23 December 2004

The idea that somebody would spend $50,000 for a cat when they can go to any shelter and rescue one is absurd

Woman pays $50,000 for a clone of her cat Nicky.
The creation and subsequent sale of Little Nicky is the first commercial transaction of a cloned pet by the Sausalito-based biotechnology company Genetic Savings and Clone. Critics fear the purchaser of the copied cat could be the first of a stampede of bereft pet owners.

The only detectable difference between the 9-week-old kitten and its predecessor, according to the owner, is the $50,000 cost.

"I see absolutely no differences between Little Nicky and Nicky," gushed the new owner, Julie, shortly after the transaction. An airline employee in her 40s, the resident of Dallas requested that her last name not be used. "When Little Nicky yawned, I even saw two spots inside his mouth -- just like Nicky had."

What a twisted world we inhabit, where let alone the fact that thousands of domesticated pets are euthanized, children starve as food rots in warehouses. Capitalism is a instituted system devoid of morals and values.

Comments

Agree whole heartedly, Naum. This is pathetic and shallow. On a philosophical note I also want to say that I completely oppose any notion of cloning-on both religious and simply natural themes.
The religious is obvious. The nature theme is also fairlyobvious.
Once upon a time (ca 100,000 to 10,000 y.a.), man hunted and gathered. The life expectancy, governed by nature, was approximately 30-40years max. The population density on the planet was balanced, so to speak. Then we decided to plunge into agriculture. Our numbers increased exponentially, though the life expectancy was still shitty (bad sanitary conditions).
Then along came industrialization (start from the reformation period). After the Great Plague between 1347-ca 1400, sanitary conditions improved, food became softer and easily digested, populations increased evenmore exponentially (despite large epidemics in New World populations).
The 20th century has seenthe largest expansion and increase of life expectancy to date. Medical advances will ensure we live beyond 90 years by the time I'm an old fart. Meanwhile, dreadful conditions in the Third World oddly result in huge population densities......
We've already broken the fragile rules of nature by living beyond our natural years. Cloning, even formedical matters (organ replacement) will only result in longer life-spans and increased populations.
When will it STOP!!!!!!! Isay outlaw ALL cloning, even if it means we can't put a quarter in the goddamn vending machine and get a new liver in 30 years. Let's stop fucking with nature and messing with religious dogma and values. Let's stop, take a breath and accept that we live and die.....
Thislady in the photo is a sick woman, as well as stupid, selfish and downright cruel. Naum, you're absolutely right! Sacrifice how many needy catsfor a genetic clone. I hope it goes Pet Cemetery on her and eats her plastic face and silicone boobs!

That's all I'm going to sayabout that.
STUPID keyboard!!!!!!!!!!!!
I do disagree with your last statement, however,that Capitalism is devoid of morals and values.

Capitalism, like everything, is such that any idiot can abuse the freedoms and values that it has created, or allowed. This bitch abused it.

I love Capitalism for what it has given me, as do you, no doubt. Many of us are careful enough not to abuse it with shameful spending, or a perverse sense of values and morals.

I think you need to reword that last sentence, Naum.
Could we truly have freedom without capitalism??? Is there another system that allows anyone to succeed based on their own skills and merits? What is the alternative? Look capitalism is not evil, If I have a good or service, I should be allowed to sell that good or service without intrusion from outside sources (to a legal degree that is). If someone else wants to use my goods or services it is their choice to do so. if they want to pay me 1,000,000 for a pet rock named Fredrick, that is their choice. Now I do believe their should be systems set in place to keep some innocents from being taken advantage of. It's funny Liberals think it's okay for two consenting adults to be able to have sexual freedom, but two consenting adults cant have monetary freedom?

I don't begrudge anyone else from spending their money as they see fit, Cloning is a subject that is different, there should be safeguards set in place, but clones are natural to some extent, such as identical twins.
"It's funny Liberals think it's okay for two consenting adults to be able to have sexual freedom, but two consenting adults cant have monetary freedom? "

mondomojo1969, careful about your generalizations, you are confusing American liberals with socialists.

You talked a lot about human history above.

Neocon two books I would love to suggest, one is:
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

It is a classic in its own right....have you read it? It will change the way you see the world... absolutly incredible....

http://www.amazon.com/exec/...

Also the history of religion and science, and the fights the two they two had:

There is a wonderful classic called

A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom written in 1896 by the founder of Cornell University in New York (I believe)

The book is available to download for free on the fabulous site:

http://www.gutenberg.org/di...

when I see the fights of current Christianity with Science I always think of this incredible book...
While I was living as an exchange student in Malta (a small Mediterranean country) I had an African roommate who was a genetic engineer.

