Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Sunday, October 30, 2005
Again, on Kass
Kass's main objection with modern hormonal contraception seems to be that it's interfering with nature. However, the initials "M.D." after his name tell us that he's a physician--his job is to thwart nature for human purposes. Maybe contraception has changed the definition of womanhood, but couldn't it also be said that caesarean section, forceps, and other innovations in obstetrics that have saved countless women's lives also changed the definition of womanhood by lowering the mortality rate for women in childbirth? Furthermore, could we also not say that antibiotics and antiseptics have changed the nature of humanity by making our lives considerably less "nasty, brutish, and short" than Hobbes observed in the 17th century?

Kass is conflating biology with destiny--but biology hasn't been destiny since humanity gained consciousness. What is a tool but an attempt to transcend our physical limitations? Biology is our starting point, but we each craft our own endpoint.

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