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And when we receive no answer, we feel the need to act somehow, to address the injustice.This tone of activism is readily apparent in the atmospherics of our various public battles against disease.And if we must always be engaged in saving life, then we are always justified in breaking the Sabbath, so that in effect there is no Sabbath, no time for rest and contemplation of the truth. To the ancients, the normal and the everyday were the measure of things.
Nature was an ordered whole that offered examples of order and wholeness.
Science was for contemplation; politics was for finding ways to live well.
But if the fight against disease writ large — indeed the fight against natural death — is an emergency, and if at the same time, as Cohen’s essay suggests, it is a struggle we can never expect fully to win, then we must always live in a state of emergency.
We should be always in a crisis mode, always pulling out all stops, always suspending the rules for the sake of a critical goal.
To us, the extremes, not the norm, are the measures of things.
Man is the creature that can be wounded or killed and therefore needs protection.
ric Cohen’s essay puts forward a powerful critique of supporters of embryo research: Their case, Cohen argues, is mystical or revolutionary, and constitutes a rejection of the very principle of equality to which most of them swear first allegiance. While the essay argues well that the path of embryo research leads to an abandonment of our foundational commitment to equality, it also argues that the only other choice may be to martyr one’s children to the higher truth of equality.
He accuses them of the two sins they most enjoy attributing to their opponents: irrationality and inegalitarianism. One cannot help but wonder if these are really our only options, and if there may not be some way to muddle through the middle and live well without giving up the hope of curing the sick child.
It is unconscionable to let time run out — especially now that the scientists tell us the finish line might be within sight.” We cannot let up even for a moment, not for any reason, and especially not now.
This is the essence of the argument for approaching medical science with a sense of urgency and crisis: right now is the moment that counts, and we must not let anything distract us.