Wednesday, May 25, 2005

MH - Human Sacrifice, Anyone?

This argument (from last night’s stem cell debate in the House) is truly frightening. Ramesh Ponnuru summarizes the view of Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) thustly:

His view is that we allow adults to decide to risk their lives for the greater good--as in the case of members of the armed forces. He argues that if the embryos were capable of voluntarily deciding to sacrifice themselves for the good of science, some of them would; and since parents have custody of their children, they can make this choice for them.

Really. That's his argument. He doesn't deny that the embryos are living human beings--he explicitly says that he believes that they are.

If there are any parents out there who want to sacrifice their children for science, they've got a green light from one committee chairman.
When you give up your own life for others – well, greater love hath no man – but as I recall, there are several terms used for forcing someone to give up their life: murder, act of war, manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary), execution, and human sacrifice. Which one is this, Rep. Barton?

Following that logic, why not murder babies who are born with gross birth defects of one kind or another - after all, a lot of them wouldn’t really want to live like that, would they? Explain to me why this isn’t any different than what Peter Singer advocates? Ah, what a slippery slope. I hope the Republicans in Texas remember this when Rep. Barton comes up for re-election next year.

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