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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

Before my official "morning routine" each day I spend about 45 minutes reading things online. Before this blog's inception it was mostly about my beloved Chicago Cubs or the blogs of friends or the NYT online. Now though, I back-read the articles that brought people here and put the elbows of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood on hold until my lunch break.

I never understood why people are required to follow politics and religion wholesale. I have never voted a straight-ticket in my life and I don't think I ever will; I've voted for "the best person" when given the opportunity to do so. I feel no joy whatsoever in having Republican control of everything even if the majority of my votes in the last election went to their party. I think religion is a deeply personal thing and the take-it-or-leave-it attitude by some organizations is ridiculous.

This blog was started to find a middle ground where people could come together and discuss what human life is, when it starts, how do we protect it, what differentiates life from human life, etc. We realized the extremists on both sides weren't going to budge. It's the rest of the people we're trying to get talking. Here are some examples:

William Bloomfield's Thoughts From the Right: When does life begin? Taken from his comment section, you can see someone who is willing to "stick to their guns" while wanting to keep an open dialogue.

Your willingness to address the question of when life begins is a credit to you. Most on the left are so wedded to legalized abortion that they refuse to address this question. The same is true with embryonic stem cell research advocates. They do not address the issue of when life begins, but instead focus on the purported benefits of embryonic stem cell research and insult those who believe life begins at conception as being irrational religious fundamentalists.

The Holy Fool's thinking qualifies him as a "non-budger".

From what I've gathered, embryologists have reached consensus on when human life begins: approximately at the time of conception. If these scientists can be so wise, how much more does God understand? Through the Holy Spirit and the Tradition handed on to us From Christ through the Apostles and the Church, we today have access to his understanding. The magisterium secures the deposit of Faith that is the source of this understanding. Thus far, in light of the scientific knowledge known to us and the error-free interpretation of revelation, the Magisterium has confirmed that life begins at conception. Thus, Pope Benedict XVI exorts us to respect life, not because embryos might be life, but because they are.

It scares me that people (from either side) "know". No one knows. For the betterment of us all, pick and choose what you believe. There is nothing morally reprehensible about having qualities from different political parties. Just because you are not religious does not mean that you cannot be a good person. Go out and be compassionate towards others. Do what you can to better the lives of your fellow man. Determine for YOURSELF what you believe and simply encourage others to think.

The world desperately needs some open minds.

I read Bloomfield's comments, Forbush's counter-arguments, and everyone else's piling on in one mass of bodies or another.

Out of the whole conversation, including following some links, I thought the most interesting item was a Carl Sagan piece, "Abortion: Is it Possible to Be Both 'Pro-Life' and 'Pro-Choice'?"

Thanks for kicking off the chain of associations.
"non-budger?" Should I take that as a compliment? Or is it pistols or swords at dawn?

Anyways, you deserved a more in-depth and "open minded" response. I provided one for you here.

fljerseyboy: I find this quote extremely applicable to our debate. Thank you for pointing this out to us.

Despite many claims to the contrary, life does not begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain that stretches back nearly to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. Nor does human life begin at conception: It is an unbroken chain dating back to the origin of our species, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Every human sperm and egg is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, alive. They are not human beings, of course. However, it could be argued that neither is a fertilized egg.
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