Monday, September 13, 2010

Moral Courage

Moral courage requires reform and needs a reformer. Moral complicity - anyone can do that.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Suicide of Thought

I was listening to a recording of Chesterton's Orthodoxy today, and ran across this prescient and insightful passage:

I have known people who protested against religious education with arguments against any education, saying that the child’s mind must grow freely or that the old must not teach the young. I have known people who showed that there could be no divine judgment by showing that there can be no human judgment, even for practical purposes. They burned their own corn to set fire to the church; they smashed their own tools to smash it; any stick was good enough to beat it with, though it were the last stick of their own dismembered furniture. We do not admire, we hardly excuse, the fanatic who wrecks this world for love of the other. But what are we to say of the fanatic who wrecks this world out of hatred of the other? He sacrifices the very existence of humanity to the non-existence of God. He offers his victims not to the altar, but merely to assert the idleness of the altar and the emptiness of the throne. He is ready to ruin even that primary ethic by which all things live, for his strange and eternal vengeance upon some one who never lived at all. (ch 8, The Romance of Orthodoxy)

This a great insight into the lengths taken by a secularist worldview when their philosphy's rubber meets the roads of education and ethics. Better to have no reason than the reason of God.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Embryo Destructive vs. Actually Creative Research

Recently, a court ruling put a stop to the Obama administration’s work to pour tax dollars into embryo-destructive stem cell research. It was the right ruling for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that it is actually illegal to do what the Obama team tried to do.

But the best reasons are highlighted in Matt Bowman’s opinion in USA Today, “Pointless Research.” He notes that since to congressional ruling in 1995,

science itself has ended the debate. Adult stem cells actually help people, and a new technique creating "induced pluripotent stem cells" (IPSCs) gives every benefit of embryonic cells and more, without destroying embryos. Stem cell pioneer James Thomson told The New York Times that IPSCs spell the "end" of the embryonic stem cell field. Meanwhile, embryonic-destructive research has yielded little beyond tumors, wild promises and the demand for more taxpayer dollars.

So why are certain parts of the scientific and political world still pushing for hundreds of millions to fund research that has been a dead end and promises to be that way for a while (especially when there is useful research being done without the embryos)?

That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I have a satisfactory answer. And I am honestly looking for one. It is outright intellectual dishonesty? Group-think? Political power-plays in the halls of hallowed science?