Vanity, Philanthropy, and Medical Cannibalism

by Will

Liberty Minute August 26 2014


The ubiquitous ?Ice Bucket Challenge? is seen by some as a noble philanthropic enterprise, by others as a harmless example of social media faddishness. There is a sense in which it is also a demonstration of the ethical dangers inherent in doing one's alms before men.

The challenge consists of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads while promising to donate money to a foundation funding a search for a cure to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is called ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. After thus immersing himself on-camera, the participant challenges friends or colleagues to do likewise.


This ritual could be seen as a form of narcissism masquerading as generosity ? and as Jesus said, when people publicly advertise their good works, they've already received their reward. In this case, furthermore, at least a portion of the funds being generated will be used to support embryonic stem cell experimentation, which requires the deliberate destruction of genetically complete unborn human beings.


ALS research can be done using adult stem cells, which can be harvested without destroying individual human beings. This means that the Ice Bucket Challenge combines an appeal to vanity while enlisting people to raise money for an incurably tainted undertaking.


Let us take back the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.

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