About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How stupid is Bush, really?

I'm talking about the so-called Leader of the Freest Nation in the World, stubbornly refusing to sign a bill that will be sent his way today, and that authorizes stem cell research conducted on cells extracted from embryos discarded from artificial fertilization procedures.

They key word here is “discarded.” Bushy Boy insists that the bill would require tax payers to subsidize research that intentionally destroys human life. Again I ask: how stupid is he, really? What exactly does he not understand about the fact that such embryos would otherwise be discarded? That means destroyed, annihilated, disintegrated, and not to do research with them, but as a byproduct of the (if not immoral, certainly ethically questionable, in a planet of six billions) attempt to produce more human beings by artificial means (which, by the way, I don't recall being sanctioned in the Bible either).

To the stupidity of our leader, of course, we have to add the idiocy of our elected representatives, who are also passing (in the House, notoriously more idiotic than the Senate on most matters) two additional and completely useless bills. One encourages scientists to look for alternative ways to obtain stem cells. As if scientists actually needed such encouragement to begin with (they've been looking long and hard for years). The third bill comes closest to pure insanity: it actually prohibits a practice known (to fear-mongering Republicans) as “fetus harvest,” the implantation of human fetuses for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells. Except that such practice doesn't exist, it has never existed, and has not been proposed by any scientist whatsoever.

One more time, folks, how stupid are these people, really?


  1. I don't think they're stupid at all. I think they know damn well what drives political capital and what does not. The morality of such actions is a different matter entirely.


  2. Stupid like a fox. They're grandstanding, playing to their base. It doesn't matter that the crime is non-existant; conservatives are against it, so the republicans are going to do something about it, and if other parties aren't acting against this clear and present danger, well, it shows how morally bankrupt they are. It was the same with "satanic ritual abuse" in the 1970s and 80s, and "marajiuana induced rage" in the 1930s.

  3. MP: "To the stupidity of our leader, of course, we have to add the idiocy of our elected representatives,.."

    I love you nonetheless, M.

    It's a real hard row to hoe that you have out in front of you. Trying to figure out politics, is pretty much like trying to nail jello to a wall.


  4. How flawed can Democracy as a political system be that allows a man like Bush to be elected president of the USA? And who is to blame for such freak?

  5. Figuring out politics is easy, Cal; getting people of integrity into office... now, that's hard.

  6. Congrtulationsare in order!!! Cal reached a miles stone today. She stated a thought understandably and rationally in a mere thirty-one words.

  7. How stupid is Bush, really?

    Very very stupid.

    Which does not preclude him from being sly.

  8. The third bill comes closest to pure insanity: it actually prohibits a practice known (to fear-mongering Republicans) as “fetus harvest,”


    You can't trust evolution-loving, research-doing, evil-doer scientists.

    I'm not even sure we should be messin' around with cancer cells either. That's playin' with fire.

    We need more bills like these, so when a Dem gets in office, it's tough luck for the Liberals!

  9. I just want to comment on the point M makes about the bill only using discarded embryos. I have personally been torn in both directions on the issue. I don't believe human life should be destroyed for research. But then lies the issue that this life was going to be discarded anyway, so part of me says - why shouldn't it be used to help others. My own personal worry is that even though we say "only discarded embyos", the fact is we would be creating a market for the embryos. Having personally used I.V.F. I know how easy it would be for an I.V.F. clinic to create additional embryos if they knew there was money to be made from so called discarded embryos. Creating federal funding for the research will create an additional market for embryos that are not used for I.V.F., and will probably raise the value for such embryos. So if they included in the bill that no moneys can be generated by the donation of embryos that would help in my mind. Then there is also the issue that couple conducting I.V.F. may also not mind creating extra embryos knowing that they won't be completely waisted. I understand that is there freedom to do so. I just want you to understand the issue is not as simple as may be perceived. Point being this bill will create additional embryos.

  10. I always wonder why people tend to draw the line of "human life" at conception. Should we really consider the merging of an egg and sperm to be human life? Why? I was reading a book by John Medina called The Outer Limits of Life (when I was exploring the limits of my fundamentalist upbringing) in an effort to understand where life begins (for humans, anyway). It turns out to be a very fuzzy boundary; especially when we consider that some eggs can spontaneously begin cell division processes. (I'm not a biologist, so I can't name the specifics). Given that example, one could argue that every egg is "human life" if it can potentially become a human being. (Every sperm is sacred...) Given scientists ability to merge genetic material, and the presence of genetic material in all of our cells (and this appears far fetched) perhaps there will be a day when every discarded human cell could potentially become a human (given the right circumstances).

    This idea of life beginning at conception holds sway over all kinds of impractical and socially disadvantageous stands (like complete opposition to abortion).

    Even if we could provide a "good" scientific education for all people, I'm pretty sure we cannot prevent the embedding of superstitions in people's minds.


  11. I don't think Bush is stupid. Just like I don't think Hitler was stupid. They are the same thing

  12. I don't think Bush is a very smart man. However, sitting on your ass to say others stupid is easy, standing up to serve your country is hard. Wait 'til you become the U.S president (which almost impossible) to see how smart you are.

  13. The only person spreading stupidity is you! I BET that Dawkins "The God Delusion" is in you shelf and you consider it great, hahaha. poor oh poor creature!

  14. The trend that Bush is stupid is one of the biggest ILLUSION ever! Yes he talks funny, he likes to be a cowboy, he can be ignorant etc. but people would be actually very surprised by his high IQ!!! (this comes from a source which was in actual contact with Bush during his studies)

  15. Stupidity can come from being ignorant and not paying attention to the world around them...Like when a reporter asked Bush a few weeks ago about the impending $4.00 per gallon gasoline projected all over the media by the oil professionals and Bush ignorantly replied "I hadn't heard that." Now thats stupidity. And his family has interest in the oil industry? Interesting...


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