poetess wrote:how weird it would look to the child to know that "my parents are married to each other, and have sex only with each other, but I am the result of joining someone else's egg or sperm with that of one of my parents." I don't think most children could ever see their parents the same way again, or their marriage, once they find out the reality. To a child, this would be confusing and it would simply feel wrong.
I'm not denying your feelings in any way, but this doesn't make any sense to me on an emotional level at all. It wouldn't seem to me to be any different than discovering that you are actually the child from a previous marriage or conceived out of wedlock. So what?
But then, perhaps my perception is based upon my experiences. My maternal grandfather was not my grandmothers first husband. She was married, had two daughters, then got a divorce (biblical). Later she married my grandfather and from that union my mother was born.
The funny thing about this is that *I* knew nothing about it for most of my childhood. I was already a young teenager when I asked a question about where my aunt had gone to and my mother said, "Oh, she is off visiting her other father." I was, to say the least, quite surprised. At first I thought I had stumbled upon a big family secret. But that wasn't the case. Everyone knew about it, there was no secret whatsoever and no one had tried to shield me from this information. It was just that the fact that my grandfather was not the biological father of my two aunts, or actually related to my cousins, was so completely and totally unimportant that no one had happened to mention it.
As far as my aunts were concerned, my grandfather was their daddy. He had been their daddy since he married their mother, and no bond of actual blood could have made the relationship any closer than it was. As far as my grandfather was concerned, they were his daughters, every bit as much as the one conceived with half of his own genetic code. And the same thing was true for his relationship with my cousins. He was their grandfather, and they were his grandkids. Period. End of story. The fact that my grandfather was not biologically related to my two aunts or their children was not treated as a shameful secret, or as something to hide, but simply as a topic so unimportant that it seldom came up.
And so, for the "ick factor," from my perspective, biological relation does not change who your daddy (or mommy) is. Your daddy and mommy are the people who raised you and love you.
poetess wrote:BTW, levirate marriage doesn't really seem icky to me.
Ick factor works differently for different people. To me, levirate marriage is icky precisely because it DOES involve having sex with your brothers wife. Especially icky if you are married to a wife of your own.
Ick factor varies drastically from person to person depending on their backgrounds and experiences. That is why I agree with your point about ick factor not being a reliable guide to morality. We've seen too many people come on to these forums objecting to monogamous married sex because it set off their own ick factor. Ick factor may warn us to take a second look at something, but our ultimate guide for morality must be the Bible (and logical extensions of the principles laid out therein)
poetess wrote:Your saying you could not do this because you would feel responsibility for such a child is actually exactly the point--you have responsibility for a child you conceive.
And that is why I said the question of donating vs using gametes are very different questions, just like the question of putting a child out for adoption is very different from adopting a child. And they do seem to be similar issues to me. Adopting a child does not mean you approve of the circumstances that caused that child to be put up for adoption. Using donated gametes or zygotes does NOT mean that you approve of donating the same yourself. Because someone else has been willing to abrogate their parental responsibilities should not discourage you from taking those same responsibilities on.
Would you feel differently if the question was not IVF but accepting a donated zygote left over from someone else's IVF? Because it seems to me that the only difference between that and adoption would be that you were actually giving even more, because the zygote could not even live without you giving it a womb to be born from.
And if we agree that there is nothing immoral about accepting a donated zygote that doesn't contain genetic material from either of the raising parents, then why is it so objectionable to be implanted with a zygote that contains the genetic material from one of the raising parents?
Job29Man wrote:Morality exists independent of technology and science.
Job29Man wrote:His commands, His design for the Universe, including the idea that there is a case to made for the fact that it is God who closes the womb (this is not stated formalistically in the Bible, but the principle is shown) and that perhaps this is a door against which we should not vigorously push?
I think this is a good question. But if we determined that the answer was no, that we should not push against that door because God had closed it, we would not only eliminate all fertility treatments, but also all medical treatments whatsoever. Because there is no logical reason not to expand that same principle. It is God who closes the womb, it is also God who allows all other kinds of disease and illness. If a man is born blind, would we not be pushing against the same door by treating and curing his blindness? Was it pushing against God's will when my wife and I put my son into treatment for his bad hip so that he could walk (and run!) again someday? And to that I have to answer absolutely NO! We live in a world contaminated by sin, and doctors are doing holy work when they attempt to beat back sin by treating disease and illness, including problems with fertility.
I think we have to treat the morality of fertility medicine the same way we treat the morality of all other medicine. As you said Job, we have to look at the principles laid out in the Bible. My fears about the morality of IVF as a cure for infertility are based upon the exact same fears I have about using fetal stem cells to treat Parkinson's disease or Diabetes. Does this treatment require the sacrifice of life? If it does, then we have to say no, it is not moral, no matter how miraculous and wonderful the cure is.
Of course, that isn't the ONLY question. We do have to consider expense, and the fact that there are so many children out there who need good homes for adoption. There are lots of questions that need to be looked at and answered. But with IVF I think that first and foremost is the question of whether or not it is throwing away the lives of your children. I think our concerns on that front are very similar.