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The W - Current Events & Politics - Bush uses first veto on stem-cell research (Page 2)
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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

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#21 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.59
    Originally posted by spf
    If proponents of stem-cell research were to support any sort of move to end the process of creating and storing unneeded embryos, or to make some sort of rule that potential hosts for all created embryos must be procured prior to emryonic creation, would you support using these already-created, certain to be destroyed embryos for stem-cell research?


In my reply to CRZ, I said that was quite an ethical dilemma - it still is, but I think my answer would be a tentative and thoughtful yes. And frankly, what is stopping that from happening today? Nothing.

It's just not being federally funded.



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Since: 7.2.02
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#22 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    To me, it is a human life already. Period. End of story. Just younger. And I can't allow myself to make a decision when to kill that innocent (ie: not a convicted criminal or not a person my country is at war with) person. Is it at 1 hr after conception? 1 Day? Is that long enough? How about a week after? A month? nine months? 3 years? When?


And there's the essence of why I think these distinctions you are making are arbitrary. You've devalued the lives of "actual people" if favor of "potential people" based not on any sense of biology as you've done with embryos, but for other political reasons, social reasons and some moral concept of innocence.

Not to mention, the lives of those suffering from diseases that could be cured from stem cell research are deemed not as valuable by definition.










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Since: 8.10.03
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#23 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.02
    Originally posted by Leroy
      Originally posted by AWArulz
      To me, it is a human life already. Period. End of story. Just younger. And I can't allow myself to make a decision when to kill that innocent (ie: not a convicted criminal or not a person my country is at war with) person. Is it at 1 hr after conception? 1 Day? Is that long enough? How about a week after? A month? nine months? 3 years? When?


    And there's the essence of why I think these distinctions you are making are arbitrary. You've devalued the lives of "actual people" if favor of "potential people" based not on any sense of biology as you've done with embryos, but for other political reasons, social reasons and some moral concept of innocence.

    Not to mention, the lives of those suffering from diseases that could be cured from stem cell research are deemed not as valuable by definition.









And that is essentially the question I posed in my previous post. This comes up during childbirth in the dilema of "We can save the mother or the child but not both." Much less common today but a question similar to what is being posed.

Or maybe the question is "Should we quit creating frozen embryos?"



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Since: 1.10.05
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#24 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.36
For the sake of argument let us say that life does begin at conception. As I understand it this "life embryo" is considered valuable because it is innocent. But what makes it innocent? This embryo cannot think, feel, see, act, experience or anything. It has no history that would make it valuable (like a coma patient has) and it has no deep connection to anyone. Is there an argument against stem cell research that is not dependent upon the potential of the embryo but based on the embryo merits?




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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#25 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by General Zod
    For the sake of argument let us say that life does begin at conception. As I understand it this "life embryo" is considered valuable because it is innocent. But what makes it innocent? This embryo cannot think, feel, see, act, experience or anything. It has no history that would make it valuable (like a coma patient has) and it has no deep connection to anyone. Is there an argument against stem cell research that is not dependent upon the potential of the embryo but based on the embryo merits?


This 'life embryo' (I prefer to call it a baby) is considered valuable because it is life, not because it is innocent (IMHO), just like a coma patient or anyone else. It has nothing to do with potential or anything else. The fact that it is human life means it should be protected.

As far as Leroy's argument, I'd take the opposite viewpoint. You've devalued the lives of actual people (babies) in favor of potential cures which may or may not ever be realized. And, you're talking as if embryo stem cell research is absolutely the only way to find a cure for these diseases. Let's not overstate what we know about embryonic stem cells.

And, Bush only withheld federal funding for this type of research. That's not the only source of funding, and it certainly doesn't end embryonic stem cell research. Is everyone just as angry that the House also voted down federal funds for adult stem cell research in an obvious political manuever? That's something Bush would have signed into law which also has potential (no more, no less) for curing disease.

I agree with almost everything AWArulz said, except that I am also against the death penalty because I think that also violates the sanctity of life. But, that's a discussion for another thread.


(edited by Corajudo on 20.7.06 1351)

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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#26 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.66
I am probably repeating myself, so I'll make this my last post on the subject unless there is a compelling new material to talk about but:

1: The Embryo " has no deep connection to anyone".

