Terri and the technocrats

I just saw some of the video clips of Terri Schiavo and was horrified. I hadn’t been paying close attention to the case, although in the abstract I opposed what the pro-death people were up to, but seeing is believing. Unfortunately, I saw the clips shortly before going to bed, and ended up losing some sleep.

All of which makes me wonder why the press uniformly treats as fact the evidently absurd claim that Mrs. Schiavo is in a persistent vegetative state. The same mystery appeared in press “coverage” of the partial-birth abortion issue—it took 15 months after a bill on the subject was introduced in Congress for a reporter to call a clinic and try to find out what was going on.

The best theory I can come up with is that life issues are so basic as to define who we are morally. In particular, they define the moral nature of the technocratic society to which our ruling elites are committed. Judges, journalists and even doctors, as professionals, define themselves by reference to that society. So no matter what facts might be obvious in an ordinary human sense, they feel duty-bound to understand, report, interpret, or ignore them in a way that supports the Culture of Death. To do otherwise would betray the loyalties by which they live, and attack the basic principle—the supremacy of technocratic reason—by which they understand all things.

11 thoughts on “Terri and the technocrats”

  1. A number of people seem to
    A number of people seem to be getting the idea that the Schiavo case is separating the wheat from the chaff:


    I agree, at least for anyone who has seen the videos. They are trying to starve a disabled woman to death; a horrific act of murder even if it really WAS what she wanted, which seems unlikely according to what has come out about the case. Anyone who tries to defend this, or nuance it, either hasn’t seen the video or is just plain nuts.

  2. A thought on why the press
    A thought on why the press in our expertocracy has been uniformly saying that Terri Schiavo is in a PVS: The fact that a medical expert’s (doctor’s) opinion has been certified by the legal experts (a court) destroys all dissent – including not only the dissent of other experts, of which there is plenty in this case, but even the dissent of our own eyes seeing the video.

    The expertocracy is so strong that it now rules definitively over what we are and are not allowed to see with our own eyes. If what we see with our own eyes contradicts what the experts say and what the court has accepted then it must presumptively be the case that our eyes are lying.

  3. I also viewed several of the
    I also viewed several of the clips and it’s hard to see—from what seemed like a happy expression when her mother spoke to her, and from the way she followed an object moving in front of her with her eyes with what seemed like a pleased and delighted expression on her face—how her state could be called “vegetative.” That word implies that there is no longer a sentient being, that there no consciousness there at all.

  4. I have also seen her
    I have also seen her referred to as “comatose” (by Laurie Dhue on FNC). This, immediately after some video was aired in which she is quite obviously not comatose.

  5. Florida law defines
    Florida law defines “persistent vegetative state” as “A permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is: (a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind. (b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.” It’s glaringly obvious that standard isn’t satisfied. The point though is that expertise trumps ordinary human knowing and therefore the possibility of applying the definition in the human manner intended by the legislature.

    If the experts say X and you say ~X you’re a crank, and that’s the end of it. After all, what ground do you have to stand on? So the effect of the the law is to say people should die when biotechnologists say they should die in the interests of efficiency or whatever. All you need is biotechnologists who are willing to sign a piece of paper containing the magic phrase and—bingo!—it’s a done deal.

    Experts reliably give the right answer—the one that supports technocracy. If you ask the Supreme Court or the American Association for the Advancement of Science what they think about affirmative action or abortion you know in advance what the answer will be. It will be the answer that gives technocrats the right and duty to rearrange human society and life itself in the interests of technocratic goals—the equal and efficient satisfaction of preferences.

    The Pope calls that situation the Culture of Death. I think that’s right—it’s an attempt to abolish everything that can’t be totally subjected to human control in the interests of human pleasure. Life though always involves risk—the possibility of loss and suffering—as well as the possibility of goods beyond our expection and understanding. Technocracy must therefore destroy it.

  6. Mr. Kalb has it exactly
    Mr. Kalb has it exactly right, except that I don’t think it’s accurate to identify “the technocratic society” as our enemies’ “basic principle.” It’s more accurate to identify “the non- or un- (as in ‘opposed to’) Christian society” as their fetish. Their opposition to Christian Truth—the denial of Christ’s actual sovereignty over man and over the world, along with all that follows from that—is their fundamental motive…a belief in the supremacy of technocratic reason being merely a symptom, or byproduct, of this.

  7. Mr. Kalb stated a very
    Mr. Kalb stated a very interesting idea: moderns attempt to deny that life has suffering and loss. It seems that this must be true. It is a basic human instinct to avoid suffering and loss. It follows that rather than accept the idea that we must care for our brain damaged and burdensome spouses, we jump at the consolation offered by our justifiably-treasured physicians and our parental authority figures—judges.

  8. It is part of Catholicism to
    It is part of Catholicism to believe we must embrace suffering. It focuses us on the things that are most important, and in that way, it distracts us from the sinful life and thereby saves us from the everlasting torment of hell. In a life filled with uncertainty, we are blessed with the certainty that our earthly suffering is temporary. This seems to explain, at least in part, what Jesus meant when he said his “yoke is easy.”

    Easy to say. Hard to accept.

  9. Technocracy includes the
    Technocracy includes the belief that the world is constituted by human thought and action—morally, intellectually, and to the extent possible practically. Nothing outside that closed circle can be recognized. So it’s functionally a religion that intends among other things to displace and destroy all transcendent religions, prominently Christianity.

    I’m not sure though why the rejection of Christ comes first. Does Satan’s rejection of God come before his choice of himself, or is choice always choice of a good?

  10. Your definition of
    Your definition of technocracy is pretty much what I have been defining as rationalism at my own blog. The rejection of all that can not be comprehended, created, controlled, manipulated, etc. by man. This includes reducing knowledge to the techniques that bring power, i.e. technology. Its a form of self-idolotry becuase it gives us a man-made world where we can pretend to have the attributes of God. Science and technology are the thrones where man sits to worship himself.

  11. The thrown of Satan, Theist,
    The thrown of Satan, Theist, leased to his human followers. What a great posting Jim! And so all the comments. Just let me add that here for the Mexican media, Terry is “in a comma” and partial birth abortion is “abortion after the 3rd month”. How about it? Shall we talk about spinning truth? Disgusting, really revolting. Murgos, you are so right about the place of suffering. A few years ago I came to the conclusion that Christianity is the only world vision that has a true explanation for the role of suffering in the Creation. As for your question Jim, I have the impression that rejection of God and choice of oneself are simultaneosly happening in one single act. On the other hand, as I see it, choice is between two or more things, or it wouldn’t be choice. So we can choose the culture of death or the Civilization of Love, for instance.


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