Monday, July 19, 2010
Nine years ago, my chemistry class was having a discussion cut all too short. While I love science, and chemistry is an especial favourite, forays into philosophy and ethics intrigued me the most by far. Yet, our teacher was most irksome in this regard, for she would put forward an extremely combustible position in the most provocative way possible, then cut short the argument saying: 'Something to think about.' We were never allowed to pounce on the proposition beyond a few scant sentences.

Once she brought up stem cells. Again, a provocative subject, which we did not get very far in discussing. Since this was a class in Tennessee, most members believed in the sanctity or unborn human life, and being a class of quite rational individuals, too, it held the proposition that the ends do not justify the means. A few young men did shrug their shoulders though, and say, 'Well, the embryos from which they are taking these stem cells are leftovers from in vitro fertilization. They're just going to be left frozen, so why not use them?'

I shivered. Having seen pictures of children adopted and carried to term from such states, I knew that they might still live life as any other man or woman can. Though their vast numbers makes that chance unlikely, it is not impossible. Even given how unlikely adoption is, should a human being's person be so callusly harvested for its potential resources? There are images in my mind, imprinted by my visit to Auschwitz, of carpets made from human hair, pictures of soap boiled from human flesh, and descriptions of men prying the gold fillings from the teeth of Jews, Poles, patriots of any non-Aryan nation. Why not? After all, they were dead; what use were these things to them now?

One of the most striking evils concerning these acts, aside from the murders which made them possible, is their uselessness. Was there a shortage of carpets in Germany? Was soap so scarce that they were driven to using the cadavers of men, women, and children? Perhaps all those dental fillings melted together made some reasonable amount of gold, but what a despicable act committed to obtain them!

In vitro fertilization is an act of subordinating human life to another human's desires, whether those who employ this service know this or not. The 'pick of the litter' alone is chosen to be born, while his brothers and sisters are left in a clinical limbo. As good as dead where the law is concerned, morbidly curious scientists have stepped into exploit their flesh. Yet, even pro-abortion advocates would likely abhor the odor of grave-robbing, so these chemical artisians exalted their endeavours to the very realm of Heaven. Within the pillars of life, would be found the cure for every ailment, perhaps even the Fountain of Youth, and isn't that worth the price of an embryo legally devoid of personhood?

I hope I am not willing to murder another human being for the sake of saving my own life. Even if I were that weak, my personal evil would still not be justified. The same applies to every human soul: one cannot do evil, even to achieve some perceived good. Hence, the sacrifice of so many on the altar of scientific 'progress' is as justified as burying Vestal virgins alive as scapegoats for Rome's failure in battles.

The other wretched evil in the ugly business is that the pseudo-justification is a
lie. Not one medical achievement has been garnered from embryonic stem cells, not one. Graph vs. host cases and defective overstimulus in patients do abound, but these are hardly progressive steps in medicine. The incredible leaps science has made via stem cells have been made from using adult stem cells.

The case of Ben Leahy of Australia is just one amongst many:

"Following some chemotherapy and administration of marrow stimulating drugs,
the patient's own bone marrow stem cells are harvested from the bloodstream on a machine during a narrow window of time," Dr Pidcock explained. (

Now Italian researchers have unearthed a cure for certain cases of blindness:

Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of
their own stem cells. (

Scientists, in the age wherein they have been most exalted, could certainly stand to remember that humility is a boon to one's work, not an impediment. Ego virtually always stands in the way of objectivity, ergo in the way of the scientific method, ergo in the way of progress. And is it really so backward to say that the repugnance of an act should cause one to hesitate performing it?


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Warsaw, Poland
Domine, spero quia mundum vicisti. Lord, I trust that Thou hast overcome the world. Panie, ufam, żeś pokonał świat.
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