a philosophy blog

Bad, bad thing…

Revulsion is not an argument; and some of yesterday’s repugnances are today calmly accepted—though, one must add, not always for the better. In crucial cases, however, repugnance is the emotional expression of deep wisdom, beyond reason’s power fully to articulate it. Can anyone really give an argument fully adequate to the horror which is father-daughter incest (even with consent), or having sex with animals, or mutilating a corpse, or eating human flesh, or even just (just!) raping or murdering another human being?

[Leon R. Kass, “The Wisdom of Repugnance”]

I am deeply revolted—more so than by any of these things—by stupidity in conjunction with political power. Words fail me to describe the depth of my disgust at this phenomenon. It is not just the pain and sadness of the things Kass lists—rape, murder, etc. That too, but there is, over and above, a sickly feeling that robs hope of all foundation forever and ever. I simply cannot fathom how it is most people don’t share with me the depth of my repugnance with stupidity. One of the more insidious forms stupidity takes is, ironically, the notion of collective repugnance: the idea that masses of people can feel in unison. I have the sneaking suspicion that even if vast numbers shared my aversion to stupidity I would be no less repulsed by that!

And to think Kass made these remarks only to show how appalled we must all be at human cloning. I guess I am appalled, too. As if the normal method of reproducing stupidity had shown itself inadequate.

Posted by luno in Moral Sentiment, Moral Theory, General (Saturday March 5, 2005 at 10:40 pm)
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