If people buy these nail clippers, would they be doing something immoral? Would they somehow be cooperating in the evil of murdering Dahmer? Would they be contributing to a “culture of prison murder”? Are your nail clippers now forever morally tainted by virtue of the fact that you first tested them on cloned Dahmer nail clippings? Should you destroy your stock of clippers, burn the blueprints, and try to forget the design? Are people morally obligated to walk around with long fingernails and toenails rather than buy your clippers, since they have no alternative products to buy?
The example is, of course, ridiculous, but intentionally so. For it allows us to consider some important moral principles without being influenced by the emotions generated by current moral and political controversies. Dahmer is (unlike, say, an unborn child) about as unsympathetic a character as can be imagined. But it was still gravely wrong to murder him. True, if the state had executed him, that would not have been wrong, but the state has the moral right to do that. Private individuals do not, and when they usurp the power of the state in this way, they are guilty of murder. So, we must firmly oppose such vigilantism.
All the same, people would not be doing anything wrong if they bought your nail clippers. For one thing, it would be ridiculous to suggest that doing so would entail “cooperating” with Dahmer’s murder. The murder happened almost thirty years ago, and had nothing to do with your nail clippers. People’s refusing to buy them would do nothing to prevent the murder, which is a fait accompli. Nor does the contingent very remote connection with the murder magically generate some sort of intrinsic moral taint in the nail clippers. Considered just by themselves, the nail clippers are morally neutral, and they do not somehow become less so just because of the way you happened to test them.
But suppose there came to be a widespread practice of using murdered serial killer fingernail clippings as a way to test products. Would this raise moral questions? It would. But it would still not make it intrinsically evil to use the nail clippers. On the one hand, we would want to make it very clear that we need to stop this practice of murdering serial killers in order to get their nail clippings to test products. But that would not necessarily make it wrong to use your nail clippers, which are only contingently and distantly related to a murder that was not done for the purpose of testing products. And since people need to cut their nails, there is a proportionate reason for using your clippers given that, in the scenario I have described, there are no alternatives on offer.
Now, this example is parallel to the way the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines (and many other vaccines, medicines, food products, etc.) were developed using cells descended from the cells of an unborn child aborted fifty years ago (as I discussed in my previous post on this subject). Of course, the killing of an innocent child is worse than the killing of a person guilty of grave crimes. But preventing Covid-19 and other serious illnesses is also more important than clipping one’s nails. As with the Dahmer example, the murder occurred decades ago, was not done for the purposes of product testing, and is a fait accompli that would in no way be prevented by people refusing to use the product. As with Dahmer’s nails, it is not the body parts of the victim that were used in the testing, but distant copies of those parts. And as with the nail clippers, the vaccines are, considered just by themselves, morally neutral. The contingent fact that they were tested in a certain way doesn’t somehow make them intrinsically morally problematic. In both cases, the connection with the wrongdoing is very remote.
Again, Dahmer is an entirely unsympathetic character, and using copies of his fingernails to test nail clippers is a silly and unrealistic example. But again, that is precisely the point. Because the example generates no strong emotions and involves no real-world controversies, it is easy to see the moral principles involved and to consider them dispassionately. Yes, there is a moral problem with the way the clippers were developed, and yes, in theory it could even be a significant problem under certain circumstances. But the problem has nothing to do with there being anything intrinsically evil about the clippers, and the moral concerns are still outweighed by the proportionate good of allowing people to clip their nails (which, in the scenario in question, would not otherwise be possible).
Now, when you alter the example so that it involves instead an aborted baby and the Covid-19 vaccines, very strong emotions are generated. But the relevant moral principles are the same. Yes, because abortion is extremely wicked, the very remote and contingent connection the testing of the vaccines had to a particular abortion that occurred decades ago raises moral questions that would not otherwise exist. But that does not make the vaccines intrinsically evil, and the moral concerns are outweighed by the proportionate good of protecting people from a serious disease (where, currently, there are no alternative vaccines available). (That there is such a proportionate good would, of course, be irrelevant if the use of the vaccines were intrinsically evil – we’re not talking about consequentialism here. But since it is not intrinsically evil, consideration of proportionate goods is legitimate. This is just basic Catholic moral theology.)
