Stem Cell politics was Re: [extropy-chat] Proposal: was-AChilling Thought.

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at
Wed May 18 15:47:10 UTC 2005

--- Brett Paatsch <bpaatsch at> wrote:

> Mike Lorrey wrote:
> > --- Brett Paatsch <bpaatsch at> wrote:
> >>
> >> What I am trying to point out to you is that there are good
> >> scientific
> >> reasons for not regarding a five day old embryo as having the same
> >> potential or moral significance as an embryo or fetus that has
> >> developed to a substantially later stage.
> >
> > I never said I did.
> Fair enough, but in political terms the stem cell debate often gets
> conflated with the abortion debate. Some of the issues are similar
> but to me embryonic stem cell research is a far easier moral call
> than abortion. I thought that you might have had reservations about
> deriving embryonic stem cells from embryos and destroying their
> potential in the process.
> I think that it would be possible to show you that it is in your
> personal
> interest to support embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic
> cloning with public funds. You and people close to you are likely to
> be personally effected by how well and how soon embryonic stem cell
> research gets moving.
> In my opinion, interested laypeople do not get very good information
> on *why* embryonic stem cell research and the funding of it matters.

This is partly because both sides of the debate tend to exaggerate
their claims, particularly the pro-choice side, about how long a fetus
remains a 'clump of cells'.

> I want to give The Avantguardian a chance to plug therapeutic cloning
> if he wants too.  But if he doesn't want to and you are interested I
> will.

I think theraputic cloning is fine, *for me*. I would be happy to help
plug it. I don't think that is the debate here. The debate is whether
others can be forced at gunpoint to pay for something they may not use,
will enjoy no profit from the investment, and morally regard as
manslaughter or murder. If you are going to seek to use the gun of the
state to fund your research bandwagon, you need to be prepared for
those you intend to rob to use the same tool to tell you "hell no". If
you are not willing to accept those risks and/or outcomes, you
shouldn't engage in that game. Whining about it is poor sportsmanship,
to say the least.

> >I am entirely fine with aborting a fetus less than,
> > say, two weeks old. It is incredibly hard for anyone to justify
> that is
> > either an individual or with sensory capacity of any sort
> whatsoever. I
> > am increasingly less fine as the fetus ages.
> Okay but you spoke of three entities as having rights to choose, the
> mother, the father and the child.
> Up until two weeks is it your view that only the woman should have
> the right to decide?  In practice I think it would be hard to enforce
> much else.  The embryo has not brain to have an interest and the
> male quite possibly might not even know that he was a potential
> father.

Up until two weeks, both the father and mother have a right to choose,
IMHO generally clear of obligations to the fetus. As the fetus gets
older, both have an increasing obligation to the fetus. While it would
be hard to enforce if a woman is intent on subterfuge, but such a woman
is going to have bad relationships to begin with given she is
untrustworthy and manipulative.

> > This is the real problem. The right to a pursuit of happiness does
> not
> > include the right to feel pleasant, or even less unpleasant, at the
> > expense of others rights or existences.
> I agree that no constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness
> amounts to that.  But I still don't get what you are referring to
> as the real problem.

The real problem is that pro-abortionists base their demands upon their
'right to feel less unpleasant', their right to not be inconvenienced
by a child. Except in cases of rape, the woman and man got into that
situation in the pursuit of happiness.... you don't get to avoid the
hangover of your pleasures.

> Do you want to give an unborn independent legal child rights? Perhaps
> that is not a bad idea, such rights do not need to be the equivalent
> to the rights of a full citizen, but at what stage of its
> development?

I'm not a contractualist like you might be. I recognise the
preexistence of a natural right to live that takes on increasing
prominence with the age of the fetus. Is the actual life of the mother
more important? Of course it is. Is her convenience or career goal more
important? Definitely not. At what age does the fetus's right to live
override the convenience or plans of the mother? I am almost positive
it doesn't happen at two weeks. I know for a fact that it has happened
by six months. It is up to honest and objective science, coupled with
an objective and ethical philosophy, to decide where the hair gets
split in between those two points, and any grey area should be decided
on the side of life.

