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On Ethics and Humanity


“The inviolability of human life is the essential foundation on which all other principles of justice are built, and erosion of this foundation destabilizes the social cooperation that makes possible the benefits of organized society.”  —William B. Hurlbut, M.D., Stanford University

 "The morality of the 21st century will depend on how we respond to this simple but profound question: Does every human life have equal moral value and merely because it is human?  Answer yes, and we have a chance of achieving univeral human rights.  Answer no, and its means that we are merely another animal in the forest." -- Wesley J. Smith, Bioethicist and senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (taken from Starbucks cup #127)


"To put it simply: human beings are never disposable, whether in the form of a zygote, an embryo, a fetus, a neonate, an infant, a child, an adolescent, a teenager, an adult, or a 90 year old woman. Each of us exists as a remarkable biological continuum that extends from conception until death. Our fundamental and unique value is never determined or diminished by our stage of development." --Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center  


"What's so troublesome is how we are able to understand the importance of protecting the earliest stages of animal life but when it comes to our own human life, a kind of mental disconnect takes place. Our moral judgement quickly becomes murky and obtuse when we desire to do certain things that are not good, like having abortions, or destroying embryonic humans for their stem cells." --Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D. Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center


"God's love doesn't make the distinction between the embryo inside its mother, the child, the youth, the mature adult or the elderly person.  All human life is sacred and inviolable, from conception to its natural end."    -- Pope Benedict XVI


"It may seem that each day brings a new crisis for those of us who view human life as something to be valued and protected....   Cloning, harvesting of embryos for their stem cells, abortion, euthanasia and so-called "physician-assisted suicide" are all basically the same thing: the division of humans into those who will be protected by society and those who will not. Once we agree that our fundamental principle is that human life is to be protected from deliberate killing by others and that humans should not be used for the benefit of others without consent and benefit to the one being used, we can see that all the crises are actually only one crisis."    -- Dr. Beverly Nuckols M.D., www.lifeethics.org

"In researching this book, I have come to believe that the debate over stem cells, human cloning, genetic engineering and other controversial avenues of research is, at its core, about far more than biotechnology.  I believe that we are in the midst of an epochal struggle whose outcome will determine our moral priorities.  At stake is whether a Promethean science for science's sake will trump all other considerations, including long-established beliefs about right and wrong, or whether the scientific enterprise will serve us with humility, and with the understanding that morality can never be jettisoned--most particularly when one is manipulating the building blocks of life." --Wesley J. Smith, lawyer and author of  Consumer's Guide to the Brave New World

"Life is a creation, not a commodity." --President George W. Bush

"Genetic engineering [of plants and animals] is acceptable only if all risks are minimized. Otherwise, one may easily succumb to temptations of productivity and profit at the expense of the people and the environment." --  Cardinal Jaime L. Sin, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila

"The materialist in me asked, is there really any difference between studying a two-cell human embryo and studying a human cadaver?  Well, yes.  The embryo is alive.  And then there is the matter of informed consent.  An adult can make a gift of his or her future dead body to science; no one can ask an embryo anything."  --Elaine Dewar, investigative reporter 

"A cloned embryo of less than 14 days or perhaps one that hasn't developed a brain is not human, but merely cellular life that can be owned and patented."  --Michael West, president and founder of Advanced Cell Technologies; therapeutic cloning advocate.

"In the 20th century, we failed to stifle at birth the totalitarian concepts which created Nazism and Communism though we knew all along that both were morally evil--because decent men and women did not speak out in time.... Are we going to make the same mistake with this new infant monster [biotechnology] in our midst, still puny as yet but pliable, all too soon, to grow gigantic and overwhelm us?" --Paul Johnson, The Spectator

"[I] worry that destroying embryos for the purpose of harvesting their parts reduces nascent human life to the moral status of penicillin mold." --Wesley J. Smith, lawyer and author of  Consumer's Guide to the Brave New World

"During the next 35 years, the traditional view of the sanctity of human life will collapse under pressure from scientific, technological, and demographic developments. By 2040, it may be that only a rump of hard-core, know-nothing religious fundamentalists will defend the view that every human life, from conception to death, is sacrosanct."  --Peter Singer, DeCamp Professor in the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University