Thursday, October 18, 2018

Microstory 954: Stem Cell Research

As a human being who cares about this world, the people on it, and everything that happens to us, I believe in science. I believe in science that can help make the world a better place, for all living creatures. I possess a spirituality, differentiated from religion by the fact that I absolutely do not let my beliefs get in the way of progress. Organized religion has done some good in the world in the the way of charity and good will, but that doesn’t get them off the hook. Besides the fact that hope for heaven—or fear of hell, as it were—are terrible reasons to do the right thing, their good does not outweigh their bad. All religions are based on the primary sins, even the ones who claim to be virtuous. They’re all about greed, envy, wrath, selfishness, and more. Through these sins comes many of the planet’s woes; war, crime, and even natural disasters (the intensity of these recent hurricanes are the result of climate change, which is undoubtedly being caused by humans). Nearly everything that happens can be traced back to a misguided religious belief that prevents individuals from caring for their fellow man. Stem cell research is a good example of this issue. Now, I’m not saying there’s no such thing as ethics, or that we can do whatever we want as long as it helps us in the end. Problems arise, however, when ignorant people argue against research, or an advancement. The simple fact is that the average person does not know enough about the subject to form a valid opinion. Sure, it sounds bad when a Christian stands on a college campus with pictures of dead babies, claiming that stem cell research is responsible for the horrific images. But that’s not really what happened, and these arguments are not helping anything. I recognize there is a debate as to when exactly human life begins, and can’t realistically give a hard number for this, even though my canon does have an answer. The point of this research is not to stay right where we are with it. Scientists need to understand how this works, so we can engage in a responsible and safe way. That requires study and debate, but only amongst those who know what they’re doing. I’m not one of those people, and most likely, neither of you. Having read the bible cover to cover is not the kind of credentials we’re looking for. Regardless of your circular reasoning, there’s no way to prove the bible was written by God. Just saying it was means nothing to me. Therefore, it holds no more or less merit than any other work of fiction. Stem cells have the potential to save lives, and we can’t dismiss that just because it also has the potential to harm. If we lived by that mentality, we would still be living in caves.

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