Moral Indignation

Embryonic Stem Cells, DNA, and Christians

Non-Fiction - Religion/Philosophy
314 Pages
Reviewed on 11/30/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Moral Indignation: Embryonic Stem Cells, DNA, and Christians by Sherman P. Bastarache addresses many of the issues surrounding stem cell research and the religious arguments against it. While Bastarache begins by stating it's not possible to cover all of the disputes that arise on the subject, he undertakes every one I have heard and does so in the greatest of detail. Using a blend of biblical and religious verses in context and the application of science, Bastarache presents a compelling case about where the true balance lies between faith and reason, and how the misapplication of some beliefs have created an end result—literally the death of a living, fully formed person in order to preserve something not known conclusively to have a life or a soul—that runs counter to the underlying argument it is attempting to make.

Sherman P. Bastarache has compiled a meticulously researched and well written assertion in Moral Indignation. The science presented is mind-boggling and as a layperson it was often a bit too complex for me to fully grasp. That said, even without the same degree of comprehension I'd have liked, the information and evidence provided made Bastarache's point definitive for me. I believe it was in Chapter Seven: Impartment of a Soul, the moment I handed the book to my wife and told her she had to read it. The science cannot be ignored, but when it's paired with philosophy and good, old-fashioned common sense, it has to be shared. It has to be understood. It must be put into practice. I would recommend this book to all who are conflicted on the subject of stem cell research, and those who are looking for a true examination of what it means to be pro-life.

Christian Sia

Moral Indignation: Embryonic Stem Cells, DNA, and Christians by Sherman P Bastarache is a powerful essay with a strong appeal to both religious men and women and scientists, a kind of dialogue between faith and reason, one in which the author asks very relevant questions about life, faith, science, and psychology. The underlying question that moves the discussions in this book is: Can we ever know anything with absolute certainty? In the opening pages, the author states: "The whole of this manuscript revolves around embryonic stem cell research and the moral issues that research entails," but the reader quickly learns that it is much bigger than that. The author uses embryonic stem cells research as an example to explore the intricate relationship between faith and science. What are the moral implications of stem cells research? Can eggs fertilized in stem cells acquire a soul? This and many others are the questions answered in this book.

It is important to state that this book isn't for readers who are close-minded. The author considers fanaticism as a sad obstacle to knowledge and truth and warns against fanatics: "These types will fight, even in light of being proven factually wrong. At that point, where they begin to see their error, they shut down and refuse to talk about the topic any longer—lest they have their eyes opened and cannot subscribe to their former belief." The book is well researched and filled with details that will capture the attention of readers. Sherman P Bastarache demonstrates a strong logic in his arrangement of ideas and asks the right questions at the right moment. References to experts in the field make the discussion even more interesting. Moral Indignation: Embryonic Stem Cells, DNA, and Christians points readers to the intersection between faith and reason and explores moral and religious themes that are thought provoking. It is expertly written, bold, and informative.

Amanda Rofe

Moral Indignation: Embryonic Stem Cells, DNA, and Christians by Sherman P. Bastarache is an in-depth study of science, religion, and morality surrounding embryonic stem cell research, a branch of research that has become synonymous with abortion. Pro-life campaigners are against such research, defining the cells as a fertilized egg and thus a soul imparted with human dignity. But have they taken the right stance? This book examines scientific research, religious thought, and moral thinking in an effort to help us understand the issues involved from the moment of conception and before. It explains why stem cell research is not pro-abortion and that it is important to have faith and science working together when searching for the answers to disease.

Moral Indignation is a very thorough and critical discourse on the complex issues surrounding embryonic stem cell research. Sherman P. Bastarache provides answers to a veritable abundance of moral conundrums. Be prepared to exercise those brain cells because this highly relevant book will take you on a ride of a lifetime through science and religious thought. It is an intelligent examination of a range of very difficult subjects. I admired the painstaking research, fervor and enthusiasm of the author. The debate was engaging and, while the book is clearly a case for embracing embryonic cell research, it also examined in detail a variety of other pertinent issues of the day which I found absolutely fascinating. Whether you agree with the arguments presented or not, there is no question that this book is all about doing what is right.