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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

House Republicans come to their senses


A majority of Americans approve of using embryonic stem cells in medical studies, according to a CBS News poll. Fifty-eight percent say they support stem cell research, while 31 percent disapprove.

Approval is higher now than it was last August; then, 50 percent approved and 31percent disapproved, but 19 percent had no opinion.

Republicans are less likely than Democrats to approve of it, although half do. Approval of stem cell research among Republicans has risen significantly since last year; then, 37 percent approved of it, now 50 percent do. Approval has risen among Democrats as well, although less dramatically, from 57 to 65 percent now.

CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin notes that while the stem cell debate has intensified in this country, the actual research on embryonic stem cells to treat disease is moving ahead in other countries. Known as "stem cell refugees," hundreds of top American scientists have left the U.S. to work on research overseas.

The medical promise of embryonic stem cell research prompted several House members of both parties who oppose abortion rights to vote yes nonetheless. The moral obligation, they argued, rested on Congress to fund research that could lead to cures for debilitating illnesses.

"Who can say that prolonging a life is not pro-life?" said Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., who said she had a "perfect" pro-life record and whose mother-in-law had died the night before of Alzheimer's disease.

"I must follow my heart on this and cast a vote in favor," she said.

"Being pro-life also means fighting for policies that will eliminate pain and suffering," said Rep. James R. Langevin, D-R.I., who was paralyzed at 16 in a gun accident.

I saw a quote on CNN this morning, where Bush was talking to some adoptees and said: "This proves there is no such thing as an extra embryo."

Except that there are, all the time, from fertility treatments. I suppose he would prefer that these "leftovers" were grown in testtubes or pig wombs to full maturity?

And also, can someone on the right (I know you're reading this) explain to me how the death penalty and war are not destroying life to save life, whereas stem-cell research is? I suppose "stem-cell research" is just one of those meaningless liberal terms. The proper term would be "cloning" or "murder", right?

Culture of life my ass.


Blogger wafflestomper said...

can someone on the right ... explain to me how the death penalty and war are not destroying life to save life, whereas stem-cell research is?

maybe your absolutely correct in demonstrating their similarities. i should then expect everyone on the left to support war and the death penalty because of their views on stem cell research? pro-death penalty is pro-war? the right will typically use the term "innocent" in distinguishing between these. perhaps you see that as a meaningless conservative term, but it serves us well.

does a man killed for crimes committed, a man killed for bearing arms against our troops, and a man killed for living 14 days after conception stir up the same set of emotions for a person on the left? are they really that equivocal?

the 'destroying life to save a life' is not the test the right uses in determining its pursuits. if a child had within him/her the cure for cancer, but the child must die in order to extract the cure, the principled faction of the right will say the millions with cancer must continue to suffer. what would you do - protect or sacrifice? suppose you're anti-death penalty and a governor with the power to prevent the act, would you change your view if you were to swap 'child' for 'death row inmate' in that example? if you only see just the slightest of differences between the child and convict, you will still be able to see how the right distinguishes their views. it's only that the differences are enhanced for us.

5/25/2005 11:13:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

the right will typically use the term "innocent" in distinguishing between these.

But your president doesn't. He says he doesn't want to go down the path of destroying life to save life, and there's no mention of "innocence". Anyway, your boys at the Defense Department shrug off the deaths of innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, calling it collateral damage that must be accepted if American lives are to be spared.

And it's only a matter of time now before we execute an innocent man. Have you seen the DNA problems they're having in Virginia?

Indeed, isn't taking a guilty life to save another life medically also wrong? What would the right say about harvesting organs from violent criminals? I'd rather experiment on stem cells that for me do not represent human life (and never will, since they'll never reach anything close to maturity) than on death-row inmates who are full-grown human beings.

maybe your absolutely correct in demonstrating their similarities
As a matter of fact, I don't think there are similarities, as you assume. I DO think that both war and the death penalty are both (ill-advised) ways of destroying life to save life, whereas a stem cell is hardly life, certainly not "human" life, though it may come from a human. Human life requires more than human DNA, as I hope you'll agree.

does a man killed for crimes committed, a man killed for bearing arms against our troops, and a man killed for living 14 days after conception stir up the same set of emotions for a person on the left?

It's the killing --whatever for-- that stirs up the emotions on the left. We'd like to avoid it at all costs, the right seems all too happy to encourage it, unless it's a 14 day-old group of cells. It's only after they're born that the right stops caring about them.

