Skip to comments.Michael J. Fox is a cannibal
Posted on 10/25/2006 10:21:35 AM PDT by freepatriot32
Michael J. Fox is a famous TV and movie star. He is witty. He is charming. A few years ago, we learned he has Parkinson's disease.
PD is a slowly progressive neurological disorder, characterized by tremors, shuffling gait, a masklike facial expression, "pill rolling" of the fingers, drooling, intolerance to heat, oily skin, emotional instability and defective judgment (although intelligence is rarely impaired).
PD is currently incurable, although there are several methods to slow its advancement, including drug therapy and surgery.
PD is tragic, particularly in Fox's case, because it rarely afflicts persons under 60 years old.
Yet everyone faces tragedy at one time or another, in one form or another. A person's moral fiber is revealed in tragedy.
So we learned through Fox's affliction that he has either extremely poor judgment or a diabolical character flaw. He supports human embryonic stem-cell experimentation, thus contending that some humans are subhuman and expendable for others' personal gain.
We know there is nothing new under the sun. So Fox's character flaw is not new, just a variation of the worst of human behavior throughout history.
Slaveholders thought those whose lives and deaths they controlled were "property," as the U.S. Supreme Court determined in the 1857 Dred Scott decision. Hitler thought Jews were evolutionary mistakes. The Islamic government of Sudan currently has it in for black Christians.
Different day, different holocaust.
As is always the case, the powerful determine the fate of the powerless, and if the powerful don't hold the view that all humans are created equal, then the powerless end up enslaved or dead.
Some may think I'm going over the top to compare Fox to slave owners or Hitler or the Sudanese government. "Fox is a nice guy, and he's sick. Be nice."
If you think that, your sympathies are misplaced. Fox advocates killing certain people to experiment on them "for the greater good" simply because those people don't look like we do yet. This is odd, because some day Fox won't look like most people either.
If Fox wanted to kill a football stadium full of toddlers to experiment on them, I doubt anyone would think he was normal, and I doubt anyone would bear with his barbaric rambling to be nice.
But using Fox's logic, experimentation of 2-year-olds should be acceptable. Toddlers are certainly far less developed on the human continuum and don't look at all normal by adult standards. The reason they are called "toddlers" in the first place is because their oversized heads and bellies cause them to "toddle" when they walk.
Scientifically speaking, a human is a human from the instant of fertilization, no matter what phase of development. "Take that single cell of the just conceived zygote, put it next to a chimpanzee cell, and 'a geneticist could easily identify the human. Its humanity is already that strikingly apparent,'" said Randy Alcorn in his newly released book, "Why Pro-Life?," quoting from "Preview of a Birth."
I'll worry about Fox's feelings after he stops using his considerable influence to convince the American public to support taxpayer-funded human embryonic stem-cell experimentation. Fox is not only pushing an ideology on me that advocates the destruction of human life, but he also wants to force me to pay for it. What gall.
I feel sorry for Fox's kids. Flashing them either forward or backward in one of Fox's "Back to the Future" movies, they are in lose-lose situations.
The future Fox wants to create for his three daughters looks bleak. No longer will only hens lay eggs for human consumption if Fox has his way. His daughters will be exploited for their eggs, too, because the only source of these pre-embryos is women. It is foolish to think technology will be sated by the availability of today's orphaned embryos, as is now the spin.
And in an altered past, Fox would have allowed the dissection of his days-old embryonic children so he could surgically ingest them in an effort to cure his own ailments high tech cannibalism.
It's funny that Fox calls himself a vegetarian.
Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. To learn more, visit Jill's blog, Pro-life Pulse.http://www.jillstanek.com/
So, would you say that your dividing line falls at the point in development where implantation would occur, even if the embryo is being developed without implantation?
If so, I guess this makes a certain amount of sense. At the point of implantation, a large majority of implanted embryos will grow and be born. Something that derails the process at this point is more the exception than the norm.
I don't happen to share this view, as I have explained before. But it does make a certain amount of sense.
That's a fairly accurate way of putting it, with the caveat that I view actual implantation as the sine qua non of fetal "viability" (if I may use a word that I earlier disavowed).
Spermatagonia. Spermatozoa. Ova.
I don't happen to share this view, as I have explained before. But it does make a certain amount of sense.
With all due respect, it doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me the equivalent of saying that because most people are going to die from natural causes anyway then it is ethically acceptable to deliberately target and kill some of them. Implantation as a dividing line between when it is acceptable to kill and/or experiment on a human being-in-fact is completely arbitrary because a human being's location or access to nourishment has nothing to do with the intrinsic dignity and worth of that human being.
