October 22, 2005
Repuglican seeks uncircumcised feet
There's an old saying, De gustibus non est disputandum.
(On matters of taste, there can be no dispute.)
But this man does not agree.
Leon Kass thinks taste should be a matter of dispute, and he's gone to great lengths to dispute it -- in many ways, big and small.
... repugnance is the emotional expression of deep wisdom, beyond reason's power fully to articulate it.
Justin's last post reminded me of a post I wrote about Chinese footbinding, once considered a very wise thing. Young girls who didn't want to go through the torture were reminded that unbound feet were, well, repulsive:
The beauty of bound feet was a value deeply rooted in the Chinese aesthetic and sexual psyche. Bound feet, and the women who had them, were considered beautiful and highly desirable, and natural, so-called big feet were considered ugly, as were the women who possessed them. To change such deeply held values, the patterns and feelings associated with them had to be inverted. What was beautiful had to be rendered ugly, and what was ugly, beautiful.(The site compares bound feet to circumcised penises, which, interestingly enough, people in many uncircumcised societies consider as "repugnant" as people in circumcised societies consider the uncircumcised penis.)
And brace yourself, but many wise and enlightened people over the centuries would have considered the idea of doing this to a child to be "repugnant" -- in the extreme:
Calling repugnance a form of "wisdom" offends logic and common sense, and substitutes emotion for reason, with demagoguery as a catalyst.
Like a lot of things that pass as "intellectual" these days, it's window dressing on superstition.
UPDATE: (Link and quote added above.)
posted by Eric on 10.22.05 at 07:55 PM
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