Friday, July 28, 2006 | Notwithstanding the fact that I agree with what Elie Shneour has written, I believe that the purpose for which it was written is an exercise in futility in that he is using a science-based argument to postulate a position different from that held by “people of faith” who see the issue as not being one of scientific fact but rather as a matter of faith; to wit, when does the “soul” unite with the egg, with the general consensus being that this event takes place at conception. That precept is the basis for Fundamentalists opposing embryonic stem-cell research; i.e., it is an issue of “sentient” life (science) vs. conception (faith) when addressing the question of when one becomes a human being.
Shneour’s well-reasoned article does not address the “soul” issue. As a matter of science, it cannot be addressed due to the inability of testing the existence of the “soul”. For that reason, scientific fact is useless in a logical argument to rebut beliefs based on faith.
In my opinion, we must make this an issue based on the concept that no state or federal laws should be enacted if, but for their religious underpinning, they have no basis for existing. The embryonic stem-cell research veto by Bush is one clear example of faith-based laws; it has no justification when the religious underpinning is removed.
Rather than rebutting faith with science, we should enfold those issues into just one issue: the right of each citizen to be free from laws that are based solely on religious underpinnings.