Marlowe's Shade

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

World Gone Mad

Two great guest posts at Steve Ertelt's LifeNews illustrate the schizophrenic thinking of our world system.

Wesley Smith reports on how the bioethical ground is already being prepared for reproductive cloning, while on another front, despite evidence that birthrates are in free fall, our elected officials have insisted on spending more and more on international depopulation programs

So if we already have too many people, why do we need to clone more?

From Wesley's article, part of the answer seems to be the scientific community's mania for conducting research unfettered by any regulation or oversight:

We are always assured by "the scientists" that they don't support "reproductive cloning," but only want a license to clone so that the asexually created embryos (for now, leading to fetuses later) can be researched upon.

To some degree, that is true--but not because of any moral calculation. Reproductive cloning isn't "safe," meaning it would lead certainly to major birth defects, still births, and the deaths of birth mothers.

Yet, just beneath the radar, some already promote a right to reproductive cloning. As I detailed in Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World, many in bioethics believe that there is a fundamental right to procreate by any means desired, and hence, once it is "safe," they are all for reproductive cloning.

This overlooks, of course, the long process of human experimentation on fetuses as well as embryos making it "safe" would require, but never mind. These nascent humans wouldn't be "persons" anyway, so they would be ours to do with as we saw fit.

Some already go even farther. A professor (aren't they all) from the University of Melbourne, Australia, has published a piece in the current Journal of Medical Ethics (where other writers are pushing for permanently unconscious patients to be used in human-to-animal organ transplant experiments--more about which I plan to write in the near future), proposing a "negative right" to do reproductive cloning as soon as the technology can be applied.

He suggests at least two instances in which cloning through gestation to birth should be allowed now: 1) If it is the only way for a couple to generate genetically related offspring, 2) to create "savior" siblings. (Source: "Just another reproductive technology? The ethics of human reproductive cloning as an experimental medical procedure," D. Elsner, J Med Ethics 2006; 32:596-600) The apparent difference between a negative and a positive right? A positive rights requires public financing.

None of this surprises me.

After some five years of dealing with the cloning issue, this is what I believe: Beneath the hedging, weasel modifiers, and passive prose that are hallmarks of bioethical advocacy, the axis of bioethicists/biotechnologists have an anything goes mentality about these issues. Some are more candid than others about this. Some speak about setting "reasonable limits"--but somehow these suggested impediments seem to always be about what cannot yet be done, not what can be done now or in the near

It would seem that the resolution of this seeming contradiction is in the drive to "engineer" humanity. The depopulation programs of USAID seem to fit into this agenda on a global scale:

Official federal spending on overseas "population assistance," which means population control, has a slim chance of dropping significantly in fiscal year 2007. The Bush Administration proposed only $357 million for such family planning programs early this year, a significant reduction from the $425 million it typically proposed in previous years.

Of course, the usual suspects, unimpressed with the conclusive evidence from secular scientists that birthrates are in free fall in most of the world, immediately geared up to increase the amount in Congress.

Since Congress failed to finish work on spending bills before adjourning for the fall campaign season, the matter is still up in the air until a post-election November session. But it doesn't look good.

It is difficult to calculate how much of the federal budget goes to reduce the populations of Africans, Latinos, and Asians abroad.

Much of the money dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal health, economic development, and other programs actually serves to promote population control. Billions of dollars every year from the United States alone gets spent on these goals, and billions more from the European Union.

I'm sure there is a story behind this increase. Someone is doing some powerful lobbying to get Congress to spend more than was actually budgeted. Hopefully I'll find enough for a follow-up post.
papijoe 7:38 AM