Human Exceptionalism

Bill Hurlbut on the Moral Responsibilities of Scientists, the Intrinsic Worth of Human Embryos, and his ANT Project

My pal Bill Hurlbut expounds in this radio interview on the moral responsibilities of scientists, the human future, and other matters of interest to SHSers. For example, he explains why he holds the human embryo as having intrinsic moral worth:

A lot of what I was hearing [during deliberations of the President’s Council on Bioethics] by way of argument [in favor of human cloning] was actually just natural moral sentiments. People were saying, “How can you count something that is no bigger than a period at the end of a sentence the equivalent of a 3-year-old?” Well, in a way we don’t by nature, but we do by mind. We can recognize the continuity as a living organism. And that…was for me a very crucial connection. I realized that each one of us started in those early phases with an absolutely magnificent intrinsic power to unfold in our individual form. Each one of us is unique and an unrepeatable gift of life. And in that sense, I decided…that human embryos should have moral worth that is worthy of protection and nurture.

It is a very NPRish interview–don’t expect sound bites. But it is an important conversation about profound issues. Check it out.


The Latest