It is, I submit, the emotions that abortion and Covid-19 generate, and not reason, that are driving many Catholics’ resistance to the Church’s instruction on the vaccines. They think that in permitting the use of the vaccines, the Church is somehow selling out the pro-life cause, accommodating itself to secular opinion, or what have you. This is completely ridiculous and unhinged. In permitting Catholics to use such vaccines, the Church is simply reiterating a teaching that she has officially endorsed under two previous popes and that has been defended by orthodox Catholic moralists for decades. She is taking account of nuances that exist in certain problem cases even where the topic of abortion is concerned (as she does in the case of ectopic pregnancy, where the Church allows theologians to hold the view that it can be permissible to remove the tube containing the unborn baby even if it is foreseen, but not intended, that the death of the baby will result).
The hotheads who now think they see cowardice or perfidy in Catholics who call attention to these nuances did not do so in years past, before the Covid-19 situation arose. That is confirming evidence that they are letting emotion cloud their reason. They are understandably worked up over the often dishonest and destructive way in which public authorities have dealt with the pandemic. They are horrified at the insane and evil “woke” ideas and policies currently flooding our institutions. They are rightly alarmed at the failure of the pope and many bishops clearly to uphold longstanding teaching on other issues. They are worried about governmental overreach in dealing with the pandemic (in the form of draconian lockdowns, vaccine mandates, etc.). They sense that the country and indeed the Western world in general are heading into a crisis.
They are right about all of that. But it simply does not follow that the issue of whether to take the Covid-19 vaccines has any special connection with the anti-abortion cause, specifically. It doesn’t. This is a red herring. It muddies the waters, causes division among good people who ought to be allies, and clouds reason when it is more imperative than ever that we keep our wits about us.
Covid-19 vaccination is not the hill to die on
This example is not clear, but you know that already, because it allows us to look at certain moral issues that do not affect the situation from our moral and political conversations. Exercising the unborn child is no better than what we thought, as it is wrong to kill him. It is wrong for the government to take action, even if it has the right to use aborted baby parts legally. Other people don’t agree with this, and they kill people when they control too much. That is why we must oppose such an interpretation.ReplyDelete
One ought not use bad arguments against the Covid vaccine. Instead, focus on the fact that the people in charge lied, repeatedly and constantly.ReplyDelete
Cheer up guys. Learn to think in centuriesReplyDelete
I think this fact gets lost: Prudential weighing of the evidence is a virtue. Incautious conspiracy theory mongering is a vice. Prudence has been upheld by the church for centuries, while conspiracy theories are ridiculed by everybody including the church and the world.ReplyDelete
Prudential judgement presupposes humility, something the passions are in rebellion against. And because we humans are weak, we easily fall prey to the passions thus making humility and thus prudence difficult to attain.Delete
And here we must remember all passions, including unfounded fear of all stripes. A man can fall into unsubstantiated conspiratorial thinking because of it just as much as he can fall into cowardly rationalization of the accepted position of his milieu and those from whom he desires human respect. So I wouldn't emphasize ridicule as a criterion. The Church is ridiculed, after all.
I agree with Feser on this (as I typically do), but one moral principle we need to keep in mind is that the demand for the vaccine cannot incentivize more abortions.ReplyDelete
I don't know that the vaccines do that, and I don't know that they don't. Jus say'n.
I'm not sure how relevant that is. In this case, the vaccine is not like a commodity that we are at total liberty to choose. First, it is compelled by the US government. Second, we have no alternative.Delete
Also, according to the PDE, what is the unintended bad effect on the part of the receiver? If I take the vaccine, I am personally not contributing much to incentivizing the use of such tissue. Second, the effect is the incentive, not abortion itself nor even the collection of tissue. So the difference might be like the one between committing a crime and causing scandal.