We came up with this ethical question:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

Science fiction:

Imagine if you were rich.

At 50, you knew you would die at 70.

So you create a clone, a clone which had its HEAD genetically removed and so was a vegetable.

The body would be “feed” and would be exercised so the muscles would not atrophy.

For 20 years, this vegetable clone body grows, to a full grown adult human.

Then at 70, you have your head cut off, and attached to a 20 year old body—you have the potential to live for another 50 years—to 120 years with few health problems (except those with your old head)

Would you do it?

Science fact:

Actually scientists attached a monkey head to another monkey in the 1970’s, they could not attach the spinal cord so the monkey was a paraplegic, it lived for several days but they eventually killed it.

Scientists are already talking about body transplants for existing paraplegics, because when they get in their 30’s or 40’s there is massive organ failure and they usually die. We already have organ and hand transplants—head transplants are right around the corner….

They have already cloned frogs with out the head grown.

The technology is already their, the only problem is scientists must learn to reattach the spinal cord so a person would not be paraplegic.


--Ethical history---

Before you gasp in disgust, keep in mind that a good portion of the history of medicine was opposed by most of Christianity.

Of the top of my head, without digging up the book, here is one example:

In the middle ages the church would not allow people to cut into cadavers.
(Read this in the History of Christianity, book recommended above)

More recent history is replete with examples of some of the more traditionalists within Christianity hindering scientific progress, including test tube babies and contraception.

The history of Religion and Science is that science is in the forefront of incredibly beneficial changes to all of humanity, and it is blocked by Religion, but yet later embraced, and the mistakes of religion are forgotten.

This continues even today and will always continue.

Read the book—incredible eye opening book.

(Yes, yes I know I don’t like to talk about religion, but this, like many other topics seems to just beg the connection…)
I am doing what Mondo does, posting large amounts of text, because I figure this is the only way you guys would probably bother reading it....

A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom

CHAPTER XIII.

FROM MIRACLES TO MEDICINE.

I. THE EARLY AND SACRED THEORIES OF DISEASE.

Nothing in the evolution of human thought appears more inevitable than the idea of supernatural intervention in producing and curing disease. The causes of disease are so intricate that they are reached only after ages of scientific labour. In those periods when man sees everywhere miracle and nowhere law,--when he attributes all things which he can not understand to a will like his own,--he naturally ascribes his diseases either to the wrath of a good being or to the malice of an evil being.

The theology developed out of our sacred literature in relation to the cure of disease was mainly twofold:

first, there was a new and strong evolution of the old idea that physical disease is produced by the wrath of God or the malice of Satan, or by a combination of both, which theology was especially called in to explain;

secondly, there were evolved theories of miraculous methods of cure, based upon modes of appeasing the Divine anger, or of thwarting Satanic malice.
...continued....

II. GROWTH OF LEGENDS OF HEALING.
-- THE LIFE OF XAVIER AS A TYPICAL EXAMPLE.

(Absolutely fascinating and interesting story, but I did not cut and paste it here--travbailey)

IV. THE ATTRIBUTION OF DISEASE TO SATANIC INFLUENCE.
--"PASTORAL MEDICINE" CHECKS SCIENTIFIC EFFORT.
Especially prejudicial to a true development of medical science among the first Christians was their attribution of disease to diabolic influence… St. Paul had distinctly declared that the gods of the heathen were devils; and everywhere the early Christians saw in disease the malignant work of these dethroned powers of evil. …The idea that, although at times diseases are punishments by the Almighty, the main agency in them is Satanic. The great fathers and renowned leaders of the early Church accepted and strengthened this idea….

The great fathers and renowned leaders of the early Church accepted and strengthened this idea.

Origen said: "It is demons which produce famine, unfruitfulness, corruptions of the air, pestilences; they hover concealed in clouds in the lower atmosphere, and are attracted by the blood and incense which the heathen offer to them as gods."

St. Augustine said: "All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to these demons; chiefly do they torment fresh-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless, newborn infants."

Tertullian insisted that a malevolent angel is in constant attendance upon every person.

Gregory of Nazianzus declared that bodily pains are provoked by demons, and that medicines are useless, but that they are often cured by the laying on of consecrated hands.

St. Nilus and St. Gregory of Tours, echoing St. Ambrose, gave examples to show the sinfulness of resorting to medicine instead of trusting to the intercession of saints.

