[extropy-chat] RE: [wta-talk] CBC: A Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity

nvitamore at austin.rr.com nvitamore at austin.rr.com
Fri May 13 15:33:41 UTC 2005

This will certainly provide content to fuel to the "Transhumanist
Manifesto" for transhumanity, and a resource content to validate the use of
the "Proactionary Principle" as a balanced measure for which to determine
the pros and cons of the use of biotechnology.


Original Message:
From: Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 10:36:50 -0400 (EDT)
To: wta-talk at transhumanism.org, transhumantech at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [wta-talk] CBC: A Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity

A Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity
The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network

      If you agree with this statement, [15]click here to join with Chuck
      Colson, James Dobson, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dr. Richard Land, and
      the other signatories listed above in signing on to the Biotech

    "Our children are creations, not commodities."President George W. Bush

    "If any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education,
    the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live
    after are the patients of that power," slaves to the "dead hand of the
    great planners and conditioners." C. S. Lewis
     1. The Issue
        The debates over human cloning have focused our attention on the
        significance for the human race of what has been called "the
        biotech century." Biotechnology raises great hopes for
        technological progress; but it also raises profound moral
        questions, since it gives us new power over our own nature. It
        poses in the sharpest form the question: What does it mean to be
     2. Biotechnology and Moral Questions
        We are thankful for the hope that biotechnology offers of new
        treatments for some of the most dreaded diseases. But the same
        technology can be used for good or ill. Scientists are already
        working in many countries to clone human beings, either for embryo
        experiments or for live birth.
        In December 2002, the Raelians, a religious cult that believes the
        human race was cloned by space aliens, announced that a baby they
        called "Eve" was the first cloned human. But it is not just the
        fringe cults that are involved in cloning; that same month,
        Stanford University announced a project to create cloned embryos
        for medical experimentation.
        Before long, scientists will also be able to intervene in human
        nature by making inheritable genetic changes. Biotechnology
        companies are already staking claims to parts of the human body
        through patents on human genes, cells, and other tissues for
        commercial use. Genetic information about the individual may make
        possible advances in diagnosis and treatment of disease, but it
        may also make those with "weaker" genes subject to discrimination
        along eugenic lines.
     3. The Uniqueness of Humanity and Its Dignity
        These questions have led many to believe that in biotechnology we
        meet the moral challenge of the twenty-first century. For the
        uniqueness of human nature is at stake. Human dignity is
        indivisible: the aged, the sick, the very young, those with
        genetic diseases--every human being is possessed of an equal
        dignity; any threat to the dignity of one is a threat to us all.
        This challenge is not simply for Christians. Jews, Muslims, and
        members of other faiths have voiced the same concerns. So, too,
        have millions of others who understand that humans are distinct
        from all other species; at every stage of life and in every
        condition of dependency they are intrinsically valuable and
        deserving of full moral respect. To argue otherwise will lead to
        the ultimate tyranny in which someone determines who are deemed
        worthy of protection and those who are not.
     4. Why This Must Be Addressed
        As C. S. Lewis warned a half-century ago in his remarkable essay
        The Abolition of Man, the new capacities of biotechnology give us
        power over ourselves and our own nature. But such power will
        always tend to turn us into commodities that have been
        manufactured. As we develop powers to make inheritable changes in
        human nature, we become controllers of every future generation.
        It is therefore vital that we undertake a serious national
        conversation to ensure a thorough understanding of these
        questions, and their answers, so that our democratic institutions
        will be able to make prudent choices as public policy is shaped
        for the future.
     5. What We Propose
        We strongly favor work in biotechnology that will lead to cures
        for diseases and disabilities, and are excited by the promise of
        stem cells from adult donors and  other ethical avenues of
        research. We see that around the world other jurisdictions have
        begun to develop ethical standards within which biotech can
        flourish. We note that Germany, which because of its Nazi past has
        a unique sensitivity to unethical science and medicine, has
        enacted laws that prohibit all cloning and other unethical biotech
        options. We note that the one international bioethics treaty, the
        European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, outlaws all
        inheritable genetic changes and has been amended to prohibit all

