Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Resistance, Rebellion, and Death"

Albert Camus wrote about the necessity of what he termed metaphysical rebellion; rebellion in the face of existence's absurdity. We live in a time during which absurdity abounds. Metaphysical absurdity, what might better be termed ontological insanity, is the rule of the day fuelled by an apparently limitless subjectivity bordering on and sometimes extending into a nihilistic solipsism. In no way is this manifest more than when it comes to so-called life issues. Of particular concern in our present milieu is the harvesting and obtaining embryonic stem cells for research. The most common methods proposed for obtaining these stem cells are immoral and unconscionable. Using stem cells taken from aborted fetuses and creating human life for the purpose of destroying it in order to harvest stem cells are under no circumstances morally or ethically acceptable. It is even more absurd that people who claim to be speaking and acting on behalf of science buy into fetal stem cells as a miracle cure, if only those damn Christians would step aside and unblock the portal to the brave new world, all the world's maladies would be cured.

Anyone possessed of a properly formed conscience is duty-bound to resist, to push back, to oppose this diminution of human life, to oppose the culture of death and to create, not just a culture of life, but of love. Well, this morning I was gratified to read a wonderful push-back: A Lutheran Pastor Says ‘Here I Stand’ in Delaware, thus challenging the wisdom of the age. There is no way to make a pro-life argument in favor of harvesting and experimenting with fetal stem cells extracted from aborted fetuses or from zygotes created in a laboratory without committing a gross and deadly contradiction. Reason matters, logic matters, as both inform morality. Morality is not, in the first instance, a matter of revelation, of faith, of affectivity, of one opinion among many. It is a matter of applying right reason.

As to the false promises made by modern day peddlers of snake oil, I offer, from the Καθολικός διάκονος archives, Embryonic Stem Cells: Why Not?.

In his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II wrote to "all the members of the Church, the people of life and for life." It is to us that he made "this most urgent appeal, that together we may offer this world of ours new signs of hope, and work to ensure that justice and solidarity will increase and that a new culture of human life will be affirmed, for the building of an authentic civilization of truth and love" (no. 6).

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