Kinsley on Stem Cells

Michael Kinsley has an excellent column up at Slate about the inconsistency of the anti stem-cell crowd:

Against this, you have the fact that embryonic stem cells are extracted from human embryos, killing them in the process. If you believe that embryos a few days after conception have the same human rights as you or me, killing innocent embryos is obviously intolerable. But do opponents of stem-cell research really believe that? Stem cells test that belief, and sharpen the basic right-to-life question, in a way abortion never has.

And later:

In short, if embryos are human beings with full human rights, fertility clinics are death camps–with a side order of cold-blooded eugenics. No one who truly believes in the humanity of embryos could possibly think otherwise.

And, by the way, when it comes to respecting the human dignity of microscopic embryos, nature–or God–is as cavalier as the most godless fertility clinic. The casual creation and destruction of embryos in normal human reproduction is one reason some people, like me, find it hard to make the necessary leap of faith to believe that an embryo and, say, Nelson Mandela, are equal in the eyes of God.


Exactly right. No one really believes that an embryo a few days old is the moral equivalent of a human being. That’s strictly a bit of self-righteous demagoguery that appeals to the least thoughtful members of American society.

Kinsley also brings up evolution in an interesting way:

I cannot share–or even fathom–their conviction that a microscopic dot–as oblivious as a rock, more primitive than a worm–has the same human rights as anyone reading this article. I don’t have their problem with the question of when human life begins. (When did “human” life begin during evolution? Obviously, there is no magic point. But that doesn’t prevent us from claiming humanity for ourselves and denying it to the embryolike entities we evolved from.)

Interesting point. Your average pro-lifer rejects evolution, of course. But even the ones who accept it might point out that a fertilized egg inevitably becomes a human being in the normal course of events, whereas the evolution of humans was not inevitable from the origin of life. This is not morally significant, however. That a fertlized egg inevitably becomes a human being (barring some sort of miscarriage) does not imply that it already is a human being. The seed is not the plant.

For me stem cell research, even more so than abortion, is one of those issues with only one reasonable side. Not only is there no moral argument against such research, the moral issues run entirely the other way. Forbidding research with the potential to help thousands of people currently suffering from debilitating diseases on the grounds that a two-week old embryo is the moral equivalent of a human being is monstrous. As with so many other issues, it’s the ones who scream the loudest about morality and righeteousness who hold an indefensible position.

Comments

  1. #1 Patrick
    July 11, 2006

    > Your average pro-lifer rejects evolution, of course.

    I think that’s a gross misrepresentation. Catholics make up a huge part of the pro-life movement, as I know from having grown up among them. Even if the official Church position only tenuously supports evolution, most of the everyday Catholics I’ve met, who are pro-life, are not so dumb as to question evolution (I’d say Roberts, Alito and Scalia fall into this category). There’s a lot of people out where who are anti-stem cell, anti-abortion, anti-cloning etc. and yet are not unhinged creationists.

  2. #2 Jason Rosenhouse
    July 11, 2006

    Patrick-

    Good point. Scalia, incidentally, found nothing objectionable about the Arkansas law mandating equal time for evolution and young-Earth creationism. That doesn’t necessarily mean he rejects evolution, of course, but I wouldn’t automatically put him in the sensible category.

  3. #3 Jon S
    July 11, 2006

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
    This verse is the Bible believing Christian’s response to the abortion and stem cell crowd. God knows us before we even exist, and He forms us in the womb. Since God is outside of time, He doesn’t see just a gob of goo in the womb, He sees a human being that He created in His image.
    Embryos may not be human beings by definition, but they have the same genetic material as a fully developed human being. Being fully developed obviously doesn’t make someone more or less human; after all there are human beings who don’t have arms, legs, or even certain vital organs, yet we don’t deny that they’re human. Just because they may not be fully aware of their humanity doesn’t make embryos less human.
    Kinsley’s point that God is as cavalier as the most godless fertility clinic because of the ‘casual creation and destruction of embryos’ in normal human reproduction is simply his misguided opinion. Kinsley doesn’t understand the impact sin has on the world. Because of man’s sin, we now have death, disease, and suffering in the world. That’s the bad news. But Christ died on the cross for our sins, so there is hope for those who put their faith and trust in him.

  4. #4 DFX
    July 12, 2006

    How about those who object to stem cell research can abstain from the medical advancements derived from it. And no switching positions once you’re sick. You have to go on record when you are health that you object to the research and then later when you are dieing of a now curable disease, we all get to point and laugh and ask how you feel about those stem cells now.

  5. #5 Fred
    July 12, 2006

    Jon,
    I don’t like a “God” who punishes countless generations of 100% completely innocent people due to the tiny sin of two people. Does that sound like a fair and loving God? If you steal a candy bar today, should your great-great-great-great grandchildren go to jail for it?

    Thanks a lot, Adam and Eve. Way to go, morons.

