A summary of the USCCB statement on embryonic stem cell research; These arguments are equally valid for abortion or euthanasia.
The Church teaches that direct attacks on human life are always wrong. The laws of our society are meant to protect human life. The aim of the medical sciences is to preserve and protect life.
However, some claim that in the case of research killing is acceptable [or they try to argue that it is not killing at all]. The Bishops respond to 3 justifications used to promote stem cell research:
The Marxist argument or the ends justify the means.
This is a false argument because evil never results in good only more evil.
“The same ethic that justifies taking some lives to help the patient with Parkinson’s disease today, can be used to sacrifice that very patient tomorrow.”
Recommended reading “1984”
The final solution argument or Ayn Rand would be proud.
This argument tries to sidestep the Marxist ethic by redefining human-ness based on power. It is not genetics that makes a person, rather it is power. Self determination and ability are what count. Where have all the post-modern social critics gone on this one?
“If fundamental rights such as the right to life are based on abilities or qualities that can appear or disappear, grow or diminish, and be greater or lesser in different human beings, then there are no inherent human rights, no true human equality, only privileges for the strong.”
Recommended reading “Atlas shrugged”
The take one for the team argument or don’t confuse me with the logic.
This argument is so absurd I can only conclude it was dreamed up by an east coast politician.
“Finally, some claim that scientists who kill embryos for their stem cells are not actually depriving anyone of life, because they are using “spare” or unwanted embryos who will die anyway. This argument is simply invalid. Ultimately each of us will die, but that gives no one a right to kill us.”
Recommended viewing “C-Span.”
The Bishops continue by observing that increased “need” for stem cells is leading to pressure to legitimize cloning. They then explain the Churches position that cloning is that is intrinsically evil;
1. Cloning is evil because it reduces human beings to commodities with market values.
2. The cloning process is a manufacturing process which shows disrespect for human life in the very act of generating it.
3. Cloned embryos are produced only to be destroyed
4. Congress has already prohibited fetus farming a process in which cloned embryos are placed in a woman’s womb for some weeks to harvest more useful tissues and organs.
Human beings are not tools for our progress to be used as long they benefit us then disposed of like a dead battery. That kind of thinking puts all of us at risk. The culture of death is hopelessly contradicted. In the case of stems cells and cloning they clamor for the right to artificially create life to destroy it. In the case of abortion they destroy life naturally created. In both cases the argument is that somehow by killing a baby this world will be a better place.