So we need to compare like with like. We are not comparing taking the vaccine with abortion, but creating conditions that, to some degree, make it a more attractive to collect tissue from aborted children
I think for many Catholic laymen (as myself) it’s the sad fact of having only a minimal or introductory understanding of Catholic moral theology that makes these things so difficult (especially in light of such a weak Pontificate). E.g. personally speaking, the principle that “the ends don’t justify the means” was essentially how I viewed the situation. Of course, while that principle certainly remains true, the application of that principle is obviously more complex, and requires coherent, reasonable guidance from people that know what they’re talking about. Let’s pray we have a Pope like that in our future.ReplyDelete
Traditionalist Catholics often like to point out how bad catechesis is today, but there never was some halcyon era of great catechesis in those misty pre-Vatican II days they love to fantasize about (and I happen to like the Latin mass). Most people for most of history were poorly educated about everything, including their faith. Bartolo Longo, for example, talks about the spiritualist craze in the 19th century, even among many Catholics who would consult fortune tellers for advice and help, and attributes this to poor catechesis in the case of Catholics. Catholics who show any pretense of knowing their Church's long history should be the first to know that no such consummate golden era ever existed. The Barque of Peter sails for Heaven through both stormy seas and quiet oceans. By all means, let catechesis improve, but let's not fantasize about a world that never was.Delete
Very thoughtful points! Thanks for your response.Delete
However spurious their reasoning, I believe the 'hotheads' are having their emotion operate exactly as God intended in this case. I may point out that everyone involved in this has already collaborated for prudential reasons with 'two weeks to flatten the world' and that, after being fooled repeatedly, a man's emotions will activate to prevent him from rationalizing being fooled yet again on prudential grounds? If they explain this rejection badly by reducing it to an issue they were already zealous about, well, man is hardly infallible.ReplyDelete
Rationalization is opposed to prudential judgement because it either demonstrates credulity (which is imprudent) or cowardice (again, imprudent because fear is here thwarting humility which is the precondition for prudence).Delete
Thank you for the clarity, I found this essay helpful in general-- though this line is uncharitable and unhelpful: "This is completely ridiculous and unhinged. "ReplyDelete
The number of absolutely bewildering things that have happened in the last few years is overwhelming, I ask you not to ridicule or call unhinged those who have been gut punched again and again by the clergy and by their political leaders.
We probably mostly here agree that the vaccine is morally tainted and would prefer if there were vaccines which were ethically sourced. The standard line is that because there is a general danger and they are the only ones available it is ok to get the jab. In my view the danger has been greatly exaggerated. Your chance of dying from Covid if you get it is less than 1% and that would be because you are very elderly and suffer from co-morbidity. They might have died in the normal way from flu. That affects one’s view of whether for the average person abstaining from the jab might be best.ReplyDelete
But those cell lines were obtained so long ago, the moral dilution if you will is extremely homeopathic to which one might retort ‘he who contemneth small things falleth by little and little’ and moreover the industry ploughs on producing more pristine parts for the Frankensteins.
The odour of mendacity has been all over this pandemic from the start. The Swedes did not mandate masks or social distancing. They kept their schools and shops open. Everything went on pretty much as normal with minor restrictions. Result: their excess mortality is 21st. out of 30 of those Eurozone countries that publish the figure.. Their vaccine take up has been 54% compared to U.S. 52%.
"Your chance of dying from Covid if you get it is less than 1% and that would be because you are very elderly and suffer from co-morbidity."
The death rate right now is ~2%, but the bigger issue is that its so contagious, so while even 1% is small, if enough people get it, that's still a lot of death. It's not just death that is the issue as well. If you end up in hospital is a problem. There is also the fact that you might unknowingly spread it to someone else. There are those who end up with long covid, even fit young people who had no issues are now stuck taking painkillers for ongoing headaches and require an inhaler even 6 months after being infected.
Good analogy this time. Hilarious but true. None of what's going is that rational but on the other hand, the PC clowns have succeeded in radicalising large sectors of the population who have never done anything before. Hopefully a lot of them move on from this into more productive political activity.ReplyDelete
Aren't nail clippings technically dead cells? Is that comparable to the cell lines of aborted fetuses?ReplyDelete
I do accept the Church's view of things, but I do wonder about the state of these cell lines. If the aborted fetuses are dead, but these cells are alive, then which organism do these cells belong to?
