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Stem Cells

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Aasimar, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Aasimar

    Aasimar Atheist

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    This one has always very much interested me. After conception, there is a stage of human development called a Blastocyst. It is bascally a sphere of cells encapsulating a few "stem cells," That is, Pluripotent cells. Now the signifigance of this is these are remarkable human cells, capable of becoming endodermic, ectodermic, or mesodermic, (Interior "gut" tissue, epidermal and nervous tissue, and muscle/blood/bone tissue respectively.) For those who do not know, the remarkable think about these pluripotent cells if they have the potential to become any known human tissue. This would mean that researching these magnificent little cells have a very real potential to end cancer, diabetes, osteoperosis, arthritis, and many many other afflictions. Now the dilemma is that a Blatocyst is of course the conception of human life, which many religions hold to be sacred. So what is your opinion, do you think that the benefits outwiegh the costs? Consider that intercourse is not even required to create a Blatocyst, all that must happen is a sperm and an egg must meet, easily done in a lab or with Invitro-fertilization. The Blatocyst is then destroyed in the process of extracting the stem cells. So the question is where do you stand, and why? Should Stem cell research (Which has been banned, and still is to my knowledge) be allowed to continue or was it good that it was shut down?

    I will post my opinion first since I started this :) I am Agnostic and as such to not believe the Catholic "Soul enters the Zygote at conception" arguement, thousands of lives are lost every day, thousands of miscarriages, that serve no good and simply make those who are affected miserable. The concept that a sphere of cells is sacred because it is a potential human to me is taking religion way too far. Imagine if every sperm was considered to be sacred because it is half of a potential human, as is every egg. So my vote would be life the ban on stem cell research and relieve the world of some of it's misery. How about you?
     
  2. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    I am against embryonic stem cell research/usage, but for other sources...
     
  3. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I disagree with you - not for the same reasons as my Roman Catholic friend, but still, because of Religious reasons.

    I believe in reincarnation. The abortion (whether "on purpose" or as purely natural process because of a problem with either the mother - or the "to be" - baby; as such,
    stem cell research (whilst I agree that it could help people who are sufferring (I have a replavement hip and will soon need another) is too great a potential danger to be legalised).

    The reasons ? Man's perpetual habit for using something intended for the betterment of mankind for his own nefarious aims...

    Stem cell research could be the first step on a ladder of "The perfect human being" - that rather reminds me of Hitler......

    Reluctant as I am to deprive thiose in need of help, I can't see that allowing stem cell research would not end in tears, by being misused.

    I don't expect others to agree with me, but that is my stance.
     
  4. kateyes

    kateyes Active Member

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    I don't think it NEEDS to be a religious issue at all. There are other sources (than embryos) for stem cells-and research continues to find further sources. Embryos do not need to be used, thus taking the religious issue out of play as far as I am concerned.
     
  5. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    For those (like me) who are religious, it cannot help but be an issue for us.

    By using stem-cell research, there will undoubtedly be changes in lifestyle (medicine - breeding "thouroughbreds") - it is inevitable................

    Life (for me) is sacred - as it is, I already think that medicine has crossed the line with certain procedures........
     
  6. nutshell

    nutshell Well-Known Member

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    I am for stem cell research.

    I am not for killing the makings of life.

    These statements are compatible.
     
  7. Aasimar

    Aasimar Atheist

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    Let's pretend that stem cell research did indeed discover ways to improve humanity (i.e. unlock the other 90% of the brain we don't use, eliminate problems such as ADD, genetic disorders, etc. Would that be wrong? I personally don't think so. I think humanity is a fatally flawed being, destined to destroy itself. Any chance we have of curtailing that is in my opinion, worth pursuing, since I don't have any idea what will happen when we die, if anything. And if we create a race of greater intelligence that ends up destroying humanity, well that might be for the best also. Humanity is generally convinced that it is worth preserving, but sometimes I wonder. Religion is responsible for misery. Technology is responsible for misery. Poverty, war, predjudice, pride, nationalism, selfishness. Perhaps if we could modify ourselves to become better, it would be for the best. Nothing says progress like a new programming for future generations :)
     
  8. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
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    We do not use only 10% of our brain, that is a myth.
     
  9. Aasimar

    Aasimar Atheist

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    Great, but the point still stands. There is untapped potential imo.
     
