Out of balance

March 20, 2009 

I want to express my thanks for Charles Krauthammer's column on President Obama's decision to lift the ban on federal funding for research on new embryonic stem cell lines ("Oblivious of his arrogance," March 13). His clear statement of the moral issue involved, which Obama seemed to simply waltz past, was right on target and needed to be heard.

I, too, find it disingenuous for this president to say that science, not ideology, will set policy and yet pronounce his blessing on unlimited embryonic stem cell research. That decision effectively enshrines in official policy a certain pernicious ideology -- that human life can be regarded as a mere material resource for medical research. Such a policy does not balance "sound science" with "moral values," as the president claims, but rather chooses to gamble on the uncertain prospect of scientific progress at the certain risk of devaluing human life through its deliberate destruction.

It's not often that I agree with Krauthammer's views or appreciate how he makes the argument, but here I gladly state both my agreement and appreciation. His column will be of good use in my Introduction to Ethics class.

Darrin W. Snyder Belousek

Instructor of Philosophy,

Louisburg College


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