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Qtec
06-24-2004, 07:05 AM
Quote from Reagan's son,

Reagan also said he was angered over the administration's opposition to human embryonic stem cell research.

"It's shameful," he said. "We're not talking about fetuses, human beings being killed. We're talking about collections of cells in a petri dish that are never ever going to be a human being."

Reagan said he expected his mother to continue to speak out in favor of stem cell research. Nancy Reagan has long argued that such work could lead to cures for a number of diseases like the Alzheimer's that afflicted her husband.



I can understand why it is an emotional subject for him, but what do you guys think about this?

I havent made up my mind. On the one hand it could benefit a lot of people. On the other and, I think there are some things that we shouldnt meddle in. I dont think mankind is THAT clever or responsible enough.ie I dont think genetic engineering knows what the consequences, in the long run, could be.

What is really the issue?

Q

Chris Cass
06-24-2004, 07:20 AM
Hi Qtec,

You make a good point. I think American are fearful. Just look at what the firecracker became. (WMD)

Regards,

C.C.

eg8r
06-24-2004, 07:23 AM
I am with you on this one Q. I am undecided, but probably leaning more towards being against it.

My problem with Reagan's argument is that right now he is correct, those collections of cells are not being made into humans, but how long till those scientists prove him wrong? I guess it is my problem for not being able to avoid all those B-quality Van-Damme movies. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

moblsv
06-24-2004, 07:34 AM
I have yet to see a single logical argument against stem cell research. Could somebody enlighten me as to why it's even an issue? If anybody has not heard of the benefits I'll be glad to post a few dozen.

Chris Cass
06-24-2004, 07:35 AM
Hi Ed,

I think before they even brought it to the public eye they've gone way further than that to begin with. You know we're always the last to know about anything the gov does.

Regards,

C.C.

moblsv
06-24-2004, 07:47 AM
PBS to the rescue again. They always seem to have an answer :-)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec00/genome_8-24.html

landshark77
06-24-2004, 07:51 AM
I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this issue either. I don't think we should be playing God. Yes, the research is good, but I don't trust ourselves to stop there. I believe the possibility to harvest some type of genetically engineered clone is too strong. I would hate for the world to be like the movie Gattaca.

On the other hand, if I would have some type of illness, I would be all for it. If there were some way that we could swear that we would never go farther than research diseases then I would think that would be OK. I am one of those folks who are totally afraid of the unknown. As much as I hate it, often times fear guides my decisions on things I am not that familiar with.

Qtec
06-24-2004, 08:07 AM
How about, "Can we trust scientists?".
I still remember when they said radioactivity was safe! They even experimented of troops to prove it!!
I also remember that nuclear power would provide free/cheap safe energy. After Chernobel, they dont say that anymore.

Its in our nature to do things because we can[ quote BC /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif]. We[ mankind] just doesnt know when to stop.

Where will it end?

Q

highsea
06-24-2004, 08:13 AM
It is absurd to try to stop this research. Better to regulate it within scientific guidelines, and keep politics and religion out of it.

The research will go on, just not in America. The potential is just too great for some real breakthroughs in many, many classes of disease, as well as traumas caused by accidents. Imagine being able to replace damaged nerve tissues in quadraplegics, for one example.

It has nothing to do with playing God, and everything to do with expanding man's knowledge of medicine, and how the human body can repair itself.

When Salk developed the polio vaccine, there was risk involved. That is the nature of medical research, but no one can say today that the benefits have not far outweighed the cost of the research.

-CM

moblsv
06-24-2004, 08:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>
I also remember that nuclear power would provide free/cheap safe energy. After Chernobel, they dont say that anymore.<hr /></blockquote>

I do. Nuclear power is another misunderstood technology that has a huge upside and is being held up by public perception and fear.

highsea
06-24-2004, 08:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Where will it end? <hr /></blockquote>
It is nothing but hand-wringing to blame ignorance on "Science".

There is no such thing as "Science". Only the scientific method, which is nothing more than a way of formulating and testing hypotheses and developing theories that help to explain the world around us.

I might as well blame gravity for my bad knees.

It will end when man is no longer a curious animal.

-CM

JPB
06-24-2004, 09:13 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this issue either. I don't think we should be playing God. Yes, the research is good, but I don't trust ourselves to stop there."


