Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Kass-bashing amuse-bouche

I'll weigh in on the newly reincarnated President's Council on Bioethics sometime soon, but, basically, I'm for it. The old PCBE fell into a pattern of just spinning its wheels after the big stem-cell victory, and the White House's new mission statement points in the right direction.

Since a lot of the blame for what bothered me about the old Council rests with Leon Kass, here's a paragraph of him sounding insufferable in a Wunderkammer interview:
I’ve done a lot of things wrong in my life but I haven’t done any of them because they were forbidden. I’ve made a mistake about what I thought was good, but I never did anything save for thinking that it was good. I don’t know where this comes from. I’ve never really had contempt for the uneducated or for people who make a living by the sweat of their brow. It always seemed to me that a kind of goodness could be found there. I’ve always been suspicious of people who would cynically deny that they too would like to be good. The real question, I suppose, is what’s the standing of the cultivation of the intellect in relation to that kind of native goodness, and can you in fact indulge in study and grow intellectually without losing your moral bearings. I have to say I’ve tried.
I hope that has prepared you for the Kass-bashing post to come.

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