Imagine that human civilization is the Little Engine That Could, chugging along up the hill chanting “I think I can, I think I can” as it struggles to reach the zenith of a fair and just society that minimizes human suffering and maximizes human happiness.
Now imagine someone drops a giant boulder in the middle of the track and says “No you fucking can’t!”
Boulder, thy name be religion:
U.S. regulations expanding stem cell research have temporarily been blocked by a U.S. judge. A non-profit group, Nightlight Christian Adoptions, contends that new guidelines on stem cells drafted by U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration will reduce how many human embryos are available for adoption.
I’ll wait for you to extricate your face from your palms before I start in on this. Do it slowly, you might have fractured something.
Okay, ready? Good.
First off, nobody adopts an embryo. It is possible to bring an embryo to term and act as a surrogate birth mother, then claim the child as your own. Unless something dramatic has happened to the number of women who are willing to pursue this option, or unless in-vitro fertilization has stopped, there will always be far more unwanted embryos than willing wombs.
Second, there are lots of live babies and children waiting for adoption. Stem cell research will do absolutely nothing to diminish this supply, and stopping stem cell research in the name of ensuring a sufficient number of adoptees doesn’t diminish it either; on the contrary, it may actually increase the size of this population by reducing the number of potential adoptive parents.
Finally, embryonic stem cell research requires the consent of the genetic parents. There are lots of people who pursue IVF who aren’t comfortable destroying their genetic material, ensuring that there will always be a renewable supply of embryos for those women hell-bent on getting pregnant with someone else’s child.
There is literally zero merit to their argument, but a federal judge decided to grant it anyway because it’s not as though delaying the progress of science is going to cause any suffering. Well, except those people with Parkinson’s, Cystic Fibrosis, Muscular Dystrophy, ALS… the list goes on.
This is why secular humanism is a better model for stable and progressive government than theocracy – it is less sympathetic to the capricious whims of a shrieking horde that enters a battle with no evidence and spurious argument. I anticipate that this ban will be overturned by a higher court, but it’s a solid reminder that in the battle between happiness and suffering, American Christianity is on the side of suffering.
Like this article? Follow me on Twitter!