    And how long does humanity have to suffer for ONE SINGLE SOLITARY SIN that was committed 6000 years ago by a couple of people who really didn’t know any better anyway? I don’t like the idea of worshipping someone who punishes me for something I didn’t do. But don’t worry; God’s not mad at me for saying this, because he knew me before I was born, so he was expecting it.

  6. #6 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 12, 2006

    God knows us before we even exist, and He forms us in the womb. Since God is outside of time, He doesn’t see just a gob of goo in the womb, He sees a human being that He created in His image.

    This line of reasoning goes into a circular argument that makes it hard for those who use “God” as a reason for being anti-abortion. With God’s all knowing omnipotent nature he knows all that is to come and all that has ever passed. He surely knows that next week Jane Smith from Toledo, OH is going get pregnant and then have and abortion 5 weeks later. If he knows all of this she (spiritually) and her embryo (physically) are already doomed.

    The “free will” excuse flies in the face of God’s omnipotent nature. If he knows all, then he knows what she is going to do an infinite number of years before she does it. Free will is irrelevant because he knows what you are going to do before your entire family tree even exisited.

    So if he knows you before you are even conceived, the flesh means nothing If it is your soul he’s concerned about. Your fate is decided. If he was concerned about the flesh and he did nothing to stop this, what does that say of a being that has all knowledge of things that are to pass yet lets the very things that he holds dearest be destroyed. He knows it is going to happen yet he lets it go on?

    There are better arguments (I may disagree with them) for being anti-abortion.

  7. #7 Dom
    July 12, 2006

    But Kinsley is setting up a straw man, isn’t he? The objection to stem cell research is that it will change the market place. An analogy is the market place for human organs. “60 Minutes” found evidence that doctors were pronouncing patients legally dead a little too soon, apparently just to harvest their organs. Perhaps this is not true, or is very rare, but many people have to wonder, when a loved one is pronounced dead, if someone is jumping the gun.

    The same is true of stem cell research. The belief, the fear, is that someone will be told that a fetus is severely handicapped just to harvest the stem cells. Do you want to effect a doctor’s decision making this way? It is not at all a question of Kinsley’s “tiny dot of tissue”. The question is, what factors should effect personal decisions? And do we want to add a whole new factor?

    By the way, I favor stem cell research, because I think that laws and governing bodies can answer questions such as this. But we have to prepare ourselves for the day when we find that doctors lead patients to abortions for reasons that would have been judged inappropriate a few years prior.

    To me Kinsley’s article should be ignored in the debate on SCR (or evolution for that matter; the simple point he makes is not very insightful). It is way off the mark.

  8. #8 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 12, 2006

    There are better arguments (I may disagree with them) for being anti-abortion.

    Sorry meant “anti-stem cell research”. The two are so interlinked I typed it out without paying attention.

  9. #9 gravitybear
    July 12, 2006

    But Kinsley is setting up a straw man, isn’t he?

    I don’t think so. You’re argument may be something that bioethicists think about, but I don’t see those words coming out of the mouth of anti-stem-cell protesters (or legislators).
    The personhood argument is the one that gets made most often.

  10. #10 gravitybear
    July 12, 2006

    Should be ‘your’ not ‘you’re.’
    And I usually do well on the homonyms.

  11. #11 Mara
    July 13, 2006

    Dom,

    Why in the world would doctors declare fetuses handicapped just to get the stem cells when there are far easier ways to get many more stem cells? My husband and I, for example, have six embryos in a freezer, leftover from IVF. We plan to donate any that remain unused to medicine, and we can’t possibly be the only people in the country willing to do so!

    I think that you are the one creating a straw man.

    I hope with all my heart that our other embryos, which required so much work on our part to create, can someday help to cure diseases.

  12. #12 Ddom
    July 13, 2006

    Mara:

    I’m refering to an argument that is currently being debated among bioethicists, as gravitybear pointed out. This is not the argument that Kinsley mentions.

    There are actually many answers to the problem of obtaining stem cells for research, and there are many approaches to disabilities that do not involve stem cells. The debate concerns how to move on. I don’t think Kinsley’s article furthers that debate, and in general, when Kinsley writes about science, he tends to be a little off the mark.

  13. #13 Jon S
    July 13, 2006

    Reply to Fred: You may not like God, but understand that countless generations are not 100% completely innocent. In fact scripture tells us that no one is innocent- all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Yes, Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, and the world is cursed as a result, but I think this demonstrates just how much God hates sin. God may not be fair, but He is just. But He also demonstrates His mercy, grace, and love by sending His one and only son to die on the cross for our sins, so that whoever puts their faith and trust in him will have eternal life- which is a reward that infinitely surpasses the death and suffering we experience here on earth. Remember that Christ became human and knows what it’s like to suffer and die, and he was willing to sacrifice himself to atone for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16).

