Fields: How To Tell If You’re A Religious Nut

Guest Columnist

(Sam Fields is a Fort Lauderdale lawyer and an outspoken atheist.)

You know you’re a religious nut if it takes you more than one second to answer the following moral question.

There are 5000 human embryos and a 10-year-old. You have five seconds to decide which will be destroyed or all will be blown to smithereens.

Tic, tic, tic, tic, tictime is upBOOM.

If you felt this was this was a moral conundrumyou might be a religious nut.

I have no difficulty picking the kid over the embryos. I wouldn’t have a problem if instead of a  ten-year-old kid,  it was a two-year-old Labrador Retriever.

Five thousand embryos, invisible to the human eye,  would fit in a teaspoon.  The best you say for them is that, unlike the Lab, they don’t pee on the carpet.

President Barack Obama is expected to lift all the absurd restrictions on federal support for embryonic cell research. Restrictions imposed on us by moral troglodytes.
We have strong reasons to believe that embryonic cell research can lead to healing broken spines, Parkinson’s, heart disease and a host of maladies that eventually inflict all of us.
The tragedy is that we have lost eight years of research that could have healed real people. Instead we spent that time protecting an otherwise useless microscopic world frozen in liquid nitrogen.
Keep an eye on the future and watch how many hypocritical  troglodytes jump aboard the treatments this scientific wonder will offer.

9 Responses to “Fields: How To Tell If You’re A Religious Nut”

  1. Loaded Question says:

    I like you Sam. See you around the courthouse. You’re always pleasant and I enjoy hearing you talk, tell stories, and just kibbitz.

    But your question here is a bit problematic to me.

    If you had asked your question as — There are 5000 FROZEN human embryos IN A LAB THAT ARE GOING TO BE DISCARDED and a 10-year-old …….

    THEN I think your analysis and comment about “religious nuts” is pretty straightforward and I’d probably agree with it (although I wouldn’t use the term “religious nuts”).

    But given your political beliefs, change the question around to ask:

    “There are 5000 pregnant women in a room and a ten year old…You have to decide in 10 seconds whether the 5000 fetuses will be destroyed or the 10 year old….”

    Is this question as easy to answer? I would hope not.

    I am pro-choice. I believe that every woman has an ultimate right of privacy in their own body and that if a woman wants to abort the child growing inside her (let’s not talk about embryos and fetuses and let’s be real), that is an issue between her, her doctor and her belief (if any) in a “higher power”. I can’t and would never interfere with that and I believe our government should stay out of that as well.

    But I have a concern when it comes to stem cell research, if the lines from which the embryos are obtained are not somehow restricted or monitored — the day will come when we don’t just use those embryos from fertility labs that were going to be discarded anyway (e.g., either the parents conceived, elected not to proceed, or the embryos had outlived their usefulness for fertility treatment).

    If we lift all restrictions on stem cell research, will it be long before labs are CREATING embryos from donated eggs and sperms for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells.

    You can believe in stem cell research (which I do, and I believe it will eventually lead to amazing health discoveries and save many lives).

    You can believe in the right of a woman to terminate her own pregnancy.

    In fact, you can believe that there is a higher power in the universe and still answer the question about the 5000 embryos and the 10 year old the “right way” (the way Sam is suggesting).

    But just because one believes that human life, whether 10 years old or 10 minutes after conception is something of value doesn’t make one a “religious nut.”

    Just because the concept of creating life (a human embryo) for the SOLE PURPOSE OF DESTROYING IT has moral consequences and is wrong doesn’t make that person a “religious nut.”

    Sam – don’t simplify what is truly a hard question and a legitimate debate by asking a loaded question……..

    So Sam, what’s your answer to my question. 5000 pregnant women and a ten year old in a room.

    5000 pregnant women looking forward to being moms, looking forward to their children being born and growing up.

    And a 10 year old.

    So what’s your answer Sam…..kill the 5000 children not yet born, or the 10 year old.

    Just a few seconds left.

    Tic Tic Tic…times up….BOOM.

    I hope you couldn’t come up with a quick answer to my question. I didn’t either.

