Ok. So here’s your choice. You can cure “some of our most devastating diseases” with just one life. Humanity would potentially (!) be better off for the rest of, well, history as a result of this sacrifice. Diseases would disappear, lives would be more fulfilled, people would be happier. And it just requires one life. Choose.

Is it worth…

a. The life of an orphan?

b. The life of a baby conceived by rape or incest?

c. The life of the child of a mother who already has several children, doesn’t have a job, and is struggling to raise the ones she has?

d. Your life?

e. The life of one of your children?

Not a great choice, right? Don’t worry, you don’t have to make it. Obama already made it for you.  

President McDreamy has signed an executive order reversing the ban on federal funding for stem cell research, apparently because a majority of Americans believe it’s OK. He even notes in the order that it’s important to respect those of us who believe stem cell research is ethically and morally wrong. BUT, he says, too bad.

We’re gonna do it anyway. (Nanny nanny boo boo).

Now, you may not have ever given the matter any serious thought. Or maybe the issue is interesting to you and you have. I’m somewhere in the middle. On one hand, curing disease is awesome, and kids should be able to be kids without dealing with brain tumors or needles. On the other hand- is it worth the life of anyone, human being, especially if that ONE can’t speak for themselves?

Tough answers. But you didn’t think I’d let this one go by, didja??

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10 Responses to Choices

  1. KathyB! says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised that it took you this long!

    This is such an emotional and loaded topic. It’s the type of decision that makes me glad I’m not in charge. Theoretically, I think it’s wrong. But if I knew someone or was someone or loved someone directly impacted by all of the horrible diseases that can be aided by this research? I don’t know if I would be as certain of my convictions. Ideally, I would be stronger. Ideally, I could see black and white. But as in most thinkgs these days I seem to see so many shades of gray.

  2. ultraguy says:

    Well done, Evenshine. I don’t think many folks have really connected the dots between an executive order like this (precisely 45 days after the Mexico City accord executive order funding foreign abortions…) and the kinds of so-far-hypothetical ‘Sophie’s Choice’ items you lay out.

    To Kathy’s point, I’m glad I’m not in charge either BUT… it scares me that BHO exhibits such supreme confidence about HIS getting it right. It is HIS judgment in play here, without reference to God or any other moral framework. He is, quite literally, a law unto himself.

  3. Adriana says:

    The fact that my tax dollars are used in a fashion I believe to be morally wrong leave me beside myself.

    My stance on stem cell research is simple – I’m against creating embryos for the sake of harvesting the stem cells. Period. Besides, we don’t even know for sure if this is the cureall everyone believes it to be. The ban had already led to creative ways of stem cell research creation that didn’t involve harming human life.

  4. erin says:

    The ends just don’t justify the means. There is one exception, as I see it: If the person whose life is considered the “means” gives him/herself up for the “ends,” then MAYBE it was worth it, hoping that person’s view of the situation was reasonable and honorable.

    Tough. But, as you said, the decision has been made for us, for now. And as another commenter said, it is based (according to the statement) on our President’s considered deliberation, along with whomever else is whispering in his ear.

    I know, those little, itsy-bitsy, Thumbelina people don’t have a will that can be voiced just yet, but can’t we just assume that they want to live? And it’s not an exchange of one life for another, as in the hypothetical you gave. It’s just for a slight, infinitesmal, don’t know how big because no one has really proven it, chance that these embryonic (from what I’ve heard, not as “useful” as other kinds) stem cells from Thumbelinas who have to die to be harvested, can cure some group of people’s diseases, which are not necessarily fatal (not to make lightly of them, but it’s a valid point).

    ooh, sorry, didn’t know it would be like that. end of outburst.

  5. I’m torn too on this issue.

    I like Erin’s point that if a person gives their life up of their own accord it is different.

  6. evenshine says:

    Erin- I agree, it’s not exactly the hypothetical I proposed, but the underlying issue is the same. As with abortion, I don’t think it’s possible to get around the fact that embryos are human life. If they’re not, what are they? What makes an embryo of one week anything qualitatively different than an embryo at 5 weeks? At what point does “embryo” become “baby”? Birth?
    Tough questions, yes, but definitely not anything “beyond our pay scale”, as BHO would have us think.
    Thanks for commenting!

  7. evenshine says:

    KathyB!- thanks for being brave and commenting on the post. You’ve mentioned the shades of gray before, and I agree that there are some things that can be seen as shades of gray. I’m on the “life” side of most of these debates, so, for me, life is the only issue. Are embryos human? If not, what are they? And if so, we have no right to tamper with a human life before it’s able to defend itself.
    Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

  8. antropologa says:

    Oh, to me embryos that aren’t living in anybody are not people or lives. No heartbeat, no life. For me. Potential life, sure, but so are sperms and eggs, and nobody minds letting those die. To me it’s the same, so embryos dying are like cells being sloughed off, and in this case for a useful purpose.

  9. ultraguy says:

    antro’ –
    Frozen embryos are different from life in utero to be sure, but they have more potential than merely sperm and eggs. It’s sort of like a movie put on pause, as opposed to a movie that hasn’t even been made yet.

    In cases like this though, in cases this where everyone can agree that the script has been written so-to-speak (combined DNA) and a life set in motion that the “don’t kick it” principle would apply. As made famous by Reagan and his speechwriter, Peggy Noonan, it basically says: “You see a paper bag on the sidewalk about the size of a puppy or kitten and it looks like it may be moving. Do you kick it? (I.e., take steps to ensure that no matter what may be in there, that it’s dead?) Of course not.

  10. David says:

    Great post, evenshine! *Stands up and claps* Good blog you have here.

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