Past Dialogues

Embryos Are People Too?: A Conversation On Reproductive Rights, Stem Cell Research, & the Meaning of Life

Monday, June 26th 2017, 7:00-9:00pm

We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.
Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, majority opinion, Roe v. Wade (1973)

Embryonic stem cell research offers hope for new therapies that could extend and improve the lives of millions of people. The promise of new medical advances and new freedoms appear to be obvious social goods. Women who can now choose not to carry unwanted pregnancies to term can shape their own destinies, pursue their dreams, and level the economic and social playing fields with men.

But at what cost? What about the embryos—the human embryos—and fetuses that are destroyed in these processes? From the standpoint of genetics, these are human beings. But are they human persons with rights, particularly the right to life? And what is a human person anyways? If we say that embryos are human persons, what obligations do we have towards them? If we say that they aren’t, what might that mean for our thinking about not only life’s beginning, but life’s meaning and life’s end?

If you’re a graduate student in the natural sciences based here in New York City, please join us on Monday, June 26th for this important conversation.


This Socratic Happy Hour dialogue is part of our ongoing SCI+FAI project, which seeks to foster deeper conversations around the big questions in science and religion. These dialogues are sponsored by Fuller Theological Seminary’s STEAM Project (Science & Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries), the John Templeton Foundation, and InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries.


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