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Atheist Eve
God's Favor

http://www.atheist-community.org/atheisteve/?id=10

I just wanted you to know that, as far as I know, people are only opposed to embryonic stem cell research, which has helped no one, as opposed to ethical adult stem cell research, and is unnecessary, with the advent of iPS cells.

Also, opposition to the distruction of human embryos is not merely a viewpoint of the "Christian right". I am a liberal atheist, but I am opposed to embryonic stem cell research.

I just want the stereotyping to stop.

Nulono,

Tracie asked that I respond as the strip was based on my concept.

I/we understand that there are atheist supporters of embryonic stem cell research bans. You have given a reasonable argument for the ban--that it is unnecessary, given newer technologies. (The strip predates that, I believe.)

That said, Christians do place a higher value on the "sanctity" of a moribund embryo's life than the lives that could be saved through the research. The "pro life" argument of these theists falls flat, however because the cure would use a finite number of embryos to create, but potentially benefit an unbounded number of people. The question of reducing harm seems absent from their moral calculus.

--Don

Actually, each treatment requires the use of many ES cells. We do not place the lives of embryos as more important, only equal. It is not just to kill one innocent person to save another, and is certainly not just to kill hundreds of innocent people to improve the health of another.

If you were on a runaway train with no brakes, and you had control only of the steering mechanism, and 5 people were standing on the tracks, unaware the train was heading for them to cause their certain deaths, would you avert the train it if the only way to do so was to drive it onto another track where a hiker is crossing and will surely die on impact if you divert it? Or would you plow into the group?

>We do not place the lives of embryos as more important, only equal.

If you were in a hospital waiting room and realized the building you were in was on fire, and you had just enough time to grab one thing and run out with your life, and on the counter on one side of you was a small refrigerated box labeled with its contents (100 frozen viable embryos), and on the other side of you was a toddler that was crying--which would you carry out with you?

According to you, you have an option to save one child or 100 children all of whom are equal in value to you to the toddler. If you're being honest in your statement above, you would save the box of embryos. If you save the infant, you're not being honest about the value you claim to place on undeveloped human life.

> as far as I know, people are only opposed to embryonic stem cell research, which has helped no one, as opposed to ethical adult stem cell research, and is unnecessary, with the advent of iPS cells.

Something to add:

>http://www.statesman.com/opinion/content/editorial/stories/02/03/0203stemcells_edit.html

From this morning's Austin American-Statesman (2/3/09):

>Medical researchers are anxiously waiting for the president to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research imposed by President George W. Bush in 2001.

It appears researchers don't realize how unhelpful and unnecessary this banned line of research has now become.

You know, the fetuses used for embryonic stem cells will never, ever be humans. They will never be implanted, will never develop, and will never be born, even if they aren't used for these experiments. At some point in the future, they will become non-viable and will be thrown away.

So unless you belief human life begins at conception (an odd position for an atheist to take), or you believe in some sort of human soul (an even odder position), then I can't think of a single rational reason to oppose this research.

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