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The Hunter
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Like throwing away those embryo's will save their 'lives' :rolleyes:

If he will allow this research it might eventually save lives, I hope he's wise enough to realise that.
 

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PCSX2ベータテスター
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this is somewhat a moral situation. For many people taking one life to save many is unreasonable. Imagine if YOU had a genetic oddity which was causing you to produce antibodies to some horrible virus, for the sake of horrible lets say HIV. Now that's all good and fine but inorder for it to be useful they have to extract it all from you which would leave you dead. Do you think that situation is alright where the government just says "kill him" for the lives of people you probably don't care about? The reason i'm anti-abortion and such is that these people haven't had the opertunity to live at all. These people suffering from alzhiemer's amung along with several other diseases have already lived far fuller lives, and in some cases are already beginning to see the end of their lives naturally anyway without the disease in question.
 

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The Hunter
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Taking one life? What I heard on the news was that they would use embryo's that were leftovers... that would be thrown away anyway. If they would be harvesting and using women for embryos like we use cows for milk, I will definately be against it as well.
But if they are going to throw those embryos away, they don't have the opportunity to live anyway, so why don't use them for a good cause and help them to let others live?

Imagine if YOU had a genetic oddity which was causing you to produce antibodies to some horrible virus, for the sake of horrible lets say HIV. Now that's all good and fine but inorder for it to be useful they have to extract it all from you which would leave you dead. Do you think that situation is alright where the government just says "kill him" for the lives of people you probably don't care about?
Like I said, those embryos don't even have a chance to live. They are going to be dead soon, without even knowing they might have even had a chance to live. And that's a complete different sitiuation than the one you describe. And I don't think the government has the right to say I am allowed to live or I should die.
 

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War Games coder
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It's a slippery slope. Sure, they were already discarded, and I agree it won't hurt anybody. But next time a similar issue comes up, there is precedent to dispose of embryos... Politicians will think that because people agreed to that much, it will be OK to take further steps in that direction in different situations. Perhaps eventually they will randomly take newborns for genetic experimentation because of this precedent. Be very careful with what messages you send to those in charge.

For now, it would be better to do such experiments with animals and perfect the science there, then we can re-visit this. Perhaps at that time, there would be non-lethal alternatives that we can't currently imagine.
 

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I wonder why people care so much about a blob of cells that doesn’t even have a brain…

Did you know that almost a quarter of them are naturally aborted? We should charge Mother Nature for murder, then.

To me, it’s the capability of having conscious experience that defines personhood (and thus the beginning of human rights).
 

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KillerShots said:
It's a slippery slope. Sure, they were already discarded, and I agree it won't hurt anybody. But next time a similar issue comes up, there is precedent to dispose of embryos... Politicians will think that because people agreed to that much, it will be OK to take further steps in that direction in different situations. Perhaps eventually they will randomly take newborns for genetic experimentation because of this precedent. Be very careful with what messages you send to those in charge.
The slippery slope argument is what's known as a logical fallacy. If something is wrong now, it will still be wrong in the future, regardless of whatever other descisions we make. Of couse, I'm a moral relativist, so as far as I'm concered what's morally right is whatever society believes is right. Still, if we start experimenting on babies just because we let a few embryos that were going to die anyway serve a useful purpose, then our morals weren't worth much to begin with.
 

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__Xzyx987X said:
The slippery slope argument is what's known as a logical fallacy. If something is wrong now, it will still be wrong in the future, regardless of whatever other descisions we make. Of couse, I'm a moral relativist, so as far as I'm concered what's morally right is whatever society believes is right. Still, if we start experimenting on babies just because we let a few embryos that were going to die anyway serve a useful purpose, then our morals weren't worth much to begin with.
I think that you’re contradicting yourself here. If you were a true moral relativist, you would never make a value judgment about morals (you did it when you said “then our morals weren't worth much to begin with”).

If you think that morals that allow experiments on babies are not worth much, then you’re comparing it against some other moral code which you consider better.

BTW, I’m not a moral relativist. I think that some moral codes are better than others, and “society” or “culture” can’t justify everything. It doesn’t matter if a whole society thinks that it’s right to kill babies and experiment with them, they’re still wrong. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter to me whether the majority of a society thinks that a blob of cells has legal rights because it has a soul; they’re still wrong.