From a Thomistic point of view, are these cells substances of their own, or are they part of a substance? But if not part of the aborted fetuses, then what substance are they a part of?
Or, are they artificial? But if so, then how would they replicate?
Unfortunately, I'm not clear on how to make sense of this.
Of course, I'm sure we could replace the example that Feser uses, nails, with something like skin cells. A guard collects some shed skin, clones them, tests an acne cream, etc etc.Delete
Billy, these are some good questions. I don't have firm answers, but I can offer an idea or two. First, when a nurse takes a vial of your blood for testing, it is "your blood" in the tube, but it is also no longer PART OF YOU, in an important sense. Until it undergoes a degree of deterioration, it could be re-united to you by re-injecting it into your veins. But then again, someone else's blood can be injected into you, and will then become part of you. So, I suggest that while your blood in the test tube is still not-deteriorated, it is still "your blood" in the partial sense of being organized and oriented toward being part of you, without being ACTUALLY part of you. While it is separated from you, it is not PART of you because events that happen to IT do not happen to YOU. The med technician can, for instance, poison the blood (to test it) without poisoning you. Indeed, part of the reason for taking the blood is so they don't have to test you directly with damaging tests.Delete
The same holds for any other parts of you removed by surgery. An organ, a cyst, a slice of muscle, a part of a vein: while they are out of your body, they remain oriented toward being part of you, and might (for a short time) be restored to being part of you, but are not actually part of you for that period of time separated.
So, since they are not part of you, what are they? I suggest that they are independent substances (in the Aristotelian sense) - or rather, collections of such simpler substances - which have the accidental aspect of being well-organized to be part of a human person, but precisely because they no longer have any interior principle of life they won't stay that way for long, the accidental happy organization will quickly deteriorate without that vital (in both senses) principle. So, they are NOT PROPERLY living things as such, in their own right, lacking any such vital principle, and lacking any definitive teleological end as accidentally organized: such organ or tissue has no tendency to keep itself alive for long.
Thanks Tony for the thorough response.Delete
I think you make some decent points. I'd have to think about it further.
"they are NOT PROPERLY living things as such, in their own right, lacking any such vital principle, and lacking any definitive teleological end as accidentally organized: such organ or tissue has no tendency to keep itself alive for long."Delete
That seems perfectly reasonable, but then what about those strains of cells that are being reproduced for half a century now while the "donor" has been long dead ?
Surely those cells are alive.
But there is no longer a person there.
What then is their ontological status ?
It's a very intriguing topic as it has ramifications on the issue of abortion :
If you can have living human cells without having an actual person, then maybe abortion is'nt always murder ?
If you can have living human cells without having an actual person, then maybe abortion is'nt always murder ?Delete
Ole, that's an interesting thought. But in order to have "human cells", you have to have cells that originally came from a human being, and given that they came from a specific human being, they always retain an orientation toward that specific human being. To the extent they remain "human" in any sense, they remain so only in that given context.
After the specific human being is a dead human being, the cells are the cells of a DEAD HUMAN BEING, and cannot be alive on account of that dead person's soul. Hence their being "alive" must, I think, be said in an equivocal or (at most) an analogical sense. They act like they are alive in that they keep on with the ordinary actions of taking in nutrition, and cell respiration, but they do not take part in functioning as part of a whole person anymore. These facts all apply to ANY cells taken from a person who then dies. E.G suppose a doctor takes cells from the bone marrow of a person in the hospital for testing, and then the person dies: the bone marrow cells are the cells OF a specific dead person. They received their initial "nature", and arrangement, from that (once living) person and thus from his soul - the principle of life in a person. Being taken from him, they remain "of" him by being related to him without being "him" simply speaking. When he dies, he dies - he is WHOLLY dead, not 99% dead while 1% still alive. His soul is not the life-giving principle of the bone-marrow cells in the test tube. Hence, the best thing to say is that those cells have a kind of quasi-life, in mimicking the life of cells that are in fact part of the body, but they do so only be reason of having once BEEN bone-marrow cells of an actual person, and by being artificially supported by non-living arrangements to provide nutrition, oxygen, etc. This quasi-life is not human life, it is (in an importantly PARTIAL way), a human-like activity. Hence "life" is said of them in a derivative, lesser sense. They are human in their orientation without being human full stop, as they are no longer part of a living human being.
