Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stem Cell Research and the Moral Status of Human Embryos

American Bioethics Advisory Commission, by Donel O'Mathuna: Scripture does not state that some humans are persons and others are not. The Bible describes people as being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). There is no suggestion that we must first reach some stage of biological development before we become images of God. Being an image of God involves reflecting the character of God to the world. As such, even as adults we fall far short of how 'developed' we should be in this area (Romans 3:23). Only Jesus Christ is the true image of God (Colossians 1:15).

. . . But others face the prospect of premature death from the illnesses which stem cells might some day alleviate. What about the potential for helping them? Only in a utilitarian system do the ends justify all means. Scripture is clearly opposed to such a way of making ethical decisions. For example, Jesus tells us that many will seek to enter heaven because they had done many good deeds. But he will refuse them entry if they did not know him personally (Matthew 7:21-23). God is not just concerned about good outcomes, but cares about how those results were obtained. Such laudable goals and intentions as developing treatments and saving lives do not justify killing other humans, even the smallest human embryos.
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