I have been hearing ads on the radio lately, which were produced and paid for by good, honest, and caring people. The ads are in support of public funding for embryonic stem cell research. They frame the issue using maladies and afflictions that sadly affect so many people, as if their plight might end if only narrow-minded religious busy bodies would just butt out.
Human embryos in this research come from two sources. Some are fertility clinic discards, which are no longer needed by their client mothers. Abortion procedures result in a steady supply of embryonic tissue. One argument used often by research supporters is; because these embryos are discarded anyway, it is a tragic waste not to use them to help find cures for sick people.
This is where we find a logical argument, but one which suffers from shallow thinking syndrome. Common sense appears to support the argument, until you peek beneath the veneer of compassion that has overlaid the issue. Hiding just beneath the surface, disguised as clear enlightened thinking, is Pandora’s Box.
Imagine that all the dreams come true. Imagine that people with Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s could be cured, and that quadriplegics with damaged spinal cords could be made whole, allowing them to walk again. If that magic potion were derived from processing human embryos, there would be no stopping it.
Like a runaway freight train, the gold rush would be on. Human life would be manufactured and destroyed at a blinding pace, using the most efficient pharmaceutical production technologies available.
Whether you think about that possibility in religious terms or not, just being a member of our unique species should give you pause at the thought. There are absolutely no free lunches in this universe. All resources consumed by humanity are finite, and can be severely disrupted if not managed properly. What calamity lies around the corner, if we savage the very spark, which is human life?
Here is a question for sufferers of shallow thinking syndrome. Have you considered the floodgates that would be unleashed, if embryonic research proved to be as successful as you hope? Are you prepared to support abortion clinics that are run as if they were Blood Banks, harvesting embryos from young women who intentionally get pregnant, so they can collect the donation fee?
I hope and pray that stem cell research can achieve medical miracles, but I also hope and pray that embryonic stem cell research fails completely. We could unleash a paradox in the universe, and it might consume our very souls. From my vantage point, at the very least, the most precious commodity entrusted to us by our Creator would be reduced to the status of a cash crop.
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