  2. Wrong Question says:

    You ask the wrong question. Granted, a human embryo is not a human being. At least not yet. But it isn’t pond scum either. A human embryo is the not quite baked beginning of a human being. One can conclude it appropriate to support stem cell reseach using human embryos without concluding that an embryo is no different than snot. There is a need for bioethical discussion on moderate rather than extremist grounds and it is on that basis that the best policies would likely emerge. If religion enters into that discussion it will be because that’s a part of who we are as a society. I am not persuaded by the notion that these questions should take place without the benefit of all points of view. But in the final analysis, I think there is a place for stem cell research to be conducted using human embryos if only because man is capable of doing so, and so history teaches us that it will be done. That’s also not the question. The question is where will we take this knowledge. If it is in the direction of creating a race of slaves, or super beings, or of human organ doners, etc., then I am not for it. But if it is done in a limited and respectful way to preserve life and to give those living greater access to health, then there is benefit. The fact is that America has never really ever had an intellectually honest discussion about life and death issues. This is only one of the many subjects that would be part of that discussion. And that’s why there’s suc contraversy. We as a society are not on a same page regarding life and death.

  3. abortion is abortion says:

    Mr. Fields,
    Abortion is abortion is murder, whether you kill embryos or babies. 10,000 embryos are living things. You are wrong.

  4. Mister Courthouse says:

    Sam Fields mistakes a religious nut for a person who morally believes that tinkering with embryos are a dangerous step to take. How long will it be before scientists are using embryos to create some super individual? This is a slippery slope and steps on it should be taken very carefully, not frivolously. Sam Fields makes a joke out of the issue, one of the most profound in our time. Sam Fields would give more thought about a judicial decision narrowing the 4th Amendment than he would about eliminating 10,000 embryos. That says something about the man.

  5. Sam Fields says:

    I assumed that you knew that the 10,000 embryos are part of the 400,000 unwanted embryos that are sitting in fertility clinics waiting to be flushed down the toilet.

    If anyone really believes they are human beings maybe we should get 400,000 tiny coffins and start sitting shiva.

    Ten thousand preggers versus the ten year old. Also a no brainer. Sorry son, you won’t be going to the Senior Prom.

    For those who fear creating a world of Replicants a la Blade Runner (Harrison Ford) or The Sixth Day (The Governator.) that’s what we have laws for. Under current law if you created a person to harvest organs the harvest would be murder.

    If you want to see a really interesting exposition of what is a human being I recommend Bicentennial Man . A very underrated Robin Williams movie. There is a sappy side to me.

    But if embryos stem cells could create a duplicate heart or pancreas have at it.

  6. @sam says:

    Ok Sam — but what about the other issue that was asked about.

    It’s one thing to acknowledge that embryos about to be destroyed anyway can and should be used for stem cell research.

    But what’s your thought about the creation of embryos for the sole purpose of destroying them?

    That’s where the murkier ethical issue comes into play.

  7. Sam Fields says:

    Why would anyone create a embryo just to destroy it? It’s pretty damn expensive exercise

    Presumably they had a reproductive or medical purpose. Then facts and circumstances sent them in a different direction.

    Do you think women get pregnant just so they can have abortions?

  8. Use of Abortion says:

    I do not think women get pregnant in order to have an abortion. I think that today, most women who end up having an abortion do so because their other methods from keeping pregnant didn’t work, and they simply cannot bring themselves to allow an unwanted child to be born. I do not think that abortion is widely used by many as a form of contraception. There are significant religious, moral and ethical considerations to be faced by a woman confronting an abortion choice. Anti-abortion advocates want there to be additional legal burdens as well. But the practice is legal and available to women, at least at present. And so what I would advise anti-abortion advocates to focus on is the plight that follows birthing an unwanted child. I find it interesting how few of the anti-abortionists are willing to adopt a child, and how there appears to be a much greater number of “liberals” willing to actually take an unwanted child in and raise them.

  9. More Wrong Question says:

    Another aspect that I left off, is that we can foresee a scenario where as a result of stem cell breakthroughs a series of “repairs” to human DNA are dispensed much like we do vaccines today. It is possible that this might be done so we can see an end, let’s say, to cancers or other diseases at the stem cell level. The research will likely help us find ways to fix those problems there, at the DNA level. If so, people will demand vast programs of vaccination to avoid those terrible diseases. WARNING — Everything we do leads to something else. It could takes decades before we learn that the idiots at FDC that approve a stem cell use didn’t quite understand the implications of messing with Mother Nature might bring. They messed with the governing dynamics without a “license” and screwed up the balance of things. The elimination of any of nature’s ways of slimming down our breed might give rise to a much more difficult, possibly more terrible result. One has to be very careful with this stuff. It’s one thing to learn how to ski. It’s another to ski down a mountain without knowledge of where the cliffs are. Stem Cell knowledge could turn out like that, like dynamite, that can blow up to uncover diamonds or blow up in your face…. and the consequences might be every bit as devestating as the potential of it to do good. That’s why I say this thing has to be approached, because that is our calling as humans. But carefully, very carefully.