Monday, November 26, 2007

Tim Stoen talking about the threat to human dignity...

Haven't heard much from Jim Jones former second-in-command/right hand man lately. But it's classic Stoen. "Christians have no luxury of dalliance now. We must take ground in the human-destiny battle forced upon us by the corporate juggernaut of hubristic Biotech."

October 26, 2007

Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died - That’s the title novelist Tom Wolfe gave his 1996 article in Forbes ASAP on the threats posed by biotechnology, published two months before the Rubicon announcement in February 1997 that Dolly the sheep had been cloned.

In 2001, Francis Fukuyama wrote Our Post-Human Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Quoting Wolfe, Fukuyama describes the following “distinct possibility”: “The wealthy routinely screen embryos before implantation so as to optimize the kind of children they have . . . . Human genes have been transferred to animals and even to plants for research purposes and to produce new medical products; and animal genes have been added to certain embryos to increase their physical endurance or resistance to disease . . . . [Y]oung people begin to suspect that classmates who do much less well than they do are genetically not fully human. Because, in fact, they aren’t.”

Evangelicals have been slow to wake up to this threat to human dignity. While we have slept, environmentalists and pro-choice feminists have taken the lead in seeking a ban on human cloning. In 2003, however, while Congress was succumbing to the biotech industry’s spin machine, Charles Colson and Nigel Cameron took a first step, drafting “The Sanctity of Life in a Brave New World: A Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity.”

Signed by many Evangelical leaders, the manifesto seeks a “comprehensive ban on all human cloning and inheritable genetic modification” as well as the prohibition of discrimination based on genetic information. The manifesto quotes a prescient statement from C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man: “If any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after are ‘the patients of that power,’ slaves to the ‘dead hand of the great planners and conditioners.’”

In 2004, the drafters of the manifesto followed up with a lucid primer entitled Human Dignity in the Biotech Century. With chapters written by authorities on various issues in the biosciences, it presents a call to action, citing as a model William Wilberforce’s sustained and successful struggle against slavery in the British Empire.

Pro-life Christians need to do four things, say the authors. First, they need to expand the pro-life paradigm from “saving babies” to “human dignity.” This involves more heavy lifting in policy debates, including the hard work of becoming familiar with developments in biology. Second, they need to challenge nonstop the biotech industry’s “experts” who want no regulation by rules of ethics. In a twist that should not surprise anyone, BIO, the industry group, has named its chief lobbyist “vice president of bioethics.”

Third, pro-life Christians need to develop “durable collaboration” with environmentalists, progressives, and pro-choice feminists (who dread the commodification of women) against the increasing number of libertarians who want biotech business to be free to do what it chooses. And fourth, say Colson and Cameron, pro-lifers must work with the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and other international organizations for a “universal instrument” in bioethics.

As to philosophical approaches, there are, says Fukuyama, three springboards to action on biotech issues: religion, utilitarianism, and human nature. Evangelicals and Catholics will be motivated by the conviction that humans are created in the image of God. The biotech industry will rely on utilitarianism. Conscientious secularists, says Fukuyama, can be reached through a revived understanding of the laws of (human) nature.

In sum, the biotech future of compromised human beings is upon us. Christians have no luxury of dalliance now. We must take ground in the human-destiny battle forced upon us by the corporate juggernaut of hubristic Biotech.

—Timothy Stoen, Attorney
Mendocino, California

Online at The Center for Public Justice (ooooh! another nice sounding name!) -An independent organization for policy research and civic education, whose mission is to equip citizens, develop leaders, and shape policy.

Yeah, Stoen is just the kind of guy you want shaping public policy.

hat tip: RS

6 comments:

  1. robin shelley11/26/2007 9:37 PM

    Rose, did I tell you how wonderful you are?
    Well, you are!

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  2. We're a mutual admiration society. :) And for those who don't know it, Robin has been watching Tim Stoen for a lot longer than I - and calling him on his BS each and every time. Very eloquently, I might add.

    Stoen found himself a new Jim Jones in Humboldt County - talked about taking the slings and arrows for his gallant and beloved Paul... Stoen proved he had not changed one bit from his People's Temple days.

    I sometimes wonder why he didn't affix himself to the more dynamic and more intelligent Michael Shellenberger - but he seems to be drawn to the fatal flaws.

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  3. I think that Stoen woke up after the death of his son,I know I'll hear backlash for that.Still,his actions are irreprehensible.
    I disliked the hiring of him here because of his actions at the San Francisco elections department.Sorry,but one who engages in that activity should never be put into oversight of extremely important nature.If some would like detailed information in his role in S.F. elections ask and I'll post stuff.
    I do think that he has become a more decent man,and is truly saddened by everything involved with The People's Temple.I had a very brief e-mail exchange with him in regards to Teen Challenge in which he basically advised to watch out and to reach out.
    And a side note:I have begun to forgive Francis Fukuyama as well.He was one of the organizers for The Project For The New American Century(pnac.org),but has since begun to stray away from the group because of its radically horrendous ideas on foreign policy.

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  4. robin shelley11/28/2007 5:33 AM

    Let it go, Mresquan. That was a looonnnnnggg time ago. Sheesh!

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  5. This man is evil incarnate. I cannot believe he does not have the common decency to slither away quietly and live in shame for all his monstrous actions. My only hope is that whenever he closes his eyes he sees the faces of all those who never had a future or a chance to grow old. Especially all the children. I hope it haunts him, but I doubt it does.

    He killed his son and he killed all those people. He should be in jail, not running for any office or being a DA. He has not proven himself to have sound decision making skills, so why is he still holding other's lives and futures in his hands? He's a monster.

    It took him thirty years to actually apologize for his actions. He's not sorry, he wants to advance his political career.

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  6. He is a hideous monster and he has not changed one iota. What he did here proved that - he found his new Jim Jones and his new cause and he started with the same weird rhetoric, willing to take the arrows for Paul etc, etc.

    Alot of good people - innocent people - babies - children - and his own son died as a result of his actions (despite his attempt to reel it in at the end, too late). If there was any justice...

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