I am not trying to be personally insulting, but I am going to say that this type of thinking is seriously flawed and is the cause of untold human misery. You are not alone of course, as billions of people throughout history have believed in this flawed idea. Since humans have developed from a conscious being into a being of volitional consciousness thare has been a struggle between people who use their mind and reason and those who wish to stay in a mystical, superstitious, fearful fog of altered, limited consciousness. It is good you admit your fear to yourself, because fear is the tool of the irrational. People will play on others' fears to get them to do things. People's own fears (mine included to be sure) prevent them from being fully rational and rationality is the hallmark of the human. When we cede our rationality to fear and myth and mysticism we cede a bit of our humanity. The very essence of a human is to "play God." How we survive is by shaping the world around us into a form we want. What is that if not "playing God." Every development of the mind is "playing God." We build dams. What is that? We don't do it out of instict like a beaver. We do it out by rational choice. Many scientific discoveries were fought by the religious. And what could be sillier than that? They would kill people who said Earth moved around the sun. They said anaesthetic was evil because it "played God." They say modern economic development is evil because people make money from it and "money is the root of all evil." Never mind that the money goes to education, medicine, happiness, etc.... So I think "playing God is great." Just like I wished I played pool better, I wish I could "play God" better. Because playing God better means you are a better, happier person. By definition. Since creating things from a vision in the mind is exactly what human nature is. Everything that short circuits this human nature is wrong.

Now, getting the government out of the science business is a different matter entirely....

Qtec
06-24-2004, 09:39 AM
How we survive is by shaping the world around us into a form we want. What is that if not "playing God."

There is a difference between shaping and creating.The only two things I know for sure that man created[ ie did not exist before on the Earth] are plastics and nuclear waste.

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

moblsv
06-24-2004, 10:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> How we survive is by shaping the world around us into a form we want. What is that if not "playing God."

There is a difference between shaping and creating.The only two things I know for sure that man created[ ie did not exist before on the Earth] are plastics and nuclear waste.

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif <hr /></blockquote>
Coal-fired power plants are a major source of radioactive materials released to the environment. The uranium and thorium in coal is radiactive waste and has been released since before humans were here.

I believe in the advancement of science for mankind but all things being equal I would prefer that mankind (society) adapt to the earth rather than force the Earth to accomodate us. I'm not saying that making a dam or cutting down a tree is wrong but we have to be responsible in our actions.

highsea
06-24-2004, 10:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> There is a difference between shaping and creating.The only two things I know for sure that man created[ ie did not exist before on the Earth] are plastics and nuclear waste. <hr /></blockquote>
Well, by your definition both plastics and nuclear waste are just examples of shaping also, as the raw materials were pre-existing.

"Creating" would be pretty much limited to non-naturally occuring sub-atomic particles like positrons, muons, and tau leptons that are made in high energy collisions in accelerators, and even those could be considered "shaping" as they are caused by collision and decay of existing particles.

My definition is not quite so narrow. I think man created television, spaceflight, billiards, carbonated beverages, photography, ball-bearings, several different species of dogs, double-barrel shotguns, the Internet, and a few other gadgets and gizmos that would take too long to name. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

-CM

Qtec
06-24-2004, 10:20 AM
[ QUOTE ]
My definition is not quite so narrow. I think man created television, spaceflight, billiards, carbonated beverages, photography, ball-bearings, several different species of dogs, double-barrel shotguns, the Internet, and a few other gadgets and gizmos that would take too long to name.
<hr /></blockquote>

Those are inventions, not creations.

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

highsea
06-24-2004, 10:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote moblsv:</font><hr>I believe in the advancement of science for mankind but all things being equal I would prefer that mankind (society) adapt to the earth rather than force the Earth to accomodate us. I'm not saying that making a dam or cutting down a tree is wrong but we have to be responsible in our actions.<hr /></blockquote>

This statement is contradictory. Man has been forcing the earth to accomodate us since he planted his first garden. I'm sure there was some prehistoric environmentalist there complaining that he was abusing the land.

