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La necessità dell'irreverenza

Risposta a Scarpelli

Anno XXII, n. 99, ottobre-dicembre 1987
Centro Einaudi


The need for irreverence

The author agrees with Scarpelli over the general (non-cognitivistic) conception of ethics and many of the fundamental ethical theses in their basic liberal options. Nonetheless, he prefers an ethical position in which dignity has less prominence, for fear, above all, that it might end up involving not only persons but also ideas. He is afraid that a moral of personal digniity might bring about reverence towards ideas (the digniity of morals); that this reverence might take the form, above all, of an increased, and non-argued, inclination towards ideas that are already consolidated. All this findings have been radical: not so much in bioethics as such as in human reproduction and sexuality (as Scarpelli rightly states). The author thus suggests a liberal-Fourierist standpoint whereby respect for people is accompanied by the same dose of irreverence towards all ideas. It is from this standpoint, for example, that the author critizes Scarpelli's moral argument against abortions performed in the name of breakthroughs into the future. The future does not lie in the production of new people as traditional ideas forged by the needs and experience of centuries would have it: it lies in the clarification of new ideas which acknowledge the possible moral excellence of plans of life that may even exclude reproduction by single individuals.