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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.

The American Life League represents the pro-life philosophy taken to extreme, even opposing birth control:
some forms of birth control can actually cause an early abortion. Also, birth control leads to a state of mind that treats sexual activity as if it has nothing to do with babies; babies are treated as "accidents," as a burden to be eliminated. In this way, contraception is clearly linked to abortion.
I agree with very little, if anything, that this group espouses, but for an excellent article on the beginning of human life from a pro-life position, I have to recommend "When does human life begin? The final answer" written by C. Ward Kischer, Ph. D. Dr. Kishcer "is an emeritus professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, specialty in Human Embryology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona. He is Chairman of the American Bioethics Advisory Commission."

I recommend this article because I have always believed it is important to understand both sides of an issue before one begins debating it. In so many arguments about the beginning of human life, reason yields to emotion and/or blind acceptance of religious doctrine, and it is sometimes difficult to engage in meaningful dialogue. So if you want a well thought out argument from someone with impressive scientific credentials, you could do worse than Dr. Kischer's article.

Having said all that, I certainly do not believe Dr. Kischer's article to be "the final answer," and I still do not believe human life begins at conception for all of the many reasons we've discussed on this blog. Dr. Kischer brings up one of those reasons, twinning, and then summarily dismisses it by tossing it into the religious category so he will not have to deal with the scientific ramifications of this event.
But, there has been another problem created; that is: when the early embryo splits, does the soul also split? And, if until that time there has been no soul, how could there be a person?

First of all, this is a question not for science, but for theology or religion. The science is there and has been there for about 150 years. In fact, it ought to be clear by now that when human life begins has no relationship to religion at all!
Near the end of the piece, Kischer stoops to take a cheap shot at some of today's scientific research (read "embryonic stem cell research," for one) when he says, "Scientists are going to continue to manipulate life and its elements, virtually all under the guise of beneficial therapies." (emphasis mine) This tactic was beneath him, and unnecessary in an otherwise well written article.

Brain Pills
Roe v. Wade
Stem Cells
Stem Cell Fight!
Bearing Right
Moral Monkey?
Dave's site
Stem Stall
Bush the hypocrite

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