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"The Wisdom of Repugnance"

David Klinghoffer


I wanted to recommend to you a newly launched podcast by our friend and colleague Wesley Smith, “Human Exceptionalism,” at the Ancient Faith website. Follow it here.
In the current episode, Wesley reflects with his characteristic insight and compassion on the ongoing Planned Parenthood scandal and the recent business about Cecil the lion. Wesley introduces a phrase from bioethicist Leon Kass that I hadn’t run across before — the “wisdom of repugnance.” While emotions don’t decide matters of right and wrong, the subjective experience of finding something repugnant isn’t to be dismissed either.
Those Planned Parenthood videos may or may not document illegal activity, but the disgust they arouse is not only a PR nightmare for the government-supported abortion advocacy group. Your gut response to those words and images also, I think, needs to be searched for the wisdom it contains.
See too Wesley’s column at First Things on the same theme.
Image by S. MiRK (Flickr: planned parenthood supporters) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.