So, no, the removed cells are not a human being, and testing on them is not testing on a human being. Using poisons on them to test them would not be murdering a human being. Allowing them to die by no longer providing a sustaining environment would not be murdering a human being via neglect.
At least, that's my sense of the issue. The cells from an aborted baby do not present any special issues in terms of what the cells are in themselves, compared to cells removed from other persons.
One of the most informative and useful accounts of the "science" involved:ReplyDelete
A reasonable and well considered article, Dr Feser. The problem is that so many of us don't trust Pope Francis. It's an absolutely horrible thing to say, but we don't, which means that even when he says something reasonable, we just ignore him and try to work out our own salvation. He's burned us too often. I don't know if it's sinful to think like this, but if it is, I'm not the only sinner in the Church.ReplyDelete
Somewhat tangential: if you didn't want the vaccine, had a family to feed, and your employer told you "get the jab or you're fired", would it be immoral to refuse on religious grounds?ReplyDelete
If they don't care that you MAY HAVE religious grounds, then they are discriminating right out of the gate. Sue them. Don't risk myocarditis and blood clots.Delete
So why did Trump take the vaccine and told his supporters to take it? Someone got to him. The Deep State is far worse than we imagine.Delete
AnonymousOctober 10, 2021 at 9:28 PMDelete
So why did Trump take the vaccine and told his supporters to take it? Someone got to him. The Deep State is far worse than we imagine.
I deliberately wrote that bullcrap post and you took the bait and posted it! In your previous blog you complained about the "weirdness" associated with Covid discussions. Why do you want to encourage it? Sometimes your blog has excellent philosophical discussions. But when it gets to politics, particularly about Covid, the craziness comes out. I think, unfortunately, that many of your bloggers buy into the Deep State, all manner of conspiracies, and still believe Biden stole the election. And you seem to be tolerant of that. What a shame.
First, surely you realize that the fact that I let a comment pass does not entail that I agree with it. I let all kinds of crap get through as long as it is not mere gratuitous insults, blasphemy, etc. As longtime readers know, I prefer to moderate with a light hand and let people decide for themselves what they think is worth responding to. Nor do I read through every comment thoroughly before allowing it -- I'd be doing nothing else if I did so.
Second, in this case I did read the comment, and, because it was obviously stupid, I assumed it was meant as a joke, i.e. as a jab at people who believe such nonsense. You've now confirmed that that is exactly what it was -- and yet are complaining that I let your little joke through!
Just no pleasing some people.
The vaccine will become the source and summit of public life.ReplyDelete
But when your line of toenail clippers also HAD to be tested with the nail clippings of a murdered serial killer, and then that attachment to the hair clippers that allows it to trim fingernails also was tested with nail clippings from a murdered serial killer, one starts to think that the nail clipper industry is deliberately creating a market for murdered serial killers. How do we get the nail clipper companies to prefer non-morally-problematic testing sources?ReplyDelete
The problem in your analogy is the technique used in the "cloning" of the cells.ReplyDelete
In real life, the kidney cell is not being cloned, but multiplied indefinitely. The scientists are literally using the kidney of the murdered girl for experiments - a kidney that was taken from a baby girl still alive in the womb, because had she not been alive it would be impossible to 'immortalize' it.
Is it moral to use the body of a baby for experiments? It where I come from.
But I don't think you will read this.
Typo: It is not where I come fromDelete
You seem to be claiming that death occurs only when all cells in the body are fully dead. I'm not sure that's true.Delete
In any case, that's not the case here. If I sever your hand and sustain it artificially, then throw you into an active volcano, would you still claim that you're still alive? No. And that hand is no longer your hand. It ceased to be your hand the moment I severed it from your body. It no longer functions as your hand just as these kidney cells no longer function as the victim's kidney. They were only part of the victim when they existed virtually within the victim, and these aren't even those cells, but cells derived from those cells.