    Fred asks “And how long does humanity have to suffer for ONE SINGLE SOLITARY SIN that was committed 6000 years ago by a couple of people who really didn’t know any better anyway?”

    The answer is until the second coming of Christ.

    Fred says “I don’t like the idea of worshipping someone who punishes me for something I didn’t do.”

    We may not have been the ones to disobey God in the Garden of Eden, but we’re not without fault; in fact we all sin every day and are in need of a savior. Adam and Eve did something that most of us would have done had we been in their place- they were deceived into thinking they could be like God… and which of us wouldn’t want that opportunity? Since then, God has allowed us to get a glimpse of what it will be like without Him, and, in a sense, be our own gods- for He withdrew some of His sustaining power, and when He did that, life got ugly. If this life is a taste of what it’s like to be distant from God, then who would want to spend eternity separated from God? And if you don’t like God, what makes you think you’ll like Satan any better?

    BigDumbChimp says “Free will is irrelevant because he knows what you are going to do before your entire family tree even exisited. So if he knows you before you are even conceived, the flesh means nothing If it is your soul he’s concerned about. Your fate is decided. If he was concerned about the flesh and he did nothing to stop this, what does that say of a being that has all knowledge of things that are to pass yet lets the very things that he holds dearest be destroyed. He knows it is going to happen yet he lets it go on?”

    Yes, God allows death and destruction. But again it’s the result of our sin. That’s the bad news. The good news is that all things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His command (Romans 8:28). So if we put our faith and trust in Christ, we know that eternal life awaits us in heaven, where there will be infinite rewards great enough to make up for all the suffering we experience now.

  14. #14 Rev. Bigdumbchimp
    July 14, 2006

    But again it’s the result of our sin.

    But he knew we were going to sin from the beginning of whatever the beginning was. He knows all to come and all to pass right? So what does that say. There is no free will. He knows all that will happen and so nothing we can do changes anything. Period. There is no choice of sin or not sin. There just is. His pre-knowledge of everything makes that the case.

    That whole argument “it is because of our sin” is begging the question and is a logical fallacy. Circular arguments don’t prove anything other than poor logic.

    The good news is that all things work for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His command (Romans 8:28). So if we put our faith and trust in Christ, we know that eternal life awaits us in heaven, where there will be infinite rewards great enough to make up for all the suffering we experience now.

    Quoting scripture again doesn’t prove anything. If you quoted notes from a scientific lab experiment that discovered something with evidence and recorded repeatable observations, that is proof. Regurgitating Romans 8:28 doesn’t do anything to bolster your point.

    I’ll put my acceptence of science forward toward helping and you can have your faith. We’ll see which provide results.

    If stem cells have the ability to help potentially millions of people and we have to techology to do explore this, we have an obligation to do so.

  15. #15 Jon S
    July 14, 2006

    Reply to BigDumbchimp: It’s not true that there is no free will at all. Yes, God is in control of everything, knows everything, is all powerful, and is sovereign, but man does have free will. If he did not, then God would not hold man accountable. The fact that He does hold man accountable is evidence that man does have free will. And it’s not true that nothing we do can change anything. The Bible is filled with examples of God relenting as a result of man’s prayers (Exodus 32:7-14). And just because God has foreknowledge of all things is not evidence that we have no choice to sin or not. Man is easily influenced and is prone to sin, but God commands us not to sin anyway. Yes, He knows we’re going to sin anyway, but that’s why he sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins… because he knows we are incapable of living a life without sin and can’t get to heaven on our own merit.

    Bigdumbchimp said “Quoting scripture again doesn’t prove anything. If you quoted notes from a scientific lab experiment that discovered something with evidence and recorded repeatable observations, that is proof. Regurgitating Romans 8:28 doesn’t do anything to bolster your point”

    Yes, scripture is where we start when seeking truth, but I believe there is real evidence to support scripture as real and true, such as fulfilled prophecies and genuine miracles. You’re welcome to your opinions, but our beliefs and opinions are independent of the truth. Furthermore, what you do in a lab is not proof of anything. Nothing is “provable” in science – it is just “well supported by the evidence”, “not well supported by the evidence”, or “contradicted by the evidence. At least that’s what I’ve been told on this site previously.

  16. #16 Rev. bigDumbChimp
    July 14, 2006

    Scripture is where those who need an easy explanation of the world seek answers. People who like evidence and observable facts dismiss the un-falsifiable (that’s god if you were wondering) and have more stringent requirements for truth.

    Fulfilled prophecies and and “genuine miracles”? You mean the ones you know about from the bible right? Give me some tangible proof of these “genuine miracles” outside the bible. Your faith is not an explanation. It’s a comforting blanket to shield you from the evidence.

    Ok, “well supported by evidence?” Semantics. Gravity is pretty well proven. Evolution is pretty well proven. Hydrogen is flammable? Setting a flame to hydrogen causes an explosion. Pretty well proven. Speed of light is faster than the speed of sounds. Pretty well proven. They are all well supported by evidence, but so well supported, its an accepted scientific fact, or in other words proven.

