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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Victoria makes progress, but idiocy persists

The Victorian Upper House has passed an amendment to the Infertility Treatment Act, bringing it into line with federal law, and permitting "therapeutic cloning" (under an overly strict regulatory code, but them's the breaks where political compromise is involved).

Victoria is the first Australian state to update its laws in line with the legislation enacted by the federal parliament last December, making this an important event for medical research in Australia. There is a prospect of Australian researchers getting access to the significant funding available from the Californian program, and all in all this is an event to celebrate.

However, you can always trust those fine folks from the Right to Life to complain. Predictably, Margaret Tighe, President of the Right to Life organisation, was reported as saying that this will create "a class of human beings to be used for the benefit of others - the slaves of science". Yeah, right, we're talking about so-called "human beings" with no capacity for suffering or for any hopes being frustrated or fears coming to fruition. In short, we are talking about experimenting with tiny blobs of cells with no nervous systems, and with no intrinsic properties or relationships with others that could possibly provide a rational basis for us to give them any moral consideration. Tighe and the rest of these irrationalists are making a fetish of mere nucleotide sequences - there is no other sense in which the entities on which the experiments are to be conducted are "human". Yes, they have the DNA code for Homo sapiens, and not that of some other species. Big deal. The fact remains that they are totally unsuitable contenders for any rights, or for our sympathies.

Idiocy persists. Give it no respect whatsoever.

1 comment:

Blake Stacey said...

Don't let these people hear about HeLa!