St. Bernard, in a letter to certain monks, warned them that to seek relief from disease in medicine was in harmony neither with their religion nor with the honor and purity of their order. This view even found its way into the canon law, which declared the precepts of medicine contrary to Divine knowledge.

As a rule, the leaders of the Church discouraged the theory that diseases are due to natural causes, and most of them deprecated a resort to surgeons and physicians rather than to supernatural means.[300]
...continued....
...
V. THEOLOGICAL OPPOSITION TO ANATOMICAL STUDIES.

Yet a more serious stumbling-block, hindering the beginnings of modern medicine and surgery, was a theory regarding the unlawfulness of meddling with the bodies of the dead. …it was greatly strengthened by the addition of perhaps the most noble of mystic ideas--the recognition of the human body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Hence Tertullian denounced the anatomist Herophilus as a butcher, and St. Augustine spoke of anatomists generally in similar terms.

But this nobler conception was alloyed with a medieval superstition even more effective, when the formula known as the Apostles' Creed had, in its teachings regarding the resurrection of the body, supplanted the doctrine laid down by St. Paul. Thence came a dread of mutilating the body in such a way that some injury might result to its final resurrection at the Last Day, and additional reasons for hindering dissections in the study of anatomy.

To these arguments against dissection was now added another—one which may well fill us with amazement. It is the remark of the foremost of recent English philosophical historians, that of all organizations in human history the Church of Rome has caused the greatest spilling of innocent blood. No one conversant with history, even though he admit all possible extenuating circumstances, and honour the older Church for the great services which can undoubtedly be claimed for her, can deny this statement. Strange is it, then, to note that one of the main objections developed in the Middle Ages against anatomical studies was the maxim that "the Church abhors the shedding of blood."

On this ground, in 1248, the Council of Le Mans forbade surgery to monks. Many other councils did the same, and at the end of the thirteenth century came the most serious blow of all; for then it was that Pope Boniface VIII, without any of that foresight of consequences which might well have been expected in an infallible teacher, issued a decretal forbidding a practice which had come into use during the Crusades, namely, the separation of the flesh from the bones of the dead whose remains it was desired to carry back to their own country.

The idea lying at the bottom of this interdiction was in all probability that which had inspired Tertullian to make his bitter utterance against Herophilus; but, be that as it may, it soon came to be considered as extending to all dissection, and thereby surgery and medicine were crippled for more than two centuries; it was the worst blow they ever received, for it impressed upon the mind of the Church the belief that all dissection is sacrilege, and led to ecclesiastical mandates withdrawing from the healing art the most thoughtful and cultivated men of the Middle Ages and giving up surgery to the lowest class of nomadic charlatans.

So deeply was this idea rooted in the mind of the universal Church that for over a thousand years surgery was considered dishonourable: the greatest monarchs were often unable to secure an ordinary surgical operation; and it was only in 1406 that a better beginning was made, when the Emperor Wenzel of Germany ordered that dishonour should no longer attach to the surgical profession.[302]
VI. NEW BEGINNINGS OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.
(Religious leaders who fought against the official church medical doctrine--travbailey)

VII. THEOLOGICAL DISCOURAGEMENT OF MEDICINE.

While various churchmen, building better than they knew, thus did something to lay foundations for medical study, the Church authorities, as a rule, did even more to thwart it among the very men who, had they been allowed liberty, would have cultivated it to the highest advantage… Hence it was that St. Bernard declared that monks who took medicine were guilty of conduct unbecoming to religion…

…Hence it was, doubtless, that the Lateran Council, about the beginning of the thirteenth century, forbade physicians, under pain of exclusion from the Church, to undertake medical treatment without calling in ecclesiastical advice…

This view was long cherished in the Church, and nearly two hundred and fifty years later Pope Pius V revived it by renewing the command of Pope Innocent and enforcing it with penalties. Not only did Pope Pius order that all physicians before administering treatment should call in "a physician of the soul," on the ground, as he declares, that "bodily infirmity frequently arises from sin," but he ordered that, if at the end of three days the patient had not made confession to a priest, the medical man should cease his treatment, under pain of being deprived of his right to practise, and of expulsion from the faculty if he were a professor, and that every physician and professor of medicine should make oath that he was strictly fulfilling these conditions.

