Emblems of Ethics

Zygotes and early embryos appear to be the emblems of contemporary ethics. As non-sentient and  normally invisible entities they have become telling symbols. While normally invisible zygotes and early embryos are made visible everywhere, normally visible old and sick people are made invisible. But it is them who would deserve to be in the focus of contemporary ethics as they are sentient and, in many cases, suffering.

Newborns are another Emblem of Ethics. In a telling manner Hans Jonas declares the newborn to be the most pitiful being being. According to him newborns do exude a direct ethical appeal which allegedly bridges the hiatus between what there is and what we are to do. Tellingly the same thinker is of the opinion that old people should clear the way for new arrivals.

Systematic and symbolic negligance of the end of life suggests a dimension of unethics within the realm of ethics. At the same time this unjustified negligence serves as a clandestine pronatal device.

 

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