Monday, July 10, 2006

A: Knock, knock. B: Who's there? A: Moral relativism. B: Oh, shit.

Slate has a nice piece on why the so-called "pro-life" dunderheads need to pull their noggins out of their asses on the whole stem-cell thing. For example, why pick stem-cell research as their target, when it is the fertility clinics that are the actual culprits when it comes to embryo destruction? Well, of course, it wouldn't do to oppose fertility clinic operations, would it? Too many nice Republican supporters might wake up and realize what colossal hypocritical idiots those people are. Ahem:

In any particular case, fertility clinics try to produce more embryos than they intend to implant. Then-like the Yale admissions office (only more accurately)-they pick and choose among the candidates, looking for qualities that make for a better human being. If you don't get into Yale, you have to attend a different college. If the fertility clinic rejects you, you get flushed away-or maybe frozen until the day you can be discarded without controversy.

And fate isn't much kinder to the embryos that make this first cut. Usually several of them are implanted in the hope that one will survive. Or, to put it another way, in the hope that all but one will not survive. And fertility doctors do their ruthless best to make these hopes come true.

In short, if embryos are human beings with full human rights, fertility clinics are death camps-with a side order of cold-blooded eugenics. No one who truly believes in the humanity of embryos could possibly think otherwise.

The author actually cuts so-called "pro-lifers" a lot more slack in the whole sincerity area than I do. Granted, the arguments are different (at least on the side of reason) regarding the issues of stem-cell research and abortion, but I've found that most people who make anti-stem-cell research rumblings are actually completely ignorant of what stem cells are and where they come from. And personally, I haven't yet scratched someone who objected to abortion on "life is sacred" grounds without finding underneath a person who finally just objected to women having sex without consequences.

In the comments section of another blog, I got into it with one of those people on the issue of stem-cell research. I posed to her the following famous hypothetical:

A fertility clinic is burning down. You have the choice of saving only one of the following: 1) a dish filled with a dozen zygotes, or 2) one two-year-old child. Who do you choose?

My debater first responded: "knowing me, I would die trying to save them all." And then perhaps even she realized the stupendous egotism of that statement and countered instead that it was a trick question, which it most definitely is NOT. It is a difficult question, perhaps, but one designed to reveal our true feelings about the relative value of "life."

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