Do Christians not have a duty to bury the body parts of dead people they come across?ReplyDelete
Even if so, what relevance does that have? You never see or come in contact with any parts. They're only used for testing.Delete
I don't, but the people who use the nail clippings to test nail clippers do. And presumably some of those people are Christians. Do they not have the duty to bury the dead?Delete
Note that Jeffrey Dahmer was a canibal in addition to being a murderer. So laying his body to rest also lays some cells of his victims to rest.
"The hotheads who now think they see cowardice or perfidy in Catholics who call attention to these nuances did not do so in years past, before the Covid-19 situation arose. That is confirming evidence that they are letting emotion cloud their reason."ReplyDelete
It could be that. Or it could be something else. It could be that they have made the prudential judgment that enough is enough, that it's time to take a stand, that we are in the midst of a major civilizational crisis, that this is indeed "a hill to die on." And that's a defensible position.
Michael Pakaluk: https://www.crisismagazine.com/2021/why-i-signed-to-awaken-conscience
And that's a defensible position.Delete
Sure it is. But they shouldn't pretend that those who disagree are acting contrary to their Catholic faith, sinning, etc. That was the only point I was making,
Certainly they are not acting "contrary to their Catholic faith" in a narrow sense. But just because they are acting in the prudential domain does not mean they are acting prudently or that they are not sinning. Those are matters for prudential deliberation and debate, are they not? "Not 'intrinsically evil'; therefore not evil" is not a valid inference.Delete
Surely, but I don't think that was the question. The claim seems to be that extremists in the Church have framed the question as a matter of intrinsic evil, not prudential judgement, by appealing to real or imagined principles that are either inviolable or presented as inviolable.Delete
The issue is not the fact to determine if using a specific technique for developping nail clipping is intrinsically evil (instrumental cause, which is often contingent, hence difficult to define as intriniscally evil) but to the determine if the appropriation of the murdered criminal's nails is per se an intrinsic evil.ReplyDelete
Now this can also not be the case, because the killing of this criminal can be an evil, e.g. if not lawfully decided by a court, but we can never say it is intrinsecally evil as depending from the circumstances.
While abortion is per intrinsecally evil, independently from any circumstances, and a good end cannot justify the usage of an (intrinsic) evil mean, hence the usage (appropriation) of the nails of the aborted child is always (intrinsically) evil.
Plus the cells used from the murdered girl are literally her kidney.Delete
They haven't been "synthetically clonned", instead they are being multiplied organically since her murder, that is why it is called "tumor cell immortalization".
I think you'll find your points have been answered several times in the last few posts.Delete
Nobody's saying a good end justifies a means like abortion; the question is one of benefit from a remote evil action that has already been committed.
We are given the circumstances in the case of murder used in the analogy: it's an evil action. The analogy is a good one.
"good end cannot justify the usage of an (intrinsic) evil mean, hence the usage (appropriation) of the nails of the aborted child is always (intrinsically) evil."Delete
You seem to be confusing evil means for a good end with incidental use of the consequence of an evil act.
When we speak of using intrinsically evil means to attains a good, we mean that the means themselves are evil but the end is good as such. So if I were to murder someone for the purpose of obtaining their cells to cure cancer, that would be the use of an intrinsically evil means for a good end. But the person who obtained the nails from Dahmer's corpse did not do this. Dahmer was dead by the time someone took his nails. There is no relationship between the murder and the subsequent obtaining of his nails. If obtaining those nails is evil, it cannot be because murder is bad. The case is analogous for abortion.
Also, w.r.t. the response, these cells are derived from the child's body, but I don't think you're accurately describing their ontic status. It's a bit weird to claim that a child was aborted on the one hand, and then maintain that their body is still alive. By definition, if a part of your body is really a part of your body, it is because your body is alive and this part is still a part of your body and not something severed from it. Your hand is not a hand or your hand if it is severed, and certainly not if you're dead. So these cells cannot be a kidney per se (or whatever they are) if the person from whose kidney they were derived is aborted, i.e., dead.
but I don't think you're accurately describing their ontic status. It's a bit weird to claim that a child was aborted on the one hand, and then maintain that their body is still alive.Delete
"Alive" and "dead" are being used equivocally here. See my comment above to Ole on the thread started by Billy.
