procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

the question of the phoenix

following my most successful post ever (one of these days i'll crack 10, is there anything more gratifying? that's a retorical question, btw), the question below was raised from my good friend alphabet soup:

"Some Christians are against embryonic stem cell research. For argument's sake, if such research were approved in Australia and did yield cures for some diseases, should those same Christians refuse the resultant treatments e.g. for Alzheimer's?
"Should Christians who have a problem with Maccas also not use Ronald McDonald's House on principle?"

i guess i would argue that the genesis of the technology may be less important than the technology itself.
that is to say, from my interest in science history* that the way particular inventions came about were often at best chance, often by-products (think alchemy) of ingenious, yet mad, or greedy, or misled "scientists", would lead me to say that there would be very little we could continue to use, were we to determine the morality of the wakening of each invention. not that we shouldn't be discerning. that is something i believe each person should be, rather:

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[...]

we know that when men do things we may perceive as evil, intended for evil (such as Joseph and his bro's), God uses them for his good purposes. we can have confidence, so long as it does not offend our consciences - for that is sin, that God uses all things for the good of those who love him.

just as the phoenix was reborn from the fire, alzheimers sufferers may be reborn from embryonic stem cell research, and go on to love and serve the LORD. that we may disagree with their means and methodologies, may believe that the same, or even better result may be gained via use of adult stem cells, reflects on our views now towards research. not towards the good that may be gained thru it.

again, Acts 24:16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.
if your conscience is not clear, don't do it. if it is, especially towards God, then that's between you and God.

(and no, i'd probably see if there was someone who would be able to show hospitality to his brother in Christ and stay on their couch rather than at ronald's place. i think.)

* read the left hand of the electron by isaac asimov. just do. you won't regret it!

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Blogger Georgina said...

You know, this was a really good post. And yet no one's commented on it. So I must.

I think I agree but I also like the argument that applies to things like the Nazi Doctors in WWII experimenting on people: if we use their results we say that the suffering of those is not in vain. That they did and do contribute to the scientific knowledge and the ability of scientists and doctors to care for those who suffer in that way. That it wasn't only evil and awful - but that some good did result.

Which I guess is what you're saying, but anyway...

9:35 am  
Blogger samgirl said...

yeah, Doug (&AS) - it was a good post... but so full on... needs THINKING through!
My first thought is that perhaps Christians who oppose embronic cell research should also refuse the resultant treatments ... but subjectively having family members with Alzheimers makes me desire there to be a treatment and not to worry about where it comes from.

I think that we can sometimes make excuses for our evil deeds based on the grounds that God is all powerful and Sovereign and uses even our evil to bring about his good purpose (Gen 50:20 - you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. I am not saying he can't and doesn't BUT that we shouldn't justify evil/sin by looking at the good which could come out of it. If that makes sense.

I guess it also raises the Qu of trusting God/ being proactive in changing the way things are... so much to ponder.

I agree with Doug about RM house too!

10:20 am  

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