Saturday, December 10, 2011

What happens to the unused embryos

Whenever I look at the arguments in the embryonic stem cell research debate, a question always arises in my mind. If taking the stem cells from the embryos is, as opponents claim, murder, then foregoing using them for stem cell research preserves them for what fate? If it's murder to kill them, then isn't leaving them forever and ever in liquid nitrogen any better? What kind of life are we saving them for? If every embryo is sacred, and God gets irate if they are destroyed, are we also wronging them if we don't give them a chance to have a life? At least, the "You could be aborting Beethoven" argument seems not to apply here.  

This is an article about unused embryos, and what happens to them. I'm sure some of you know more about this than I do. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mmm, hamburgers are delicious. Just thought I'd share that. Everyone should eat meat a few times a week.

As for the embryos, "something other than destruction"?

Ilíon said...

"At least, the "You could be aborting Beethoven" argument seems not to apply here."

Which "here"? Destroying the "extras" so as to "harvest" stem cells?

Anonymous said...

You know what also has the ability to unlock the mysteries of Parkinson's? Live vivisection of the poor.

For the greater good!

radp said...

This is a very hard question. What are the alternatives?

Either you keep them "alive" or not.
If you keep them alive, either you give them a chance to develop or not.

So here are the alternatives:
a) Take your hands off and let them die.
b) Implant them into a volunteer or rear them somehow by artificial means.
c) Freeze them for as long as possible.

Its not an easy choice.

C said...

This doesn't seem to be a terribly hard question from the perspective that I imagine you'd occupy--whether to preserve life isn't simply a function of the quality of life. If life has a value apart from the quality of it and what has value calls for protection, there's the answer.

What I suspect is this--you think it's a hard question because you don't really buy into the idea that life with no quality isn't worth protecting from destruction. That's my view, by the way. Sentient life and rational life is worth protecting and the rest matters instrumentally as a means towards sentient life and rational life. That's why I'm not opposed to some forms of early abortion.

Ilíon said...

Anonymous: "You know what also has the ability to unlock the mysteries of Parkinson's? Live vivisection of the poor."

I'm sure it's not the mere poor; there is surely something to do with "votes Democratic" to it. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the same noble ends could be achieved via vivisection of:
1) rich Democrats;
2) Democratic politicians;
3) unionized bureaucrats (aka Democratic Party stormtroopers, the KKK being so 20th century);

01010101 said...

A better question: if you knew (beyond a reasonable doubt) that a mother was going to give birth to a Hitler, Stalin, or Idion, isnt a moral crime not to abort???

The crimefighter approach to Abortion

(but yes, since it's dead might as well as harvest its stem cells)

Payton said...

"A better question: if you knew (beyond a reasonable doubt) that a mother was going to give birth to a Hitler, Stalin, or Idion, isnt a moral crime not to abort???"

Consider, in this case, whether such a thing can even be known at all. It will be logically impossible to know beyond a shadow of a doubt what a human individual will do in any case if human action is necessarily indeterministic.

That having been said, we should not punish someone for a crime they have not committed. If it is the case that they will commit it, their actions are deterministic, and we know they will commit it, then the use of the word "will" is kind of meaningless. We are merely punishing them for committing an action they have already committed in the future.