My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


What Dobson Really Said

You know, the thing that means so much to me here on this issue (embryonic stem cell research) is that people talk about the potential for good that can come from destroying these little embryos and how we might be able to solve the problem of juvenile diabetes. There's no indication yet that they're gonna do that, but people say that, or spinal cord injuries or such things. But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany. That's why to Senator (Senate Majority Leader Bill) Frist (R-TN) and the others who are saying, "Look what may be accomplished." Yeah, but there's another issue, there's a higher order of ethics here.

Again, a mistake to invoke the Nazis.

But he is NOT calling doctors who do such research Nazis; he is NOT calling Bill Frist "Hitler"; he is NOT calling Michael J. Fox or Christopher Reeves' widow "Goebbels" or "Goering". His point is to demonstrate the dangers of any line of scientific inquiry absent ethics and morality.

He could have done this without the Nazi reference. But such a stark statement does remind us of the worst things that humans are capable of, even when in pursuit of the "greater good."

Just because we CAN do a thing, it does not necessarily follow that we SHOULD do a thing.

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