Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pinker: “Get Out of the Way”

It is vanishingly rare for a public figure (other than Peter Singer) to speak as clearly, logically, and forcefully as Steven Pinker does in The moral imperative for bioethics. I can't recommend the whole thing highly enough, but these lines are so great:

“A truly ethical bioethics should not bog down research in red tape, moratoria, or threats of prosecution based on nebulous but sweeping principles such as “dignity,” “sacredness,” or “social justice.” Nor should it thwart research that has likely benefits now or in the near future by sowing panic about speculative harms in the distant future.”

Sorry I hadn't seen this 2o15 article before; I just came across it while reading A Crack in Creation. I also recommend that book. Professor Doudna generally comes down on the right side of the various questions she raises, but not as forcefully as Pinker.

1 comment:

Brian said...

That was a good point! I'll make a plug for GMOs with that angle too.