Earlier today I wrote that "President Bush will be raked over the MSM coals" for his decision to veto a bill that would have allowed for more federal moneys to be wasted on destroying human embryos in search of The Cure For All Evils, (Including the Evil of Right-Wing, Narrow-Minded, Religious Zealots). Reuters, a "news agency", reports/editorializes the following (HT: James Taranto):
President George W. Bush will cast the first veto of his presidency on Wednesday to stop legislation championed by top scientists and desired by most Americans to expand embryonic stem cell research, the White House said.
Why not the following: "President George W. Bush will cast the first veto of his presidency on Wednesday to stop legislation criticized by many scientists and religious leaders, the White House said"? Reuters kindly explains that this is, in large part, a conflict between narrow-minded religious folks and enlightened Hollywood types:
Groups opposed to abortion rights have praised Bush's stance but some leading researchers and patient-advocacy groups, such as the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, urged Bush to reconsider.
The Associated Press took the same approach: "Pleadings from celebrities, a former first lady and fellow Republicans did not move Bush from his determination to reject the bill." Ohmygosh! Celebrities! Pleading! Crying! Whining! Be still my star-stricken, tinsel-town heart!
The crazed disciples of scientism have dug deep and are going for the rhetorical jugular, using two basic arguments: 1) people who care will do anything, including embryonic stem cell research, to help others; 2) Bush is a Christian controlled by the same dark forces that gave the world the Inquisition, a hatred for science, and a distrust of progress. For example, Newsday columnist Ellis Henican:
Standing against the march of science, joining hands with the Religious Right, Bush is threatening to veto the stem-cell bill. It would be the first veto of his entire presidency. ...
The people who jailed Galileo. ("Of course the Earth revolves around the sun," they roared, scornfully. "See Genesis.")
The ones who ridiculed Columbus. ("Watch that crazy fall off the edge of the Earth.")
Those who refused to accept electricity, vaccines, anesthesia and rail travel.
These are the ones, in the words of Sen. Arlen Specter, who now "look foolish, look absolutely ridiculous."
Enlightenment marches on.
It appears that Senator Arlen Specter is either borrowing from Newsday or is a ghost writer for the columnists. The Washington Post reports:
Thus did Bush find Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, on the Senate floor yesterday comparing the president's position to those who opposed Columbus, locked up Galileo, and rejected anesthesia, electricity, vaccines and rail travel. Such attitudes "in retrospect look foolish, look absolutely ridiculous," said Specter, daring Bush to join them.
Daring? These are the spittings and sputterings of morally bankrupt and hollow men. Their shrill rhetoric is only exceeded by their shameless arrogance. Here is some true wisdom:
Moral strength has not grown in tandem with the development of science; on the contrary, it has diminished, because the technological mentality confines morality to the subjective sphere. Our need, however, is for a public morality, a morality capable of responding to the threats that impose such a burden on the existence of us all. The true and gravest danger of the present moment is precisely this imbalance between technological possibilities and moral energy. The security we all need as a presupposition of our freedom and dignity cannot ultimately be derived from technological systems of control. It can come only from the moral strength of man, and where this is lacking or insufficient, the power man has will be transformed more and more into the power of destruction. ...
In a world based on calculations, it is the calculation of consequences that determines what should be considered moral and immoral. In this way, the category of good vanishes, as Kant clearly showed. Nothing is good or evil in itself; everything depends on the consequences that may be thought to ensue upon an action.
In other words, what Joseph Ratzinger is saying, in this excerpt from Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, written shortly before he was elected pope, is that if there is not God, or authentic belief in God, there are no real consequences for the destruction and exploitation of human life. The ultimate goal is longer, better lives for the rich, the famous, and the elite. That trumps everything; nothing else matters, because they are all that matter. Just ask them. Just listen to them. " Enlightenment marches on." Indeed, the Enlightenment does march on, destroying everything in its path. There is, Ratzinger writes, a clash of cultures underway:
The real antagonism typical of today's world is not that between diverse religious cultures; rather, it is the antagonism between the radical emancipation of man from God, from the roots of life, on the one hand, and the great religious cultures, on the other. ... The coming clash will be between this radical emancipation of man and the great historical cultures.