Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dumb Letters: Stem Cells Are People Too

See if you can spot the flaw in this argument from today's NYT letters section. We're talking stem cells here.

I commend Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth for issuing a ruling on Monday preventing the Obama administration from carrying out its embryonic stem cell research. The American people should not be forced to pay for experiments that destroy human life.

Human life begins at conception with the formation of a genetically complete, self-directing human entity, the embryo.

Human beings are not raw materials that can be exploited or commodities that can be bought and sold. We must help those who are suffering, but we may not use a good end to justify an evil means. The respect for every human life is an essential condition of our society.

Any method of genetic manipulation that involves the alteration or destruction of human embryos is nothing more than Frankenstein science.

Did you catch it? It's a bit clever.

My first question to this letter writer would be "Where do the embryos in question come from?" I'm guessing they aren't yanking them out of women's bodies after they have been heteronormatively inseminated by their lawfully wedded husbands. These embryos, for the most part, have been created in petri dishes with the express purpose of being selected for their health and desirability and then placed into women's wombs with "scientific" implements, after choosing among several of them so that the customers can keep the best one(s) and discard the rest.

"Conception", in this case, takes place in the lab. And the embryos in question are "commodities" that are being bought and sold already. That's why they exist in the first place. The fact that the ones being used for research were going to be thrown away doesn't seem to affect the writer. How is this evil? Sounds like the creation of these embryos should be classified as evil, if the writer wants to be consistent. Either that or we need to keep every single one we create frozen forever. We can keep them with Ted Williams's head, I guess.

Oh, and "self-directing"? Not sure what that's supposed to mean. But I'm sure it's some kind of religious code.

1 comment:

Kizz said...

I now picture Ted Williams' head presiding over a sort of classroom full of unused embryos, sort of like the teacher in Peanuts cartoons.