I try to ground my ethics on utilitarian grounds: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Things are more complicated than this, but it’s a good start.

Anyway, I agree with you that slippery slope arguments are a logical fallacy.
 

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Boltzmann said:
I think that you’re contradicting yourself here. If you were a true moral relativist, you would never make a value judgment about morals (you did it when you said “then our morals weren't worth much to begin with”).

If you think that morals that allow experiments on babies are not worth much, then you’re comparing it against some other moral code which you consider better.
What I really meant there, was if one can't keep one small adjustment in your morality from leading to a big one, your morals aren't that stong to begin with. But yea, I see what you mean.

Boltzmann said:
BTW, I’m not a moral relativist. I think that some moral codes are better than others, and “society” or “culture” can’t justify everything. It doesn’t matter if a whole society thinks that it’s right to kill babies and experiment with them, they’re still wrong. On the other hand, it doesn’t matter to me whether the majority of a society thinks that a blob of cells has legal rights because it has a soul; they’re still wrong.

I try to ground my ethics on utilitarian grounds: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Things are more complicated than this, but it’s a good start.
I used to believe in utilitarianism, but ultimately the concept seemed fundamentally flawed to me. There are way too many arguments that break it. In the end, a moral code only makes sense if it works all the time. Eventually what I realized is that since you'll never have a moral code that always works (or at least I could never think of one) you might as well just believe in whatever morals you want. I don't think that morality is some inherent property of exhistance. It's just a by-product of society. As such, society might as well decide on what morality should be.
 

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General of Tangerines
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The Right-Wing Americans and their fearless leader Bush can wave around the "culture of life" flag all they want.

But what's going to happen when other countries like South Korea are making quantum jumps in stem cell research and see money and jobs leading to those countries?

I rather be in a country that is taking action on saving lives than a country that talks about saving lives.
 

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PCSX2ベータテスター
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money is a rather poor reason to do something if you ask me.. All these scientists are so busy asking themselves if they can but never take a step back and ask if they should. Bush is ALREADY allowing stem cell research which is far more than what your precious clinton can take credit for. For him it's a question of where to get the cells from. Getting them from discarded babies is immoral but getting them from other places, like bone marrow is alright. I pity the person who values his own pitiful life over that of a child.

RZetlin said:
The Right-Wing Americans and their fearless leader Bush can wave around the "culture of life" flag all they want.

But what's going to happen when other countries like South Korea are making quantum jumps in stem cell research and see money and jobs leading to those countries?

I rather be in a country that is taking action on saving lives than a country that talks about saving lives.
 

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__Xzyx987X said:
What I really meant there, was if one can't keep one small adjustment in your morality from leading to a big one, your morals aren't that stong to begin with. But yea, I see what you mean.
I understand what you meant now. Anyway, my objections against moral relativism still stand.

__Xzyx987X said:
I used to believe in utilitarianism, but ultimately the concept seemed fundamentally flawed to me.
Well, utilitarianism is the basis of much of modern bioethics. Several arguments made by technoprogressives in general also rest on utilitarian premises, so I don’t see it as fundamentally flawed. IMHO itt needs to be expanded, but not fundamentally changed.

__Xzyx987X said:
In the end, a moral code only makes sense if it works all the time.
In which sense do you say that a moral code “works”? You mean in the results generated by adopting it or in the sense of enforcing its moral precepts?

__Xzyx987X said:
Eventually what I realized is that since you'll never have a moral code that always works (or at least I could never think of one) you might as well just believe in whatever morals you want.
A society that believed, for instance, that murdering your neighbor to steal his food is not an immoral act would quickly crumble. So some morals are provably better than others.

__Xzyx987X said:
I don't think that morality is some inherent property of exhistance.
Neither do I.

__Xzyx987X said:
It's just a by-product of society. As such, society might as well decide on what morality should be.
Nope, it’s a by-product of much more complicated processes. In the case of biologically evolved organisms (i.e. us) game theoretical considerations are of the utmost importance (although I don’t believe you should derive morality from evolution; as Hume has shown, the “is” cannot justify the “ought”) when thinking about how moral reasoning appeared.

