15 February, 2009

Reuters: Not funding X same as banning X

It's nice that in the third paragraph the writer of this news article finally gets around to stating what actually is at issue after grossly misstating it in the opening paragraph. (The headline is also false, but editors, rather than reporters, are often to blame for these.)

Hey, I'm all for embryonic stem cell research. I feel no compassion for small clumps of cells in petri dishes. But, no matter how many times it is stated this way in articles and editorials, refusing to fund something is not the same as banning it. In fact, government funding for a thing means every taxpayer is forced to pay for that thing, including those who oppose that thing.

If most citizens understood these two truths, we would have ourselves a more peaceful world:
  • It is perfectly consistent to oppose a practice and oppose banning that practice.
  • It is perfectly consistent to support a cause and oppose government funding of that cause.

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