It is well known that doctors would LIKE to take whole organs from dead persons to use to in organ transplants to save the lives of other persons, but that there is a difficulty with taking whole, core organs like the heart, and liver: these organs start to deteriorate very quickly after death. As a result, there is (extremely reprehensible) pressure on the organ transplant industry to get the organs even before the person dies.
However, it is also well known that it is possible to take cells and smaller slices of tissue from a dead person without as much overall problem. If a person has his head chopped off in a car accident, and is wholly dead, some of his tissues or cells can be taken and used. This is because some of the tissues or cells retain life-like functions for a time after the body is dead. Although deterioration STARTS to set in, it does not irreparably damage every aspect of the body all at once: the simpler and lesser body structures have a longer time before they are irreparably useless. The individual cells, for instance, can continue with at least SOME of the life-functions of nutrition and respiration, even though the body itself is dead. They won't normally continue doing so for very long without all the normal support functions from the rest of the body, but they don't ALL stop immediately at the moment of death.
In the dead person, the ongoing actions of individual cells are "life-like" in the sense that they mimic the life-activities of the living person, but they are not properly "human life" full stop. Thus the cells or tissue can be kept "alive" in an equivocal sense, but they are no longer humanly alive in the proper sense of being active in fulfilling the role of parts of a live human person.
I suspect, also, that Gaëtan's comment is pointing to a divergence in what we understand by a reference to the abortionist who "took kidney cells from a fetus". Gaëtan's language seems to represent a situation where the abortionist, like a normal doctor in treating a patient who needed to have a kidney removed, went in to the womb and did surgery on the fetus while the fetus was (in all OTHER respects) healthy and alive, and only after collecting the kidney, then dismembered the fetus and removed the parts. Others here (certainly myself) imagined instead that the abortionist dismembered the fetus in the womb, and then collected the kidney from the parts.Delete
Gaëtan's comments seem (to me) to suggest that the kidney MUST have been removed prior to the death of the child, or the the tissues would have been useless. Further, that this is necessarily the case: the only possible way to get the kinds of cells needed for later testing and development is to get them from a still-living fetus. Hence the crime to which we are associating ourselves by using a vaccine is not merely using cells "from a dead person", but that of "killing a person to obtain benefits that can only be obtained by killing them."
The difference in time between the two scenarios above might only be 10 or 20 seconds. I submit that this amount of time is not in the least critical to whether the kidney cells could be maintained and used by the medical industry. Cells, and even core organs, take longer than that to undergo the kind of irreparable deterioration that makes them unusable. If a surgical team happened to be on the scene of a terrible hospital accident that severed the head of a luckless victim, (and if it were already established that the victim was fine with donating his organs), the surgical team would have NO DIFFICULTY collecting his kidneys for later use. Even if they took several minutes to do so.
(It is also far from simply true that taking a person's kidney is tantamount to killing him for his kidney, as is clear from the many people who donate one kidney to a relative to save their life. So, although the abortionist certainly intended the baby die, there is no essential and necessary connection between the choice to take a kidney and the choice to kill the child. Hence it is simply not true that it is necessary to kill a person to get the benefits of using their kidney.)
As ethician, in this case I do not care about the moment or about the process of getting a good of unethical original, as the problem has never been about knowing what the degree of participation to bad deeds is, which concerns mainly if not solely the people who work in that specific pharma industry and not us potential patients of these produced goods: manipulating the limbs of a child while still alive in the womb of his mother or after having been cut in pieces increases the intensity of the criminal act but does not cancel at any time its evil nature.ReplyDelete
The various encyclicals, if carefully read, address the problematic of the participation with evil of the operators in that field: extending these reflections as such directly to the users/customers/patients is a bit of an intellectual stretch as these ones are not operators but beneficiary of the process.
The nature of ethical reflection here is about appropriation: when does appropriation becoming fencing, because this is the case when we do buy or enjoy a good evilly obtained, produced, proposed by someone else, stealing, killing, counterfeiting, you name them.
