November 1, 2002
EASY QUESTIONS WITH TWISTED ANSWERS:Does Bush believe that embryos are human beings with full human rights, or does he not? I would like a straight answer (Michael Kinsley, 11/01/02, SLATE.COM)
Abortion is a tough question for most people, but the related issue of embryos and medical ethics can be a lot easier. It can be solved without a lot of stagy agonizing, and without trivializing other people's moral concerns, even ones you may not share.
An embryo has no feelings, no self-awareness, nothing that would give anyone a concern about its welfare except for its potential to develop into something we recognize as human. Religion can give you that concern as a matter of faith, but government policy should not be based on this belief any more than on the religious belief of some people that plants have souls.
This is nearly unintelligible. Mr. Kinsley writes a column full of stagy agonizing about his concern that human embryos might be accorded some human rights. He avows that this issue can be settled without trivializing anyone's moral concerns. Then he dismisses the agonizing of people with different views than he, suggests their concerns are somehow illegitimate because religious, and implicitly compares a human embryo to a plant. What remains in his argument from the premise with which he himself began? Or can his points in fact only be made via stagy agonizing, trivialization of religious morality, and the diminishment of human life? Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2002 9:50 PM