Grandiosity Masquerading as Intelligent Commentary

President Bush has singlehandedly ended all scientific progress in the United States. Or at least you’d think so to read USA Today‘s editorial from last week.

Not only did he halt scientific progress–

Unlike some presidential vetoes, Bush’s would be more than symbolic. Because the House isn’t expected to muster the two-thirds vote needed to override, it would kill the bill. The veto would impede medical progress at potentially enormous human cost, allow abortion politics to trump science and go against the wishes of most Americans.

[in other words, USA Today is satisfied only with meaningless vetoes, unless they go their way] –the results of embryonic stem-cell research will nonetheless be happily achieved in 25 years: “A quarter-century from now, when the benefits of embryonic stem cell research are being realized, Americans are likely to shake their heads in astonishment at this week’s events in Washington.”

Despite the fact that USA Today is now able to see the future with absolute clarity, the editors also make unfounded rhetorical moves designed to cast all those who oppose the needless abuse of human life as anti-science neanderthals. Besides, “These microscopic clusters of cells aren’t life as most people think of it. They have the potential to become human only if they are successfully implanted in a woman’s uterus.” My question is, what do they have the potential to become otherwise? Cows? Before painting others as anti-scientific progress, maybe the USAT editors should get their biological facts straight: no matter whether a fertilized egg is implanted in a woman’s uterus, it still has the “potential” to become only a human being. Of course, this is dismissed by the glib statement that they aren’t life “as most people think of it,” meaning, as “we the editors think of it.” I’m sure the medical community has a different take on it.

“Anti-progress” is a common point of attack, but let’s think about that one. Progress is only important relative to the goal at which one aims. If the goal is libertine scientific experimentation by means of which some utilitarian goal might be reached, progress cannot be good in any objective sense. On the other hand, cutting off the beginnings of further destructive experimentation on human lives deemed expendable for the sake of science is indeed progress toward a good end, namely, that each life is valued for the end to which God has ordained it. To suggest that scientific “progress” undefined is a good to be pursued at any cost is ridiculous on the face of it. It all depends on which end and whose progress.

Timotheos

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4 thoughts on “Grandiosity Masquerading as Intelligent Commentary

  1. Vetoing this bill certainly doesn’t address the ongoing creation and wanton destruction of embryos that results of in vitro fertilization.

    To me, that is the elephant in the room. That these embryos are created and bound for destruction. Stem cell research simply means their end is a different form of destruction.

    What I find most appalling is that I read that most people who have extra embryos created during fertilization treatments don’t allow them to be given to other couples who desire children and would rather they be destroyed.

    Meaning that those other couples end up having their own fertilization treatments, create their own extra embryos and potentially have them destroyed –or eternity in suspended animation.

    I just find this whole thing troubling. I don’t think they should destroy life at all, but they are destroying it. In that case, I’d rather see some research from it than none –but I’d like to stop this practice altogether.

    It’s just that there is no political support out there to stop or regulate fertilization treatments. The Republicans can barely muster a majority within their own party against stem cell research. I’ll bet they can’t muster 10% of their membership in favor of regulating fertilization treatments that lead to destruction of embryos.

    It’s a mad, mad world.

  2. David said: “I just find this whole thing troubling. I don’t think they should destroy life at all, but they are destroying it. In that case, I’d rather see some research from it than none –but I’d like to stop this practice altogether.”

    I agee with you mostly, David. But I take exception to seeing research form this rather than destruction.

    Not directly the followig comments against David personally:

    The problem with stem cell research on “embryos” is that the “embryos” must be developed enough to have stem cells. And in this instance, aren’t the “embryos” actually “fetuses”?

    We have so dehumanized the human birthing process that we no longer consider any stage of the gestation period as viable life. And this is the real problem.

    We used to have “babies” in gestation. Then they became “fetuses”, and now they are simply “embryos” to be harvested for medical research purposes.

    A sad commentary on the state of our society.

  3. I’m sure that our nursing homes would make great harvest fields for medical research. In fact, why stop there. Shouldn’t we legislate that all people that are finished contributing to society (ie, those who are retired) be rounded up and have their organs harvested for those who still have much more life left in them. It seems to follow the same logic. But why stop there. You know that dumb kid from your high school Trig class, there really isn’t much hope for him to contribute to society in a meaningful way. Maybe he should surrender his organs too, for the high IQ’d med school student who got drunk and then in a car accident, he definately will contribute in a more meaningful way, he’s involved in embryonic stem cell research. But why stop there. We can use people that are obese as medical subjects for testing. I mean, they drive up insurance costs, take barely fit in air plane seats. Frankly we can do without them. But why stop there…

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