Out of this feeling had grown up another practice, which made the development of medicine still more difficult--the classing of scientific men generally with sorcerers and magic-mongers: from this largely rose the charge of atheism against physicians, which ripened into a proverb, "Where there are three physicians there are two atheists."[306]

The effect of this widespread ecclesiastical opposition was, that for many centuries the study of medicine was relegated mainly to the lowest order of practitioners. There was, indeed, one orthodox line of medical evolution during the later Middle Ages: St. Thomas Aquinas insisted that the forces of the body are independent of its physical organization, and that therefore these forces are to be studied by the scholastic philosophy and the theological method, instead of by researches into the structure of the body; as a result of this, mingled with survivals of various pagan superstitions, we have in anatomy and physiology such doctrines as the increase and decrease of the brain with the phases of the moon, the ebb and flow of human vitality with the tides of the ocean, the use of the lungs to fan the heart, the function of the liver as the seat of love, and that of the spleen as the centre of wit.



As to surgery, this same amalgamation of theology with survivals of pagan beliefs continued to check the evolution of medical science down to the modern epoch. The nominal hostility of the Church to the shedding of blood withdrew, as we have seen, from surgical practice the great body of her educated men; hence surgery remained down to the fifteenth century a despised profession, its practice continued largely in the hands of charlatans, and down to a very recent period the name "barber-surgeon" was a survival of this. In such surgery, the application of various ordures relieved fractures; the touch of the hangman cured sprains; the breath of a donkey expelled poison; friction with a dead man's tooth cured toothache.

The enormous development of miracle and fetich cures in the Church continued during century after century, and here probably lay the main causes of hostility between the Church on the one hand and the better sort of physicians on the other; namely, in the fact that the Church supposed herself in possession of something far better than scientific methods in medicine. Under the sway of this belief a natural and laudable veneration for the relics of Christian martyrs was developed more and more into pure fetichism.

(fetichism definition: Worship of or belief in magical fetishes.—travbailey)

Thus the water in which a single hair of a saint had been dipped was used as a purgative; water in which St. Remy's ring had been dipped cured fevers; wine in which the bones of a saint had been dipped cured lunacy; oil from a lamp burning before the tomb of St. Gall cured tumours; St. Valentine cured epilepsy; St. Christopher, throat diseases; St. Eutropius, dropsy; St. Ovid, deafness; St. Gervase, rheumatism; St. Apollonia, toothache; St. Vitus, St. Anthony, and a multitude of other saints, the maladies which bear their names. Even as late as 1784 we find certain authorities in Bavaria ordering that any one bitten by a mad dog shall at once put up prayers at the shrine of St. Hubert, and not waste his time in any attempts at medical or surgical cure.[311]…

IX. THE SCIENTIFIC STRUGGLE FOR ANATOMY.

We may now take up the evolution of medical science out of the medieval view and its modern survivals. All through the Middle Ages, as we have seen, some few laymen and ecclesiastics here and there, braving the edicts of the Church and popular superstition, persisted in medical study and practice: this was especially seen at the greater universities, which had become somewhat emancipated from ecclesiastical control. In the thirteenth century the University of Paris gave a strong impulse to the teaching of medicine, and in that and the following century we begin to find the first intelligible reports of medical cases since the coming in of Christianity.

In the thirteenth century also the arch-enemy of the papacy, the Emperor Frederick II, showed his free-thinking tendencies by granting, from time to time, permissions to dissect the human subject. In the centuries following, sundry other monarchs timidly followed his example: thus John of Aragon, in 1391, gave to the University of Lerida the privilege of dissecting one dead criminal every three years.[319]

…there was the old idea prevailing in the Church that the dissection of the human body is forbidden to Christians: this was used with great force against Vesalius(A university professor), but he at first gained a temporary victory; for, a conference of divines having been asked to decide whether dissection of the human body is sacrilege, gave a decision in the negative.

The reason was simple: the great Emperor Charles V had made Vesalius his physician and could not spare him; but, on the accession of Philip II to the throne of Spain and the Netherlands, the whole scene changed. Vesalius now complained that in Spain he could not obtain even a human skull for his anatomical investigations: the medical and theological reactionists had their way, and to all appearance they have, as a rule, had it in Spain ever since. As late as the last years of the eighteenth century an observant English traveller found that there were no dissections before medical classes in the Spanish universities, and that the doctrine of the circulation of the blood was still denied, more than a century and a half after Sarpi and Harvey had proved it.

In 1689 we find it still lingering in France, stimulating opposition in the Church to dissection. Even as late as the eighteenth century, Bernouilli having shown that the living human body constantly undergoes a series of changes, so that all its particles are renewed in a given number of years, so much ill feeling was drawn upon him, from theologians, who saw in this statement danger to the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, that for the sake of peace he struck out his argument on this subject from his collected works.[320]
X. THEOLOGICAL OPPOSITION TO INOCULATION, VACCINATION,
AND THE USE OF ANAESTHETICS.

