Saturday, July 23, 2005

Stem Cell Bill in Trouble

This pisses me off to no end...how is this "prolife"?

13 Thoughts:

Blogger A.T. said...

Um ... because we're trying to protect human beings / potential humans from being killed? All in favor of non-embryonic stem cell research, in which no embryonic human raises its life and which has actually yielded results, raise your hand (all hands go up). All in favor of speculative embryonic stem cell research, which has yielded nothing at all certain and which results in the death of the embryonic human, do the same (...not so much...).

That's how it's pro life.

Saturday, July 23, 2005 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

No allen, disagree...stem cell and genetic research is deadly important, and has to continue.
Hey...I`m from Scotland..Dolly the sheep, and genetic research friendly..if you don`t want the research and the jobs, we`ll happily take them.
Do you really believe that scientific research will stand still for the US to catch up?
That`s what will happen if the religious right get their way...the US will become a scientific backwater.
There will still be US research, but it will take place in countries outside of the US.
Genetic research is important in the fight against disease. It is early days yet, but remarkable things will come from it.
Can`t drive us back to the stone age now kiddo, the lid`s off of the bottle!

Sunday, July 24, 2005 2:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I also understand that these embryos have already been aborted; they can be thrown out or used to save other lives. Surely that would lessen the sting of abortion, knowing that it may lead to saving lives.

Stem cells are amazing; they are pre-specialized cells that can take on the characteristics of the organ system into which they're placed.

Why is Nancy Reagan for them, do you think? Along with huge majorities? Most articles I've read have shown that the potential is huge.

Anyway, zeppellina's right -- America is falling behind especially in the biosciences. Not particularly smart, and the EU, India, and China are laughing their asses off about our medieval allergy to evolution, genetic research, etc.

Monday, July 25, 2005 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger A.T. said...

Z,

Either you fail to understand my point or you assume that economic issues are higher-order than life issues. I don't know how I could be much clearer, and yet you didn't address a single argument I made. Nice job ... "kiddo."

Doug,

"I also understand that these embryos have already been aborted; they can be thrown out or used to save other lives. Surely that would lessen the sting of abortion, knowing that it may lead to saving lives."

You at least make an argument, and a seemingly reasonable one at that. The reason, though, that you see pro-lifers like myself still opposed is that it creates an incentive for the destruction of human life. It creates an aftermarket for abortion. So aborted fetuses become even less a tragedy and more a public good than they already are. This is very, very disturbing and ought to cause anyone pause. I can see a pro-abortion-rights believer weighing this seriously and coming to the somewhat reluctant conclusion that the pros outweigh this con. But I never actually see such ponderance from such people. It's knee-jerk declaration of necessity, even without the science to back it up.

Surely there's no coincidence that the pro-abortion-rightsers are the ones also shrugging off the REAL advances made with non-embryonic (adult cell, stem-cord cell) stem cells in an utter rush to embrace embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to produce any substantive result! What could guarantee the right to abort more than an aftermarket?

And Nancy Reagan ... come on, that's weak. She's always been highly suspected of being pro-choice herself, AND she lost her husband, who she deeply loved, to a brutal disease that so many people tell her could have been avoided if only such research were allowed to take place. I don't blame her for her opinion, I could see how anyone in her shoes might allow her emotions to dictate her judgement.

Monday, July 25, 2005 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

I did adress your argument, allen, I said I disagreed.
We disagree on fundamental issues.
You believe that humans become a living sentient being with rights even as a mere dividing cell...I do not.
There`s no point arguing that one with you, because it would be a futile exercise.
Science, however will continue its progress regardless of our differing viewpoints.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 5:26:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

allen, should have mentioned, my use of the term `kiddo` was not meant to be hostile, we use it with friends here in humour..I should have understood language differences...so, sorry about that, it was meant as a jokey humourous thing, and I didn`t mean to offend you. In future, I`ll be more careful, and use the internet sign :-)
That said, we still won`t agree on stem cell research :-)
There are areas where adult cells can just not compete in what they can do.
If a very small child under a certain age, (can`t remember age, think it is about 2, maybe 3 years old), loses the tip of a finger, it will often grow back...I know, sounds like fantasy, but apparently true.
Before a certain age, cells retain an ablity to regenerate.
Adult cells can not do this.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 6:06:00 PM  
Blogger A.T. said...

Z,

And the "kiddo" was meant back in the same vein! Come on, give us conservatives a break ... like we can't have fun or something?

OK, so there was SOME snarkiness...

My unaddressed challenge to you in my first comment (hidden behind the bizarre replacement of "loses" with the second use of the word "raises") was to deal with the lack of distinction between adult/cord stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research. The distinction is important, but the difference in demonstrable promise is significant and rarely addressed by MSM.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 6:35:00 PM  
Blogger A.T. said...

