Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Creeping Eugenics

In the guise of medical research, British scientists are now legally approved to create embryos that are part human and part animal. According to timesonline,
“cytoplasmic hybrids” or “cybrids”, which are made by moving a human nucleus into an empty animal egg. These are genetically 99.9 per cent human. As well as true hybrids, it also allows chimeras that combine human and animal cells, and transgenic human embryos that include a little animal DNA.
MPs also overwhelmingly voted to accept "true hybrids", as embryos of animals fertilized with human sperm are called.

Another bizarre measure is being considered by the MPs:
Another free vote last night was expected to approve the use of embryo-screening to create “saviour siblings” suitable to donate umbilical cord blood to sick children.
And the abortion gestation limit of 24 weeks, which is the current limit, is favored by 61% of British women, who apparently want increased "late term" abortion rights, not reduced terms for abortion. 24 weeks is two-thirds of the way through a complete gestation period, and includes fetuses with beating hearts, moving limbs, thumb-sucking, and so on.

This creep in ethical relaxation is a prime example of Hegel's "thesis-antithesis-synthesis" principle. Hegel's principle allows for an unacceptable antithesis to work on the original thesis, until a compromise, the synthesis, is reached. Of course it does not stop there, it occurs repeatedly, with each new occasion starting with the thesis being located at the position of what had been the synthesis.

In other words, the thesis is dragged along, a bit at a time, by espousing an outrageous antithesis, but then settling for a compromise...the synthesis.

Abortion is now the thesis, the base from which other outrages may be launched. In the future, the hybrid embryos and "savior siblings" will be the thesis from which ever more egregious ethical assaults will be launched. Because the Hegelian method is not challenged effectively, it will drive the ethical future of mankind to the lowest possible point, where nothing is considered unethical if it can be projected to have a pragmatic outcome. In other words, the end will justify the means, and "consequentialism" philosophy of Atheism (see the previous post on Atheist Ethics) will prevail.

Already the idea that if it might in some way fight disease, or produce an inconvenience to a mother, anything is acceptable in the way of modifying and/or killing human embryos. There is not much left of ethics to destroy.

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