Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Comments for Chapter 6

What is a Stem Cell: Stem Cell 101 here

The Skin Gun  here


  1. NOTES
    How did change happen inside plants, animals, psyches, cultures, or other self-sustaining wholes?
    Defenders of the culture of life believe there to be something profoundly inadequate about a mechanistic metaphysic.

    Divine spirit that animated the matter of the embryo - affirm vitalism of soul
    Driesch = "critical" "modern" "scientific"

    Opposing of stem cell research - Bush administration - culture of life

    When human stem cells are taken from embryos, the embryos are destroyed. Stem cells can also be taken or grown from umbilical-cord blood, adult human bone marrow, fertilized embryos too old to be capable of developing further, human skin cells

    1. Life is radically different from matter.
    2. Human life is qualitatively different from all other life.
    3. Human uniqueness expresses a divine intention.
    4. The worlds a divinely created order and that order has the shape of fixed hierarchy.

    How can love of life coexist with love of violence?

    Bennett makes the claim that people who are pro life are also pro violence. She fails to mention we were attacked by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. Thousands of people died on that day. We went to war not because pro life people are obsessed with violence. We went to war to protect lives so a terrorist attack wouldn't happen again on US soil.

    On the morning of 9/11, my dad flew out on a plane from Logan Airport. A plane that flew out the same time as the two that were flown into the Twin Towers. My mother, my sister, and myself were terrified. We didn't know for hours if my dad was on one of those two planes. We couldn't contact my father. The news wasn't reporting what planes were hijacked. And the airports weren't releasing any information. That's real fear. Fortunately, my dad was not on one of those two flights.

    I find it utterly disgusting that Bennett would completely ignore the deaths of almost 3,000 innocent lives on 9/11 in order to promote her own agenda for vitalism which is a discredited theory.

  2. Chapter 6 focused on the term "Culture of Life." This is a christian idea that life is from God and should be protected. Jane Bennett believes evangelical Christians although they claim to believe in a "culture of life" do not always act to protect life. She views the advocacy of an "unborn fetus" and the military decision of "preemptive war" as incompatible. I believe that she is mistaken. The Christian position is remarkably consistent and does recognize that wars may need to be fought in order to protect life. George Bush used his authority to support his belief of the sanctity of life for both instances. He used his platform to speak for those that were unable to speak for themselves and he used the military to defend a nation that he was sworn to protect. (There is righteous war, and there is war that is unrighteous). As previously established, Bennett reiterates her disdain for George Bush. However, it did not make clear why she held this opinion. Another thing that I noticed was that as a vibrant materialist who is able to recognize so much beauty in the world, it shook me as odd that Bennett is not a fervent pro-life advocate. I believe that vibrant matter materialism would naturally support and encourage the rethinking of culture's stance on abortion. Just as Bennett suggests we are misusing our environment and resources, I thought she had an opportunity to highlight a problem that has become status quo in our society. She took an opportunity to suggest there are problems with our foreign policy but missed what I believe is the greater tragedy. As an evangelical christian, I believe all life is valuable and should be protected.

    I really enjoyed this chapter because it aligned with my beliefs almost spot on. That 1) Life is radically different matter. 2) Human life is qualitatively different from all other life. 3) Human uniqueness expresses a divine intention. 4) The world is a divinely created order and that order has the shape of a fixed hierarchy. And with all of these central concepts, we have a responsibility to engage in a world that we as people act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God. Micah 6:8

  3. In chapter 6 Bennett confines off of the information she built up in chapter 5 by continuing to discuss the viewpoints of life and matter. In this chapter a wide ranger of view points are given from the stance of "culture of life" from evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics, to George W Bush. Bennett affirms that the defenders of culture of life believe there to be something profoundly inadequate about a mechanistic metaphysie.

    The science of critical vitalism lead to a conclusion that entelechial vitality is present in all human organisms. Driesch's philosophy is critical, mixer, and scientific vitalism compared to the evangelical vitalism. For him no one group had the natural right to rule or dispose of the others. Bennett re affirms that some group like the Natzis have tried to use this philosophical theory to justify their own reasonings.

    Bennett continues to talk about stem cell research and brings up how President Bush used a child demonstration, children who would have been terminated usually in scientific studies. Bennett uses this point to start to compare it to the war in Iraq and that although Christians can use vitalism in regards to specific human life they can also be just as quick to go to war for power or the strong helping the weak complex.

    The most intriguing section for me to read was the Natural order of Rank. For me it was so interesting because I disagree so much with the four main points in the culture of life section. I understand that people believe in a God and he in his image made us to inhabit this planet but for me this human uniqueness does not need to be justified only through divine intention. Also number 4 makes me uneasy to say that "the world is divinely created order and that order has the shape of a fixed hierarchy. I want to ask what happened with the dinosaurs? They at one point used to be at the top of the hierarchy but are no longer. It is unbelievable that we should think so highly of ourselves that we are invincible and everything is under us. That reminds me of the complex that the sun revolves around the earth.

  4. relationship between the soul vitalism theory and the violence often committed in the name of life.
    the contradictory nature of Bush’s defense of embryo’s as “defending the weak” and the “vital war” in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of thousands of children.
    “dead matter” as the source of embryos in stem cells process which are derived from non-embryo, that does not have anything like a soul.
    Four theological arguments under vitalism
    Life is different from matter.
    Quality of Human life is different from all other life.
    Human is unique because it expresses divine.
    There is a fixed hierarchy in divine creation of the world.
    What I get is that Bennet is neutrally see the vitalism theory and the mechanistic picture of the world. She is more towards the vitalism but not a violent vitalism. She sees in vitalism a preference for freedom and also points out that mechanistic view of the world is no longer even scientific. “without saying that the scientific picture is vitalistic.” She believes that the mechanistic picture persists with many political philosophers because the vitalism option appears to be close to a certain conservative theological political thinking. She is more towards Driesch ‘s work as someone who was both a vitalist and a pacifist, not people who support vitalism but also support violence
    My question is how anti-abortion activism could devalue the life of the woman carrying an unwanted fetus, and even the life of an unwanted child after it is born?