-CM

highsea
06-24-2004, 10:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> Those are inventions, not creations. <hr /></blockquote>

Maybe this will help you. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

From Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

creation
Main Entry: cre·a·tion
Pronunciation: krE-'A-sh&amp;n
Function: noun

1 : the act of creating; especially : the act of bringing the world into ordered existence

2 : the act of making, inventing, or producing: as a : the act of investing with a new rank or office b : the first representation of a dramatic role

3 : something that is created : as a : WORLD b : creatures singly or in aggregate c : an original work of art d : a new usually striking article of clothing

Invention
Main Entry: in·ven·tion
Pronunciation: in-'ven(t)-sh&amp;n
Function: noun

1 : DISCOVERY, FINDING

2 : productive imagination : INVENTIVENESS

3 a : something invented : as (1) : a product of the imagination; especially : a false conception (2) : a device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment b : a short keyboard composition featuring two or three part counterpoint
4 : the act or process of inventing

-CM

highsea
06-24-2004, 10:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr>The only two things I know for sure that man created[ ie did not exist before on the Earth] are plastics and nuclear waste.<hr /></blockquote>
You sure those are not inventions? /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif

-CM

mred477
06-24-2004, 11:38 AM
Bush didn't stop stem cell research anyway. All he did was stop federal money from subsidizing research. If stem cell research is going to cure so many diseases, why hasn't the private sector dedicated time and money to it? I seriously question the breakthroughs that stem cells will provide if the private sector does not see fit to finance the research.

Will

landshark77
06-24-2004, 01:24 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this issue either. I don't think we should be playing God. Yes, the research is good, but I don't trust ourselves to stop there."


I am not trying to be personally insulting, but I am going to say that this type of thinking is seriously flawed and is the cause of untold human misery. You are not alone of course, as billions of people throughout history have believed in this flawed idea. Since humans have developed from a conscious being into a being of volitional consciousness there has been a struggle between people who use their mind and reason and those who wish to stay in a mystical, superstitious, fearful fog of altered, limited consciousness. It is good you admit your fear to yourself, because fear is the tool of the irrational. People will play on others' fears to get them to do things. People's own fears (mine included to be sure) prevent them from being fully rational and rationality is the hallmark of the human. When we cede our rationality to fear and myth and mysticism we cede a bit of our humanity. The very essence of a human is to "play God." How we survive is by shaping the world around us into a form we want. What is that if not "playing God." Every development of the mind is "playing God." We build dams. What is that? We don't do it out of instict like a beaver. We do it out by rational choice. Many scientific discoveries were fought by the religious. And what could be sillier than that? They would kill people who said Earth moved around the sun. They said anaesthetic was evil because it "played God." They say modern economic development is evil because people make money from it and "money is the root of all evil." Never mind that the money goes to education, medicine, happiness, etc.... So I think "playing God is great." Just like I wished I played pool better, I wish I could "play God" better. Because playing God better means you are a better, happier person. By definition. Since creating things from a vision in the mind is exactly what human nature is. Everything that short circuits this human nature is wrong.

Now, getting the government out of the science business is a different matter entirely....

<hr /></blockquote>

Ok here is my thinking on this...and my thinking contradicts itself, that is why I said I am undecided about how I feel about the whole thing.

I would consider myself religious, but not a church going fanatic. I am definitely no Bible preacher either. I believe in Darwinism and the Big Bang theory, but I can also tie in God with all of these theories. In what ever way you look at it, I believe God created man trough evolution. We as beings are constantly evolving. Science helps us do that. The question comes in with the survival of the fittest. This theory for me works and it works well. In this time, the planet is so overly populated that we HAVE to depend on death to make room for the new birth. If we went out and solved every epidemic that was out there then human life would last longer than it does now. This is a proven fact based on how much longer life was sustained after the discovery of penicillin. When I say playing God I mean deciding who lives and who dies. That is exactly what will happen, look at health care today. If you can afford something you live. And like I said before, if it were something that happened to me or someone I cared about, you are darn strait that I would do what ever it took to help solve those ills. I am human and I want to live. But in discussing this can we really be selfish? It is not my wish to get into a serious debate about this, because the fact is I do not know that much about it to make a truly informed decision. No matter what is decided I'm not going to go out there and stand in any type of picket line. This is just my feeling on this subject now. I just think and hope that those folks doing this research know what there ethical bounds are. I do not want to live in a sci-fi movie. We already have enough problems.

JPB
06-24-2004, 04:42 PM
"I am human and I want to live. But in discussing this can we really be selfish?"


