Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MARCH 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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Show choir success not due to ‘Glee’

I belong to the Good Time Company, one of the show choirs about which the March 7 story ‘Glee’ sparks local show-choir interest” was written.

The article makes it seem as though people only joined show choir because it became cool only after it was displayed on the show “Glee.” This is wrong.

The show choirs at West High have been around for so long that some participants’ parents were in them. Also, anyone in Good Time had to have joined show choir before “Glee” first aired. People did not join because it was on television, but because they wanted to. More than half of the people in show choir do not even watch “Glee,” and it is not true to real show choir. They pop out new songs without practice, and it takes us months to perfect our songs.

If life imitated television, there would be fist-pumping, NBA-playing, drug-using fashion models everywhere you looked. Not the case — just as it is not the case with show choir.

Rob Grady
Iowa City resident

Personhood red herring

In the abortion debate, it seems the crucial question is: “Are embryos and fetuses persons?”

For now, let’s examine the embryo.

In order to be a person, an organism must be capable of thoughts, feelings, and the self-awareness to make choices. These are essential functional features of personhood. Not only does an embryo fail to meet these criteria, but altering the definition would result in absurd implications.

We now perform biopsies on blastocysts (groups of undifferentiated cells that form after fertilization) in which a single cell of the group is removed and tested for genetic diseases. But once the cell is removed, it can continue to develop on its own and become an identical twin. Some of the other cells become the placenta. Does the blastocyst contain dozens of different persons waiting to be set free? Are the cells that will differentiate into the placenta persons prior to differentiation? In addition, many fertilized embryos never implant in the uterus; thus, pregnancy never occurs, and these embryos are passed as a regular monthly cycle. What should we do to stop these abortions performed by nature?

This doesn’t mean embryos or fetuses have no moral standing but that pro-lifers must present a more logically satisfying argument than an appeal to personhood. In confusion over what it means to be a person, we end up endorsing absurd conclusions or being inconsistent. In each case, this confusion makes personhood a meaningless concept.

Jordan Goforth
UI alumnus

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