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Life Arts

Abortion, Euthanasia, Stem Cell Research, Same Sex Marriage, Human Cloning

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I would not make such an unfathomably difficult and personal decision for someone else. I also do believe that the vast majority of doctors are not leaping for joy when such cases arise. Again, I'd leave the state out of this sphere of any person's life, while realizing there could exist cases where a decision had to be made by someone. Generalizing on these topics and passing laws based on such generalizations is, I believe, not a good idea.

My father is 90, btw, and doing well after yet another surgery. His new wife, a few years younger, is wonderful company for him. If decisions of this nature were to come up in their relationship, I would NOT want to be in a position to call the shots.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research. I am glad that scientists are in large measure bypassing this issue by learning to use other than stem cells for research and conclusions and findings they would not otherwise be able to reach. From all I've read, stem cells that would be used for this kind of research would die off anyway. Since I believe we should use the tools we've been given to alleviate human suffering--I see this as our moral duty--I am in favor of stem cell research, though this is seeming less and less relevant with each passing week.  Had medical technologists been able to grow a heart for me, a kidney for my friend or brother-in-law (who wound up with one of my sister's kidneys, risking her life), I would have been most pleased.

Same sex marriage. As I've written on my website: "Establish marriage equality. If a person wants to marry a potato, a slug, or a stinkbug, let them. Many already have, and this has had no known effect on the marriage or relationships of others." I can't add to that in any meaningful way, except to say that I've known many same-sex oriented people and read tons on the subject and believe this is genetically determined (with a few possible exceptions, that would be none of my business).

Just remembered, I did write about this some years back:

Nothing has changed since I wrote that article that I am aware of.  

Human Cloning. There have been many times when I thought a few clones of myself would have been very helpful, particularly in the classroom (a very scary thought at the moment!). Likewise, I have known many beautiful people who it seems like we should have more of. However, my gut feeling is that this is unnecessarily playing God (and one can take that term in whatever way they want, I merely mean this would be taking our technology too far too fast, when we don't really know what we're doing). I have little doubt that the philosophical complications that would come from this would be overwhelming, just as they are already on the question of whether we should use gene manipulation to create "super humans" (which I oppose, due to the vastly complex issues this creates).

A few last thoughts. I was in biology for four years and have followed much of the work in that field since I left college. I say this to give a better sense of where I'm coming from. I DO think that how a society treats the weakest and least amongst its members is one major direct measure of its greatness. Hence my interest in improving education (literally, "to lead out of the dark"), ending poverty, ending wars, and creating a viable and sustainable society.

I am a firm believer in bona fide sex education (parents would be free to opt out if they wished), free contraceptives and much contraceptive information from clinics, and even free vasectomies. This would eliminate many of the problems I've written about here.  Sadly, at least to me, over 60% of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. I believe we've all seen the deleterious effects of this, probably more than once. I think not taking the issue of bringing new life into the world most seriously is itself immoral. I have one biological son, another adopted, and more recently an autistic step-child who I spend much time working with.

To the person who sent the questions: Thank you for prompting this article and causing me to spell my thoughts out in more detail. Most appreciated.

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In my run for U.S. Senate against Utah's Orrin Hatch, I posted many progressive ideas and principles that I internalized over the years. I'm leaving that site up indefinitely, since it describes what I believe most members of our species truly want: (more...)

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