  10. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I realized that someone was going to come to that point next, and, because I didn't want this debate to go "off topic" I started a new thread here which deals specifically with the gist of your post.
     
  11. Aasimar

    Aasimar Atheist

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    That's creepy, you made it before I made my post, GET OUT OF MY HEAD! seriously though, good idea lol, I tend to go off topic a lot, whatever comes to mind really.
     
  12. Aasimar

    Aasimar Atheist

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    Now then, let's take this concept. You believe in reincarnation right? I'm going to take an assumption here, that you believe in the buddhist version, which as I understand is you take the summation of your life experiences, Karma, and they are applied to you in your next life correct? i.e. if you were a babykilling alcoholic who beat his kids and raped little boys you would come back as an abused child or something similar, your next life would in some way try to teach you the lessons you failed to learn in a previous life. So if you die, go through the cycle of rebirth, come back as a Blastocyte, and are destroyed to create a cure for cancer, wouldn't you just go through the cycle again? I mean if death doesn't destroy your soul, why would this version of death?
     
  13. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    Given that the cells are unsentient at that point, I have no issue with taking them and using them for stem cell research. We've already got a zillion and a half blastocytes in storage, anyway... we don't need to create more, they're already there!
     
  14. jamaesi

    jamaesi To Save A Lamb

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    If it makes people feel better to deny me and many other people a cure that could come from cells that will most likely be discarded anyway... I just wonder how they sleep at night.

    Also, consider the source. Adult and embryonic cells are not the same. Adult stem cells are more limited in cellular differentiation.

    There are about 400,000 zygotes in storage that will expire or be discarded in storage. Far more of these zygotes created for fertility treatments die from failure to implant than would be used for research that could cure living people.


    It's just such a waste. These "makings of life" aren't being made just to be "murdered" in scary scientific research. These embryos are going to stay in storage until they expire or they are thrown away.
     
  15. jamaesi

    jamaesi To Save A Lamb

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    So I deserve to live a life of pain because someone could misuse this technology? Where can I sign up to ban... well, jeez, sign up to ban everything else in this world because it can be misused.

    I think it's far more rational to create laws that will keep these "slippery slopes" from happening instead of denying people hope and a cure.
     
  16. UnTheist

    UnTheist Well-Known Member

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    Stem-cell research is the most promising strategy to end thousands, if not millions, of diseases, disorders, lost limbs, and damaged or destroyed organs.

    And many don't want scientists to do this because they want to save an insignificant 3 day old zygote, that cannot feel, cannot think, cannot know or be conscious of itself or it's surroundings at all. It's just a cluster of cells.
     
  17. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

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    During Michelangelo's time it was forbidden to conduct autopsies because it was considered "knowing the inner workings of God".

    Learning about stem cells can lead to a cure/prevention of million of genetic disease and the regrowth of limbs lost in accidents. But even more importantly it will lead to the scientific discovery of the human soul.

    It is going to happen. Those against it are just making it take longer.
     
  18. jamaesi

    jamaesi To Save A Lamb

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    Making it take longer is killing people and damning the rest to a life of pain and/or coping with with a terrible disease.

    Honestly, these zygotes are not insignificant and are a life- but a life that will never be able to form into a full human being. Like I said before, there are about 400,000 of these precious cells that will probably never be implanted into a womb and will expire or be discarded. And those 400,000 are just in the USA alone! I think there's about 60,000 in Australia, which is the only other country I've heard numbers for, that are doomed to the same fate of just staying in storage until they are thrown out or they expire.
     
  19. UnTheist

    UnTheist Well-Known Member

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    Then they had better start using them.
     
  20. des

    des Active Member

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    The cells get thrown away anyway, or they get stored in nitrogen. Bush trots out several kids that came from these, but most of them will never become people. If we were going to ask some moral questions, if they are that troubling-- though they don't seem so to me, but if you were going to ask them ask at the point that they are creating all those blastocysts for the purpose of providing spares in human reproduction outside of the body.


    I actually think it is wrong NOT to use them to further human life. This is not a case of making life a little easier. We are dealing with major diseases. Honestly, if we dont' get a handle on Alzheimers, imo, our offspring are going to have a pretty miserable existence. The rates are sky high right now. No telling for the boomers. Put that out yet another generation...

    The stem cells gathered other ways are more important now-- but don't take this out of context, they may not be in the future.


    --des
     
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