God Only Knows How Offended He Is By PDA

The man pictured here is Dr. Leon Kass, a bioethicist and the man President Bush appointed to head the President’s Council of Bioethics.  He and several others penned a questionable series of essays regarding the concept of human dignity in bioethics (when informed consent about experiments has worked so well over the decades post-World War II, something has to be wrong with it, of course), and it tends to be religious dogma inserting itself into aspects of science where it has no place. But what to expect, when the man apparently finds it beneath human dignity to lick an ice cream cone?

Worst of all from this point of view are those more uncivilized forms of eating, like licking an ice cream cone–a catlike activity that has been made acceptable in informal America but that still offends those who know eating in public is offensive. … Eating on the street–even when undertaken, say, because one is between appointments and has no other time to eat–displays [a] lack of self-control: It beckons enslavement to the belly. … Lacking utensils for cutting and lifting to mouth, he will often be seen using his teeth for tearing off chewable portions, just like any animal. … 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.

God, it reads like the bad American conception of a fatwa.  I wonder if Dr. Kass requires security detail to escort him around while his eyes are blinded to the disgusting human behavior on display in public every single day (perhaps in a burqa), or maybe he is hermetically sealed, but that picture has to be from some form of public appearance. Do they keep him in a Popemobile, shielded from the germs, or does he get his very own bubble?

These are the people in charge of our lives, and the ones who advise our elected officials on the important issues of our times.

I think someone just didn’t get to chase the ice cream truck as a kid and is taking it out on the rest of us.

The Stupidity of Dignity [The New Republic]


2 Responses

  1. Ha! I read that article last week. The funny thing was that his use of “doglike” and “catlike” as if they were curse words reminded me of this ranting screed by Dave Sim, which I had just read in full (with difficulty) the day before.

    I’ve been reading Kass’s crap since college, though. He and Peter Singer are two people who stand to improve America’s philosophical & ethical landscape immensely…the moment they stop writing for publication.

  2. Interesting quotes. I was raised by a mother who taught that it is not proper to eat in the street or in public places. Somewhere in my life I have deviated from that ‘norm’. There are times when I feel hungry and I do not mind what society thinks etiquette should be. I am a free man and I’ll eat when I am hungry and I’ll eat at any place of opportunity, as long as I don’t cause trouble for others. But crossing a street while enjoying, licking ice cream for example may be dangerous.

    Licking food like a cat does? Like, licking a roasted whole chicken as one is about to eat? I remember when I was a kid when I licked ice cream cones. I think licking, like smelling food, is enjoyable eating. In fact, until today, I still do. But maybe people would be more aghast if I grabbed and stuffed the whole ice cream and cone all at once into my mouth as soon as the lady at the mall handed it out for me.

    In the house, when there is ice cream, I tell children to eat them inside. They can’t eat them while other children just looked by with watery mouths unless they want to share with them, of course.

    I think tearing and chewing meat by teeth is more scientific and more enjoyable, too.

    Licking, like licking fried chicken for example, well this is a free world. Never done before, but I think I’m gonna try that in private sometimes. Ha-ha

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