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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stem-Cell Research

Bush's single veto will be of life-saving medical science. Of course.

I heard an interview where a defender of Bush's said that it wasn't a political decision, it was a moral one. What struck me is that neither of those things should factor into his decision at all. The issues here are scientific, period. Bush, and many like him, believe you can bend science to your moral will. Unfortunately (and this applies to the Nuclear Bomb) science will be there regardless of our moral aversion to it or embrace of it. We can try to use science with a moral center (Nuclear power for energy, not weapons) but we cannot stop progress. No matter how hard we try.

I once read this book called Ishmael. I'm sure many of the blogger have heard of it. It's about a man who communes with a talking Gorilla, who claims that humankind is on the wrong path and should abandon all talk of progress and get back in touch with nature before the Industrial Revolutions eats it.

My thought about that infantile ramble was, of course, "Much Luck." This will not happen. The only way the internet will disappear is when something far better replaces it. The only thing that will kill our need for oil is when we can draw power from other sources more efficiently. We cannot go backwards. Progress is the key. The past is an illusion, a memory and a tool. It is guidelines. But it no longer exists, and it will not exist ever again.

One of the wonderful and horrible things about life and time (insofar as we understand them) is that the new keeps coming, and it will not stop coming. That means we die, to make room. It means that when they built the gun, it was inevitable that someone was going to be killed with it. It also means that when things like rights for gays become part of the public discourse, no amount of temporary flailing can stop the inevitablity of gay marriage and gay acceptance. The future ALWAYS beats the past.

One thing that ultra-conservative Americans truly want is to pretend that they are the future and they offer a "new" vision for America. The truth is, they are the past wearing a 1950s space helmet...no one is fooled. The word "Traditional" dooms them to eventually lose. There is no such thing as tradition, and there is nothing set in stone except progress.

We will never, ever stop progressing. We can carefully try to guide that progress so we don't kill ourselves. But we can't take anything back, and we can't put on the breaks.

Bush's denial of stem-cell research reflects on him the dim light of a man who makes decisions based on an inhumane code of personal gratification and dogmatic servitude. If he does Veto the Bill (as of this moment he hasn't yet, although it seems he will) he will probably hurt a lot of people. But stem-cell research is a scientific fact, and it will be here, fully funded and supported, soon enough.

1 comment:

Scott Walters said...

Excellent post, Matt. I have been coming to a similar conclusion recently. I know a lot of people, including my stepson, got really excited about "Ishmael," but I just don't see it. We must go forward. Which doesn't mean that we abandon all moral questions in the face of progress -- we can and should say no to certain things, even scientific discovery. But as Nobel Laureate Murray Gell-Mann said to a question that I posed to him about this issue (almost 10 years ago now), we should decide not to use something AFTER we have explored it, and not before. It isn't inevitable that something be used, but we shouldn't pull the plug before we learn what we need to learn.