I often wonder if I’m skirting the edges of professionalism with some of my writing. I have a free and open tone. I let my nuances of voice creep into my sentence construction. But the discussion between Wesley J. Smith and Geoff Metcalf (of WND) from 2001 is an amazing insight into the self-caricaturing conservative ahem “thinkers” at places like the anti-science Discovery Institute. Just take a look as Metcalf questions and J. Smith answers:
A: Peter Singer has said in the past that parents should have 28 days within which to keep or kill their children. He has since expanded that to one year.
It is based on his idea that a newborn infant is not a person. Because a person, according to Peter Singer, is an entity who is self-aware over time. Some other bioethicists talk about it differently. Some believe in “moral personhood,” that a person is a being that can make moral decisions and be held morally accountable, for example, in a crime. But what this gets down to is deciding which of us is better than others.
Q: These bioethicists — is there an actual, for-real academic track for that? Or are they kind of self-anointed?
A: Mainly what it is, is philosophy. There is no licensing to become a bioethicist. A hairdresser has to be licensed; a bioethicist doesn’t. There are about 30 university postgraduate courses where people can get masters in bioethics, and the movement is only 30 years old.
Q: So it is not unlike being a reporter. You get to be one by calling yourself one?
A: That’s right. It’s not like being a lawyer or a doctor. You are one because you call yourself one, and I guess if people pay attention and listen to what you have to say, you’re right. And if people don’t pay attention to what you say, I guess you’re wrong.
Q: I’m absolutely flummoxed that people could even waste a moment listening to that jerk Singer.
A: He is more tactless than some of the others. However, he is not an aberration. He epitomizes the movement. He has been the president of the World Bioethics Association. That may not be the exact name of the organization, but he is at the second most prestigious university in this country, one of the most prestigious in the world, holding one of the most prestigious bioethics chairs,withtenure.
Q: Why not just write the Singers of the world off as radical left-wing wackos and abandon them to their screams in the wilderness? What kind of impact can these bioethicists have on you and me?
A: Theyare the ones who are making policy. If you go to court in a fight over a bioethics issue, guess who is testifying in court? The bioethicists! When President Clinton was determining what to do about stem-cell research, guess who made those decisions based on the recommendations of bioethicists? The person who chairs the president’s bioethics commission is the president of Princeton University, who is primarily responsible for bringing Peter Singer to that university.
Q: So it’s an incestuous little club?
A: You have a very elite group. They are at Harvard; they are at Yale; they are at Georgetown University. Georgetown puts out the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, which is one of the primary bioethicists’ journals in the whole world.
Had me in stitches.
Thanks to that debauched faggot-factory, New York University, I’m now a member of the baby-slaughtering cabal of elite (self-appointed, mind you) bioethicists who defenestrate the elderly and disabled from the highest parapets in the Ivory Tower while planning ways to force everyone to have polygamous marriages with their pets and destroy Christmas. The liberal Illuminati has informed me I should await my appointment to a cabinet level position for anti-family propaganda during Obama’s third or fourth term as Supreme Lord Chancellor. It’s a glorious life.
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
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