It is divided into two large parts. The second part then states the case for reform.
It begins by recapitulating the natural-law case against same-sex unions, especially as articulated by Pope John Paul II; it then focuses on personalist philosophy to build a case grounded in human dignity and human rights; it looks to see how arguments grounded on dignity, respect, and human rights were used in legislative and constitutional reform in the United States and in three Catholic countries; and it returns again to natural law. Building on the premise that natural law requires an understanding of nature, the Article reviews the state of the science on same-sex attraction.
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We live much longer, but can't remember why we wanted to.
Kass professes to "sympathize with the plight of infertile couples," but it is difficult to discern anything resembling sympathy in his moral fulminations about extracorporeal fertilization: Any honest biologist. The most sensible policy is to treat the early embryo as a pre-viable fetus, with constraints imposed on early embryo research at least as great as those on fetal research. The need for a respectable boundary defining protectable human life cannot be overstated.
The current boundaries, gerrymandered for the sake of abortion -- namely, birth or viability -- may now satisfy both women's liberation and the United States Supreme Court and may someday satisfy even a future pope, but they will not survive the coming of more sophisticated technologies for growing life in the laboratory. Human lives outside the womb are less important to this philosopher than the Court's lack of precision about the boundaries of viability.
He goes on to lament in vitro fertilization: "What is the significance of divorcing human generation from human sexuality, precisely for the meaning of our bodily natures as male and female, as both gendered and engendering?
This belief leads to a savage comment: leaving aside any question about whether it makes sense for a federally-funded baby to be the wage of aphrodisiac indiscretion, one can only look with wonder at a society that would have Petri dish babies before it has found a vaccine against gonorrhea. Much as I sympathize with the plight of infertile couples, I do not believe they are entitled to the provision of a child at public expense, especially now, especially at this cost, especially by a procedure that involves also so many moral difficulties.
Kass then adds, with disgust: "A few years ago an egalitarian Boston-based group concerned with infertility managed to obtain private funding to pay for artificial insemination for women on welfare!
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It is not accidental that "the pursuit of happiness" is not to be found in the book's title: Kass elevates suffering to a moral virtue. Where moral analysis is called for, he provides moral exhortation. We are given cant, not Kant. Leon Eisenberg, M. All rights reserved.
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- Section I - Ethical Issues in Specific Settings and Challenging Populations.
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Chronic Disorders of Consciousness and Homo Sacer. Biopolitics and the Longevity of Left-Handers. Can Boethics Escape from Biopolitics? Bioethics as Politics. About this book Introduction This volume links three different theoretical approaches that have a common focus on the relationship between biopolitics and bioethics. Editors and affiliations.