“This issue is one of the most morally compelling challenges facing those of us in the public arena,” said Schoenberg, the chief sponsor of two earlier legislative efforts to expand stem cell research that failed narrowly in the State Senate. “Millions of Americans are affected directly or indirectly by chronic illnesses and medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s, cancer and spinal cord injury-- all of which have the potential to be cured by embryonic stem cell research.”I'm not a Christian. I'm too secular for souls and Schoenberg sounds odd to me when he writes of cradling them.
“We must succeed because we are not only rebuilding their bodies, but we are also cradling their souls.”
I see humanity in an embryo though; a humanity which should be cradled. Not tissue to be harvested regardless of what good could for others could come of it.
Ryan Anderson wrote of the parable of the Good Soccer Mom in First Things.
She summed up her findings: A human embryo is a whole member of the human species. Each human being entered life as an embryo. And all human beings are subjects of profound, inherent, intrinsic worth in virtue of what they are, not what they can do. And if they are subjects of worth in virtue of what they are, then they bear this worth from the moment that they first come into existence.One need not be Chrisitan to find talk of harvesting embryos for research and eventual commercial therapies (legitimate therapies and not the bogus ones sold now. Read LA Times: Outside the U.S., businesses run with unproved stem cell therapies ) very troubling.
The morality of it far clearer for me though then abortion. This seems to open up the potential for the grossest kind of human exploitation.
Update: Ryan Anderson writing in the Weekly Standard,
In July of 2005, the Slate magazine science reporter William Saletan argued in a five-part series titled "Organ Factory: the Case for Harvesting Older Human Embryos" that given the current acceptance of embryo destruction there is no reason to limit it to the early embryo. He pointed to studies from around the world arguing that seven-week old embryos are what researchers really want. And Saletan made the case that they should have them: "Don't be scared. We don't have to grow a whole new you. . . . an embryo cloned from one of your cells would need just six or seven weeks to grow many of the tissues you need. We already condone harvesting of cells from cloned human embryos for the first two weeks. Why stop there?"