    Give me some proof beyond fables and tradition of the things you speak of. Faith is not proof or even usable in “well supported by evidence” instances. Your faith of the myth of creation (if you are so inclined to believe) is not proof of Adam with a sore rib cage and Eve making eyes at a snake. Faith is worthless in the natural world. The supernatural world is built on faith and they do not interact with each other except in the mind.

    You’re welcome to your opinions, but our beliefs and opinions are independent of the truth

    Thank you for allowing me my opinion and you are right they are independent of the truth. Good thing that the evidence supports my opinion and your faith supports yours.

  17. #17 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 14, 2006

    Oh yeah and to try and stay on topic (sorry Jason), I repeat myself.

    If stem cells have the ability to help potentially millions of people and we have to techology to do explore this, we have an obligation to do so.

  18. #18 Fred
    July 14, 2006

    Jon wrote: Yes, Adam and Eve brought sin into the world, and the world is cursed as a result, but I think this demonstrates just how much God hates sin.

    Um, I don’t know how to tell you this, but God CREATED sin; he obviously doesn’t hate it. (Unless you’re saying he didn’t create the universe. If *nothing* existed before he created it, then that means he created sin.) And if he made us in his image, then he is weak and sins too.

    Here’s what I think is funny about people who believe every word in the Bible: Before they go to the movies they verify that the movie is indeed playing, and what time it starts. Now, that’s for something as simple and minor as going to the movies: verfication=important. But for how to live their lives, what’s right and what’s wrong, etc. no verification is required– “the book says so” is all that matters. That’s like being very picky about choosing a t-shirt, making sure to get one of the utmost quality, and then wearing that t-shirt on an airplane held together with toothpicks and rubber cement. Why is it that only the meaningless things in life are worth getting the facts on?

  19. #19 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 14, 2006

    Why is it that only the meaningless things in life are worth getting the facts on?

    Because those are the things that don’t poke holes in the thin fascade of faith.

  20. #20 Jon S
    July 15, 2006

    bigDumbChimp said “Scripture is where those who need an easy explanation of the world seek answers.”

    Nonsense. I can just as easily state that evolution is what those grasp onto who don’t want to be held accountable to God. Afterall, if God doesn’t exist, then who’s to say what is right and wrong? Everyone will do what is right in their own eyes, and nothing is wrong if you don’t see it that way. This is what atheists (and most evolutionists) grasp onto so that they don’t feel bad about killing a human life, which is what happens when a fetus is killed.

    bigDumbChimp said “Give me some tangible proof of these “genuine miracles” outside the bible. Your faith is not an explanation. It’s a comforting blanket to shield you from the evidence.”

    I can’t site the sources off hand, but there has been much research on prayer in hospitals, and many doctors will attest to the power of prayer. Of course atheists will try to explain it away with a shrug and a wave of the magic wand. I suppose you’re not familiar with the many missionary storys from around the world where miracles are not uncommon. If it will do any good I’ll be glad to get the names of the books and let you read for yourself, but again you may simply deny it with a wave of the magic wand and scoff at us naive fundamentalist Christians for believing such nonsense.

    Chimp says “Speed of light is faster than the speed of sounds. Pretty well proven. They are all well supported by evidence, but so well supported, its an accepted scientific fact, or in other words proven.”

    Proven by whom and to whom? Those who deny God? Of course those who deny God will believe that evolution is proven. But remember that the evidence must be interpreted, and if the evidence is interpreted based on scripture, one will find that the evidence supports a young earth. And that is as much a proven fact as your hand waving to the contrary.

    Chimp says “Faith is worthless in the natural world. The supernatural world is built on faith and they do not interact with each other except in the mind.”

    As I’ve shown previously, faith is not worthless. The power of prayer is real. Perhaps you don’t see it that way, but those who know the Lord have. The supernatural world is real and does interact with the world in ways you may be blind to.

    Fred says “Um, I don’t know how to tell you this, but God CREATED sin; he obviously doesn’t hate it. (Unless you’re saying he didn’t create the universe. If *nothing* existed before he created it, then that means he created sin.) And if he made us in his image, then he is weak and sins too.

    God didn’t create sin. He created a perfect heaven and earth, and gave the angels and man free will. They chose to sin, although at least man can claim to have been deceived. God cannot sin. Who says that God doesn’t have the authority to take someones life, or to raise it up again? Are you the judge of God? Even if you do find God guilty, remember that He was willing to become a man and accept the punishment for all mankind so that we can be redeemed. And if you think God is weak, then what does that make you and I? For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. (1 Cor 1:25)

    Fred says “But for how to live their lives, what’s right and what’s wrong, etc. no verification is required– “the book says so” is all that matters.”

