The Necessity of Secularism, pgs 63-64

Feb 7, 2017

“The use of theological experts by Congress or other governmental bodies is not made any more acceptable if representatives of various faiths are invited (current standard lists of invitees: Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim) to avoid the appearance that the government is favoring one religion. This attempt at even-handedness just underscores the futility and pointlessness of the practice. The result is self-proclaimed interpreters of God’s words expressing disagreement about the meaning of God’s words expressing disagreement about the meaning of God’s words. For a representative democracy in the twenty-first century, such an exhibition is disgraceful. It succeeds only in degrading both government and religion.

The worst example of this practice may have been the invitation to testify extended to various theologians by President Bill Clinton’s National Bioethics Advisory Commission when the commission was considering the issue of human cloning. Cloning? the Tanakh, the New Testament, and the Qur’an have absolutely nothing to say about this topic, but that did not prevent the invited scholars from waxing eloquent about God’s views on the issue. All they wound up contributing were dogmatic pronouncements without any support external to their own religious tradition. Oh, and the Catholic God was strongly against cloning while the Jewish God permitted cloning if necessary to preserve a person’s genetic line. Identifying the right policy all depends on which God you listen to.”

–Ron Lindsay, The Necessity of Secularism, pgs 63-64


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4 comments on “The Necessity of Secularism, pgs 63-64

  • 1
    Cairsley says:

    The national bioethics advisory committee of any secular government should just do its job and not waste its time on irrelevancies like religious superstitions. Whereas a secular government must safeguard the right of the superstitious to indulge in their superstitions, its bioethics advisory committee must consider the ethical questions pertaining to policy matters on which the government hopes to prepare policy and legislation. Ethical considerations have to be based on facts and reason if they are to be about real lives in the real world. There are some very important ethical questions to be considered in the matter of human cloning, for example, concerning methodology, safety and viability of the clone, familial relations, social implications and so on, each of which may well lead to the conclusion of human cloning being unethical and therefore immoral to bring about. Regardless of the final conclusions (for there may well be a range of them) of such deliberations, no relevant and useful contribution is made to these by reference to imaginary supernatural entities and their supposed plans and intentions for human beings.



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  • Cairsley #1
    Feb 8, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Ethical considerations have to be based on facts and reason if they are to be about real lives in the real world.
    There are some very important ethical questions to be considered in the matter of human cloning,
    for example, concerning methodology, safety and viability of the clone, familial relations and social implications and so on, each

    That would give an evidence based ethical view.

    of which may well lead to the conclusion of human cloning being unethical and therefore immoral to bring about.

    However, no coherent general conclusion about the whole subject is likely.
    What would be required, would be ethical views based on the outcomes or predicted outcomes, of individual cloning techniques and practices, the individuals involved, and looking at medical, genetic, and social issues arising.



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  • 3
    Cairsley says:

    Alan4discussion #2
    . . . However, no coherent general conclusion about the whole subject is likely.
    What would be required, would be ethical views based on the outcomes or predicted outcomes, of individual cloning techniques and practices, the individuals involved, and looking at medical, genetic, and social issues arising.

    The caution that has been taken over the ethics of human cloning is a good example of how reason and science are just the means for dealing with ethical questions, and of how irrelevant and futile on such questions imaginary supernatural revelations and their theological interpretations are.



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