This is one thing Grandpa John and I agree on: religious faith doesn't play a part in my position on embryonic stem cell research. I became pro-life before I became a Christian.
The one point I most want to leave this debate with is: there's no way to have an objective standard, when it comes to deciding which life is actually life and worth protecting, vs. which isn't and thus can be discarded, experimented upon, etc.
Caveat: I understand some people don't believe human embryos are human beings, and thus don't deserve the same protections. But that brings me back to my question: how do you know?
In the comments to the previous post, Jesusisjustallrightwithme says we should continue experimenting on embryos. His cutoff point is brain development - a being can't be aware of itself until it has a brain.
If we establish that as the standard, someone else will point out that, even after the brain begins to develop, the embryo (fetus, baby) is still not self-aware. So we should move the standard back even further.
On the other hand, Scott asked me why my standard doesn't include individual sperm. On a practical level, that's ridiculous. Millions of sperm are wasted in each and every effort to fertilize an egg (how's that for a euphemism?). Most eggs are also wasted. That's just how nature (or, as JIJARWM would surely say, God) made us. Plus, you try telling a woman she has to try to have a baby with every single egg.
And anyway, a single sperm or egg isn't its own individual person (yes, it's got your DNA, but so does every drop of your blood). An embryo is, with its own DNA.
Still, Scott reinforces my point. where is the line, and why is it drawn there? Unless and until we have conclusive, objective proof that a 3-hour-old embryo is not a human life, we have to treat it as such.
One more thing: what's our record on comments? We had 13 on that post. And with that, I go on vacation.