I would disagree. He or she has unique characteristics, genes and other DNA information collected from the parents. While the parents might not personally see that as a "deep connection", I would.

2: "Or maybe the question is "Should we quit creating frozen embryos?""

That would solve the ethical dilemma for me and others.

3: "You've devalued the lives of "actual people" if favor of "potential people" based not on any sense of biology as you've done with embryos, but for other political reasons, social reasons and some moral concept of innocence. "

No. Their lives are equally valuable - that is, the sick folks and the unborn ones. I would agree it is my (and the majority of people throughout history) moral code that governments have the ability to wage war and execute criminals. But the sick and the unborn - equally valuable. I want to do everything I can to heal those sick folks - but I don't agree that someone else has to lose their life to perhaps create a cure that would allow them to live. Unless the person that has to die to let them live is around to make the choice form him or her self to die.


3: "Not to mention, the lives of those suffering from diseases that could be cured from stem cell research are deemed not as valuable by definition."

I think there is some real question about the true viability of this research and the resultant cures derived from it. But that being said, there's nothing stopping this research from occurring. It's just not the US Government paying for it. And they still are paying for some research - just not new lines.

Guys - thanks for your civility in this thread. I hope I was also perceived as civil here. I think we can agree to disagree on this. Someone asked if someone who agree with the President would post. I want you to know I hesitated awhile, because it's gotten mean on here before in similar discussions - this, abortion, others. But this one hasn't been made very personal. And for that, you have my thanks.




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#27 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.12
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    Guys - thanks for your civility in this thread. I hope I was also perceived as civil here. I think we can agree to disagree on this. Someone asked if someone who agree with the President would post. I want you to know I hesitated awhile, because it's gotten mean on here before in similar discussions - this, abortion, others. But this one hasn't been made very personal. And for that, you have my thanks.

Hear, hear!



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Since: 2.1.02

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#28 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    In my reply to CRZ, I said that was quite an ethical dilemma - it still is, but I think my answer would be a tentative and thoughtful yes. And frankly, what is stopping that from happening today? Nothing.

    It's just not being federally funded.


Do you think it should be federally funded (research involving these cells that would otherwise just be destroyed, that is)?

My answer would be an emphatic "yes." I think if the research is going to be done on these particular cells anyway, and they would simply be discarded otherwise, than the government should acknowledge that it is in America's (and the world's) best interests to encourage said research.

I know you kind of touched on this in your first reply to me, but honestly I'm not interested in the debate regarding "life vs. potential life." We've got just as much chance of answering that question as we do the question of abortion. What do you think the government should do about the embryos already set aside (if anything), though?

(edited by TheBucsFan on 20.7.06 1615)


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AWArulz
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Since: 28.1.02
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#29 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.66
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    What do you think the government should do about the embryos already set aside (if anything), though?


Wow. That was a long "I'm done" wasn't it? LOL

Basically, I'd be against federally funding this effort since taxpayers have to fund this and for many of us (ok, at least me), this is a ethical problem. I have a ethical problem with even using them at all, but I can't stop (as long as there are no laws against it) private firms from engaging in it.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#30 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    I am probably repeating myself, so I'll make this my last post on the subject unless there is a compelling new material to talk about but:

    1: The Embryo " has no deep connection to anyone".

    I would disagree. He or she has unique characteristics, genes and other DNA information collected from the parents. While the parents might not personally see that as a "deep connection", I would.

    2: "Or maybe the question is "Should we quit creating frozen embryos?""

    That would solve the ethical dilemma for me and others.

    3: "You've devalued the lives of "actual people" if favor of "potential people" based not on any sense of biology as you've done with embryos, but for other political reasons, social reasons and some moral concept of innocence. "

    No. Their lives are equally valuable - that is, the sick folks and the unborn ones. I would agree it is my (and the majority of people throughout history) moral code that governments have the ability to wage war and execute criminals. But the sick and the unborn - equally valuable. I want to do everything I can to heal those sick folks - but I don't agree that someone else has to lose their life to perhaps create a cure that would allow them to live. Unless the person that has to die to let them live is around to make the choice form him or her self to die.


    3: "Not to mention, the lives of those suffering from diseases that could be cured from stem cell research are deemed not as valuable by definition."