Because at the end this is the scenario: we have people who commit a crime (steeling a crown, killing an unborn baby), we have other people who do a first fencing of the outcomes of this crime (collecting the crown, the limbs of the little corpse), other people who transform these outcomes in something more palatable and easier to sell further (dismantling the crown, producing industrially human tissues for experiences, testing and production), and finally customers who can be aware or not of the origins of the good they buy for their own enjoyment (nice diamonds ‘ring, or getting a jab hoping to be safe from a disease).
This problematic is extremely well understood by the citizens and the consumers of our society and has nothing complicated to be understood by the people in the street: the notions of boycott/buycott have their deep ethical roots into the common sense understanding that it is immoral, against any ethics, to act as a fence for unethically acquired goods.
The big boycott campaigns of the past (I recall against GAP in the USA because of the sweatshops in Asia and South-America) or of the present (people boycotting Israeli products, or unfair products or not-organic products) show that people perfectly understand that buying a product of supposed evil origins is participating to an evil process, making it successful: appropriation of an evilly acquired good is guaranteeing to the whole chain of evil doers full success, and this is evil per se.
This can be grounded back even to the Old Testament where appropriating and eating some evil food, because of its origins (like pork, mollusks, etc) or its usages (the remains of religious sacrifices of other religions, etc) was forbidden, i.e., boycotted.
The fact that the Catholic Ecclesiastic Structure’s Leadership of these days has not deemed necessary to recall that and has attempted to drown the fish within confusing considerations about remote, material participation while the immorality is blatant and doing so avoiding pushing the Pharma into looking for ethical solutions, recalls me of those guys who were filtering gnats while swallowing camels.
wtf did i just read.ReplyDelete
A nail clippers are irrelevant, one can find ways to trim nails
B vaccines are not an object, they cannot be taken out of YOUR BODY. THAT HOLY ENTITY?!?!
C this is superficial, the point is good vs evil , CULTURE WAR. stop making it pragmatic.. you are promoting materialism
Those who contend the Covid vaccine is immoral to use write articles and post on blogs using computers. Computers overwhelmingly are produced by or use the operating system from companies that support Planned Parenthood, the biggest single provider of abortion right NOW. Moreover, I strongly suspect those same people use cellphones that, again, are either produced by or use the operating system from companies that support Planned Parenthood NOW. From what I read, Planned Parenthood is performing the same abhorrent types of abortions as were used to produce the cell lines used to test the Covid vaccines. Right NOW! This doesn't seem to be an issue for those complaining about the immorality of the Covid vaccines. Why, I don't know.ReplyDelete
There are literally thousands of pills and other medicines that Catholics, including those who are fiercest against the Covid vaccines, take daily without any pangs of conscience. It's highly likely that many - most? - of these have also been tested using the cell lines from the aborted baby at the centre of this controversy, but I don't recall anyone worrying about this. Why has it suddenly come up with the Covid vaccines? I'm asking quite seriously - it's not a rhetorical question.ReplyDelete
Probably a combination of:Delete
1. Most people never heard that these pills have anything to do with the cell lines.
(I assume that they do, i don't know)
2. The vaccines are seem by many as maybe dangerous or maybe ineffective thanks to the lack of test in comparison with these pills. I say that as someone who do think that the vaccines probably work well.
3. Politics, yea.
No, one cannot take the death shot in good conscience, absent invincible ignorance, which is hard to have with all the evidence of death and sickness around us due to these poison shots. Can a Catholic actually tell the full truth in our day? Thank God for Archbishop Vigano for his truth telling on the greatest crime against humanity.ReplyDelete
The vaxx is poison and fatal, either short or long term. Dr. Mikovitz predicts 50 millions deaths in US. Absent invincible ignorance or complete brainwashing, you cannot in good conscience take a suicide shot.ReplyDelete
It seems like this analogy argument would be more realistic if the nail clipper promoters insisted that there is no other way to clip your nails. Emery boards should be loudly condemned as only to be used by stupid people, and scissors are obviously ineffective based upon the people who suggest using them.ReplyDelete