Thursday, August 18, 2005

Clarity on Dobson

There are times when Godwin's law is a useful thing. However, had Dennis Prager followed it, we would not have his sensible piece on James Dobson's comparison of embryonic stem cell research to Nazi medical practice, including this truffle quote:

It should be clear to any honest reader that Dobson was not morally equating embryonic stem cell research to the hideous Nazi medical experiments on human beings (mostly, but not only, Jews). If he did, I would join the chorus of protesters. Only a moral fool would compare what Nazi doctors did -- such as exposing men and women to prolonged radiation of their genitals, slowly freezing naked men and women to death, or putting a person into a decompression chamber to watch his eardrums burst -- to medically experimenting on embryonic cells that have no self-awareness, no feeling, no capacity to suffer, and no loved ones who suffer. As Dobson himself put it to me on my radio show: "In the case of killing embryos there is no suffering, no grieving victims, and so they're not the same, obviously."

Dobson was not comparing actions; he was comparing ideas: namely the idea that because good may result from an immoral action, the action becomes moral.

He is, of course, right. The only question is whether this rule applies to embryonic stem cell research. On this, good people can and do differ. What good people must not do is attribute to James Dobson repugnant views he did not express.
Now, I think that that Mr. Dobson was excoriated by many may actually be a good sign, but not for the reasons you might think. More later.

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