It’s early and this promises to be a long day. I have to fly to New York tonight where I’ll be speaking in the morning to high school guidance counselors about the honors program I direct at Syracuse University. It’s early though. I can still pack, walk my dogs, finish some business. The mind enjoys its small compensations.
The mind likes coffee. The mind does not like contemporary bioethicists who subborn people with disabilities into categories of further abjection. Peter Singer and his posse.
If you parse the thinking of the Singerites down to its minimalist acorn their thinking is that medicine is aimed at curing people, not assuring people the most dignified and diverse lives possible. Why am i thinking about this? It’s early and this promises to be a long day. I will likely be treated poorly by New York City taxi drivers, maybe airline personnel. My disability marks me as a sub-caste and there’s no getting around it. And American academics hold the same prejudices. The mind likes coffee.
Last night I was explaining to my stepson how metaphorical thinking contributes to human manners of inequality. I told him that we think imagination is a terrific moral force, but in fact it’s equally primitive and awful--a thought he hadn’t quite allowed himself. My point was that symbolic thinking will kill us if we don’t master it. Just call me Ernst Cassirer.
The utilitarian idea that good lives are those that are flawless, or can be made so is tied to the industrial revolution--good lives are lives that can be devoted to the factories.
The mind likes coffee.
Clearly I haven’t had enough this morning.
Of Peter Singer:
“In an interview with The Independent newspaper in England, Singer said he would definitely kill a disabled newborn baby.
He indicated he would do so "if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole."