Thursday, August 11, 2005

Defending Dobson on Stem Cells

Watch me do it at The American Spectator. I'm dealing with two issues in this piece.

1. Is Dobson totally out to lunch on the Nazi comparison? (Nope.)

2. Is David Gelernter correct to say Dobson doesn't belong in the major leagues of public discourse? (Nope again.)

24 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

Hunter, your piece is excellent on all fronts.

And I would add a further point. It's one thing to read out Joe Sobran or Pat Buchanan or Michael Savage for allowing their discourse to be sullied by quirky biases and/or crude rhetoric. But this type of only-guys-who-extend-their-pinky-finger-while-sipping-red-wine-can-sit-at-the-table elitism has no place in the post-Reagan conservatism that has successfully redefined politics and culture.

The genius of our movement is that the white-collar business guy, the white-collar seminary student, the blue-collar worker and the redneck farmer add up to a red-white-and-blue patriotism that puts God and country before Me and Myself.

Hunter Baker said...

I want to add that I have always enjoyed Gelernter's writing. It was surprising to see him taking this angle in an op-ed. The whole major leagues/minor leagues thing was offensive.

Timothy Birdnow said...

Great piece! Your logic was impeccable!

Tlaloc said...

"1. Is Dobson totally out to lunch on the Nazi comparison? (Nope.)"

Actually yes, but we knew that as soon as you said "dobson." The man is a freak.

When you were a kid did you ever freak out about the idea that when you had eggs for breakfast you were eating a baby bird? If so hopefully your parents explained to you that you were not in fact eating a baby bird, it was an unfertilized egg and would never have become a baby bird even if it had been left with the mother.

Similarly waste fetus tissue from fertility treatments would never be a baby regardless of whether they were subsequently used for the humane purposes of disease research. They are not potential human beings because there is in fact no potential there except to be potential landfill occupants.

Consequently comparing the Nazis (who killed human beings) to stem cell research (which kills no one and may save lives) is more than a bit disengenuous.

Tlaloc said...

speaking of Dobson's insanity if you look here
you can find Dobson quoting advice about how Men showering with their boys can help keep them straight. Here's the quote:

"He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger."

One can only imagine the uproar if gays suggested this same advice. Needless to say Dobson is a fruitcake. And I mean that in the sense of insanity rather than in the sense of homosexual.

Anonymous said...

No, Tlaloc, the uproar only comes when they suggest that it's perfectly healthy for grown men to shower with OTHER people's children...

Tlaloc said...

"No, Tlaloc, the uproar only comes when they suggest that it's perfectly healthy for grown men to shower with OTHER people's children..."

So gay incest is okay? I tell you the religious right never ceases to amaze me :)

James Elliott said...

Ah, so Anonymous, you're taking the "gays are pedophiles" route? Way to reveal yourself as totally and completely uninformed. Stop dumbing down the debate here. T and I might be dissenters, but at least we're smart about it.

E.B. Crow said...

Tlaloc- Why are you upset if Dobson gives advice to fathers and sons, even if it is showering with them? After all, you chose the screen name that represents child sacrifices.

Tlaloc said...

"Tlaloc- Why are you upset if Dobson gives advice to fathers and sons, even if it is showering with them?"

Dobson's antics don't upset me, I just am using them to indicate how massively insane he is.


"After all, you chose the screen name that represents child sacrifices."

Baby tastes like chicken.

James Elliott said...

I think T's more PO'd about the inherent hypocrisy in that statement. Say, if PFLAG said "Showering with his father can aid a boy in cementing his gender identity" (which is what Dobson is saying; see, Locke, that's "psychologyese") then y'all'd be flipping out.

James Elliott said...

"Baby tastes like chicken"

ROFL

"Baby! The other OTHER white meat!"

Anonymous said...

JE --

I don't believe I was dumbing down the discussion at all, and no offense taken (though intended, I'm sure).

I never said that all gays are pedophiles; but certainly, you can't deny that the whole NAMBLA movement was a product of the gay revolution of the '60s and '70s.

Because the gay movement -- by it's frequent associations -- has forfeited it's right to express moral outrage at abhorrent behavior (after all, they can't go around judging others' private conduct), it tends to embrace -- by omission or commission -- all forms of deviant sexual conduct.

So, yes, there probably would be outrage if gays came out suggesting it was healthy for men to shower with boys -- even though the suggestion was without pedophilic intent.

Unfortunately, because of the company they sometimes keep, they have lost the presumption of moral innocence.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and to bring this discussion full circle -- well, at least full semi-circle --

T, don't be so sure you were always eating UNfertilized chicken eggs. Anyone who's hung around a farm long enough knows those little red dots on the yolks ain't paprika.