    If the Bible is the word of God and is authoritative, then, yes, that’s all that matters. Wouldn’t you agree? Afterall, if God is who He claims to be, then it would be foolish to oppose Him and deny Him authority. However if the Bible is just a myth without truth, then life has whatever meaning or no meaning, depending on who you talk to or how you think and feel. Sure you can boast in your interpretation of science, but what good will that do in the end? After we all die, where will your triumph be? As for me, I put my hope and trust in the Lord, who can save me. Or do you suppose that science is the savior of the world? Is that what mankind should put their faith in?

  21. #21 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 15, 2006

    here has been much research on prayer in hospitals, and many doctors will attest to the power of prayer.

    While I’d like to keep this up, it is increasingly obvious that you refuse to see the evidence in front of you. I’d give you the link that shows the studies that showed that prayer did no good for heart patients that were prayed for, but you’d hand wave that off using some oft repeated scripture and excuse for reality.

    I’ll tell you that you have the burdon of proof to show your god….again… but I expect more handwaving and scripture quoting, proving nothing but your addiction to your religion.

    You repeat the canard that there is no morality without god, it’s a ridiculous claim that makes the faithful feel better about themselves, and if thats what you need, I’ll let you continue to believe that.

    You claim we wave the magic wand but it is you who weilds magic so irresponsibly and hypocritically. You are the one who claims some angry sky daddy. I don’t believe in magic, I accept science. Your missionary stories again lack proof. Its another person in a long line of those who want to pretend that faith proves something when in truth it’s all a grand obsfucation to make the world easier to accept.

    But remember that the evidence must be interpreted, and if the evidence is interpreted based on scripture

    No you work from an assumption that everything must be pushed through the bible filter before it can be examined. Facts are facts. You are the one adding the filter.

    one will find that the evidence supports a young earth.

    Well sure, if you apply the un-scientific bible as a filter to the actualy facts, and then lie, and distort, you’ll get an age of 6000 or so years. If you look at the facts, as thousands of scientist educated in the field have done, opposed to the Hovinds, Hams, and ICR members, you’ll get the true readings. Why? Because they aren’t clouded by a need to proove some ancient book. They look for truth. Show me the evidence. Grand canyon? HA Mt St Helens? HA.

    Go ahead and try to turn my argument back on me. Tell me they are “clouded” by science. It’s a typical ploy, and it will show your ignorance.

    As I’ve shown previously, faith is not worthless. The power of prayer is real.

    You haven’t shown anything that proves a thing… But here I will.

    The supernatural world is real and does interact with the world in ways you may be blind to.

    Ok it was time you started in on some non-sequiturs. Might as well be at the end.

  22. #22 Fred
    July 15, 2006

    Jon says: “God didn’t create sin”… “They chose to sin.”

    Again I say: WHO CREATED SIN? GOD!!! By your Bible, nothing can exist unless God creates it. God created sin. I’m sorry if you don’t believe it, but it’s IN THE BIBLE!!!

    As for your comments about research on prayer, check again. That research was proven to be fraudulent and was a major scandal. There is no, I repeat NO scientifically researched proof that prayer does anything at all. None. Zero. Zilch. You can believe if you want, go right ahead. But don’t be thinking that there is even the slightest shred of evidence.

    Jon also says: If the Bible is the word of God and is authoritative, then, yes, that’s all that matters. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Miss my point much? Your reasoning is only valid IF THE BOOK IS TRUE, but YOU DON’T KNOW IF IT’S TRUE because you refuse (scared?) to look into the matter. Yet you do look into what time a movie starts. Movies are apparently more important to you than your soul. That’s a shame. If there is a God I’m pretty sure he’d have wanted to you to use your brain to the fullest, not just believe something at face value because it’s in a book.

    By the way, the whole “book is real because the book says it’s real” is pretty lousy reasoning (it’s circular, hence invalid). How do you narrow down which books are truthful? Is a book on evolution truthful? Why not? Because you (erroneously) believe it goes against God? I’d like to know how you can be sure that one book is more truthful than another unless you look into the matter.

    Now, with regard to what’s right and wrong, specifically that without God we can’t know. Well, that’s at least something that can be proven: You don’t need God to know what’s right and wrong. And anyway, God is the one who doesn’t seem to know. He created all mankind and punishes them every day for something they did not do (original sin). It’s within his power to forgive every person on earth, but he doesn’t, he requires allegiance first. That’s spiteful, and it’s not morally right. God is immoral. And God has killed millions of people– floods, plagues, etc. So killing is not immoral, therefore neither is abortion. God kills, we are his image, to go against him is wrong. And don’t forget, knowing what’s right and what’s wrong doesn’t mean you’ll *do* what’s right and avoid what’s wrong. I think we’ve seen plenty of wrong comnitted by religious followers over the past several thousand years and it continues to this day. What’s the point of knowing what “good” is if you’re not going to BE good?