5/27/2005 05:00:00 PM  

Blogger wafflestomper said...

you're bringing in all sorts of elements now that weren't part of your original question. i presumed we could sidestep the real argument over whether a blastocyst was life by the way you phrased your question and your choice of analogies. if it isn't life, then why did you confuse the issue by comparing it to two examples that definitely are about life. it's not like the right is against building microscopes. pick the ground over which to debate - choose the left's position that it isn't life, and leave examples of life at the doorstep, or argue on the right's terms, and demonstrate we're hypocrites in how we view protection of life. otherwise, you're in essence arguing that the right are hypocrites because they support the death penalty but at the same time want to save a historical bridge from demolition.

other points to clean up...
the boys at the defense department are apolitical in the job that they do at the direction of the president regardless to whether the prez is left or right. the current president says:
"In the event of conflict, America also accepts our responsibility to protect innocent lives in every way possible."
you won't get far in convincing me that the defense department is the right anymore than saying it was the left when clinton was in office. war is not a left/right issue (do we need to get out the history books and see which presidents were in office at the onset of our wars?) it's only pacifism that has political connotations, but you have said once before that you weren't a pacifist, which makes your general views on war the same as the right. i will cede the moral high ground to the pacifist, but not to the left just because they oppose this particular war.

the right isn't interested in seeking the death penalty on someone who is innocent. the man in va - is the problem the death penalty or the system that won't allow counter evidence that refutes his guilt. is an alternative life in jail sentence the left's vision of a suitable judicial solution.

if you address anything in this post, i'd like it to be this point:
you don't see a blastocyst as life. most of the left don't believe a fetus is life either. in the view of you and the left, is it appropriate to conduct experiments on aborted fetuses? what if scientists had the ability to keep the fetus growing outside the womb? (i won't say keep it alive, since people will define it as never having been alive) does the left justify experimentation on 5-month old fetuses, or what exactly is their logic that would make it somehow unethical?

It's only after they're born that the right stops caring about them. (ws rolls eyes) yeah, i read that on kos too. i put that one in the file that included 'not my president' at the beginning of your comment. what would bumper stickers be without the left?

5/27/2005 07:14:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

Already-life takes precedence over not-yet-life. Where human life begins is for the scientists and philosophers to figure out. What I'm sure of though, is that an embryo isn't it.

Since I disagree with much of what is attributed to "the left", I can't necessarily speak for it. What I can tell you, is that you probably wouldn't like my answer to your question. I believe in science, and in scientific expirimentation. Experimentation in such controversial fields, however, should only be reserved for such cases as when the information is not retrieveable from any other source, and has a strong potential to save lives.

The question of keeping a fetus growing is another matter. If it is growing, it has the potential to reach full maturity (guaranteeing that it will be "living" whenever we decide it starts). Endangering the health of such a being ought to be prohibited.

Since you posed me with such a tough question stomper, allow me to pose one to you:

If for some reason a family must choose between the life of a mother and the life of her unborn child, which should they choose?

I know that I can't answer that question, stomper. It's a question for the family, and the family alone to decide -- not the government. And each case is different. That's why I favor keeping the government from making any of those decisions for citizens and families.

Those bumper-sticker sayings-- great aren't they? You know, they're so funny because they contain a grain of truth.

5/28/2005 07:08:00 PM  

Blogger wafflestomper said...

If for some reason a family must choose between the life of a mother and the life of her unborn child, which should they choose?

a terrible position to be in to be sure, and i think your answer is more than adequate. i will extend the answer a little bit (speaking for myself only).

every husband should love his wife more than he loves his kids. the best thing a father can do for his kids is to love their mother. all things being equal - odds of survival will be 100% for only one and 0% for the other, a husband should choose his wife. the mother may value her child's life more than her own, and choose to save the child. she makes that decision without consideration of her husband who she should also love more than her children.

i don't think it's my job to judge those that have had to make that decision and have chosen differently than what i would have them do. should a friend be in that position, i would support whatever decision they made, offer my opinion should they ask, and still support their decision if my opinion fails to influence them. it is definitely not the government's decision as you have said. and by the same token, the family should have the courts intervene to make the decision for them.

5/31/2005 11:24:00 PM  

Blogger wafflestomper said...

...should not have the courts...

i'm getting sloppy.

5/31/2005 11:27:00 PM  

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