In this post on slacktivist (, Fred Clark posts about the contradiction in the attitudes of many people toward embryonic stem cell research and in-vitro fertilization. They abhor the former because of it results in the "dismemberment" (actual language used by Tom DeLay in a comment on stem cell research) of living human beings. However, they turn a blind eye to the latter (in-vitro fertilization) even though for every successful implantation of an embryo means that 20 or more embryos end up destroyed.

Fred attributes this contradiction in attitudes by politicians to political expediency. Politicians know that embryonic stem cell research riles up a certain segment of the population while hardly anybody is against in-vitro fertilization. The problem with doing this is that it takes advantage of the intellectual laziness of the constituency. Both processes, ESCR and IVF lead to the destruction of human beings. However, all anybody sees on TV about IVF are the happy stories of couples bringing home the septuplets and having to learn all of a sudden how to bring up all those kids. What nobody mentions is the 20 or so other embryos that were never implanted that end up getting flushed down the drain, incinerated along with the other medical waste or, in the "best case" scenario, frozen in limbo in a storage facility.

People have to do one of two things:

  1. Admit that in-vitro fertilization kills as many human beings as embryonic stem cell research and fight against it with the same righteous outrage.
  2. Relax and realize that both processes, even though human beings are being killed, lead to positive results that may justify the death.

Not making one of these two adjustments in thinking is intellectual laziness, something that is epidemic in the US. Maybe if the US people clean up their intellectual houses, our politicians might start acting more rationally.