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What Are the Ethical Postives and Negatives of Stem Cell Research - Term Paper Example

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The "What Are the Ethical Positives and Negatives of Stem Cell Research" paper focuses on the negative and positive ethical implications of stem cell research. They must be considered while acknowledging both sides of the issue, in the context of both dominant normative frameworks. …
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What Are the Ethical Postives and Negatives of Stem Cell Research
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Download file to see previous pages As science and technology have collectively pushed the boundaries of what is possible, or what is conceivable, ethics should never be left out of the picture. Although to quote Immanuel Kant’s famous formulation, and ought implies a can, a can does not imply an ought. Simply because humans have the capability of performing some deed, as novel or interesting as it is, we must first question whether it is the right thing to do. A particularly contentious issue in bioethics is that of stem cells, which is largely opposed by individuals who see the world normatively in one state of mind. Meanwhile, others may see the same issue with another normative viewpoint. The trouble we find in contemporary discourse is when debate occurs around an applied issue like stem cells, without an understanding of how to discuss the more fundamental disagreements between the two parties. To ban research or to condemn resistance to research are together based on opposed ethical premises that must be fleshed out. In the end, the difference between a normative judgment of stem cells as either “moral” or “immoral” is dependent, or contingent, upon one’s state of reference: a normative theory either deontological (rule-based) or teleological (outcome-based) in nature. Ultimately, it is a difference in what the valuer decides is important that leads him to develop an opinion.

According to this, one might be led to believe that the outcome of relieving suffering provides an outright justification for sacrificing embryos. But on the other hand, one might be led to believe that embryos, as potential human beings, need respect as organisms and the rule of destroying human life is undermined by research (Meilaender). These contradictory viewpoints are as fundamental as a distinction typically attributed to political theorist John Rawls. This dichotomy is better known to ethical theorists as the teleological/deontological distinction, which marks the difference between a rule-based account of morality and an outcome-based account.     ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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