Stem Cells

Ayn Rand Institute Press Release
Stem Cell Breakthrough Won’t Satisfy Religious Conservatives
August 24, 2006
Irvine, CA–“The researchers at Advanced Cell Technology should be congratulated for their scientific breakthrough,” said Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. “But their new method of creating stem cell lines will not stop religious opposition to scientific progress.”

In developing a method of extracting embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo, the team was, in part, trying to address the concerns of those opposed to the destruction of embryos. As the team leader said: “There is no rational reason left to oppose this research.”

“But there has never been a rational reason to oppose embryonic stem cell research,” said Dr. Brook. “The opposition comes mainly from religious conservatives and is–by their own declaration–based on faith, not on reason. It is based on the irrational belief that a mere clump of cells is a full-fledged human being.”

“There is no rational reason to morally oppose this research, and its potential to produce treatments for such diseases as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s is ample reason to morally support it.

“It is a mistake to try to appease religious conservatives on this issue. What they are opposed to, fundamentally, is science as such.”

My comments follow, the above came through bold-ed;

I happen to disagree. As a former member of Libertarians for Life I happen to believe that life begins at conception, and that destroying said life is akin to murder. Yes, I am well aware that most of our medical knowledge having to do with hypothermia comes from Nazi experimentation. Ethically, I am a Kantian, not Utilitarian. The ends do not justify the means.

Further, the author severely discounts, or ignores that those very same stem cells can be harvested from umbilical cord blood without killing any life form that could become a human being. Other stem cells taken from adults have actually led to more breakthroughs than embryonic cell studies have in any case.

I truly expect better argumentation from a top of the line Libertarian think tank, not to even mention an Objectivist one.

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