Human Exceptionalism

Gallup Poll: Suicide, Human Cloning Immoral, Stem Cell Research, Animal Testing Moral

A recent Gallup Poll rated the views of the American people on key moral issues. Here are the results regarding issues of concern here at SHS. The first number reflects “Morally Acceptable,” the second “Morally Wrong:”

– Medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos: 64%-30%

– Suicide: 16%-78%

– Cloning humans: 11%-86%

– Medical testing on animals: 59%-37%

– Buying and wearing clothing made from animal fur: 59%-37%

– Cloning animals: 36%-59%

– Doctor assisted suicide-49%-44%

– Abortion: 40%-51%

Some thoughts: The attitudes toward the human use of animals seems very consistent with approximately 59% favoring and 37% opposing. In this regard, I would have been interested to see a poll on the morality of eating meat.

Thoughts on suicide are conflicted: Suicide is deemed immoral, but doctor-assisted suicide is close to evenly split. To me, this shows the power of a doctor’s authority. Also, it demonstrates that assisted suicide is not as wildly popular as its proponents pretend.

The cloning number is dramatic, but may refer in people’s minds to reproductive cloning. Still, in other polls, majorities also opposed creating human cloned embryos for use in research. Finally, while we don’t deal with abortion here generally, the poll seems to indicate that the nation is more closely split on the issue than I would have thought.

Finally, this poll does not measure whether a particular activity should be legal. Many might feel that an act is immoral, but should be legal.