM


I'm a bad off-topic Moose - Bush Baby photo link
http://www.cercopan.org/images/gallery%20bush%20baby.jpg

Now, think of having 400,000 of these looking at you.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled topic, already in progress.

Please do not reply to this message.

Moose

Added by edit: Giving the yawning cat a break, for now a Bush Baby avatar.

Edited by Minnemooseus, : See above.


Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 2:34 AM Minnemooseus has not yet responded

    
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 987 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 9 of 18 (395364)
04-16-2007 2:34 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by Minnemooseus
04-16-2007 2:07 AM


Re: I'm a bad off-topic Moose - Bush Baby photo link
Minnemooseus writes:

Please do not reply to this message.

I will anyway. Since someone put this topic in the Coffee House there's much more leeway to get a little off-topic. Do I sense a conflict of interest here? Naaa.

By the way, do you know of a way to correct a spelling mistake in the topic title? That would be a nice way to redeem yourself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by Minnemooseus, posted 04-16-2007 2:07 AM Minnemooseus has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 987 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 10 of 18 (395365)
04-16-2007 2:39 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taz
04-16-2007 1:13 AM


Sandel's argument is compelling
Tazmanian Devil writes:

Speaking as a supporter of stem cell research, I see no contradiction in his moral stance. He sees those embryos as human beings at the same time that he sees there's nothing he can do to save those embryos except to violate other people's rights by forcing women to take in the embryos.

I found the argument Michael Sandel put forward in his article quite compelling: he said that though Bush doesn't want to fund stem cell research, he doesn't ban it either, and that's what he should do if he wants to be consistent in his position against it. At least, that's the easy way to be consistent. My own deliberately over the top extrapolation is a much harder way to be consistent, but it hammers home the point more forcefully, I hope.

I find it hard to believe that someone who has always been so proud of his grasp of the English language and actually double checks everything for spelling and grammar accuracies actually misspelled the word "embryo" in the title.

In an ideal world, I wouldn't have made that mistake. But alas, this isn't an ideal world. Shit happens.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:13 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 4:28 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 987 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 11 of 18 (395366)
04-16-2007 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
04-16-2007 1:56 AM


Destroying human life
Tazmanian Devil writes:

How does invitro fertilization destroy human life?

By first creating a surplus of blastocysts. Some of them are used for in vitro fertilization, and the remaining ones are stored in cold suspension, with little chance of being used as such. They can be used for stem cell research though. If you think that a blastocyst is "innocent human life", in a certain sacrosanct way, then the whole practice of in vitro fertilization results in the destruction of human life.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:56 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 4:31 PM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
obvious Child
Member (Idle past 2406 days)
Posts: 661
Joined: 08-17-2006


Message 12 of 18 (395367)
04-16-2007 2:53 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Taz
04-16-2007 1:56 AM


quote:
How does invitro fertilization destroy human life?

IVF usually involves extracting somewhere between 20~50 eggs from the mother, fertilizing them with sperm in a petri dish, zap them to start growth, remove any potentially defective embryos, and implanting around 20~25 eggs in the woman's body. The rest go to one of three places. Science for study invariably resulting in destruction. Biohzard destruction, or freezing. Furthermore, the vast majority or for the truly unluckly, none of the embryos implant, and are either absorbed or removed from the woman's body. In at least three different steps human life is destroyed in IVF.

If stem cell research destroys human life by destroying a few cells, then IVF is mass murder.

I do not even understand the majority of your post as to how it relates to the subject. What does freedom of speech have do with this? What does opinions have to do with this? This is about public stated policy and action (or inaction for that matter).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 1:56 AM Taz has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Taz, posted 04-16-2007 4:39 PM obvious Child has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 13 of 18 (395456)
04-16-2007 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Parasomnium
04-16-2007 2:39 AM


Re: Sandel's argument is compelling
Parasomnium writes:

I found the argument Michael Sandel put forward in his article quite compelling: he said that though Bush doesn't want to fund stem cell research, he doesn't ban it either, and that's what he should do if he wants to be consistent in his position against it.


It's called political compromise. Bush wants to ban it, but at the same time he knows there is no chance in hell an outright ban of all future stem cell research would get past congress. So, he does the next best thing and take away the fundings.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 2:39 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by Dan Carroll, posted 04-16-2007 4:48 PM Taz has responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 14 of 18 (395458)
04-16-2007 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Parasomnium
04-16-2007 2:53 AM


Re: Destroying human life
Parasomnium writes:

By first creating a surplus of blastocysts.


Yeah, I realized that right after I posted that message. Was also too lazy to go back and edit.

But my argument stands. Just because I am against something doesn't mean I'm going to go out of my way to address every topic under the sun that even remotely related to the issue.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Parasomnium, posted 04-16-2007 2:53 AM Parasomnium has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1582 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 15 of 18 (395459)
04-16-2007 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by obvious Child
04-16-2007 2:53 AM


obvious child writes:

I do not even understand the majority of your post as to how it relates to the subject.


Obviously, you just scanned through my posts rather than actually read them. The point I was trying to make was that just because I support free speech doesn't mean I'm going to go out and speak out about every free speech related topic under the sun.

Bush has made it blatently obvious that he is anti-abortion. I'm sure we can find plenty of subjects related to a subject related to a subject related to a subject related to a subject related to a particular issue about abortion that he has not addressed.

Now, the question is has Bush spoken out in favor of IVF? Has he tried to pass a bill through congress giving tax breaks to people who have undergone IVF? If he hasn't even spoken out in favor or against IVF, then at the very best we could only say that he hasn't addressed the issue yet. I would go as far as calling him a hypocrite on an issue he hasn't even said anything about.

After years of cursing Bush to the very depth of hell, I can't believe I'm actually trying to defend the guy.


Disclaimer:

Occasionally, owing to the deficiency of the English language, I have used he/him/his meaning he or she/him or her/his or her in order to avoid awkwardness of style.

He, him, and his are not intended as exclusively masculine pronouns. They may refer to either sex or to both sexes!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by obvious Child, posted 04-16-2007 2:53 AM obvious Child has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by obvious Child, posted 04-16-2007 7:24 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
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