Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stuck on the Bus with Dignified Humans

We thank gentle reader Dan for taking us "To the Source," that is, to a web site entitled "To the Source" for this wide-ranging essay on the development of human stem cells without the destruction of embryos and the larger issue of human dignity.

To say that the piece, by one Robert S. Paul, is wide-ranging is an understatement, but it isn't a ramble. We urge reading of its entirety, but for your enticement offer this quotation:

In the work where I'm involved with impoverished communities, LifeWind International, the principle of Equal Dignity is foundational. It is the coming issue, I believe, in the continuing campaign to find solutions to world poverty. Dignity forces the discussion of poverty beyond economic development, a discourse that too easily slides down the path of condescending pity and lurking superiority. In our secret hearts we are tempted to believe that poverty might be a sign of some intrinsic defect, while wealth is the confirmation of our superior abilities. Noblesse oblige. Here come the rich to rescue the poor. But those on the receiving side of our intended generosity see the truth of what we believe behind our stuffed pocketbooks. If we deny equal dignity, we sow the seeds of long-term resentment. Dignity for the poor and oppressed is not the prize we give them at the end, once we have won the battle, but the starting point for a new way of working together.

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