A gamete is an indispensable "part" of a human being. But for the gamete, there would be no human being. Ten fingers are not an indispensable "part" of a human being. Your reasoning seems to me rather facile.
How so? What about human beings who cannot produce gametes? Are they not human because they lack that property? But you say, "but for the gamete, there would be no human being.". That is true but irrelevant because you are conflating the hypothetical potential of a gamete to become something different, i.e. an actual human being, a different category of being (by being united with another gamete of the opposite sex) with an actual human being with potential. When an ovum is fertilized both it and the sperm cease to exist as such and become a single new entity, an entirely new thing; a new human being, one who has never existed before and will never exist again. Though a gamete is a necessary part of the creation of a human being it does not follow that it is the same category of thing as a human being.
It is a contradiction in terms to say that the potential and the actual can exist simultaneously in any thing. It is impossible. An actual gamete with potential and an actual human being with potential are two different kinds of being entirely.
But, of course, absent implantation, the blastocyst will never become a human being, and will be discarded by the body. But for implantation, a blastocyst is not, and cannot be, a human being. It's "intrinsic dignity" consists of two options -- implantation and commencement of the process of fetal development (of becoming a human being, in other words), or termination by its host.
If the threat of "arbitrary" line drawing is paramount, then of course your proposed line of non-protection for gametes, but protection for fused gametes (presumably meaning that the moment of fertilization demarks the line of non-acceptable artificial destruction), must be eliminated as well. As I noted above, your attempt to delineate a gamete as merely a "part" of a human and therefore free from protection fails the simplest of tests - can a human exist without this ostensible "part"? Indeed, if your reasoning is accepted, then the blastocyst itself is a mere "part" of a human being unentitled to protection, since an unimplanted blastocyst cannot alone become human.
I am not making light of this, by the way. I fully understand the difficulty of drawing lines. But since we choose to draw lines for many reasons, I tend to think that a closer approximation to a "but for" line is the more appropriate measure.
I thought it was fairly obvious what the meaning of my sentence was, but on the chance that you actually misunderstood, my point was that, absent a gamete, you would not have a blastocyst, and absent a blastocyst, you would not have a fetus, etc. You have chosen a point in this chain as a demarcation based upon the notion that a gamete is merely a "part" of a human being. Frankly, I don't see how this mid-chain demarcation of yours is anything but arbitrary, since the gamete is an indispensible "part" of the chain itself.
But you say, "but for the gamete, there would be no human being.". That is true but irrelevant because you are conflating the hypothetical potential of a gamete to become something different, i.e. an actual human being . . . with an actual human being with potential."
The same reasoning applies to the blastocyst. You are yourself "conflating the hypothetical potential of a [blastocyst] to become something different, i.e. an actual human being [by way of the indispensible prerequisite of implantation] with an actual human being with potential."
Though a gamete is a necessary part of the creation of a human being it does not follow that it is the same category of thing as a human being.
So too the blastocyst.
I am also curious about your use of the word "potential". I'm not sure what your intended meaning is, but if it is a reference to the "potential" of future physical development, then gametes and blastocysts bear the same "potential" qualitites, since both are themselves prerequisites to physical development.
It is an elementary category error akin to stating the taste of the color blue to assert that a blastocyst is not a human being. The age of the human being is an incidental property of the human essence. You are confusing essence and accident.
...(of becoming a human being, in other words)
There is no such thing as a being becoming a human being. In the first place every living thing is thoroughly actual, with more or less potential, and in the second place potentialities or capabilities are limited to the kind of thing to which they belong.
As I noted above, your attempt to delineate a gamete as merely a "part" of a human and therefore free from protection fails the simplest of tests - can a human exist without this ostensible "part"? Indeed, if your reasoning is accepted, then the blastocyst itself is a mere "part" of a human being unentitled to protection, since an unimplanted blastocyst cannot alone become human
In addition to repeating the category error, you are confusing a principle of being with being itself, which is indicated by your use of quotation marks around "part". A principle of being is not itself a being, per se. It is a principle of being that gametes are a necessary condition for the existence of a human being, but that does not mean that a gamete is itself a human being or has or ever will have the capabilities of one. A gamete can never be anything other than itself. It has 23 chromosones, etc. It has the potential to fuse with another gamete to procreate a new human being, upon which it ceases to exist as such. A blastoscyst, on the other hand, is already a human being if it possesses the potency of ever doing things that are human, because potentialities and capabilities are limited to the kind of thing to which they belong. A sperm can only now or ever in the future do sperm things. A radish can only do radish things. No individual living body can "become" a human being unless it already is a a human being. No living being can become anything other than what it already essentially is.
