Belief and Knowledge
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There are many contentions our present world has faced that require a thorough thought process in order to represent a side of the argument. We see that there are many different authorities that tell us we should be thinking in certain directions. However, most people need to realize that influence from these different sources such as academics, politicians, companies, global organizations, media, and others in this nebulous category, dont always steer us in the write direction. Maybe they can provide us with knowledge about a certain problem, or information regarding each side, but when it comes down to the bottom, belief and knowledge seems to be what most people turn to. We see many people opposing social issues because of what their families have taught them, we see many people opposing scientific technology because of what their religion says. We see many people then opposing the “religious fanatics” because science is “the key to the future.” And lastly we see many people opposing things just to cause trouble, and those are the types of protestors, I really cannot stand. But thats beside the point. Reason and emotion are reflected in the way one uses them to distinguish between their faith and belief, and knowledge and solid fact. This can be shown through the abortion debate, stem cell research, and of course, the hot topic of 2004 and the near future- gay marriage.
First, abortion has really taken center stage in our society. Both sides of the argument have been well thought out and make good sense; it is up to you to decide which one you feel more strongly represents your views. Or, you must interpret it and make your own opinion. Those who oppose abortion are called the “pro-life” group. These people believe that the fetus is a living thing, and that it should not be killed for it has yet to develop fully into a human being. By taking the life of a fetus, one is taking the life of a potential human being, and an innocent child. The opposing view is usually referred to as “pro- choice.” This argument is strong in the sense that people believe they should be able to exercise their rights as a free human being, and if they choose to abort their child, it is the potential parents choice. You will find that many people that belong to the “pro- life” side are religious. Most who are on the “pro- choice” side are liberals. It has taken me a long time to figure out which argument works for me, and as I worked through my thoughts, I realized that I was going to form my own opinion and that I do not necessarily agree with any side in particular. The stance I take is that abortion should be illegal. Only under the following circumstances should a fetus be possibly subject to abortion: if a woman is raped, if the child will absolutely not live when it is born, or if there is a severe genetic malfunction in which the fetus will not be able to function once born. If you want to get an abortion because you are not ready to take care of a baby, because you “accidentally” got pregnant, or because you thought you wanted a child and decided it was not right for you, it is unacceptable. When a person decides to have sex, they must realize that a possible consequence is to become pregnant, and although the man does not have to give birth, he takes full responsibility of making sure that baby is fully supported. If you cannot handle it, you should not be having sex.
And now we shall move right along to stem cell research. This topic is controversial, and a lot of it is because of the relation to abortion. Stem cells can be used miraculously to save people from diabetes, help cure diseases, and can build strength in cell numbers by reproducing quickly. Stem cells are used to replace malfunctioning cells that may have been eaten away by infections of viruses. The new ones take the place of the old and continue to reproduce in order to redevelop the infected area, and essentially, make it stronger. The hottest debate is on embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells come from embryos that have been taken out of development. The opposition argues that this promotes abortion because they take the cells off of the umbilical cord of the unborn baby. People who are usually against this are again, usually religious, and rely more on their belief system, while those who are for it, look at it from a reasonable, factual, and scientific point of view Essentially, all of the questions posed here rely on ethics, so how do you differ from emotion and reason? My understanding has come to be that if you do not support abortion, there is no way you can fully support stem cell research. I have a fear that our world will quickly turn into the parallel of Gattaca, where parents will be able to choose which genes their children can inherit. To me, this potential world will eliminate all spiritual and religious beliefs. If every human being can just be made perfectly, what is the point of having ethics, or intelligence, or a thought process, wouldnt all humans just always make the right decisions? Would bad decisions be a result from a genetic “malfunction” rather than human error?
Lastly, gay marriage. The same situation occurs with this dilemma, in that the “no” side consists mostly of religious people, most of which practice Christianity or Catholicism. And, the “pro” side consists of mostly liberals, or people that just do not really “care.” There are many different views