The Instigator
Pro (for)
1 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
16 Points

Stem Cell Research Should be Funded

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/1/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,710 times Debate No: 59820
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)




I am taking the position that stem cell research should be funded. First, I must make it clear that I am speaking only about embryonic stem cell research, as there is no debate concerning the research of somatic stem cells, as no human "life" is being destroyed. Religious people's problem with embryonic stem cell research is this: when you extract the stem cells out of the human embryo, you ultimately destroy the embryo; thus, killing it. The religious people say that this embryo has been fertilized, and is, therefore, human life. Thus, they say it is immoral to kill it. Let me give a few good arguments as to why this argument is silly and why stem cell research should be funded.
1. The embryos are not concise beings- These embryos feel no pain, nor do they have any retaliation of their existence. Scientists are not being cruel to them in any way; they do not have a nervous system yet.
2. Embryos are not as important as complex human life is- Do you really think that killing a human embryo is more immoral than letting some eight year old girl suffer with diabetes for the rest of her life? Or letting an eighty year old man suffer from long-term heart damages due to an angina attack or a heart attack? It is silly to treat an embryo with the same respect as a more-developed and self-aware human being.
3. Embryonic stem cell research can cure so many illnesses- Embryonic stem cells can regrow and repair virtually any organ or body part in the human body. Our current knowledge of biology tells us that embryonic stem cells are the only thing that can cure spinal and brain injuries.
4. Leave the people benefit from it- If you have a problem with embryonic stem cell research, fine, but let the people who can/want to benefit from it do so.



Greetings – Well, like always, it’s great to be here and I am excited to debate this (which is probably why took that challenge? ;D) I wish my opponent good luck and four enjoyable rounds about this.


1. Embryos are not concise therefore experimenting on them is not cruel.

True is, that embryos have no nervous system of any kind, as the experiments are done with embryos and Zygotes, still, they all, at the end, get terminated. That scientists are not able to physically torture the embryos doesn’t mean, that they don’t kill them. Killing has nothing to do with awareness.

To kill: (1.1) Get rid of or destroy completely, especially in large numbers [1]

This definition giving by the oxford dictionaries pretty much describes what is done with the research subjects in stem cell research.

Though we all kill organisms on a daily basis, just think about mould, snails and spiders, is it morally way less clear, if there should not be a line when it comes to killing within our own species. Society heavily builds on the assumption that is wrong, or better harmful for society, if we kill human organisms.

Countries like the USA have grey zones that enables them to kill humans that have committed crimes against society (death sentence). Many other countries such as Germany or Finland don’t allow this logic. This means, that the killing of human organisms cannot generally be seen as something that society has only one answer to, which again means that using tax money for something society doesn’t agree on, is morally controversial itself.

2. Embryos are not as important as complex human life

To start off, there is nothing wrong with a little respect. In fact, I hope especially those who actively engage in stem cell research have the respect to understand that they are working with human organisms. Even when they see it as morally justified we can expect them to have respect for life itself, because they create it and they end it.

Also, stem cell research is not a miracle science nor is it of immediate success. Other than with abortion we don’t ensure ones survival with another ones death, but hundreds of embryonic stem cells are probably lost for wrong leads or ideas. Funding it now will not get your eight year old girl a cure tomorrow and nobody grants that these cures won’t come from non-embryonic research or iPS cells, which are both parallel forms of stem cell research that don’t involve Zygotes and Embryo disposal.

It also controversial to link the worth of a human organism to it’s complexity, awareness, ability to feel pain. There are

- born humans with no functioning nervous system

- coma patients that aren’t known to be self-aware

- mentally and physically disabled born humans and unborn ones

- unborn foetus that are physically health, have a nervous system and are developing an awareness

Ranking all these people on a scale from worthy to unworthy of life, easily gets us to points in history where human mistreat was justified with this logic.

On a mathematical basis: how many embryos have to be used to save the lives of those who would die in the time we need more to find the same solution with iPS or non-embryonic research? If embryonic research would be our only option to save people in an infinite future; this would be different, but chances to find the answer in other ways are there.

3. Embryonic stem cells are the only option

This is not fully true (and not referenced, just to be clear here). Since 2007 we are able to create human iPSCs (Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells) that are, though not perfectly yet, programmable back into an embryonic-like stage [2] where they can act and serve the same purpose of an embryonic cell created via fertilisation. The UCLA has already succeeded in making neurones out of skin cells, means that brain diseases are not only curable with traditional embryonic stem cell technology [2].

4. It’s everyone’s own choice to approve or disapprove of the stem cell research.

Well, that is actually my argument. Because funding is, unless by private sponsors, government funding. Means paid with tax money. If I don’t approve I am not able to withhold my money from being used for funding. Which means we should not fund it and respect the moral feelings of many citizens that regard stem cell research as murder.

This debate doesn’t try to evaluate whether we should outlaw stem cell research, it evaluates whether we should fund it. And we should not, for the following reasons.


