Re: "Sound and Fury" over enhancements

From: Lee Daniel Crocker (
Date: Tue Jan 08 2002 - 20:02:03 MST

> > On a similar note, you'll notice that few Japanese Americans are very
> > put out at having their "Internment Camp Culture" violated by their
> > release after WWII....
> Actually, I think you should be careful here. There is a fundamental
> difference between the interned and the deaf, and that is that the
> former very likely regarded their internment as something not having any
> bearing on their identity (unless some of them got a really serious case
> of Stockholm Syndrome), while the deaf - like many disabled people -
> often include the property of being deaf into their self-image. So when
> somebody suggests a cure it is not just an issue of getting better, but
> to change one's identity.

All the more reason to abandon silly concepts like "identity" that
get in the way of accomplishing things.

> morphological freedom is a *negative* right: we also have the right to
> remain unchanged.

I don't think anyone is suggesting (at least I am not) that deaf
children be forcibly upgraded. We are merely suggesting that getting
in the way of those who desire it for themselves for silly reasons
like "culture" and "indentity" is irrational and even abusive.

Young children always present tricky situations in ethical
philosophy. Clearly children can't have complete autonomy,
and parents must have /some/ power of control; but equally clearly
there are /some/ things that are abusive and beyond the prerogative
of parenting. A parent /should/ be able to override a child's
desire with his own superior judgment if he believes the child is
being irrational ("No, Timmy, you can't tattoo a swastika on your
forehead"). But it's hard to see how a desire to have a basic
personal skill that most humans have that the child doesn't is an
irrational desire, and I think a parent is obliged to defer to
the child's own preference on such matters.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC

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