Wednesday, April 24, 2002

ANTI-CLONERS: OUR OWN WORST ENEMY
Of course, Ramesh Ponnuru had to go and criticize Krauthammer's anti-cloning arguments, allowing Glenn Reyonolds to slap Krauthmmer's good arguments away by referring to Ponnuru's article. Then, Reynolds dismissed Ponnuru's argument since it relies on religious beliefs. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Not only does Reynolds get off without really engaging Krathammer's arguments, but he gets to paint the entire anti-cloning movement as based on religious beliefs that we can't expect everyone to share.

I think that anti-cloners have to realize that arguing from the personhood of embryos is a losing argument in today's culture. It opens us up to reductio ad absurdum arguments, and it's not what we believe in practice. We're not willing to take heroic actions to save a balstocyst from spontaneous abortions like we would to save a child or adult from death. We simply aren't. The public isn't buying th "blastocysts have all the rights of humans" argument.

Arguments like Krauthmmer's have a better chance of gaining traction in American culture. Yes, it's a little more difficult, but it's closer to the truth. Just because a blastocyst doesn't have all the rights of adults doesn't mean it doesn't have any rights at all, most notably the right not to be killed.

Ponnuru furthers the notion that anti-cloners are moral simpletons guided by religious zealotry. I think we can have a more honest dialogue if we stop pretending that we regard blastocysts as equivalent to children and adults. And we stop criticizing sound arguments like Krauthammer's just because they don't come from the same view of when a person gains all the rights of personhood.
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