> > Have you ever seen a man convicted in a tribal setting turned over
> for
> > punishment by the victims female relatives? Women can be far more
> > brutal than men.
> Not personally no. I am sceptical that there are sex differences
> between
> men and women wrt brutality but I have no doubt individual men and
> women and some cultures would be at different positions wrt to the
> universal mean.
> >> > Feminists are arrogant in thinking that only their choice
> counts,
> >> that they are responsible enough to objectively consider what is
> best
> >> for their fetus independently of what they feel is best for
> themselves,
> >> and sexist in asserting that man's choice lasts a few minutes but
> a
> >> woman's choice lasts 9 months.
> >>
> >> Perhaps you have a point but *practically* how could you have a
> >> policy that worked differently than what we currently have?
> >
> > a) if a man wants an abortion, and the woman doesn't, she and the
> state
> > should allow the father to relenquish all rights and future
> obligations
> > wrt the child.
> That is not unreasonable so far as I can see, but the critical
> question of
> when in the stage of development the abortion might take place
> matters
> otherwise the woman might not even inform the man. Further it might
> be that the woman cannot be certain who the father is.

Honesty and openness with all parties is all I ask. If DNA checking of
such a young fetus is impossible, and the woman is so promiscuous as to
not know (i.e. multiple partners per day), it is likely a good choice
if she chooses to abort early. I doubt her partners are looking for the
responsibility either.

> > b) if a pregnant woman leaves a jurisdiction to raise a child alone
> and
> > separate from the father, she relenquishes all future claims
> against
> > him for support of the child when she crosses the state line.
> Thats potentially problematic. The woman might have to move to get
> work to support the child. Slighting the father might not be a motive
> at all. Or it might be to some degree. How could you tell?

Honesty and openness versus manipulation and skulduggery.

> > c) if a man does not want an abortion, and the mother does, she
> must
> > either compense him the cost of a surrogate pregnancy, or have the
> > child, and relenquish it to the father in exchange for fair expense
> for
> > the term of pregnancy. When the father pays the bills, the mother
> > permanently relenquishes all rights and obligations.
> The principle is not unreasonable but to implement it would be
> complicated as the womans health is intimately linked to the health
> of the unborn child or fetus.

Quite so. This would obviously be solved when a fetus can be
transferred to the male...

> I've seen extreme ;-)
> You seem to be equating taxing you with the crime of theft.  You are
> calling the state "criminals and accessories to death", but "the
> state" makes the law.  The state is not just the executive
> government.

You are right, it is the legislature that ignores the will of the
people and authorizes the theft, it is the courts that legislate from
the bench to fit their own agendas, and it is the Constitution that all
three ignore as much as they are permitted to get away with by the
citizenry. Let us look at a few things in that document:

Article 1 Section 9: 
"No Capitation, or other direct, tax shall be laid unless in proportion
to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." 

The Federal gov't can't constitutionally issue a tax bill to a citizen
directly, they must always collect from the states, or through
corporate person enterprises in direct federal jurisdiction (in federal
territories or engaged in international trade). They must tax
'sources', which, given the next section, can only be on federal
territories, or american owned enterprises or investments in foreign
lands, or foreigners doing business in the several states.

"No tax or duty shall be levied on articles exported from any state."
This means the $200 transfer tax on my machine gun is unconstitutional,
federal and state cigarette duties are illegal, alcohol duties are
illegal (if these are produced in one of the several states), gas taxes
are illegal on gas refined in the US.

You might say, "ah, the 16th Amendment changed that". Wrong, the SCOTUS
has ruled that the 16th created no new tax or tax power/authority.

I, a private sovereign citizen domiciled in my freehold in one of the
several states, doing no business for gain in a federal territory or
foreign nation, do not have 'income'. I do earn a living. You figure
out the difference.

Mike Lorrey
Vice-Chair, 2nd District, Libertarian Party of NH
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                      -William Pitt (1759-1806) 

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