It seems that one of the biggest stories floating around in the news at the moment is President Bush and the issue of Embryonic Stem Cell research. Even more interesting are the different positions taken by the internet world. It seems the lead writer over at Virginia Progressive is in favor of stem cell research, while the entire Red State site is against the research. This issue does raise a number of moral and ethical questions. First and foremost is the issue of when does human life begin.
Catholics believe that life begins at the moment of conception, while there are others who feel life does not begin until further down the line in the pregnancy. As a result, some people can compare this issue with that of abortion.
Fact of the Matter
The fact of the matter on this situation is that this is a really tricky situation. As for me, there are other questions which come to mind when I think about stem cell research. VA Progressive has a quote from Jim Webb where he talks about needing “responsible research” when it comes to stem cell research. There, in effect, is where the dilemma lies. Define responsible.
It can begin with the whole principle of looking for cures for diseases, which is honorable. But then comes a new issue: what happens when the doctors want to rewrite the stem cells an create it as a way to create a new type of person? Their logic would be along the lines of eliminating disease and trying to help create a disease free world. Problem with that is we begin to genetically create a new breed of human.
Now I know this sounds very science fiction like, but lets be fair about this. How many things in the world today would be considered science fiction forty or fifty years ago? As your brain begins to wrap itself around that question and answer it, lets get back to the stem cells and a new breed of humans. I can’t help but feel that “responsible research” could be the foundations to a VERY dangerous path.
Think about it, eliminating diseases leads to ways in which parents can genetically create the type of child they want. Sounds a little bit like Gattaca. Lets go a little further and admit that this could lead to something very similar to Hitler’s dogma on creating a master race.
And again, I go back to the “responsible research” idea. It can be as honorable as it gets, but the problem is that in end, we are still walking down a dangerous path. So what if I am taking this too far and assuming too much? I wonder if that was the same question someone asked another person like myself in 1938 when Hitler was making territorial demands.
So let’s not condemn the President for vetoing this bill. Let’s not condemn those who voted against it. This all comes down to basic personal beliefs. It is our own way of making decisions which makes us unique.