As one anonymous commentator noted, one of the problems with slippery slope arguments is that they fail to argue against the thing they claim to argue against. They seem to argue against more extreme things. To illustrate this point, two bioethicist types argue in the Washington Post:

>We have seen where this amoral logic leads us — to shameful abuses of research subjects, which surely no one wants to repeat. But we have also seen, in the stem cell debate, how moral lines erode quickly — from using only “spare” embryos left over in fertility clinics to creating human embryos solely for research to creating (or trying to create) cloned embryos solely for research. What will be next? Probably proposals for “fetal farming” — the gestation of human embryos to later developmental stages, when potentially more useful stabilized stem cells can be obtained and organ primordia can be “harvested.”

They forgot to mention soylent green. The problem, of course, is that it isn’t logic that leads us there. It’s the hyperbolized rhetoric of policy advocates, such as the authors of this piece. So, by way of illustrating the observation of the commentator, what is wrong with stem cell research as it is now (or as it is proposed by various bills)? When you answer, don’t tell us about embryo farming. But if you do tell us about that, tell us what is wrong with it. For the real slippery slope, such as this one, argues neither against the top nor the bottom of the slope.

One thought on “Embryonic”

  1. in a way, these two have almost straw-manned the entire “issue” in order to force the right to life platform into the debate. for, in point of fact, the bulk of stem cell research being done currently is through the use of harvested adult stem cells, not, as they have assumed, on ‘leftover’ or lab-created embryonic stem cells, and is actually proving just as, if not more effective than embryonic stem cells. it should come as no surprise, however, that psuedo-moralists will devise logically inept schemes to forefront their dogma of choice even as the weight of science mutes their soapboxing.

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