    Lastly, you said, “Or do you suppose that science is the savior of the world?” Why are you so stuck on this savior thing? Why do we need a savior? I don’t mean “why” as in that there is no suffering, I mean why must there be a savior? Is that the rule of all planets? And if there is no God, then you have no soul and there’s nothing to save. Sorry if that’s not comforting, but the universe wasn’t created to give you comfort. Anyway, if there is a God, blame him for *needing* to be saved. If he hadn’t been so cruel to Adam & Eve and all of their descendents you wouldn’t have to worry about sin.

    OK, one last thing. I’m not aware of any war that began “in the name of atheism” but I sure know of plenty that were begun in the name of God. So either God condones murder, or these religious people who supposedly know right from wrong sooooo much better than atheists, actually don’t.

  23. #23 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 15, 2006

    Stem Cell Research good – confused lying creationists bad

  24. #24 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 15, 2006

    By the way, the whole “book is real because the book says it’s real” is pretty lousy reasoning (it’s circular, hence invalid).

    It’s caled begging the question and is proof of the irrationality of Jon S’s “arguments”.

    How do you narrow down which books are truthful?

    Deuteronomy..Leviticus?

    Which parts should we believe.

    OH it’s only the New Testament? Cool, who told you that?

    You don’t need God to know what’s right and wrong. And anyway, God is the one who doesn’t seem to know. He created all mankind and punishes them every day for something they did not do (original sin). It’s within his power to forgive every person on earth, but he doesn’t, he requires allegiance first.

    Uh oh, I may have a man cruch on Fred, my wife will be so disapointed.

  25. #25 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 15, 2006

    eek.

    “called”

    “Man Crush”

  26. #26 Jon S
    July 15, 2006

    BigDumbChimp say “No you work from an assumption that everything must be pushed through the bible filter before it can be examined. Facts are facts. You are the one adding the filter.”

    No, you work from an assumption that everything must be pushed through the Darwin filter before it can be examined. Only naturalistic explanations please, otherwise it’s not science. How can you deny such a filter exists when it’s one of the battle cries of evolution? I would say that’s hypocritical, don’t you? Afterall, if you want to be honest, we all see through our own filters. Mine is the Bible, while yours is the Origin of Species.

    Chimp says “Well sure, if you apply the un-scientific bible as a filter to the actualy facts, and then lie, and distort, you’ll get an age of 6000 or so years. If you look at the facts, as thousands of scientist educated in the field have done, opposed to the Hovinds, Hams, and ICR members, you’ll get the true readings. Why? Because they aren’t clouded by a need to proove some ancient book. They look for truth. Show me the evidence.”

    But we only get millions and billions of years if you apply the un-scientific Darwin filter to your facts, and then lie and distort. If you look at the facts, as thousands of scientists educated in the field have done, as opposed to the Dawkins, Goulds and members of National Center for Science Education, you’ll get the true readings. Why? Because they aren’t clouded by a need to prove some ancient book. They look for truth. Actually, the Grand Canyon and Mt St Helens are excellent examples. Mt St Helens was something we actually witnessed, and observations show how quickly geologic events happen. A world wide flood would easily allow for all the geologic formations we see today, as opposed to millions and billions of years of gradual change.

    Go ahead and try to turn my argument back on me. Tell me they are “clouded” by science. It’s a typical ploy, and it will show your ignorance.

    Ok, I just did. How does that demonstrate my ignorance as opposed to yours?

    Fred says “WHO CREATED SIN? GOD!!! By your Bible, nothing can exist unless God creates it. God created sin. I’m sorry if you don’t believe it, but it’s IN THE BIBLE!!!”

    Sorry, but it doesn’t say this in the Bible. Show me the verse. The Bible does say “God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dgragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (james 1:13-15).

    Fred says “As for your comments about research on prayer, check again. That research was proven to be fraudulent and was a major scandal.”

    I’m not aware of this, what is your source? If it is fraudulent I’d like to read more. I was under the impression that they were well documented. I’ll have to do more research.

    Fred says “How do you narrow down which books are truthful? Is a book on evolution truthful? Why not? Because you (erroneously) believe it goes against God? I’d like to know how you can be sure that one book is more truthful than another unless you look into the matter.”

    We know which books are truthful because they’re consistent with all the other books of scripture. The test we use is ‘Scripture tests scripture’. This is what the ancient Bereans were commended for. Whenever someone spoke to them in the name of God, they searched scripture to test if what was said was true (Acts 17:11).

    Fred says “You don’t need God to know what’s right and wrong.”

    Was Hitler wrong? How about Marx, Stalin, Trotsky, Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung? Do you suppose they thought they were wrong? Or do you think they believed what they were doing was right? So who’s right? Is it based on majority opinion? Doesn’t right and wrong in a godless world depend entirely on your own point of view? Right and wrong becomes relative and subjective without God. Who’s to say that there are any absolute rights and wrongs if there is no universal right and wrong dependent upon God?

