Sunday, October 22, 2006

the wisdom of repugnance

If you care about bioethics at all, or if you have a family, or if you plan to have a family, or it you intend to be a human being living on this planet in the next couple decades, I suggest reading this [long, but worth it] article by Dr. Leon Kass, "The Wisdom of Repugnance."

I first read it years ago and hunted it down again tonight for a speech I'm writing on embryonic stem cell research (Comm110 strikes again).

In this twisted up postmodern age, it's unusual to find someone in the secular realm who's willing to make the arguments Leon Kass makes. It's good stuff.

"Shallow are the souls that have forgotten how to shudder."

3 comments:

Aaron said...

When I took a writing class in college, I had to write a semester long essay on biomedical ethics. I still have the book that I was required to use. I wish I had saved that essay of mine. I remember being really proud of it.

Thane said...

Leon Kass is great, but he is hardly secular. I had the chance to study with him for a while in college, before Bush stole him away. He is sincerely religiously Jewish, and earlier in his life considered becoming a rabbi instead of a doctor/academic.

mle said...

Maybe I should've rephrased that. [Thanks in large part to your introduction to his body of work] I know that Kass wouldn't himself be classified as secular. But he makes arguments in the secular realm (e.g., TNR, or having the President's Commisssion publish Being Human) that are unusual in their moral absolutism. The fact that he publishes those same things in First Things isn't the impressive part.