Reason Not the Need

learKing Lear divided his kingdom between his two daughters and decided to retire.

He retained only his faithful knights and the title of king.

His daughters Regan and Goneril conspired against him. Lear traveled between his two daughters’ castles to live a month at a time. The daughters decided not to accommodate the King’s full retinue of knights.

GONERIL Hear me, my lord;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?

REGAN What need one?

KING LEAR O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,–
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!

Here is James Earl Jones doing this scene. It is worth watching all ten minutes. Your spine will tingle at the end.

Anyway, I thought of “Reason not the need!” when I read section IIB of the Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research, which reads:

Human embryonic stem cells may be used in research using NIH funds, if the cells were derived from human embryos that were created for reproductive purposes, were no longer needed for this purpose…

Needed? Like you need some ball-bearings to fix your dishwasher?

When you and I were embryos, who debated about whether we were ‘needed’?

dementieva
Elena Dementieva

The most inhuman slavemasters have talked about ‘needing’ their human chattel. But civilized people do not reason the need for human beings.

None of us are needed. Our Creator does not need us human beings any more than He needs a pedicure.

He wants us. He freely wills us into existence–every last one of us, no matter how small.

Click here for a thorough commentary on the Draft NIH Guidelines.

…Serena almost lost her Wimbledon semifinal. Elena Dementieva played with so much heart, I almost started rooting for her. (Please do not tell my beloved Serena.)

The Russian had a match point after two hours and fifteen minutes. She did not capitalize. Serena finally dispatched her at 2:49. Unforgettable match.

Meanwhile, Venus won in 51 minutes. So the Williams sisters will meet again in the Final.

williamses