Posts tagged ‘ethics’
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
Since the Obama Administration assumed office and coped with the economic meltdown, the President and his economic team have been working on legislation to eliminate the possibility that the American taxpayer will every again have to bail out a private company that was “too big to fail.” No sooner did the President make the proposed legislation public than the Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (KY) announced. “the effort by President Obama and Democrats to reform the financial industry is actually a way to institute endless taxpayer funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks.” He claims that what the Treasury Department, the Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve, and such non partisan economic luminaries as Paul Volker have been working on for over a year, will do just the opposite of what the Administration’s purpose is in drafting the bill. On the surface, McConnell’s statement appears absurd. Many accuse him of just another deliberate political lie, about as absurd as the Republican “Death Panels” accusation in the Health Care Reform debate. However, there is a logic to these Republican “lies”. One that enables McConnell and many other Republican leaders to make these public announcements with a straight face. One that allows their conscience and intellect to make these statements and not believe that they are lying to the public. This article will explain and analyze this logic which may well be more dangerous for our Democracy than political lies. (more…)
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
What would happen if it were discovered that a person—child or adult—were a human clone? All religions appear opposed to human reproductive cloning. So are most people. How will the clone fare in American society. Would she/he be treated just like any other person? Or would there be prejudice against the clone and perhaps danger? Would some religious fundamentalists see the clone as the “spawn of the Devil” or the “Anti-Christ” and physically try to harm or even kill the clone? (more…)
By Lewis Eigen
In an earlier article, Human Clones May Be Among Us Now! Who Is Ready?, we created the hypothetical situation where a woman pregnant with a clone would be cared for and protected by a Catholic Hospital. The assumption in this hypothetical example that many Right-To-Life advocates are so sincere that they would protect the life of a clone whose creation they might fear or disapprove of under normal circumstances. This kind of moral consistency is not always present amongst the so-called Right-To-Life movement where death and even deliberate death is often tolerated or even advocated in cases of war, execution, political murder of those who disagree, etc.
One criticism of my earlier article was that the premise of protection for the clone in utero was not supported by any evidence. Happily, there is now evidence that is very strong.
The opponents of embryonic stem cell research have received a major setback in their arguments. New research has just shown that the alternatives that they advocated are not only not equivalent, but are decidedly inferior for the major purpose of the research–creating specialized human and animal replacement cells.
One argument against the use of Embryonic stem cells for research, in addition to the quasi moral one of using potential life forms, is that it is unnecessary because there is a scientific method of taking normal cells and treating them in the laboratory in such as way as to make them “pluripotent.” This is the property that allows the embryonic stem cell to transform into any other kind of cell. This of course is just what makes the embryonic stem cell so desirable as a research tool. And the new research shows that the alternatives are inferior–they die rapidly! (more…)
There may well be human clones living among us and attending our schools. Reproductive human cloning may have aready been accomplished or may be in process at the time of this reading. Dr. Eigen’s article gives us an insight to the many religious, legal, cultural, and civil problems what will ensue unless we strart to consider, debate and make some decsiions of how we will handle human cloning when it is upon us. Eigen argues that it is hopeless to believe that we can prevent cloning and he provides some scenerios that will likely face human society in the next few years. The problems he predicts are if nothing else facinating to contempate and that is his message. We should start now, Human cloning is a matter of when and not if.
The East Anglia scientists who were accused of adjusting their science data to push their political agenda of remediating man-made global warming have attracted world wide attention. Most commentaries on the subject consider the potential conflict of itnerest issue and whether the scientists and their results are to be trusted. However, the political conflict of interest charge which has recieved almost all the media attention is not the critical one from the scientific point of view. There may have been some more serious transgressions. And if so what should science do with the data and analyses that the trangressers have produced?
The evils of earmarks are widely recognized, but there is one that negatively effects the scientific research of the nation. It is one what has rarely ever been mentioned politically, and most of the media have ignored it or may not realize the problem exists. This article explains and gives examples of this additional critical reason for earmark reform.
It is the negative affect on the scientific researchers themselves and their processes and institutions.