Wait, no, you did address this ... at least from a theoretical perspective. My mistake. But surely you admit that we've barely scratched the surface of what can be done with adult/cord stem cells - and I *think* that cord stem cells hold all the same theoretical capabilities as prenatal cells - so I hardly find the prenatal cell capabilities, all theoretical and unproven (unlike adult stem cell), have so much promise that we ought to ignore the serious ethical concerns and just move forward, lest the world pass us buy with the new EugenicsTech business successes (oops ... "eugenics" ... more snarkiness).

I don't actually believe that the argument belongs in such a practical level of concern. But, given that you/Cyberpols have no concern whatsoever about the life issue and have cast it aside (bizarrely and cavalierly, IMO), I guess that's the next logical place to go.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 9:35:00 AM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

I think that all areas of cell research have to be considered as valid just now.
The ability to end some very horrendous causes of genetic illness, and in the battle against illnesses both old and new is too great a cause.
But, I am not being cavalier in my outlook on the life issue.
I consider myself to be a realist when it comes to `pro-life` issues.
For example, women will always want abortions, whether they were banned or not. Women have been having abortions and forced miscarraiges since the dawn of time, and no-one will change that.
Knowledge of which herbs and spices are likely to induce miscarraige is old knowledge, and somehow worked out by women. I remember hearing a really sad incident from Italy some 8-9 years ago, where a woman died trying to induce miscarraige by drinking a very strong parsley tea. I had never heard of this one before, it would appear that she had used too much, or made it too strong, but parsley in those quantities apparently becomes toxic.
In the past, women have risked losing their lives, and often have, rather than allow a pregnancy to continue.
When talking about the sanctity of life, we have to understand and accept this.
It is not something which will stop happening just because we change laws.
And, yes, there are areas of genetic research which I have concerns with, but banning them won`t stop them now.
The way forward is to monitor and make sure that it isn`t used badly, but even them, it will be difficult to police.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 5:10:00 PM  
Blogger A.T. said...

How is this inevitability argument than that which could be used for any crime? Why accept this inevitability argument but not accept it for a proposal to legalize crack dealing, child abuse, or - perhaps most comparably - infanticide?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 5:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hey, Allen:

I actually think drugs should be legalized, in order to "medicalize" the problem, and to undermine a key feature of black-market funding, some of which finds its way into terrorist orgs -- and other nasty orgs!

Yes, all drugs. The drug war has done nothing but fill our prisons (very expensively) and drive the price and profitability of drugs up, while doing really nothing to interdict flow. Believe me, I lived in NYC; I could have gotten anything I wanted at any time of the day or night.

Laws and policy should be based on a realistic view of human nature. Like zeppellina said about the permanence of abortifacients in human history, drugs, too, have always been around. They always will be around. I would like to see some drug use, which is based on the desire to escape psychological issues or social realities, obviated by a more widespread social-welfare and mental-health perspective, which could be accomplished for a fraction of the current Iraq tab.

Prostitution, too, should be legal. It's always been with us, and always should. Those who get into it for psychological or economic reasons should have recourse to help, but those who actually want to do it shouldn't have to risk death, beatings, or simply being ripped off for their labor to do it.

You see, the hypermoralism that surrounds these issues prevents rational discussion of how to minimize what's socially and individually dangerous or unhealthy about these practices.

Certainly, in an age of terrorism, wasting time on drugs and prostitution is something pretty close to suicidally stupid.

Now, this is not a relativist or natural-fallicist argument for whatever people may want they should be allowed to do. It's a judgment on the actual danger -- individual and social -- of particular acts. I don't think infanticide should be legal. I do think that as many urges or incentives to infanticide (not abortion, but you can include that to) should be removed through wise legislation based on a realistic view of what people actually do.

Our mental-health -- for lack of a better term, "system" -- is so woefully incomplete. We should have legions of mental-health workers aiding parents and teachers and looking for problems early on. This is not "state parenting;" if done properly, and with proper oversight, it's just a no-brainer. Fixing more problems upstream costs less and lays the groundwork for more happiness downstream.

You'll notice that none of what I'm writing, whether you agree with it or not, is at all part of the political conversation, at least in MSM. I think that's quite bad, as I'm trying to deal with real potential solutions to real problems. Disagree, if you want, by all means. But let's at least talk about things like this (which we do -- I mean, the larger national polity) rather than Janet Jackson's nipple or whatnot.

That, of course, requires wrenching one's face from the ever-present boob tube, which tells us what to feel and to buy, in all senses of that last word.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 5:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oops -- on prostitution, I meant, "always will..." How "should" got in there, only Freud would know. LOL!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 6:00:00 PM  
Blogger Zeppellina said...

Out of curiousity allen, what are your views on capital punishment? :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005 6:31:00 PM  

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