See Richard Wright’s book The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology.

As I’ve exemplified in the murder case, some moral codes will produce better results (increase total happiness); IMO, we should embrace these and reject the ones which decrease total happiness (e.g. moral codes which allow slavery).
 

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An old lady.
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Boltzmann said:
I wonder why people care so much about a blob of cells that doesn’t even have a brain…
Indeed. Right-wingers should be up in arms over fertility clinics, the evil psuedo-gods that are throwing away those precious sperm samples and embryos. :rolleyes:

An Observation:
Since this discussion has a strong political tone that conflicts with some of the admins' opinions, I give it about 12 more hours until this thread is closed. (Come on, guys, do it. I dare you.)

Kisses,
A
 

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War Games coder
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__Xzyx987X said:
Still, if we start experimenting on babies just because we let a few embryos that were going to die anyway serve a useful purpose, then our morals weren't worth much to begin with.
Bingo, they aren't. Look at recent history.
 

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Back from the dead
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I can understand if you are against the cloning of embryos for stem cells but to be against using embryos that are going to be discarded anyways is just dumb. I don't see the moral issue when the embryos are already dead. If you are against using dead embryos for stem cells, then you should be against using organs from dead people for transplants.
 

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War Games coder
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There is no moral issue with that, the moral issue comes with what naturally follows that, and where these embryos came from to begin with (but that's beside the point). What I fear is human nature and its lack of "common" sense. Normally I would be willing to give humanity the benefit of the doubt, but not here, not in this age.

This is the only area where I might stand against new technology, where it would logically take the lives of those who are not willing or have no wills of their own in its next steps. If someone made a choice to die and give stem cells, that would be different (and disturbing), but embryos cannot make such a choice.
 

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The Hunter
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KillerShots said:
There is no moral issue with that, the moral issue comes with what naturally follows that, and where these embryos came from to begin with (but that's beside the point). What I fear is human nature and its lack of "common" sense. Normally I would be willing to give humanity the benefit of the doubt, but not here, not in this age.

This is the only area where I might stand against new technology, where it would logically take the lives of those who are not willing or have no wills of their own in its next steps. If someone made a choice to die and give stem cells, that would be different (and disturbing), but embryos cannot make such a choice.
Because they don't even know what's happening and therefor will not feel pain, and will not realise what's going on or what they could become whenever they would be granted life.
 

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KillerShots said:
This is the only area where I might stand against new technology, where it would logically take the lives of those who are not willing or have no wills of their own in its next steps. If someone made a choice to die and give stem cells, that would be different (and disturbing), but embryos cannot make such a choice.
Embryos before the 6th month don’t even have functional brains, so they’re merely a developing blob of cells. They aren’t “persons” by any reasonable definition other than magical thinking (which includes the belief that embryos have souls).

Embryos in the first weeks of development (which are great for harvesting stem cells) are easily spontaneously aborted. Embryos in this stage never had desires, completely lack the capability of having desires and their lack of a functional neurology makes it impossible for the experience any kind of qualia (including pain, pleasure or blind hope).

BTW, before you remind me that people in deep comas are also unable to experience any qualia, I’ll say that I do not advocate compulsory termination of life support. The comatose patient had desires before going into a coma, and as long as it’s economically feasible these desires should be respected (any good ethical code must respect people’s desires). Embryos never had any prior conscious experience, so they never had any desires or expectations to begin with. They will be persons only in the future (if all goes well), but they aren’t persons now.

I can’t see what’s so bad about taking a blob of cells devoid of any intelligence or conscious experience and using it to improve people’s lives. It’s just like when a living person donates a kidney for a transplant: you don’t get all emotional about a kidney, do you?
 

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War Games coder
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Ah, but the argument now becomes when a person gains their right to live, and we launch into the pro-life, pro-choice debate. We know where we stand on that, and neither side is going to give an inch on it (which is why I'll make this brief). We both understand each others point of view, but we are fundamentally different and will act as such.

It's also good to know that you stand against taking anything from the comatose :).
 
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