    I think there is some real question about the true viability of this research and the resultant cures derived from it. But that being said, there's nothing stopping this research from occurring. It's just not the US Government paying for it. And they still are paying for some research - just not new lines.

    Guys - thanks for your civility in this thread. I hope I was also perceived as civil here. I think we can agree to disagree on this. Someone asked if someone who agree with the President would post. I want you to know I hesitated awhile, because it's gotten mean on here before in similar discussions - this, abortion, others. But this one hasn't been made very personal. And for that, you have my thanks.


And thank you for not busting out any of the tired "baby-killer" sort of rhetoric that so many people can fall into on this topic.

In many ways it is on issues like this that I become most angry with the President and his administration. They have taken such an aggressively anti-science and anti-intellectual stance on so many things that I sometimes feel like the 30 posts in this thread have given the issue more careful consideration than this administration likely has, particularly as relates to the ethical and moral concerns of it. I believe you AWA have thought this through on a deeper level than many of our policy makers. And that irks me.



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Eddie Famous
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Since: 11.12.01
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#31 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.05

I tend to put this in the category of organ donation, which I am wholly for.

I don't think it's equivalent to abortions (the donating of frozen embryos) because they are going to go to waste anyway. And while I dislike the concept of wasted lives, if these embryos can at least be used towards assisting other lives, they aren't wasted.

That's how I justify my conflicting convictions, anyway.





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DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#32 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.02
Spf, the anti-science (except for improving our military) and anti-intellectual stance you perceive in the current administration goes back to Reagan. It is very effective with the base of the party, many of whom are scared of "science" and feel (sometimes rightly so)that the "intellectuals" look down on them. Science and the intellectual community (however you define it) have done a poor job of communicating with the American people.



Perception is reality
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#33 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Maybe we as a society need to step back and debate the whole spectrum of issues created by our technology and catch our moral/ethical framework up to the science.

I wish this point was brought up back when we first started stockpiling frozen embryos. No one ever asked what would be done with the unused embryos. Some months ago, I saw a RAND institute study that estimated we had 400,000 frozen embryos in storage, which is obviously increasing. Even if the true number is much smaller, it's obvious that we have to figure something out. I also recognize that it's just as likely that the true number is larger than 400,000.

So, while I oppose the use of embryos in scientific research, if someone were to ask me what to do with the 400,000 frozen embryos, I couldn't answer it right now. My personal opinion is that they never should have been created to begin with, but that's not a solution. And, there are a lot of couples undergoing fertility treatments that would be mighty pissed at me. Not to mention the families that have already undergone successful IVFs.

    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Science and the intellectual community (however you define it) have done a poor job of communicating with the American people.

I agree. And, when these communities do communicate with the American people, they generally oversell what they know and understand. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I know this from experience because I'm an economist. We may be the most guilty as we combine the overselling with the inability to explain things in English!




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rinberg
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Since: 30.1.02
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#34 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.95
I would like to second the props given to everyone for sticking to the issue without allowing the discussion to devolve into personal attacks and meaningless rhetoric.

For the record, I find that I agree with AWA which is not unusual, but not acceded to lightly. If he hadn't spoken so eloquently I might have added my voice. However, due to his ability to answer honestly and intelligently the points raised *and* his willingness to say "I don't know" in some cases, all I can really add is my agreement. Well spoken, sir.

You won't find mature conversations in this vein in most forums. This is the-w.com at it's best and why I continue to maintain an interest in the community here. You expand my horizons and help me develop my own opinions on current events with debates such as this. Thank you.



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Since: 9.12.01
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#35 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
Not to jump too far back into the past (and ruin any potential back-patting in this thread for civility) but I do need to object to an earlier classification of egg and sperm as not being alive.

I think you mean to say that eggs and sperm don't have souls, not that they aren't alive. Sperm is most definitely living, as are eggs. Your organs are also alive, just as are most cells in your body (hair and nails being the exception).

Our perception of wholeness is akin to our perception of a soul, yet as organ donation proves, many of your cells can be removed, and as long as they are provided with an appropriate environment they can continue to live and function. Each person is a collection of cells, all of which operate together as a unit, but each cell is alive.