I hasten now to one of the most singular struggles of medical science during modern times. Early in the last century Boyer
presented inoculation as a preventive of smallpox in France, and thoughtful physicians in England, inspired by Lady Montagu and Maitland, followed his example. Ultra-conservatives in medicine took fright at once on both sides of the Channel, and theology was soon finding profound reasons against the new practice. The French theologians of the Sorbonne solemnly condemned it; the English theologians were most loudly represented by the Rev. Edward Massey, who in 1772 preached and published a sermon entitled The Dangerous and Sinful Practice of Inoculation. In this he declared that Job's distemper was probably confluent smallpox; that he had been inoculated doubtless by the devil; that diseases are sent by Providence for the punishment of sin; and that the proposed attempt to prevent them is "a diabolical operation." Not less vigorous was the sermon of the Rev. Mr. Delafaye, entitled Inoculation an Indefensible Practice. This struggle went on for thirty years. It is a pleasure to note some churchmen--and among them Madox, Bishop of Worcester—giving battle on the side of right reason; but as late as 1753 we have a noted rector at Canterbury denouncing inoculation from his pulpit in the primatial city, and many of his brethren following his example.

The same opposition was vigorous in Protestant Scotland. A large body of ministers joined in denouncing the new practice as "flying in the face of Providence," and "endeavouring to baffle a Divine judgment."

On our own side of the ocean, also, this question had to be fought out. About the year 1721 Dr. Zabdiel Boylston, a physician in Boston, made an experiment in inoculation, one of his first subjects being his own son. He at once encountered bitter hostility, so that the selectmen of the city forbade him to repeat the experiment. Foremost among his opponents was Dr. Douglas, a Scotch physician, supported by the medical profession and the newspapers. The violence of the opposing party knew no bounds; they insisted that inoculation was "poisoning," and they urged the authorities to try Dr. Boylston for murder. Having thus settled his case for this world, they proceeded to settle it for the next, insisting that "for a man to infect a family in the morning with smallpox and to pray to God in the evening against the disease is blasphemy"; that the smallpox is "a judgment of God on the sins of the people," and that "to avert it is but to provoke him more"; that inoculation is "an encroachment on the prerogatives of Jehovah, whose right it is to wound and smite." Among the mass of scriptural texts most remote from any possible bearing on the subject one was employed which was equally cogent against any use of healing means in any disease--the words of Hosea: "He hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up."

So bitter was this opposition that Dr. Boylston's life was in danger; it was considered unsafe for him to be out of his house in the evening; a lighted grenade was even thrown into the house of Cotton Mather, who had favoured the new practice, and had sheltered another clergyman who had submitted himself to it.

The facts were soon very strong against the gainsayers: within a year or two after the first experiment nearly three hundred persons had been inoculated by Boylston in Boston and neighbouring towns, and out of these only six had died; whereas, during the same period, out of nearly six thousand persons who had taken smallpox naturally, and had received only the usual medical treatment, nearly one thousand had died. Yet even here the gainsayers did not despair, and, when obliged to confess the success of inoculation, they simply fell back upon a new argument, and answered: "It was good that Satan should be dispossessed of his habitation which he had taken up in men in our Lord's day, but it was not lawful that the children of the Pharisees should cast him out by the help of Beelzebub. We must always have an eye to the matter of what we do as well as the result, if we intend to keep a good conscience toward God." But the facts were too strong; the new practice made its way in the New World as in the Old, though bitter opposition continued, and in no small degree on vague scriptural grounds, for more than twenty years longer.[324]

Etc….
Sorry, I am a hypocrite to post so much.

I just love that book and want to share it. Some of the best parts, the most descriptive facinating stories, I edited out....

I did not cut and paste the section on some Christian's objections to VACCINATION, AND THE USE OF ANAESTHETICS. Figure you got the point.

I was just floored by how much I learned by this book--this guy really knew his history.

You can learn so much about the history of the Catholic church in this book...

An edited edition was republished in 1965, with an interesting forward, that is the copy I have today--I only kept about 30 books, all the others I gave away.

This is one of the very few keepers...and all the rest are reference books, this is the only history book I kept...
I was not arguing for cloning. I simply stated that CLONES are not unnatural because they do occur in nature.

and to further my points on capitalism

The fact that someone takes advantage of capitalism is not a reason to denounce capitalism, its a flaw in human character. Because someone takes advantage of social security does that mean social security is evil? Is someone takes advantage of charity that does not mean charity is IMMORAL. The terrorists of 911 took advantage of several of our policies on allowing people to come from other nations and train in America and did they horrible things, They use our acceptance of other cultures and our freedoms against us this does not mean that these things are evil, but the humans who do the bad things are. There are people that use religion to take advantage of people, this does not mean religion is evil, people are the culprit here.

