Stem cell rhetoric

A utilitarian view of human life
How do you marginalize religion and trivialize moral argument? Ron Reagan, son of the former president, offered a textbook example in his speech in July to the Democratic National Convention in which he called for more expansive research using embryonic stem cells.

He granted that some people have moral objections to cloning human embryos for the sake of extracting stem cells (which leads to the destruction of the embryos). He allowed that such people are “well-meaning and sincere,” and are “entitled” to their belief that human embryos have moral value and should not be created and destroyed for others’ use. “But it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and well-being of the many,” he contended. To proceed with research is to be on the side of “reason” as opposed to “ignorance,” he went on, and such pursuit of knowledge is part of an inevitable movement toward human enlightenment: “The tide of history is with us.”


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