Thursday, August 04, 2005

"Compassionate Conservativism"

Mysteriously, until a colleague pointed it out to me last night, I missed this article, A Debate That Does Not End, by conservative essayist George Will in the 4 July issue of Newsweek magazine. The essay is a brief but well-written overview of the Scopes Trial and a discussion of the historical relationship between evolution and religion in this country. In this story, there is one paragraph that succinctly and beautifully sums up the reason that Intelligent Design should not be taught in the science classroom;

The problem with intelligent-design theory is not that it is false but that it is not falsifiable: Not being susceptible to contradicting evidence, it is not a testable hypothesis. Hence it is not a scientific but a creedal tenet—a matter of faith, unsuited to a public school's science curriculum.

-- George Will

Some of you might recall that I had written several essays about the cruel methods of killing poultry in Asia that were suspected of being exposed to, or infected with, avian influenza. Perhaps some of you also recall the debate that ensued; I suspected some of the people involved were unthinking political conservatives who were unwilling to consider any argument put forward by a liberal (like me). I wish I had read this interesting commentary by George Will, and this lengthy, outraged essay by a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, Matthew Scully, ''Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism — for Animals." This excellent article appears in Pat Buchanan's magazine, The American Conservative -- a publication that I intend to become more familiar with in the next few months. I barely resisted the urge to copy and paste the entire piece here because its righteous indignation was breathtakingly eloquent. But instead, I will simply quote the last paragraph to interest you to read it;

In all cases, the law would apply to corporate farmers a few simple rules that better men would have been observing all along: we cannot just take from these creatures, we must give them something in return. We owe them a merciful death, and we owe them a merciful life. And when human beings cannot do something humanely, without degrading both the creatures and ourselves, then we should not do it at all. 

-- Matthew Scully

I aspire to write so well someday.


© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist

2 Peer Reviews:

Anonymous antiquated_tory said...

Thank you so much for that link to the American Conservative article. That was one of the clearest arguments for what to do about factory farming that I have read, and gives me some hope that old-school, decent, rational, practical Conservatism is not entirely dead in the US--even among Dubya's speechwriters.

9:08 AM  
Blogger GrrlScientist said...

antiquated_tory; I am glad that you enjoyed it. I expected that most people wouldn't read it because it was so long, but I was so impressed with it because I have said those things but was ignored as a "bleeding heart liberal" for having compassion for other creatures outside my own skin. If this essay is an example of what is a conservative, then I am one, too.


3:19 PM  

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