One last thought, Theology does not equal GOD, It is the attempt at man in understanding GOD. As Humans we sometimes get things wrong, we are flawed, this does not mean GOD is flawed, We are.

Good day all, and Happy CHRISTmas EVE.
I just had time to skim through your articles trav, the baby is waking up and it is bottle time. I will try to read more later, what is saw was interesting.

Thank you
I have no beef with capatilism either--I think it works so well because it feeds on every human's natural tendency to want more and be greedy. I actually am thankful for capatilism and all its excesses...I live a more comfortable life, in America, on the top of the world's food chain today, than any other person in world history. I live better than all of the kings who ever lived up to the 20th century....Who can complain about that?

I am no enviromentalist, if I was I guess I would not like capatilism as much.

Enviromentalism to me is like abortion, kind of a non-issue.

Enviromentalism and abortion are kind of like God, he may exist, out their somewhere but I never personally see him so the concept never crosses my mind very often....

I think it is short sighted what many people write (not you mondo) that capatilism is the pinacle of human endeavor and their is never going to be a bettr system--people said the same thing about fuedilism and other forms of government before.

History is littered with ideas that seem quaint and almost foolish today with such grandeous statments such as the late 19th-early 20th century statments that there would be no more wars (thus, the statment that WW1 was the war to end all wars, penned by...I think the author of the time machine), and also the statments that science has almost found out everything their is to know.
---The Warfare of Christianity book--
I offer snippets in the hope that someone will read the book--it truly is a gem. Before I started studying Mormonism, I thought that everything that happened in religion happened in sort of a vaccum. God came down and did this and this and this, miraculously.

I realized when I started to study Mormonism, and later Christianity (including early Chrisitianty) that no idea happens in a vaccum, and that their is often precedent and competing ideas which the prophets and leaders of the church borrow from to make their grand utterances.

I am not arguing that these utterances and ideas are not inspired from God: who am I to determine that?

What I am saying is that no event in the history of mankind happens in a vaccum.

To realize this simple idea, that nothing happens in a vaccum, really helps you understand the "but for" causes of every aspect of human historical thinking and actions: which truly transends religion and can be used throughout life.

For example:

Why did 19 hijackers fly a plane into the world trade center on Sept 11, 2001?

That event did not happen in a vaccum. America was not a benign isolated country with no contacts in the world before the event.

There were real reasons behind the hijacking, which most Americans are too intellectually lazy to truly investigate, instead they accpet politicians simplistic and naive statments that the reason the hijacked those planes was because they "hate our freedom" "or they hate freedom"

To understand the root causes of Arabs grievances and the history of the West in the middle east, in no way lessons the horror and dispicablness of the hijackers actions: it does not justify their actions, it simply lets you understand why 19 men would be so desperate and deranged to kill themselves.

Americans are bound and are following the same paths which lead to the terrorist attacks, because I don't think many Americans really understand the root causes of Arab rage, if they do not truly understand the "enemy" then how can they stop from repeating the same mistakes?

The same thing for religion, as I mentioned above, the history of Christianity is replete with example of zealous and not so zealous Christians viciously attacking and hindering Sceince, which continues to this very hour.

To understand the history of the battle between Seience and Christiainity is to understand and maybe prevent the same mistakes that thousands of years of our ancestors made.

There is a type of "mental liberation" in studying history, which I feel all the time, a lot of "light bulbs" that go off in my head all the time, and I make connections to events that affect us today, with what I feel is a deeper and more reasoned understanding...

...I see humanity make the same mistakes, over and over and over, and despite the same mistakes, their is still a kind of "progress" as we all muddle through our lives.

But on the other hand, like the Sci-fi book the A Canticle for Leibowitz, which I mentioned to Neocon here (http://www.livejournal.com/... ) it seems like humanity is doomed to make the same stupid mistakes, over and over and over....

So Mondo, would you allow yourself to get a body transplant?

I would....

I think neocon would not...

How about you Naum?
I disdain any "-ism" and it's complete extremist wrap of ideology that brings pain, suffering and injustice to the world. Tenets of free enterprise are good things, but just like fire, should not be allowed to rage out of control.

You've gained as much or more from other "-ism"s (like Socialistic and Humanistic campaigns) than you have with Capitalism -- 40 hour work weeks, abolition of child labor, public education. Left solely to the domain of pure unadulterated capitalism, ala laissez faire capitallism as Ayn Rand and other libertarians champion, would result in a worldwide "Pottersville" (yes, a reference to *It's a Wonderful Life*...).

