It's late September and I really should be back at school.
I know I keep you amused
but I feel I'm being used ...
Margaret Somerville - a cougar? Unlikely, though stranger things have happened. No, I suspect Maggie is a latex - errr, latent and likely self-suppressed dominatrix though that orientation breaks out when she launches in one of her predictable and tedious public floggings of public morality.
Dr Dawg, who can run epistemological circles around Somerville, nails her sanctimonious hide to the wall. Metaphorically, of course.
...while on the subject of public intellectuals, the Citizen graces us today with another incompetent column by Margaret Somerville, the popular self-anointed authority on bioethics from McGill who is fond of telling us how to live and what to think under the guise of ethical discussion. There is, in fact little real discussion in Somerville's writings: it's all moral claims and assertions.
This time she's on about stem cell research and the sacredness of the embryo. ... "We are all ex-embryos," she says, in her sloppy way. We are, of course, all pre-corpses, too. ... Somerville makes much of the potential of an embryo, its "becoming," and summons up that phantasm, "moral intuition," which she has referred to, in other columns, as the "yuck factor." But the same abstract argument of potential could be used about contraception, since sperm and ova are, at least potentially, joined. In fact one could trace a chain of potential back to the origins of life. A protozoan has the potential of evolving into a human being. Morally speaking, must the chain never be broken? How can it be avoided?
Frances Kissling has a much better understanding of these issues, in addition to being more rigorous and honest in her intellectual analysis.
Surely I'm not the only one scratching my head at Somerville's never-ending perorations and wondering what deep, dark private secrets she knows about selected gros fromages. It's certainly not her MASSIVE moral authority or intellect that keeps McGill officials in her thrall.