Monday, 13 August 2007

Why we fight...



The Human Tissue and Embryos Bill is due to be introduced into Parliament in November.


The Bill is a matter of serious concern for all who promote the sanctity of human life.

It would provide greater scope for embryos to be produced for research, allow more embryos to be destroyed in the process of IVF, and legalise the creation of cybrids, hybrids and chimeras. The Bill will even allow sperm or eggs to be extracted from children or the unconscious in some circumstances without their consent.

The progress of the Bill will also provide an opportunity for amendments to be tabled to change the existing law on abortion.

Although the current availability of abortion is very bad, changes could be made to the law which would make things much worse.

The current overwhelming pro-abortion majority in Parliament means that amendments would be brought in to increase the overall availability of abortion.SPUC has started a campaign focussing on this bill.

They also have a very useful briefing paper (pdf - 238Kb). This gives a helpful summary of the what the Bill would introduce and why we should be concerned about it.

The Briefing also gives straightforward and helpful answers some commonly asked questions about the possible reform of the law regarding abortion and explains why attempts to lower the “time limit” for abortion can backfire.


[with thanks to the Hermeneutic of Continuity]

14 comments:

Psiomniac said...

From your brief summary I have to say I am broadly in favour of the bill.

On the side of the angels said...

Well Psio - that's why I'm with Chesterton on the principle that those who don't believe in God will believe in anything - including the acceptability of genocide of the unborn, the creation of chimeras redolent of Drs Moreau and Mengele. I love you Psio, but you are so very, repulsively, inhumanly wrong...

Psiomniac said...

Well, it would be easy to be offended by being compared to Moreau and Mengele, but that would just get in the way of reasoned debate.
It is not the case that I will believe in anything. Far from it.
However I can use reason to help decide whether or not things are morally justified without the hindrance of trying to deploy anachronistic and irrational concepts.
For what it is worth I don't find your view repulsively wrong. Rather, it is all too predictably and tragically wrong and I love you too.

On the side of the angels said...

anachronistic and irrational when referring to human life [which if left alone and formed solely in the womb where it is supposed to be could ultimately end up like you or me ?]
genocide dude...
maybe you have to equivocate and dissociate yourself from the reality to be able to sleep at night or look yourself in the mirror - but this is killing human beings [even if not yet 'persons' [whatever that means?]]

Psiomniac said...

Clearly our frames of reference are so different that we find it difficult to communicate on this one.
You can rest assured that I neither equivocate nor dissociate yet I can still look in the mirror.
If you don't know what it is about person-hood that is of value, if you have not thought it through except through the irrational anachronistic prism of Catholic teaching beset with ideas such as ensoulment, and yet you feel you can yet lecture others on the morality of the issue, then how do you look in the mirror?

On the side of the angels said...

Um..ensoulment? ensoulment is not catholic dogma dude...
Speculative metaphysics dude; doctrinally expressed by some in order to aid understanding; but it has no valid position in catholic belief other than in attempts to postulate.
Why not look at it from he opposite perspective ? Embodiment.Ensoulment is a word used to avoid gnostic confusion; but it is awkwardly inaccurate - being Neo-Thomistic Realists we argue a holistic view that body and soul are 'sparked'; actuated at conception.This perception of ensoulment is only used to express a meeting of the transcendant with immanent. It's not a pseudo-judaic descent of a soul from heaven flying into the womb - that's cabbage-leaf,gooseberry bush theology dude; and shame on you for presuming we are that naiive. Ensoulment was a reprehensible concept used in the Warnock report to justify murder of the embryo merely because individuality [i.e.potential twinning and re-absorption] was optically indeterminate before 14 days....
Of course this does lead to consequences - Germaine Greer dismisses it by saying we should be giving sanitary towels and tampons [which include the genetic material of miscarried embryos] christian burial and baptism; but this is specious....
We are talking about creating and destroying life which should be given the opportunity for the existence we possess - rather we are murdering them by the million.
Believe what you will but embryology is categorical regarding embryonic development - the brain stem and neural cortex join at 17 days after conception and the heart starts beating a few days later - you may argue that human authenticity only begins when the completion of the tools for fully perceived self-awareness and will [inherant with the brain cortex] form six months after conception; but that is a fallacy of denying potential and denying the already existent 'embryonic' capabilities intrinsic within the development ; any external intervention to prevent this is murder because left to its developmental own devices that individual will achieve viability - unless it has been deliberately heinously formed external to the womb.

I don't understand how you can vindicate the prevention of embryonic development - you were once in such a position - why have such presumption as to deny it to another???

Psiomniac said...

I love it when you call me 'dude'.
(Although I know you call lots of people that).

I think of you lot as anything but naive, I have known the odd ex-Jesuit after all.
But your defense of the Catholic position on 'ensoulment' doesn't really work does it? I was not assuming the archaic descent from heaven, rather "body and soul are 'sparked'; actuated at conception" and "a meeting of the transcendent with immanent" were exactly the sort of gobbledygook I had in mind.
I know you feel strongly and your view is consistent with your beliefs. I have no truck with sanitising or equivocating regarding abortion, I think it is tragic. I do think my ethical position is consistent though, but a full exposition would be a thread in itself.

I don't understand how you can vindicate the prevention of embryonic development - you were once in such a position - why have such presumption as to deny it to another???
I would not now begrudge them having done it to me and preventing my existence although this can only be hypothetical since I do exist. If my mother had been desperate or if I had been created to try to stop some human suffering and then killed I say it is the lesser evil. I can't retrospectively sacrifice myself in this way but I sincerely feel like that about it.

On the side of the angels said...

Forgive me for being a little bit simple here DUDE!
But this is human life we're talking about - and this is not exactly something we can take away to alleviate suffering without the individual's wishes being taken into account; and even then, nobody should have the right to take away another person's life; the scientist deliberately created human life in the petri dish, the woman opened her legs [and even if she's a victim of failed contraception or rape that's not the embryo's fault - intervening to take away that human life is murder: full stop !
when I was a pastoral assistant in Aylesbury I used to visit a hospital/care home for severely mentally and physically handicapped children - they were awe-inspiring - their quality of life and happiness was wonderful - beautiful - the love they gave brought tears to one's eyes and lifted the heart. Now? these institutes are defunct - any handicapped kids are screened out and slaughtered en-masse before they see the sunlight... Our enlightened liberal world has plunged into the genocidal eugenic realm of the Nazis and no-one seems to blink an eye.
I refuse to be part of this culture of death.

Psiomniac said...

I forgive you.

On the side of the angels said...

rolls eyes !

You ever read Chesterton's 'The Ball & the Cross' ?

I'm a lover , so axiomatically I'm a fighter...[well that's not exactly true, I have a tendency to
stand up for what I believe in and get seven bells knocked out of me, but nevertheless...]

Wanna take this outside dude?

Psiomniac said...

Depends what you have in mind.

On the side of the angels said...

as Linus says - some mornings you should never get out of bed...

Psiomniac said...

I did promise, so...I'll say nothing.

On the side of the angels said...

bless you, and all who sail in you...