The argument the a number of chromosomes defines who is living is also incorrect. People with extra chromosomes, for example, are not more alive than others. Down's syndrome is the easy example here. I argue that they are still living

So, when does the soul start? I don't claim that AWA's beliefs are inconsistent with his argument that the soul is created at conception. I'm not going to derail this too much, but if you don't believe that there is a soul in the equation, it changes how you see this whole argument. If instead of an eternal soul, you only need to worry about the perception of the embryo at its current development level, you can see that there isn't as much of a worry. These are not much more than germinated seeds at this point, developmentally.

Eating sunflower seeds is different than destroying sunflowers. I eat fruit all the time without planting the seeds contained within it. Every day I take advantage of the reproductive efforts of all manner of plants and animals (milk, seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, vegetables) and I don't have any remorse for this. Is it really that difficult to look past the fact that we are destroying potential future cows, trees, shrubs, vegetables and apply that same standard to people?



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Andouille








Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#36 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.73
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Spf, the anti-science (except for improving our military) and anti-intellectual stance you perceive in the current administration goes back to Reagan. It is very effective with the base of the party, many of whom are scared of "science" and feel (sometimes rightly so)that the "intellectuals" look down on them. Science and the intellectual community (however you define it) have done a poor job of communicating with the American people.


A bit off topic, but related to your point:

The scariest thing I've noticed in the last few years, while working on a University campus (and even teaching the occasional class), is the lack of motivation of a large percentage of the student body to learn things for the sheer purpose of personal growth. If you can't teach them something they identify as "something they will use", then they put forth as little effort as possible. In the organization I work for, I'll see students who, if you don't give them step by step instructions, can't complete a task - students who needed at least a 3.9 GPA in high school to get here.

How can we have this debate as a nation if our citizens don't know the basic science behind the topic, but also have no interest in *learning* those basics? That's what most disturbs me about how these decisions are getting made, and hoe the debates are driven.

I'll also contribute to the Mutual Admiration Society forming in this thread - it's nice to see civility over these topics every now and then...



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Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

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#37 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.73
Guru--I would argue that the relevant issue is human life. And, I would agree that human life is sacred because of the presence of the soul. But, I think people can draw a distinction between human life and other forms of life without believing in the presence of a soul. And, many people (not me) believe that animals have souls.

    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    I'm not going to derail this too much, but if you don't believe that there is a soul in the equation, it changes how you see this whole argument. If instead of an eternal soul, you only need to worry about the perception of the embryo at its current development level, you can see that there isn't as much of a worry. These are not much more than germinated seeds at this point, developmentally.

    Eating sunflower seeds is different than destroying sunflowers. I eat fruit all the time without planting the seeds contained within it. Every day I take advantage of the reproductive efforts of all manner of plants and animals (milk, seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, vegetables) and I don't have any remorse for this. Is it really that difficult to look past the fact that we are destroying potential future cows, trees, shrubs, vegetables and apply that same standard to people?

I really hope this doesn't sound like trolling, but what morality are you arguing for? If an embryo is 'not much more than germinated seeds,' then at what point does that change? I don't want to take Guru's argument to its logical extreme as I understand it from the post, because that would definitely be trolling.




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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#38 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.13
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Is it really that difficult to look past the fact that we are destroying potential future cows, trees, shrubs, vegetables and apply that same standard to people?
What a low opinion you have of people. Also, cows don't come from milk. Also, I'm glad somebody else thought you were trolling. I'd ask you if you cared to rephrase but I'm not sure *I* care to read it, knowing how it would probably come out.



CRZ
spf
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Since: 2.1.02
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#39 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
To Guru's point I would say that back when I was a young strident pro-lifer (this is a long time ago) my response to such a thing would have been that a sperm or an egg by its lonesome cannot under any circumstances become a human being. An human embryo can, if left to progress through usual natural means, become a human being.

I would now however say simply that this embryo, if it will become a human being, is not yet such a thing, and thus is not yet deserving of the societal rights that we have determined are appropriate for human beings.

And I'm sorry, but any scientific argument that involves the concept of a soul falls flat. Show me a soul and we'll talk. Until then, I'm just not able to accept such an argument. That's why AWA's argument is more persuasive for me, because it doesn't get into supernatural concepts like the soul. He states when he believes a human being becomes a human being, and goes from there.



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Since: 9.12.01
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#40 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
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