THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

archives
articles

IN BIOLOGY AS ELSEWHERE, POWER ****IS**** RESPONSIBILITY, WHETHER YOU USE IT OR NOT | 2002-01-26

Now scientists are breeding pigs to supply parts to save human lives and functions. They have found that they can remove the characteristic from pigs that makes human bodies reject transplants from pigs to people.

At first, those who opposed human embryo research said they would support a huge program of research on using adult stem cells instead. But now they just want to hide behind the Bible and take no responsibility.

Embryo research will probably not be that important in the long run. But what infuriates me is the people who think that God is going to protect them from MORAL decisions.

The advance of science is our MORAL responsibility. If you decide NOT to use the biological revolution, that is as much a MORAL CHOICE as suing it. When we use it, as we have to increase third world population, that is OUR MORAL RESPONSIBILITY.

But I hate the fact that so many people use it as an excuse to avoid all the real, hard decisions about the biological revolution. They think that if they just attack stem cell research and use God, they don't have to think about all the other ways we are playing God right now.

When I demanded that those who take a stand on this issue first tell me how they would handle the problem of the Boy in the Bubble in France (LINK: May 12, 2001 - FRANCE - THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE).

Only one replied, and he avoided it.

A DIFFERENT reader was more honest. He said the whole thing just worried him. Here is my reply

"Bob, I am no expert and can be seriously wrong in what I think I know."

Bob's Reply

"So can I. But I KNOW it, unlike those who just quote selected passages of the Bible to protect themselves from reality.

Of course, as I keep saying, all the biological revolution is extremely dangerous, including the parts of it for which there are no convenient Bible passages.

But those who use God to avoid real decisions act as if it were all happening in a vacuum.

But in the real world all those kids are being born in the third world and the "Christians" say that's just fine because they say it's "natural." There is nothing natural about the survival of all those children. It is a direct result of our medical and agricultural sciences.

We play God a million times every day.

Back to the French boy in the bubble, the one everybody tries to ignore. If you can save that child's life by creating an embryo BUT REFUSE TO DO SO, you are STILL playing God.

I have yet to hear a single person address any of these other very real moral problems we are responsible for. To repeat, stem cell research does not occur in a vacuum.

I know what you mean. I wish I could just quote a Bible passage and avoid all the hard decisions. You are not trying that blasphemous easy out, and I appreciate it."