In discussing it we MUST be selfish. My definition and understanding of selfishness is a philosophical position I don't have time to really set forth now. Suffice it to say it is more complex than a 2 year old screaming MINE when hogging a toy. But for the debate about life and death to be moral it must be selfish. The altruists are the ones who are immoral and kill people. And that is because for altruism to hold, a person must sacrifice something to another for no good reason. Some mystical duty or something. The ultimate sacrifice is death. SO the altruists will have you sacrificing people in short order. All real altruists have. Can't really do the topic justice right now, but for now let's leave it at the fact that Kant was an evil bastard, and all moral philosophy stemming from is BS is evil.


P.S. You undoubtedly have picked up on various moral philosophies without understanding their basis or thought through their premises. I know I did and I have a degree in philosophy. But there is a lot of stuff out there that influences the ideas and debate and people don't challenge it. Your idea about selfishness highlights it. Again, I don't mean to be insulting, because I have done the same thing. A lot of the philosophy out there is a convoluted, nasty mess. I used to think it was just me, but the more I learn, the more I reaqlize the fault was not mine, except to the extent I didn't think it through better.

landshark77
06-24-2004, 05:31 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote JPB:</font><hr> "I am human and I want to live. But in discussing this can we really be selfish?"


In discussing it we MUST be selfish. My definition and understanding of selfishness is a philosophical position I don't have time to really set forth now. Suffice it to say it is more complex than a 2 year old screaming MINE when hogging a toy. But for the debate about life and death to be moral it must be selfish. The altruists are the ones who are immoral and kill people. And that is because for altruism to hold, a person must sacrifice something to another for no good reason. Some mystical duty or something. The ultimate sacrifice is death. SO the altruists will have you sacrificing people in short order. All real altruists have. Can't really do the topic justice right now, but for now let's leave it at the fact that Kant was an evil bastard, and all moral philosophy stemming from is BS is evil.


P.S. You undoubtedly have picked up on various moral philosophies without understanding their basis or thought through their premises. I know I did and I have a degree in philosophy. But there is a lot of stuff out there that influences the ideas and debate and people don't challenge it. Your idea about selfishness highlights it. Again, I don't mean to be insulting, because I have done the same thing. A lot of the philosophy out there is a convoluted, nasty mess. I used to think it was just me, but the more I learn, the more I reaqlize the fault was not mine, except to the extent I didn't think it through better. <hr /></blockquote>

By your own words you are indicating selfiness is a subjective term. What you may deem as being selfish may not be seen as such by another. When I say can we really be selfish I am talking to myself and others who are also undicdied on this issue. How can I say that I am against it, but the second it could benifit me or a loved one I would be all for it? That is the selfishness that shouldn't be driving this debate. When people who are directly effected make a descision is the descision for the good of the whole, or good for the person making the decision? That is what needs to be evaluated. I deal with a lot of ethical delimias at my job, and it all comes down to selfishness in practically every instance.

I too have a college degree, not in philosphy, so you may be better in that subject. Yes I am familiar whith some aspects of philosphy, but there is alot I can not quote. I really do enjoy discusing morality and ethics, however, I do not need the great pilisophical leaders to help me shape my opinion of things. There is alot of issues I have an affermitive stance on, and I can not be budged. As I have said this issue is something that I am unsure on. I do, however, feel there are alot of moral/ethical undertones that need to be examined prior to any further research.

JPB
06-24-2004, 09:45 PM
"That is the selfishness that shouldn't be driving this debate. When people who are directly effected make a descision is the descision for the good of the whole"


I am saying that decisions looking at benefit to the "whole" are wrong. There is no such thing as society; it is only a number of individuals. I am saying that utilitarian ethics - "the greatest good for the greatest number" are wrong. I think you have to approach morality from an individual perspective. That does not mean it is OK for a person to kill another for his own immediate benefit, quite the contrary. But altruist and utilitarian ethics often lead to exactly that. Stalin was a great altruist. Starve a few million in the Ukraine for the benefit of the whole. Kill of millions in gulags for the benefit of the proletariat. it is all BS, but it is the essence of altruism. Likewise, we should engage in research that benefits people. You SHOULD analyze the problem knowing that it might very well save one of your family members lives. To do so otherwise would be wrong. And many people want you to sacrifice your own family for their whims and preferences. Watch for it. Make your own rational decision based on how it helps humans live as humans. Jonas Salk developing vaccine was good. The MRI was good. Open heart surgery was good. Now think of the people who fought anaesthetic on religious grounds. Would it be good for your little daughter to have pins put in a broken leg without anaesthetic? Would you let your wife die in childbirth by refusing medical care? Would you let your daughter die without lifesaving care because it violates something a religious leader told you? Well, some people would. And they will tell you you should because otherwise you are "playing God" and "have to do what's right for society" so we can "live as a community with God's values" or whatever. Insert your favorite collectivist plea, it is all the same.

