Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A "Culture of Life"?

I have a brown spot in my lawn. It's about eight feet by three feet, and every year I stare at it and think, "I should do something about that." But then the car breaks down, weeds spring up around the rose bushes, Hawthorne takes my thoughtful silences to steal away and visit his girlfriend three doors down... you know, something always comes up.

So we're sitting there on the deck, staring at the brown spot. As I see it, I have three option. I can:
  1. Option One: Dig out the dirt, put in new topsoil, and plant grass seed;
  2. Option Two: Turn over the dirt, buy some grass seed, and water it faithfully, or
  3. Option Three: I can ignore it for another year.
All are valid options. While Option One has the most potential, it also costs the most: new dirt, new grass seed, and the time spent removing the old dirt. Option Two is cheaper, but knowing the history of that area of the yard, isn't the most prudent course. It may yield some results, some patchy bits of green islands in the lake of dirt. And Option Three is simply asking for more dandelions to create their own islands, ultimately leaving the yard an eye sore and, in all fairness to the dandelions which attempt to grow there every year, still a deathtrap to life.

I could also try to do all three--do Option One in the most visible portions, Option Two for the areas which are barely visible by the garage, and leave the back which almost no one sees to the dandelions' death wishes (i.e., Option Three...). Of course, I'll end up with a mishmash of results, and I think everyone would agree that this isn't the most prudent course unless all three have the same odds of succeeding, and we're just trying to see which would be most economically feasible. But we know they don't. We've been there, done that, especially with the "ignore it and see what happens" approach...
President Bush, in all his religious pomposity, has decided on Option Three when it comes to trying to find cures for the world's most deadly human afflictions: Use the stem cell lines that already exist, that are frail, tainted, and mostly useless. He then threw in a bit of Option Two: Look for stem cells elsewhere (which we've been doing for almost twenty years now) which he falsely claims will be just as effective in yielding cures, all in the name of protecting Option One, which is some sort of "moral line" which should not be crossed. And while one could interpret ripping the seeds from grass to take and use to promote grass in other portions of the yard (or world, if you will) could be seen as some sort of "moral taboo" which will harm the original grassy area from which the seeds have been taken from, for the benefit of the areas which aren't doing well, I think we all realize how silly the argument is, especially when one considers that the grass from which the seeds have been taken are slated for termination and destruction.

Apparently, taking the unused frozen embryos that many an infertile couple have stored away and no longer desire (which are to be destroyed) and using those stem cells to hopefully aid, cure, and treat people who are alive and very much desired by their fellow families and friends is somehow a "destruction" of life...

As, you know, it wouldn't be protecting life if unwanted potential life was used to help other lives...

Yes, Option Two and Three may have some results. But scientists the world over have been there, done that, found out some things, and will continue to look into those areas. But Option One has been proven by far to have the best potential, and Options Two and Three have only verified that fact. And to create a false argument of "protecting life" by not allowing eggs that will be destroyed from maybe providing hope and life to others isn't about protecting life at all; it's about protecting a failing ideology...

Some people find Option One hard on principle alone: If we allow unwanted frozen embryos to be destroyed, what's next? Wanted embryos? The state creating potential life just to destroy it? The "slippery slope" argument is a favorite tool of conservatives in the hopes of preventing progress and bringing back the 1950s, when women were women, blacks were unequal, gays stayed in the closet, and teen pregnancies were handled in a back alley or by a ten-month visit to an aunt in a far away place. It's amazing sky god hasn't destroyed America yet, what with all the very anti-fundamental, supposedly anti-Christian progress we've made since 1950. (One also wonders why sky god hasn't sent a hurricane to Massachusetts yet to flood the heathen state of "false" marriage...)

But the slippery slope is also a fallacy based on faulty premises: that mankind hates life, when in fact the opposite is true: Man so desires to live prosperous lives, healthy lives, that unwanted life with no chance of being wanted (i.e., the eggs that are to be destroyed) are wanted to preserve life when the potential life they were to be used for no longer exists. Keeping eggs from being utilized that are to be destroyed anyway isn't promoting a culture of life any more than keeping a moldy piece of bread in the fridge for the potential nutrition the bread could have provided back in the day when the bread was first baked.

But I suppose we'll keep watching the dandelions try and die before we remove the barren dirt, bring in the top soil, and plant fresh grass. Anything else would be a promotion of "the culture of death," wouldn't it?

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