The Corner

Thanks For Calling Me Thoughtful…

…but, Professor George, I fear you misunderstand me when you accuse me of committing a non sequitur by saying: “A high rate of ‘natural’ embryo loss does not entail that human embryos are not human beings. A number of people have pointed this out and I think that everyone (including John, who is obviously a thoughtful guy) will see the error in John’s logic here if they reflect on it a bit.” While it is true that it does not follow that a 25 percent embryo failure rate means embryos are not human beings, that does not disturb my own central point — which is that the presumption that embryos are human beings cannot be proved by science and logic alone. I say this because the thought of that 25-percent failure rate killing off human life “naturally” is a matter of horror to me — as I think it would be to most readers “if they reflect on it a bit” — and I need something more than nature to make it tolerable. I need faith. I need the sense of a divine plan. I need the sense of something more, something larger. Or I can’t believe that those embryos are “human beings” in the way that, say, my 14 month-old daughter is. If you want to consider this a failure of logic, you may — but I think it is a demonstration of the limits of logic. And this is the crux of the problem with your assertion that we can use science and logic alone to find our way out of the embryonic stem-cell conundrum.

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