Monday, October 20, 2008
Oct 20 Kass - Ch 3 (Meaning of Life—in the Laboratory)
Kass raises very important issues within this short chapter. I find his question of respecting life particularly interesting. If in respecting life we feel that human beings, or fetuses or blastocysts depending on their stage of development, should not be destroyed yet we also believe that using extra blastocysts for experimentation disrespects life, does it not stand to reason that either all blastocysts formed through in vitro fertilization processes must either be raised to fruition or not fertilized at all? In this regard, I believe I agree with Kass and morally go even further to discard in vitro fertilization altogether on the basis of not technologically orchestrating the glorious blessing of joining together an egg and sperm cell to form new life. Kass’ statements as to the moral questions arising from keeping all fertilized cells alive further drive me to this conclusion, especially those concerning women selling their bodies to grow the fetuses. As to supporting government funding of this controversial research, I again agree with Kass’ arguments about not using taxpayers money to fund something which they deem morally unethical. Of course, if this were the case, we should also significantly reduce military spending, etc. If a political leader or party has a clear platform on funding this type of research and they are voted into office, then according to our political ideology they have authority granted by their constituents to approve government funding for things many people may deem morally unethical. This brings us to minority rights though, because in the case of a majority, how are you to uphold the basic rights of those in the minority; if a majority of the population deems slavery acceptable, how are you to grant the minority opposing slavery their basic human rights to life and liberty? Clearly the system thus has some flaws which we must overcome. Kass tries to bring to light the inherent rights of in vitro blastocysts such that we might recognize some form of regulation to override majority rule and protect a minority which has absolutely no way to speak for itself. I agree that this is indeed a crucial issue and deserves the attention of our legislators.