Selfish is good. Your love for your loved ones is the essence of selfishness BTW. Without a self you can't love them. And without values that serve you and your selfish interests, you would find it impossible to love them. A true altruist is selfless, thus cannot love himself because there is nothing to love. And only he finds it very easy to love his neighbor exactly as he loves himself. The results in real life are uniformly disastrous when the altruist philosophy prevails.

JPB
06-24-2004, 10:00 PM
PS: You said"I too have a college degree, not in philosphy, so you may be better in that subject"

When I indicated I had a degree in philosophy I want to make it clear I was not saying you didn't know what you were talking about; I view all the BS I learned getting it as almost a handicap. Seriously. I spent enough time getting dumbass ideas put in my head. Out of context, poorly thought through, poorly presented. I am not an idiot, but I really was confused given how the stuff is taught and studied. I really started knowing something was wrong when I started seeing more Kant and then the post modernists like Derrida. My exposure to the Derrida type stuff had me baffled, and I couldn't put my finger on why. It took me a while to figure some of the stuff out, and I am still doing it. In collge all I could do was get frustrated, say f--- it and go to the poolhall. Now that I am making some sense of it all I can go back and reread some stuff and pick up a lot more and see where things are screwy. It is actually more likely that somebody without a philosophy degree will have a better sense of some of the decisions in some ways. The problem is that their thinking can actually be affected by scraps of philosophy people have picked up on and made into standard beliefs. When it is a SOB like Kant that this happens with, there is a problem. that's all. Not that you need a degree to think about this stuff. really everybody needs to, regardless of their field or background.

landshark77
06-25-2004, 06:54 AM
JPB- I really don't have the time today to really attepmt to make a point, but I just wanted to summarize what I am trying to get across.
Montell Williams, the talk show host, is a strong advocate for stem cell research. Why? Is it because he is a good caring person? He may be, but the real reason is his MS. He is personally effected. Do I want Montell making any decisions regarding this research. No. I can not tell if his drive his something he is passioniate about because of the benifits to ALL people, or if it is for self preservation. Who makes that call? Only he can, but if his drive is for self preservation would he come out and say that? I don't know. People making this decision need to know all of the facts, potential outcomes and disasters, and be ethically inclined to examine all of these aspects.

JPB
06-25-2004, 08:37 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote landshark77:</font><hr> JPB- I really don't have the time today to really attepmt to make a point, but I just wanted to summarize what I am trying to get across.
Montell Williams, the talk show host, is a strong advocate for stem cell research. Why? Is it because he is a good caring person? He may be, but the real reason is his MS. He is personally effected. Do I want Montell making any decisions regarding this research. No. I can not tell if his drive his something he is passioniate about because of the benifits to ALL people, or if it is for self preservation. Who makes that call? Only he can, but if his drive is for self preservation would he come out and say that? I don't know. People making this decision need to know all of the facts, potential outcomes and disasters, and be ethically inclined to examine all of these aspects. <hr /></blockquote>

I haven't had enough time either and this stuff takes time to discuss. Analyze what you said above. The implication in your language is that Montel Williams is a good caring person if he thinks about other people and not himself. You imply that to the degree he thinks about himself, he is not a caring person, thus less moral. I am saying he can only be moral to the extent he thinks about himself. That doesn't mean he disregards effects on others or that he will improperly use force or hurt another to achieve his goals. The logical end to altruism is the end of life. Because by your implied logic Montel should think only of others and be willing to sacrifice his well-being to them. Inevitably the basis for the demanded sacrifice will be a shifting fog of subjective belief and irrationality. Maybe one day it is "don't use anaesthetic, it is playing God" and another day it is "stem cell research will offend Gods laws" or maybe "only the rich will afford it and then things will be unfair so we shouldn't do it." Note that sacrifice always means giving away the good for a lower value. Getting value for something isn't a sacrifice, it is a trade. Altruism means that you should give more than you receive in return. This is a suicidal morality and if people believe it they can only survive or be happy to the extent they violate their stated beliefs. So again, I really think Montel Williams should be selfish in the debate. As should you. As should I.