Premise 1: Embryonic stem cell research is morally controversial

Many religions regard it as murder, such as Christianity [3], Judaism and Islam. Though we don’t have to personally follow religious believes as scientists, funding is a different matter, because it involves tax money from many and many religious people. With a world wide population of about 31,5% Christians and about 24% Muslims [4], we already have a solid majority against stem cell research internationally. Stem cell funding would violate their ethics.

The logic that we can’t just draw a line between a worthy human (healthy adult) and an unworthy human (disabled? Unborn? Coma?) means that we can’t say for sure that stem cell research is not murder

All this makes embryonic stem cell research controversial already

Premise 2: Embryonic stem cell research is not the only option we have

As already pointed out do we have other options such as non-embryonic research and iPS. Non-embryonic research has more limits than embryonic research but has shown to be successful in many forms such as improving and/or treating the lives of those suffering from Parkinson and autoimmune diseases, stroke, corneal damage, blood and liver disease and diabetes [5].

iPS, though not fully functional, has the same potential [2] as traditional embryonic cell research while not involving the fertilisation of an egg cell.

Premise 3: Funding would support potentially harmful actions

Funding embryonic research will certainly increase the need for embryos. Therefore the need for female egg cells. Other than male sperm donation, the donation of female egg cells is more problematic and harmful for the donor. Starting with being just physically unpleasant (other than sperm donation) and ending with the risks for bleeding, infertility, cramps and allergic reactions to the antibiotics [6].

Funding will also increase the budget of the research facilities to pay egg donors better, encouraging young and/or poor woman to donate against their moral codex and their health concerns. It even might encourage fathers and husbands to put pressure on their wives to donate eggs because the market price for egg cells is already around $5,000 to $10,000 on some markets.

Conclusion: We should not fund embryonic stem cell research




[3] Bible, Psalm 51:5, 139:13–15; Jeremiah 1:5





Debate Round No. 1


tala00131 forfeited this round.


I underline what has been said so far and hope my opponent will return for the next round.
Debate Round No. 2


tala00131 forfeited this round.


So the question is: will there be something to refute next time?
Debate Round No. 3


tala00131 forfeited this round.


Good! The sorcerer, my old master
left me here alone today!
Now his spirits, for a change,
my own wishes shall obey!

Having memorized
what to say and do,
with my powers of will I can
do some witching, too!

Go, I say,
Go on your way,
do not tarry,
water carry,
let it flow abundantly,
and prepare a bath for me!


I underline my arguments given, repeat that I consider my opponent's as fully refuted and point out that Goethe was a wonderful poetrist.
Debate Round No. 4


tala00131 forfeited this round.


Again, I consider all arguments refutet. Thanks for all who took the time reading.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by schachdame 7 years ago
@gymnastseal tough I generally would agree with your approach is funding usually "government funding" and not private donation.
Specific donation is everyone's own choice but funding is of a very different nature in terms of the amount of money that it provides and the source of that money.

I can also very much relate to the personal decision of a woman not to have children for physical, emotional and financial reasons, but that doesn't mean that we should tell these women that egg cell donation is a great business. It's ethically controversial and the process can physically harm the donor.
Posted by gymnastseal 7 years ago
I think this is a fascinating debate, and honestly both of you seem to have incredibly valid arguments. My personal opinion on the subject is a little wishy-washy. I am definitely PRO stem cell research. I think that even though we might not figure out how to use them successfully tomorrow, or even in a lifetime I still think we should try. On the flip side, I agree with the idea that people should not be forced into funding the research. That, in itself, would be immoral. But I don't why this deserves an argument. Let the people who believe in stem cell research fund it, and those who don't " won't. Also in this feminist day and age, many women don't want children, fearing that it will get in the way of their careers (or my personal worry, that it will hurt!). If their If they don't want anything to do with their stem cells, I don't see why they would have issues giving it away with the hopes of aiding a diabetic eight year old girl in the future. I think the most important thing in this is consent. Consent to give money, consent to donate stem cells.

Just my humble opinion,
Posted by schachdame 7 years ago
@xOs I am not sorry ^^
Posted by xOs 7 years ago
Wow, this seems like a truly interesting debate. I sort of wish I had gotten here first...
Posted by schachdame 7 years ago
Hallo tala00131, don't worry, I have prepared them and will post the first round arguments later this day, but as I am a bit busy over the weekend, I want to ensure that I don't have to forfeit a round due to the 48 time frame. By posting this at the end of the day I make sure that I'll be back at a computer, even if your reply comes immediately after :)
Good luck, I am looking forward to good debate, especially as I have fought this battle from the other side once and now want to try the other.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro offered no evidence, or sources. Also ff many rounds. Con misspelled "refuted".
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: How unfortunate that Pro chose to waste Con's time with a full forfeit. Conduct for the forfeits, arguments for hte unrebutted case. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.

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