The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Taxes headed in wrong direction

David Taintor

I am a Christian and consider myself more conservative than liberal. Given that, I’ll let readers draw their own conclusions about my stance on certain issues such as stem cell research and their implications.

Even though there are certain viewpoints and arguments that I’m expected to voice, I’ll try taking a more rational approach to the subject instead of being fanatically religious, illogical and whatever other characteristics my “type” is known for typically.

Now to the subject at hand. On March 9, I read an article from the Associated Press that said President Obama had lifted the ban on federally-funded stem cell research that was put in place by former President Bush in 2001.

Lifting the ban means there is a green light for federally funding the work already in progress with stem cell research.

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For those of us less informed, stem cell research has been going on since Bush’s ban, but has been limited to certain stem cell strings. Though the research has not been federally funded, it has continued through private donations.

Obama’s decision is significant and controversial because it is allocating federal tax dollars to research that is considered ethically questionable and many find it hands-down immoral and wrong.

It’s seen in a negative light because one must destroy a human embryo in order to create a line of stem cells. Essentially one must perform abortions in order to conduct the research.

The opposing argument is of course that the embryos cannot be considered “life” at the necessary stage for the research. Additionally, the embryos are currently coming from pregnancy control centers and the “donors” have given their consent for the research; no harm done to anyone, they say.

On the actual ethical dilemma of stem cell research, I’m afraid my “type” is fighting an uphill battle. The U.S. society is comfortable with abortions and we have just elected the most liberal-voting senator to the presidency – nothing is about to change.

So I’m forced to admit defeat there. But I cannot and will not condone the use of my tax dollars to fund something I morally disagree with. If I wanted to fund it, I would have written a check to someone.

For Obama to give the go-ahead to federally fund something I morally disagree with raises red flags.

The government should not make monumental decisions like this for me – or anyone. Not to mention this use of tax dollars in our current state of economic drudgery.

The National Institute of Health has already said they’re interested in funding the research with some of the stimulus package money. I’m sorry, I thought the unfathomable sums of money already spent by Obama was to encourage and build the economy; not to be thrown into the hands of scientists to play God.

So if the subject is ethically questionable and is using up economic stimulus money, why bother wasting time and money on it? The argument is many scientists think that research on embryonic stem cells may lead to cures for a host of diseases because of their ability to morph into any type of cell in the body. Pretty neat, huh?

I admit it; I am as intrigued and excited about the possibilities as anyone else. The research could be the key to unlocking cures for such issues as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer and perhaps even spinal cord injuries – and this is only a short list. Does it answer the so many science and mind-boggling questions found in one area of research? Seems too good to be true. The nerd in me is expecting the Twilight Zone theme or some sort of suspenseful music to queue a mutant thing to jump out.

Though researchers say the potential is astounding, it is only that – potential. There are no promises these great discoveries will actually be made.

Edison and the Wright brothers made ridiculous amounts of prototypes and a number of trials; I can’t imagine the countless attempts scientists will go through to find just one cure with this new research, let alone everything

else Obama and scientists are claiming possible.

The countless trials and failures in stem cell research means countless lives are being forsaken for science and a “greater good.” While conducting experiments, Nazi Germany took many lives in the name of science as well. For a more recent, fictional example, Ozymandias – The Watchmen, anyone? – killed millions in order to serve the “greater good.”

Sure, the examples are ridiculous, but they serve my purpose for proposing this question:

Are the lives of millions worth a scientific breakthrough?

As Obama says we are responsible, hopeful Americans, are we willing to fund from our own pockets the practice of mass abortion to only maybe find cures?

Knox is a senior print journalism major and sports editor for The Spectator.

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Taxes headed in wrong direction