    Fred says “It’s within his power to forgive every person on earth, but he doesn’t, he requires allegiance first. That’s spiteful, and it’s not morally right. God is immoral. And God has killed millions of people– floods, plagues, etc. So killing is not immoral, therefore neither is abortion. God kills, we are his image, to go against him is wrong.

    God is willing to forgive every person on earth, but God hates sin so much that it is only punishible by death. Therefore there two ways in which God deals ultimate punishment: one is through faith in His son, who died on the cross for our sins and accepted the punishment in our place. Or two, through eternal death for those unwilling to accept the free gift of salvation. Also, what makes you think God should allow all into His kingdom, including those who deny Him, and those who do all kinds of evil? What makes you think you could make a superior God to Him and that it’s your view of justice that should be carried on throughout the universe? God does promise to take believers into His kingdom, where there will be no more death, pain and suffering. For me that’s worth the wait. I’m really not up for the alternative.

    Fred says “Why do we need a savior? I don’t mean “why” as in that there is no suffering, I mean why must there be a savior?”

    Because God loves us and wants those who love him to be with him in eternity. Without a savior, we’re all doomed to hell (For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord- Romans 6:23).

    Fred says “if there is no God, then you have no soul and there’s nothing to save. Sorry if that’s not comforting, but the universe wasn’t created to give you comfort.”

    Exactly. It’s not about comfort, it’s about truth, and science, as you see it, can’t offer truth. God is truth.

    Fred says “Anyway, if there is a God, blame him for *needing* to be saved. If he hadn’t been so cruel to Adam & Eve and all of their descendents you wouldn’t have to worry about sin.”

    I hate to put it like this, but if you think God is cruel, wait until you meet satan. There’s no comfort in him. Furthermore God wasn’t cruel to Adam and Eve; they only had one rule to obey, and they couldn’t keep it! Other than eating from the tree, they could have done anything else they wanted.

    Fred says “I’m not aware of any war that began “in the name of atheism” but I sure know of plenty that were begun in the name of God.”

    See Hitler, Marx, Stalin, Trotsky, Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung. The number of deaths in the last century due to evolution based philosophies far outweigh those caused by religion in all centuries combined. I certainly don’t condone those that have killed in the past in the name of Christianity, but the real offense and grievance can be shown to be evolutionary thinking.

  27. #27 Fred
    July 15, 2006

    Jon,
    Before God there was nothing. God created EVERYTHING. The Bible says that, right? If, as the Bible says, there was nothing, then that means there was no sin. After God created the universe there was sin. God created sin. After all, there can be no “right” without “wrong” to compare it to. Everything is relative. How do you know when something is light if you have no dark to compare it to? How do you know something is going fast if you have nothing slow or stopped to compare it to? Therefore, how do you know you’re doing good if you don’t know what bad is?

    Here’s proof that sin existed before a bite was taken from the fruit: Adam and Eve KNEW it was a sin to eat the fruit. So they knew what sin was even before they brought it into the world. Therefore, God created sin. He even defined it for mankind.

    Regarding your laughable response to Chimp about the “filters” that science or Bible believers look through, there is no evidence at all which supports the Bible. The “scientists” (and what are there, like 2?) who believe in a young earth don’t have any evidence, they merely deny the evidence for an old earth.

    It all boils down to you saying that we don’t have proof of evolution, yet you offer no proof for what you say. We’ve shown proof, or, assuming you want to deny all of our evidence, we’ve at least tried to show proof. You have not. The Bible is not proof. “The Bible is real because it says it’s real” is not an argument. Can’t a book about evolution state the same thing? If two books both state that they are real, how do you decide which is right?

    Now, with regard to morality, you are wrong about Hitler et. al. Hitler’s views were not based on evolution, they were based on religion. Here’s a quote from Mein Kampf, his autobiography: “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” (Mein Kampf, volume 1, chapter 2) And here’s an article that shows Hitler’s hand-written notes where he calls the Bible “the monumental history of Mankind.”

    Anyway, I believe in being a good person because I want to be, not because I’m afraid of God or what will happen after I die. It is wrong of God to threaten you to be good or suffer eternal damnation. Aren’t threats and extortion morally wrong? Someone should tell God to stop sinning; you know what happens to sinners.

    Actually, since the Bible was written almost 2000 years ago, how do you know that God hasn’t changed his stance on sin? It’s normal for people to change over time– do you still have the same friends you had when you were 5? How do we know what God’s views are NOW? The guy gets one book on the bestseller list then retires. I’d like to know what his opinion is now, after all these years.

    As for the prayer study being fraudulent and your interest in reading about that, what’s wrong, Google not working in your house? Click here for an article about it. Here’s more if you’re interested, and here’s a followup to that article.

