Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What are the Chances?

Solemnity of Easter Tuesday
That is, the chances of creating inroads to the Culture of Death with such events as this.
The Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and the IHEU Appignani Center for Bioethics, assisted by the Alden March Bioethics Institute, will host leading scholars in the fields of bioethics, law and medicine to address critical issues, including stem cell research, at the conference, "Is There a Global Bioethics? Moral, Legal and International Norms in Bioscience." The event will take place April 21 ? 23 and is open to members of UN missions and the interested public.
My initial reaction was irritation over a stacked conference having only ESCR proponents, or, as George Weigel put it recently, "the bioethics guild, which frequently serves as a permission-slip factory for scientists and the biotech industry." Incredulity over the predictable lack of balance is easy, but is that the right response?
Consider that today's sea gull media (both print and TV) are geared to the sound bite, the commercial world is geared to PowerPoint (to the point of being fatal), and even cable news and talk radio revolve around the segment. Sure it's fun, but is it any wonder there is little intellectual persuasion happening?
Be not afraid! The truth shall set us free! Let them develop their points. Take the time occasionally to shift the challenge from making snappy point-by-point comebacks that entertain first and persuade second to how to communicate the shredding that will happen to the other position after it has been fully developed and exhausted. The question, of course, becomes how to do that precisely. Let's put on our thinking helmets and figure out how to use this.
[submitted by e-mail]

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