Saturday, April 4, 2009

Even better Robbie George article

This interview was published on U.S. News and World Report online. In it, Prof. George of Princeton presents the scientific data related to embryonic life in even fuller detail.

Here's the link to the full post:

Here's one of my favorite quotes:

Science has important things to contribute to ethical reflection, but by itself it cannot resolve ethical questions. Science cannot tell us whether there are such things as dignity and rights, or whether all human beings or, for that matter, any human beings have them. Science cannot tell us whether slavery or segregation or rape or torture is right or wrong. It cannot tell us whether mentally retarded individuals or victims of senile dementia have the same fundamental dignity and right to life as the rest of us possess. It cannot tell us whether it is unjust to kill infants or mentally disabled people to harvest their vital organs to use in transplantation surgery. It cannot tell us whether it is wrong to kill blacks to save whites, or Jews to save gentiles, or human beings in early developmental stages to save those at later stages. Science can confirm that blacks, no less than whites, Jews, no less than gentiles, and embryos, fetuses, and infants, no less than adolescents and adults, are living individuals of the human species—human beings. The questions that then must be faced are ethical, not scientific: Do all human beings, or only some, possess inherent dignity? Do we truly hold that all human beings are "created equal"? Or do we deny the principle of human equality and hold that some human beings may be regarded and treated as superior and others inferior based on factors such as race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, size, stage of development, or condition of dependency? As a nation, we are formally committed to the principle of human equality in fundamental rights—above all, the right to life. The history of our nation is, to a considerable extent, a history of our struggle to live up to what this principle demands. We have made great progress. Let us not turn our backs on it now.