    Lastly, here’s the difference between you and people who study science: We would love, or at least accept it if Creation and God were true exactly as stated in the Bible– why wouldn’t we? But we ask for proof. You, on the other hand, are opposed to the very notion of a materialistic universe. It doesn’t matter how much proof there is, your mind is completely closed to the idea and you find it abhorrent. It is possible to change a scientist’s mind but not your mind. So there’s really no point in arguing.

  28. #28 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    July 15, 2006

    Only naturalistic explanations please, otherwise it’s not science.

    Exactly. Science deals with the natural. The supernatural is not a part of science. You can try and redefine it all you like, but that doesn’t change the truth.

    Ok, I just did. How does that demonstrate my ignorance as opposed to yours?

    I think you need to spend some time here.

    Repeating the same canards that have been disproven and debunked over and over again shows your lack of desire or ability to see the evidence.

  29. #29 Jon S
    July 16, 2006

    Fred says “Before God there was nothing.”

    Not true. God is the beginning and the end. The was never a ‘before God’. (Revelation 1:8).

    Fred says “Here’s proof that sin existed before a bite was taken from the fruit: Adam and Eve KNEW it was a sin to eat the fruit. So they knew what sin was even before they brought it into the world. Therefore, God created sin. He even defined it for mankind.

    You’re grossly misrepresenting and misunderstanding what scripture says. Instead of searching scripture to support your assertions, you’re interpreting scripture based on your own skepticism. Sure, that may work from an atheist’s perspective, but it’s bankrupt if God is who he claims to be. But you are correct that Adam and Eve sinned before they took a bite. They sinned in their heart by desiring the fruit, when God commanded them not to. Also, Satan sinned before that time, too, so sin didn’t exist until Satan disobeyed God.

    Fred says “there is no evidence at all which supports the Bible. The “scientists” (and what are there, like 2?) who believe in a young earth don’t have any evidence, they merely deny the evidence for an old earth.”

    Hmmm, perhaps a slight exaggeration, Fred? There is much evidence to support the Bible and a young earth. It’s just that those who hold to your views refuse to acknowledge them because you’re blinded by your own biased opinions. Here’s a short list:

    The fossil record and geologic column is evidence of a world-wide flood. Other evidence includes all the marine fossils found on the tops of the highest mountains. The preservation of animal tracks, ripple marks, and raindrops indicates the rock strata was laid down quickly. Fossil graveyards around the world is further evidence. Polystrate fossils indicate a quick deposit of the strata. More evidence is the lack of erosion, soil formation, animal burrows, and roots between layers. The deformation of thick layers of sediment without evidence of cracking or melting indicates the layers were soft when bent (Eastern Beach, Auckland, New Zealand). The formation of clastic dykes and pipes indicates rapid deposition of many strata. The Morrison Formation from Texas to Canada reveals a process not seen today, but expected in the flood model. If you’re interested in reading more there’s Catastrophic Plate Tectonics: A Global Flood Model of Earth History, by Austin, Baumgardner, Humphreys, Snelling, Vardiman and Wise.

    Robert Gentry’s research on zircons found that they contained far too much helium for the earth to be billions of years old. He also discovered that granites contain microscopic coloration halos produced by the radioactive decay of primordial polonium But polonium halos should not be there according to an evolutionary time frame. The existence of polonium halos is scientific evidence of a young earth, possibly even an instantaneous creation. (Creation’s Tiny Mystery, Earth Science Associates, Knoxville, pp. 111137, 1988. Radioactive halos: geological concerns, Creation Research Society Quarterly 25 (4):171-176, 1989.)

    I’m sure evolutionists find problems with all of this, but, again, that’s strictly due to a worldview and interpretation, not a lack of evidence.

    Your view of Hitler is skewed. Richard Weikart, professor of modern European history at California State University, Stanislaus, has thoroughly documented the Darwinian roots of many aspects of the Nazi terror in his recent book From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany.

    Fred says “Anyway, I believe in being a good person because I want to be, not because I’m afraid of God or what will happen after I die.”

    According to scripture there is no one who is good, except God (Mark 10:18).

    Fred says “It is wrong of God to threaten you to be good or suffer eternal damnation. Aren’t threats and extortion morally wrong? Someone should tell God to stop sinning; you know what happens to sinners.”

    God is God; therefore he has the authority to do what is best according to his own will, and doesn’t need to ask us for our opinion of right and wrong and morality.

    Fred says “Actually, since the Bible was written almost 2000 years ago, how do you know that God hasn’t changed his stance on sin?”

    God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind (Numbers 23:19).

  30. #30 bmkmd
    July 25, 2007

    This is obviously a year late, but here it is anyway.

    If the embryos are not going to become live human beings, shouldn’t they, or those with legal and moral responsibility and capacity have the option of donating their remains to science. You know, like when a person is dying and wants his remains to be transplanted to someone else whose organs are not working anymore.