Implantation is a necessary development for future growth of that human being-in-fact, but it has nothing to do with that human being's essence. The bottom line is that you are conflating the potency to cause something to come into existence with the potency for this new being to become fully what it is. That a child is exposed to the elements and starves to death so that he never reaches adulthood says nothing about his humanity. It only says something about certain accidental features of his existence, such as his age and state of development at his death. That a blastocyst never implants says nothing about his humanity. It says only certain things about the accidents such as his age and state of development at his death.
First, if a blastocyst is a "human being," then the human reproductive system is a deliberately designed holocaust. Second, this mystical nonsense about human "essence" is so utterly undefined (and undefinable) as to be perfectly meaningless.
There is no such thing as a being becoming a human being.
In which case, no line can be drawn, at blastocyts, gametes or prior.
Implantation is a necessary development for future growth of that human being-in-fact, but it has nothing to do with that human being's essence.
I'm afraid you're arguments, relying as they do on this mushy notion of "essence", are entirely arbitrary, and as such, entirely unsatisfactory.
This seems a like negative theological argument in which it is assumed what God would would or would not have done in designing things, and then arguing from the existence of evil. I have thus far not based my argument on theological grounds, but simply on philosophical and scientific grounds.
If the blastocyst is not a human being then what kind of being is it? Is it a radish? Is it a sperm? Is it a chimpanzee?
If the proposition, "I was conceived" make sense, then the ontological status of the blastocyst is self-evident. When did you begin to exist? The beginning of your existence was at the beginning, not at some later time. The problem with your argument is that if you did not exist until you were implanted, there would have been a period of time between the time you were conceived at fertilization and the time you implanted in your mother's womb when you did not exist. This is clearly absurd. Human life is a continuum. Likewise, if you did not begin to exist until you implanted in your mother's womb then what kind of actual being was it that was the product of your parents gametes?
Second, this mystical nonsense about human "essence" is so utterly undefined (and undefinable) as to be perfectly meaningless.
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that entails rational thought and the the study of "first principles" and "being" (ontology) There is nothing mystical, arbitrary or mushy about it. Essence refers to the question, "what is it?"
Skepticism about a scientific fact as established as any fact of science, and confirmed beyond cavil that the beginning of a human life occurs at fertilization, is unwarranted. To say that we cannot know what a human being is is also unwarranted. We do not have to know everything to know with certainty what a human being is and how a human being's life begins. To say that we cannot know, itself a claim of knowledge that we cannot know, is self-refuting.
The purely subjective basis for your argument renders it as useless as, and as subject to abuse as, arguments based upon "viability."
Since when are the basic facts of biology subjective, and since when is there any scientific authority for the notion that sperm and ovum are the same kind of thing as a zygote? The novel assertion that they are is nothing short of backwoods biology, with apologies to the backwoods. A sperm is not a human being. An ovum is not a human being.
You claim that the severable sperm and ovum that initiate fetal development do not possess your subjective "human essence." But your claim is entirely arbitrary, since "but for" the genetic components of the sperm and ovum, there would be no human at all. The essential nature of the sperm and ovum, their "essence" if you will, is the very source of humanness, yet you exclude them from your "human essence" category.
For the umpteenth time, referring to what something is, a human zygote is a whole human organism, and, as such, a living (albeit immature) member of the human species. A human zygote has the internal, self-directed, self-integrating potency to develop and mature into a mature human being; a gamete does not. If you implant a sperm into a uterus the sperm will disintegrate. It will not grow into a mature human being in 25 years. Basic biological facts and distinctions are not a subjective enterprise.
Another could credibly argue that "human essence" is measured by brain waves, or motility, or communicative capacity, or sense perception. Indeed, their arguments would have considerably greater weight than yours, since you simply assign without explanation "human essence" to a personally preferred (and morally convenient) phase in the reproductive cycle.
In addition to objective, empirical, elemental biological distinctions, I have already argued that such potentialities and capabilities are entailed in the kind of entity it is, a point that you have not refuted.
You did not answer the question, "when did you begin to exist?", nor did you answer the question, "if you did not begin to exist until you implanted in your mother's womb then what kind of actual, physical being was it that was the product of your parents gametes?"
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