As far as cloning and body transplants, I don't condone it whatsoever. I do think that they're a lot of issues on the table and technology that the average American (even some of the most intelligent) don't really understand and get caught up in rhetoric. However, I like Robert Redford's response to refusing ever to undergo cosmetic surgery -- he's said that he felt he would lose part of his soul. It's about the best assessment of such matters that I've heard, and these types of "enhancements" are soul grabbers IMV.

Not to say that there are no beneficial factors of such technical advancement. Just that the perversions that become accepted are not...

>>I love Capitalism for what it has given me, as do you, no doubt. Many of us are careful enough not to abuse it with shameful spending, or a perverse sense of values and morals.
Wow, Naum, we agree on something. I know my brother would want his wife's boobs done (she would too, frankly). But I told my wife that if she did, it would be just wrong. I didn't fall in love with a woman so she could "fix" her percieved flaws. I wouldn'twant anything about her to change. I actually agree with Redford, too. Changing yourself is tantamount to "Changing" yourself.
Naum, I'm so excited we agree on something..I think I'm going to cry.

On a philosophical note: Civilization brought forth alot of benefits AND pain, including "-isms" and Religion. It's a fruitless excercise to "disdain" that which envelops all civilized cultures like a warm security blanket. Without "-isms", or religion, Civilization is nothing, and all we do today is for naught. One must accept what is inevitable and choose a path that utilizes these tools in a decent, ethical manner.

Master Po once said, "Everything in the Universe has duality, Grasshopper; Good and evil will always coexist. It is up to you to choose how you live." Well, actually Master Po didn't say that, I just threw it in for Shits and Grins.
I'm just saying that -"isms" have the same duality. I happen to believe quite firmly that Capitalism has so many more benefits to a healthy human society than any other "-ism."
http://www.guidelines.org/

5-minute Commentaries 24 January 2005
IT’S TOO LATE TO STOP CLONING
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

If you give a kid a slingshot or a BB gun, what’s he going to do with it? Hang it on the wall and look at it, or use it? When the technology is in place to clone human beings, it is only a matter of time until someone does it. The probability is that it has already been done, though at this moment, no one has actually admitted doing it.

The recent interest in cloning began when Ian Wilmut, a 52-year-old Scottish scientist, cloned a Dorset sheep in July, 1996. The cloned sheep was named after country singer Dolly Parton (who probably was not flattered). The cloning of an adult mammal was a first, a kind of breakthrough in the scientific community. Working almost independently, Wilmut developed a process of transferring the nucleus of a cell into an embryo which eventually reproduced an exact duplicate of the original cell.

After Dolly, scientists in the U.S. cloned two rhesus monkeys. The same week that the monkey cloning was reported in the press, The Hong Kong South China Post reported that Chinese scientists have cloned goats which, in effect, make them “drug factories” (using their term) which produce large amounts of proteins and natural drugs. The article says, “Others are being altered to make kidneys and livers that will not be rejected by the human body and can be ‘harvested’ for transplants.” The goats were cloned using essentially the same techniques that the Scottish scientist used in producing Dolly.

What’s the motivation for this? Primarily money. Here’s a farmer who has a champion steer—a big, tough, broad-chested animal. He’s a blue ribbon winner, which makes him worth a lot of money. OK, if that animal could be cloned, producing another 100 just like him, the farmer would multiply his worth by the same factor. Another farmer has developed a pig who makes sweet and sour pork taste great. If he could reproduce that animal many times over, think what profit he would make.

Appealing to the human interest factor, think of a couple whose little boy, 5 years old, is hit and killed by a car. Their life is wrapped up in this child. But if scientists could harvest a few cells and re-implant them in the mother and she would produce an exact replica of the child who was killed, think how their grief would be assuaged.

Biomedical engineering is here to stay. Quietly, scientists have been discovering ways to reproduce exact replicas for years. It is only when the press picks up a story and puts it on the front page that public sentiment is aroused. Following the recent series of clonings, the American president, Bill Clinton, said, “No U.S. aid for cloning of humans” and called on researchers to hold off.

The issue, simply put, is not whether it can be done, but whether man has any right to reproduce himself in such a manner. If, of course, there is no difference between a human being and an animal, if man is merely a mammal with no soul, no responsibility to God and no accountability to a higher power, then clone away. But, on the other hand, if men and women are made in the image of God and were brought into existence at the direct command of His will, then the issue has to be faced: Has man any right to reproduce himself through cloning?

