Tom Gilson

Seeing Through Academic Blindness

David DeGrazia is a professor of philosophy at George Washington University. He has just published a fairly complex research paper into the ethics of “medical bioenhancement,” meaning the use of high technology, including selective abortion, to improve the ethics of the human race.

He relies on academic literature with which I am not much familiar–though I have read enough on human freedom to know that his brief discussion on it there was wholly inadequate to its purpose.

Now, I want to be careful here to walk a fine line. I am opposed to anti-intellectualism. I strongly support the value of long hours of study, and I'd be very eager to see a strong response to this paper with respect to the freedom issue. This is valuable.

On the other hand, it's irrelevant. This time it is, at any rate. That's because it takes no particular training to see through the unstated assumption: that there exists some “we” who are morally competent to foist this upon the rest of mankind. Frankly it ought to be obvious even to people who are untrained in biblical truth.

My point is this: let's study and learn. But let's not be cowed by academic credentials or by journal references, when the answer is as plain as the nose on David DeGrazia's face.

My further point for pastors is this: please encourage your church's students to excel in all the knowledge they can, but help them to see the value of practical, biblical moral wisdom as they do. That's the kind of moral enhancement that would do the world a lot of good.


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