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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • What exactly about that statement makes him an idiot?
    • Apologies. I quoted a section which spelled it out to me, because I listed to the radio show. I need to be more aware of trying to make a point that makes sense. Here is the quote that makes him an idiot. DOBSON: You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this this issue [embryonic stem cell research] is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet tha
      • by pudge (1) on 2005.08.16 16:01 (#42665) Homepage Journal
        I recently wrote this in e-mail to a friend who brought this up in reference to an OpinionJournal article [opinionjournal.com]. I wrote:
        The analogy between embryonic stem cell research and Nazi experiments is perfectly apt. The author is incorrect.


        Now, he is right to note that there are significant differences: first, in the effects, and second, in the motives. But the bottom line is that both treat human life as a commodity, to be violently altered or destroyed for the benefit of others.

        As to the effects, it must be noted that the reason we most opposed the Nazi experiments is not because of the pain felt or the grief caused. The same effects result from many of the other things the Nazis did, and yet we find the experiments to be especially inhumane, because they devalued life to such an extraordinary extent.

        As to intent, he brings up Iraq: the difference is that America did not intend to kill innocent Iraqis when it attacked. America knew some Iraqis would die, but that was not the intent of the action. On the other hand, destroying embryos is precisely the intent of those who favor today's embryonic stem cell research (except for those who, like Bush, would limit it to those that have already been destroyed).

        He is also right, unfortunately for Dobson, to say that to make this analogy -- regardless of its aptness -- is really bad P.R. It just is. It could be the most accurate statement ever, but it will inevitably cause more harm than good for your side of the issue. There are far better ways to argue the issue, that both express the tragedy of the actions, and don't invoke the Nazi boogeyman that turn so many people off to what you are saying.


        Dobson was not saying, as best I can tell, that people who are in favor of this research are as bad as Nazis, or that it will lead to Nazism. He was saying that in the targeted and specific way we found the Nazi research offensive, he finds embryonic stem cell research similarly offensive. And I do, too.
        • The analogy between embryonic stem cell research and Nazi experiments is perfectly apt. The author is incorrect.
          Now, he is right to note that there are significant differences: first, in the effects, and second, in the motives. But the bottom line is that both treat human life as a commodity, to be violently altered or destroyed for the benefit of others.

          I think that really depends on when you beileve human life starts. What does human life mean? Are stem cells human life?

          If stems cells are human life,

          • If stems cells are human life, then it's an apt comparison in that respect.

            And without getting into why, yes, that is the belief. So within that belief -- which I took as a given, given the speaker -- it is an apt comparison. Obviously, many people don't share that belief, though many people do.

            I contend that stem cells can be taken without a loss of life. If you use something to which there was no purpose previously, that would otherwise waste away for the benefit of others, where is the harm? And does t
            • A few years ago Bush became the first President to approve federal spending on embryonic stem cell research. His policy was, and remains, that only existing embryonic stem cell lines (taken from embryos that have already been destroyed, which is what I referenced) are eligible for funding

              I misunderstood that as meaning ones that were already destroyed, i.e. as long as the embryo was not going to be used, and was already destroyed in that respect, it would be okay to use.