It’s much as newspaper columnist John Krust put it: “The prospect of human cloning has ethicists and theologians asking this week whether human beings should be allowed to play God. Judging by the results reported regularly from labs around the world, the question comes too late.”

Resource reading: Matthew 5:17-20.

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The preceding material was written by Dr. Harold J. Sala, and is copyrighted. You are authorized to download this selection and use it for your own personal use. Reproduction for sale or financial profit is prohibited. Permission to reprint it should be obtained by contacting Guidelines at e-mail: guidelines@guidelines.org or regular mail to Box G, Laguna Hills, CA 92654
THINGS YOU'D LIKE TO SAY OUT
LOUD
AT WORK

1. I CAN SEE YOUR POINT, BUT I STILL THINK
YOU'RE
FULL OF SHIT.
2. I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR PROBLEM IS, BUT I'LL
BET
IT'S HARD TO PRONOUNCE.
3. HOW ABOUT NEVER? IS NEVER GOOD FOR YOU?
4. I SEE YOU'VE SET ASIDE THIS SPECIAL TIME TO HUMILIATE YOURSELF
IN PUBLIC.
5. I'M REALLY EASY TO GET ALONG WITH ONCE YOU PEOPLE LEARN TO SEE
IT MY WAY.
6. I'LL TRY BEING NICER IF YOU'LL TRY BEING
SMARTER.

7. I'M OUT OF MY MIND, BUT FEEL FREE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE.
8. I DON'T WORK HERE, I'M A CONSULTANT.
9. IT SOUNDS LIKE ENGLISH, BUT I CAN'T
UNDERSTAND A
DAMN WORD YOU'RE
SAYING.
10. AHHH...I SEE THE SCREW-UP FAIRY HAS VISITED
US
AGAIN...
11. I LIKE YOU. YOU REMIND ME OF MYSELF WHEN I
WAS
YOUNG AND STUPID.
12. YOU ARE VALIDATING MY INHERENT MISTRUST OF STRANGERS.
13. I HAVE PLENTY OF TALENT AND VISION; I JUST
DON'T
GIVE A DAMN.
14. I'M ALREADY VISUALIZING THE DUCT TAPE OVER
YOUR
MOUTH.
15. I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH THE INITIAL
MISCONCEPTIONS
I HAD ABOUT YOU.
16. THANK YOU. WE'RE ALL REFRESHED AND
CHALLENGED BY
YOUR UNIQUE POINT OF
VIEW.
17. THE FACT THAT NO ONE UNDERSTANDS YOU DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE AN
ARTIST.
18. ANY CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR REALITY AND MINE
IS
PURELY COINCIDENTAL.
19. WHAT AM I? FLYPAPER FOR FREAKS!?
20. I'M NOT BEING RUDE, YOU'RE JUST
INSIGNIFICANT.
21. IT'S A THANKLESS JOB, BUT I'VE GOT A LOT OF KARMA TO BURN OFF.
22. AND YOUR CRYBABY WHINY-ASSED OPINION WOULD BE...?
23. DO I LOOK LIKE A PEOPLE PERSON?
24. THIS ISN'T AN OFFICE. IT'S HELL WITH FLUORESCENT LIGHTING.
25. I STARTED OUT WITH NOTHING & STILL HAVE MOST
OF
IT LEFT.
26. SARCASM IS JUST ONE MORE SERVICE WE OFFER.
27. IF I THROW A STICK, WILL YOU LEAVE?
28. ERRORS HAVE BEEN MADE. OTHERS WILL BE
BLAMED.
29. WHATEVER KIND OF LOOK YOU WERE GOING FOR,
YOU
MISSED.
30. WAIT! WAIT! I’M TRYING TO IMAGINE YOU
WITH A PERSONALITY.
31. A CUBICLE IS JUST A PADDED CELL WITHOUT A
DOOR.
32. CAN I TRADE THIS JOB FOR WHAT'S BEHIND DOOR
#1?
33. TOO MANY FREAKS, NOT ENOUGH CIRCUSES.
34. NICE PERFUME. MUST YOU MARINATE IN IT?
35. CHAOS, PANIC, & DISORDER-MY WORK HERE IS
DONE.
36. HOW DO I SET A LASER PRINTER TO STUN?
37. I THOUGHT I WANTED A CAREER; TURNS OUT I
JUST
WANTED A SALARY.
38. WHO LIT THE FUSE ON YOUR TAMPON?
39. OH I GET IT... LIKE HUMOR... BUT DIFFERENT.

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