[FoRK] thinking about responsibility

Russell Turpin deafbox
Mon Oct 24 11:51:43 PDT 2005

Kevin Elliott <k-elliott at wiu.edu>:
>It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize
>that in 9 months that clump of cells will be something VERY different..

Modern technology makes fragile much of the
rhetoric surrounding abortion, especially the
part that centers around potential. Consider
an embryo in vitro. It takes some pretty
special attention to keep it viable and put it
inside a woman in a fashion that allows it to
develop. With cloning, non-embryonic cells
can be turned into embryonic ones. Just one
more step in the process. Does that mean
non-embryonic cells deserve moral consideration?
Because of their POTENTIAL?

People still approach this subject as if the
process carried some kind of magic. It doesn't.
We are created through entirely natural
processes, and the usual pattern of that --
involving one man and one woman and natural
fertilization -- is no more cut in stone than fire
coming about only from lightning strikes.
People can be and will be created in a variety
of ways. Drawing ethical boundaries around
the start of life had better get a good deal
smarter than "these cells have a potential."

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