"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Is Leon Kass and optimist? And the question of Liberalism as religion

The American Enterprise July/August 2006 issue includes an interview with Leon Kass, former Chair of President Bush's Council on Bio-ethics.

The interview; its questions and answers are very thoughtful. However, I offer in quotation Dr. Kass' answer to the final question:

TAE: In thinking of your grandchildren's future, are you a pessimist or an optimist?

KASS: I have to say that I'm pessimistic. I think growing up in the United States in the post-World War II era was as good a time as one could wish for--we got all those things that were in the 1939 World's Fair: washing machines, dishwashers, products to relieve the arduous toil of everyday life. Yet all those things haven't made anybody happier. We're not grateful for those devices. You could not today put on a World's Fair and arouse intense longings for a future we don't know. We simply couldn't do it, because there are no more deep unfulfilled human wishes for which technology of the future is going to provide the answer. Yes, we'd like a cure for cancer, and prevention of Alzheimer's disease. But in terms of how we live, we already have more than what we need to live well.

I myself have no desire or curiosity to see 2020, never mind later, except for the fact that I am deeply in love with my grandchildren, and I want to see how they will turn out and to be around to share as much of their life as I can. But I don't envy them their adolescence. I don't envy them the difficulty of finding husbands--they're all girls--or finding private happiness of the sort that I have been blessed to enjoy. I don't envy them the possibilities of getting the kind of liberal education that I've had. I don't envy them living in a post-9/11 world, or the "plugged in" culture. I hope that they will find pockets where they can enjoy what modernity has to offer without becoming its slave. But I wouldn't trade my life for theirs.

In closing, though not on this exact subject, but nonetheless related do yourself a favor and visit Eternity Road and read the Curmudgeon's post, "Some thoughts on "Godless," regarding Anne Coulter's book "Godless."

The post is not a review of the book, but rather tackles the question of whether "Liberalism" can actually be considered a religion. Great Stuff!!!


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