So, how do you feel about telling children they're eating baby chickens? Or, is it okay as long as it doesn't have a beak and feathers?

Tlaloc said...

"Unfortunately, because of the company they sometimes keep, they have lost the presumption of moral innocence."

And by the same logic pro-lifers have lost all presumption of innocence due to their sometimes association with operation Rescue and people like Eric Rudolph. Isn't it fun to judge everyone by a fringe element?



"So, how do you feel about telling children they're eating baby chickens? Or, is it okay as long as it doesn't have a beak and feathers?"

I'm fairly indifferent to it really. However the point remains that you aren't eating a baby chicken, you are eating an unfertilized egg (and no I've never gotten one with those "red spots" whatever they are).

Anonymous said...

T --

Not to beat a dead horse (do we have enough animal metaphors here?), but by your last post, does the converse apply?

I.e., if you're eating a fertilized egg (you know, the red dot kind), then you're eating a baby chicken?

Just want to be sure we're clear. Wouldn't want to put the horse before the cart.

James Elliott said...

Baby chicken tastes like infant.

Tlaloc said...

"I.e., if you're eating a fertilized egg (you know, the red dot kind), then you're eating a baby chicken?"

No not exactly but at least you could say you were eating somethig that might have become a baby chicken. Hence the similarity between waste fetuses and unfertilized eggs, neither had any chance whatsoever of becoming a full organism.

Tlaloc said...

"Baby chicken tastes like infant."

Despite what I said earlier I have always heard that human flesh tastes like pork. Which is really an interesting comment on us when you think about it.

James Elliott said...

Makes "Animal Farm" all the more compelling, really.

Kathy Hutchins said...

at least you could say you were eating somethig that might have become a baby chicken. Hence the similarity between waste fetuses and unfertilized eggs, neither had any chance whatsoever of becoming a full organism.

This is simply factually wrong. A "waste fetus" (gads, what an ugly locution. It should ba a tip-off that evil is lurking about when such words fly out of keyboards) is a human at the earliest stage of development. At some point it was sitting in a dish next to another practically identical fetus, which was chosen to be implanted in a womb and, if everything went well, emerge nine months later as a baby. The only difference between the baby and the "waste fetus" is that the "waste fetus" wasn't chosen by the fertility clinic to be implanted. And if you'd chosen to leave the fertilized hen's egg under the hen, it would have become a chick.

The human analogue to an unfertilized hen's egg is the the unfertilized ovum that is flushed from a woman's body every month if she doesn't get pregnant. While there may be ethical concerns in how such eggs are obtained for research (is consent truly informed, are health risks to the donor fully disclosed, etc.) there is not a per se moral problem with biological research on unfertilized human ova, at least from the point of view of my Church.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kathy -- I was shooting all around the mark, but you hit the bullseye for me.

I always enjoy your posts.

Now, back to my eggs for breakfast...

Kathy Hutchins said...

Well, sometimes you city slickers just need to let the Hoosier farm girl take charge.

My mom cracked open a egg one time that did have a beak and feathers in it. We weren't always so good at finding the eggs right away. Mom wasn't terribly squeamish, but it was some time before she served sausage scramble again.

Tlaloc said...

"A "waste fetus" (gads, what an ugly locution. It should ba a tip-off that evil is lurking about when such words fly out of keyboards) is a human at the earliest stage of development. At some point it was sitting in a dish next to another practically identical fetus, which was chosen to be implanted in a womb and, if everything went well, emerge nine months later as a baby. The only difference between the baby and the "waste fetus" is that the "waste fetus" wasn't chosen by the fertility clinic to be implanted. And if you'd chosen to leave the fertilized hen's egg under the hen, it would have become a chick."

You've clearly been brushing up on your biology since our last discussion. Yes Kathy an unfertilized egg is simply an egg for which we've interrupted the fertilization process. Very good.

However the point still remains that the egg wasn't fertilized. The fetus was thrown out. In neither case was an organism possible due to a decision that occured long before I sit down to breakfast or stem cell researchers go to work.



"The human analogue to an unfertilized hen's egg is the the unfertilized ovum that is flushed from a woman's body every month if she doesn't get pregnant. While there may be ethical concerns in how such eggs are obtained for research (is consent truly informed, are health risks to the donor fully disclosed, etc.) there is not a per se moral problem with biological research on unfertilized human ova, at least from the point of view of my Church."

And the view of YOUR church is just SO important to me. Really. The analogy between the unfertilized egg and the waste fetus is completely valid along the evalutation line I explicitly stated (and restated above to help you out).