        We therefore seek as an urgent first step a comprehensive ban on
        all human cloning and inheritable genetic modification. This is
        imperative to prevent the birth of a generation of malformed
        humans (animal cloning has led to grotesque failures), and the
        establishment of vast experimental embryo farms with millions of
        cloned humans..
        We emphasize: All human cloning must be banned. There are those
        who argue that cloning can be sanctioned for medical
        experimentation--so-called "therapeutic" purposes. No matter what
        promise this might hold--all of which we note is speculative--it
        is morally offensive since it involves creating, killing, and
        harvesting one human being in the service of others. No civilized
        state could countenance such a practice. Moreover, if cloning for
        experiments is allowed, how could we ensure that a cloned embryo
        would not be implanted in a womb? The Department of Justice has
        testified that such a law would be unenforceable.
        We also seek legislation to prohibit discrimination based on
        genetic information, which is private to the individual. We seek a
        wide-ranging review of the patent law to protect human dignity
        from the commercial use of human genes, cells, and other tissue.
        We believe that such public policy initiatives will help ensure
        the progress of ethical biotechnology while protecting the
        sanctity of human life.
        We welcome all medical and scientific research as long as it is
        firmly tethered to moral truth. History teaches that whenever the
        two have been separated, the consequence is disaster and great
        suffering for humanity.
        Carl Anderson
        Supreme Knight
        [16]Knights of Columbus
        Gary Bauer
        [17]American Values
        Robert H. Bork
        Senior Fellow
        [18]The American Enterprise Institute
        Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Ph.D.
        Dean, [19]Wilberforce Forum
        Director, [20]Council for Biotechnology Policy
        Dr. Ben Carson
        [21]Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dept. of Neurosurgery
        Samuel B. Casey
        Executive Director & CEO
        [22]Christian Legal Society
        Charles W. Colson
        [23]The Wilberforce Forum, [24]Prison Fellowship Ministries
        Ken Connor
        [25]Family Research Council
        Paige Comstock Cunningham, J.D.
        Board Chair and former President
        [26]Americans United for Life
        Dr. James Dobson
        [27]Focus on the Family
        Dr. Maxie D. Dunnam
        [28]Asbury Theological Seminary
        C. Christopher Hook, M.D.
        [29]Mayo Clinic
        Deal W. Hudson
        Editor and Publisher
        [30]CRISIS magazine
        Dr. Henk Jochemsen
        [31]Lindeboom Institute
        Dr. D. James Kennedy
        Senior Pastor
        [32]Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church
        Dr. John Kilner
        [33]Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity
        C. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D.
        [34]C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth
        Former U.S. Surgeon General
        Bill Kristol
        Chairman, [35]Project for The New American Century
        Editor, [36]The Weekly Standard
        Jennifer Lahl
        Executive Director
        [37]The Center for Bioethics and Culture
        Dr. Richard D. Land
        [38]The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
        of the Southern Baptist Convention
        Dr. C. Ben Mitchell
        [39]Trinity International University
        Editor, [40]Ethics & Medicine
        R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
        [41]The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
        Fr. Richard Neuhaus
        [42]Institute for Religion and Public Life
        David Prentice, Ph.D.
        Professor, Life Sciences
        [43]Indiana State University
        Sandy Rios
        [44]Concerned Women for America
        Dr. Adrian Rogers
        Senior Pastor
        [45]Bellevue Baptist Church
        Dr. William Saunders
        Senior Fellow & Director, Center for Human Life & Bioethics
        [46]Family Research Council
        Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
        [47]Traditional Values Coalition
        David Stevens, M.D.
        Executive Director
        [48]Christian Medical Association
        Joni Eareckson Tada
        [49]Joni and Friends
        Paul Weyrich
        Chairman and CEO
        [50]The Free Congress Foundation
        Ravi Zacharias
        [51]Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

    Biotech Manifesto Signature Form

    If you agree with this statement, [52]click here to join with Chuck
    Colson, James Dobson, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dr. Richard Land, and the
    other signatories listed above in signing on to the Biotech Manifesto.


   15. http://www.thecbc.org/redesigned/manifesto_signer.php
   16. http://www.kofc.org/
   17. http://www.ouramericanvalues.org/
   18. http://www.aei.org/
   19. http://www.wilberforce.org/
   20. http://www.biotechpolicy.org/
   21. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/hopkinshospital
   22. http://www.clsnet.org/
   23. http://www.wilberforce.org/
   24. http://www.pfm.org/
   25. http://www.frc.org/
   26. http://www.unitedforlife.org/
   27. http://www.family.org/
   28. http://www.ats.wilmore.ky.us/
   29. http://www.mayo.edu/
   30. http://www.crisismagazine.com/
   31. http://www.lindeboominstituut.nl/
   32. http://www.crpc.org/
   33. http://www.chbd.org/
   34. http://www.dartmouth.edu/dms/koop/index.shtml
   35. http://www.newamericancentury.org/
   36. http://www.weeklystandard.com/
   37. http://www.thecbc.org/
   38. http://www.erlc.com/
   39. http://www.tiu.edu/
   40. http://www.ethicsandmedicine.com/
   41. http://www.sbts.edu/
   42. http://www.firstthings.com/
   43. http://www.indstate.edu/
   44. http://www.cwfa.org/
   45. http://www.bellevue.org/
   46. http://www.frc.org/
   47. http://www.traditionalvalues.org/
   48. http://www.cmdahome.org/
   49. http://www.joniandfriends.org/
   50. http://www.freecongress.org/
   51. http://www.gospelcom.net/rzim
   52. http://www.thecbc.org/redesigned/manifesto_signer.php
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