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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Stem Cell Dialectic

Redeem the Time links to an article by The New Atlantis outlining the "best arguments out there right now against embryonic stem cell research/cloning, by some of the best writers/thinkers who oppose it." Kodiak makes some good points as well:

Careful with that link—these guys make actual, honest-to-goodness, arguments that go right to some of the fundamental issues. Of course, the vast majority of their opponents dismiss them by saying that they oppose the destruction of embryos because of their belief.

Never, ever let someone get away with that in argument. Belief has got little or nothing to do with it. The Bible says nothing specifically about embryonic research, and when the Church speaks about the issue it doesn't just issue one page position papers with one sentence proclaiming "God says" destroying embryos is wrong—it gives reasons for it.

The tactic of the enemy these days is to dismiss all religious people in the public square by reducing their arguments for things to the basis of belief, which in the popular mind is simply your will. Thus the opponent can say, "You have your beliefs, that's fine, but don't force them on us."

This does two things: A) It makes it sound like one can't argue about the issue at all (e.g., you have your beliefs that you choose, I have mine, lets call the whole thing off and have the government be "neutral"). B) It allows them to seem to be the one with reasons and arguments for things, while you are dismissed as incapable of reason and being argued with—unscientific, as it were.