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Thread: SCI cure 2008

  1. #41
    For example: When God is called Jeremiah to be a prophet he says that “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5),
    Let me ask this. How personal do you think God was when he said this. I ask because I am a devout child of God and I don't see the microscopic works that you lay at the feet of Jeremiah. If you give Jeremiah too much credit, then you diminish God.

    Here's an example: A master carpenter knows how to build houses. He knows that it's foolish to think a house can be a suitable shelter without planning. The carpenter also knows by the nature of his works and the nature of satan's works that he must build this house in a very special place or satan will destroy it and other houses.

    The carpenter knows all his houses will be torn down sooner or later but he is in a race. The race is called the human race and satan wants to destroy the carpenters tools and resources so that he cannot build houses for the human race.

    Satan hates house repairs because he wants the flesh to suffer. Crippled broken houses in the flight of winter is where he would like to freeze the carpenter.

    The spirit (word of God) cannot dwell in an unclean house so why do you call these microscopic things houses. Did God not use Jeremiah after he was able to understand the word (the spirit).

    God created Adam and Adam is called the first. The second Adam was Christ. Christ came after Adam. Doesn't the bible say that the first man Adam was carnal (flesh), the sceond Adam was spiritual. The flesh preceeds the spirit (the word).
    Last edited by Adino; 01-31-2008 at 08:23 PM.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by HZeiger
    Sorry to delay in responding. I had some deadlines…

    I want to respond to this comment, specifically, because I think that the implantation argument is probably the most compelling argument from advocates of ESC research. When I first began studying stem cells, I really wrestled with this one because (at this point in our technology anyway) the fertilized egg will only begin to grow into a human upon implantation. We do not yet understand all of the hormonal signals that the woman’s body contributes to fetal development, so we have yet to replicate them in vitro. The argument that implantation begins the directional process of development is a great argument.

    The issue is difficult because, if we assume that most people don’t like killing babies for personal gain (a safe assumption), then the real question is When does personhood begin? When does this “clump of cells” deserve the dignity and respect of a human being? And while some may go back and forth with name-calling and claiming the other side is “heartless,” really each is taking a different perspective on answering this question (at conception, upon implantation, after 8 days, after the 1st trimester, after birth, or in Peter Singer’s case after your initial 2 month trial period).

    I ultimately took a hard line that, upon conception, this new organism is a human being, and it therefore deserves the dignity attributed to that. Here was the reasoning:
    • It doesn’t have the features of a human being – The argument based on physiology isn’t going to work, because then, to be logically consistent, what can I say about any person that is “deformed” say a burn victim or someone that has been in an accident or has lost some of their limbs. Do they suddenly loose their status as a human being?
    • It won’t grow outside the womb – There are lots of environments that would prohibit growth or human survival. Just because it was originally created in vitro doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a difference here. This is the unnatural way to create, so obviously it isn’t going to grow and survive any more so than if I tried planting seeds in plaster. The seeds are still capable of becoming a plant; I just tampered with them. That didn’t change the nature of the seeds. And even if I had done the work of nature by cross breeding a couple of plants and then harvested the seeds, that doesn’t change the nature of the seed. Just because I created it, doesn’t mean that I can proclaim it not alive or change the definition of a seed. If we are allowed to say that since a scientist created it, he/she can decide the nature of the creation, whether or not it is alive, it value, etc, then we would have to concede that when a couple creates a baby, they are allowed to do whatever they please including discard it because they created it. As a scientist, I can see the power trip involved in being able to create things. I worked with organic synthesis for my graduate work and it’s quite empowering to make something new.
    • Life begins. . . .when?. And its corollary: Personhood begins when? This is one of those where people are very confident in their answers, but as a Christian, personhood is both physical and spiritual. We have revelation that gives us some insights into when God considers us persons, but we don’t have directions as to when is the exact moment. For example: When God is called Jeremiah to be a prophet he says that “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5), and in Psalm 139. At this point I had to consider: If I take what I know from scripture as guidance on the spiritual part and what I know from nature as guidance on the physical part, it’s really hard for me to ignore the fact that in both cases, I would draw the line of personhood at conception. That organism becomes a new genetic entity. What do I do with that? You can’t trace that DNA to a previous, original source. It is a new set of genetics.

    This was my reasoning. The implantation argument is a good one, and one that really forced me to consider the reality of motivations, definitions, and issues. I appreciate that you too have carefully considered your position on this issue and are not just following the ESC research line (or the media’s line for that matter), but have considered this.
    Thank you for your carefully considered and well-expressed response. The question of "personhood" of a fertilized egg and developing embyro has been considered by many religions, philosophers, scientists, and almost every woman who has been pregnant. I did not bring the issue of personhood up in my discussion. I merely wanted to ensure that the terminology that we used is accurate.

    The question of personhood is important. Before discussing this, however, can we agree of some further definitions? For example, I don't think that you and I use the term human in the same way or even "person" in the same way.

    First, let us agree that all the cells that we are talking about are human cells and that human alone does not accord these cells any special status. For example, there are living cells in ejaculates (e.g. sperm) but nobody would think twice about throwing out a condom filled with semen. Likewise, we know that there are living stem cells in menstrual flow but billions of women flush these cells down the toilet or worse.

    Second, let us further agree on the definition of a "person" as opposed to a "potential person". How about the following simple definition: a person is collection of human cells who has self-awareness, who has will, and who has sensation? A lot of people might not agree with this definition because it would exclude people who are comatose and would include some stage of human fetal development. The appendage of the word "human" also excludes animals from personhood and some people think that personhood is not just restricted to humans. Nevertheless, for the sake of discussion, let us agree that a person is a collection of human cells that are self-aware, has will, and has sensation. Self-awareness is essential because an isolated spinal cord with its reflexes can be considered to have "will" and has sensations. One can also consider a sperm to have will (i.e. to get to and fertilize the egg) and has sensations (i.e. stops struggling once it touches the egg) but the sperm is not a person.

    Given the above definitions, it is clear that a human fertilized egg is not a human "person". It is a "potential person" but not a person because it has no self-awareness, will, or sensation. It is more of a potential person than the egg before fertilization. Likewise, I think that we can agree that a blastocyst is not a person. In its very early stages, I think that most people would question whether a fetus is a person. However, at some stage along the way, it is clear that the fetus develops self-awareness, will, and sensation.

    The philosopher Peter Singer (with whom I disagree) has taken this kind of analysis even further, claiming that a newborn baby has less "personhood" than an adult dog. This line of argument, for example, has led him to conclude that animal research is as unacceptable or more unacceptable than human infanticide. But, what is very clear is that we (as a society) have long assigned values to animals and different stages of human development.

    There is almost universal agreement amongst western society that a person that is "brain-dead" is no longer a person and therefore can be killed and have his or her organs harvested for use by others. This is of course the basis of our current organ donation. I suppose that one can argue that the person had to give consent beforehand for the organ donation and that body is still a "person" from that perspective.

    On the other hand, I think that if a non-brain-dead person were to tell a doctor to remove his or her heart, liver, and kidneys, most doctors would refuse to do it because the act of doing so would be considered killing the person whereas the act of organ removal from a brain-dead person would not be considered killing.

    Let me then ask the question... how is the organ removal different from removal of embryonic stem cells from a in vitro fertilization produced blastocyst that the parents no longer want, that nobody wants to adopt, and that will be discarded? Is this act killing a person? Those who are against embryonic stem cell research seem to think so. Do you?

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 01-31-2008 at 08:24 PM.

  3. #43
    Senior Member shak's Avatar
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    Adino Satan don't destroy houses . he scores goals for the NY Islanders. i like him and he could come drink some beers at my house anytime .

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