Religion is often at odds with differing viewpoints in the modern world. Religion especially conflicts with science and some would say that religion inhibits scientific progress. Religion cannot be blamed for sticking to its dogmatic beliefs and ideals-for what is the purpose of religion if not to have a specific set of ideals for which to live life? Religion is a guide to millions of individuals who need direction in their lives. And so, one should not criticize people for following dogmas faithfully and honestly, for this is not a bane to one's existence, but a blessing. However, sometimes an issue will come to the fore that brings trembling doubt into the bedrock foundations that support the marble columns of one's religious haven. In the past, such questions occurred once in a century-is the sun the center of the solar system, do the planets really orbit in an ellipse, is the earth really round? In the twentieth century these questions became more abundant as man made more discoveries about how his world works.
[...] In fact, all “arguments against stem cell research are scientifically unfounded and at best, are based on personal religious beliefs.” Peggy Prichard Ross, a woman with grade-three astrocytoma, a brain cancer, wrote this statement. Embryonic stem cells could potentially cure this disease, but if embryonic stem cells are outlawed, she will die along with the 20,000 Americans who get the disease every year. Peggy takes “exception to the president using his religion to dictate public health policy.” For that is all their argument is based on-a set of personal moral beliefs. [...]
[...] Religion sees all this and feels horror and sorrow. And so, religion acts. One might say that religion's function throughout the millennia is to attempt to prevent us from becoming monsters. Sometimes religion fails and sometimes religion succeeds. And this is what religion is attempting to do with embryonic stem cells-to prevent us from going too far. If we can clone embryos to save lives, how long until we clone humans to work in factories or to fight in the army? [...]
[...] Stem cells are cells that have not differentiated into specific body cells and can therefore be used to “grow into any kind of human tissue” (Cahill and Wheeler 1). These cells can, and have been used to perform medical miracles of science-restoring mobility to paralyzed rats and the like. Stem cells literally “brought life to dead feet” (Vastag 1). There are two main types of stem cells: embryonic and non-embryonic. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from week old human embryos” (Cahill and Wheeler and these can “give rise to all of the different cells, tissues and organs of the human body” (Friend 1). [...]
[...] One cannot let politics and religion get in the way of scientific progress and public health. Religion is not necessarily a corrupt and evil entity, despite their attempts to let fully grown humans live a life of pain and die a death of pain to preserve a ball of frozen cells in a petri dish that will likely be incinerated into nothingness. Religion is merely trying to keep us human, to keep us moral, and to establish guidelines so that we can live good lives. [...]
[...] They argue that one does not “trade one human life to save another” (Cahill and Wheeler 2). Using embryonic stem cells is the same practice as, and should be as repulsive as, “killing children to get organs for transplantation” (Sandel a process which all agree could never be permitted. A physician would not “kill one patient in order to transplant an organ into another even to save lives” and one wouldn't kill a human even to “save two lives”, a statistically acceptable measure. [...]
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