The Stupidity of Dignity: Conservative bioethics' latest, most dangerous ploy. Steven Pinker reviews Human Dignity and Bioethics, the latest report from the President's Council on Bioethics. [more inside]
"Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone ... This doglike feeding, if one must engage in it, ought to be kept from public view, where, even if WE feel no shame, others are compelled to witness our shameful behavior." Leon Kass, former chair of the President Bush's Council on Bioethics tells us what he really thinks of modern America. [more inside]
You stink, therefore I am. Philosophers and psychologists have been studying the science of disgust, and its proper place in the law. Leon Kass, the chairman of the president's council on bioethics, cites "the wisdom of repugnance" in arguing against cloning. More recently, Martha Nussbaum has written a new book, "Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law," which rejects disgust as a moral guide. She has also written on the role of disgust in the mutilations of women in Gujarat.
Whose life would you save? Carl Zimmer takes a look at the work of philospher-neuroscientist Joshua Greene in the emerging field of the neuroscience of ethics and morality (Leon Kass, take note.) [Via Dynamist Blog.]