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Peg Tittle

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Member Since: Oct, 2011

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Shit that Pisses Me Off
by Peg Tittle   

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Books by Peg Tittle
· Sexist Shit that Pisses Me Off
· No End to the Shit that Pisses Me Off
· More Shit that Pisses Me Off
· Still More Shit that Pisses Me Off
                >> View all

Category: 

Philosophy

Publisher:  Magenta ISBN-10:  B005VF4F9Q

Copyright:  2011 ISBN-13:  9781926891309

Philosophy with an attitude. Because the unexamined life is dangerous.

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Challenging thoughts about everyday things: casual day at the office, calling people Ms. and Mr., parenting without a license, flying a national flag, women’s fiction, drugs and sports, profit and loss, marriage, the weather report, hockey brawls, jury duty…

For every belief, attitude, and behaviour Tittle investigates (in a way that only a trained philosopher can), she exposes the often unflattering implications of endorsing that belief, attitude, or behaviour (not the least of which is that there is no reasoned argument one can give in support of, no acceptable, sufficient, defensible rationale for, the belief, attitude, or behaviour in question) and, furthermore, presents a great many counterarguments to those who would nevertheless persist – leaving the reader with way more to think about than the word count would suggest.

Philosophy with an attitude.  Because the unexamined life is dangerous.

 


Excerpt

You Oughtta Need a Licence for That

We have successfully cloned a sheep; it’s not unreasonable, then, to believe we may soon be able to create human life. Despite Frankenstein visions of a brave new world, I'm sure we'll develop carefully considered policies and procedures to regulate the activity.

For example, I doubt we'll allow someone to create his own private workforce or his own little army.

And I suspect we'll prohibit cloning oneself for mere ego gratification.

Doing it just because it's fun will certainly be illegal. And I expect it won't even be imaginable to do it 'without really thinking about it', let alone 'by accident'.

I suspect we'll enforce some sort of quality control, such that cloned human beings shall not exist in pain or be severely 'compromised' with respect to basic biological or biochemical functioning.

And I suspect one will have to apply for a license and satisfy rigorous screening standards. I assume this will include the submission, and approval, of a detailed plan regarding responsibility for the cloned human being; surely we won't allow a scientist to create it and then just leave it on the lab's doorstep one night when he leaves.

Thing is, we can already create human life. Kids and addicts do it every day.

And though we've talked ourselves silly and tied ourselves in knots about ending life—active, passive, voluntary, coerced, premeditated, accidental, negligent—we’ve been horrendously silent, irresponsibly laissez-faire, about beginning life.

We wouldn’t accept such wanton creation of life if it happened in the lab. Why do we condone it when it happens in bedrooms and backseats?

It should be illegal to create life, to have kids, in order to have another pair of hands at work in the field or to have someone to look after you in your old age.

It should be illegal to create a John Doe Junior to carry on the family name/business.

It should be illegal to have kids because, well, it just sort of happened, you didn't really think about it.

And it isn't possible to create life 'by accident'—men don't accidentally ejaculate into vaginas and women don't accidentally catch ejaculate with their vaginas. (As for failed contraception, there's follow-up contraception.)

And it should be illegal to knowingly create a life that will be spent in pain and/or that will be severely substandard.

As for the screening process, we already do that for adoptive/foster parents. Why do we cling to the irrational belief that biological parents are necessarily competent parents—in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? We have, without justification, a double standard.

Oh but we can't interfere with people's right to reproduce! Right to reproduce? Merely having a capability doesn’t entail the right to exercise that capability. (Re)Production, with its attendant responsibilities, should be a privilege, not a right.

And yes of course, this proposal, this argument for parenting licenses, opens the door for all sorts of abuses. For starters, who will design and administer the screening process? But look around: it's not as if the current situation is abuse-free. In fact, millions of the little human lives we've created so carelessly are being starved, beaten, or otherwise traumatized. Millions.

To be succinct: the destruction of life is subject to moral and legal examination; so too should be the creation of life, whenever and however it occurs.



Professional Reviews

What annoys Peg Tittle also annoys me!
I've read and loved Peg Tittle's essays before but I wondered... would I be as p***ed off by the same topics as her, with this new collection? AND I WAS! I find Peg Tittle to be a passionate, stylistically-engaging writer with a sharp eye for the hypocritical aspects of our society. Congrats!

5 stars
This was funny and almost painfully accurate, pointing out so many things that most of us try NOT to notice, or wish we didn't. Well written and amusing, I enjoyed this book immensely.

It makes sense
I thought this was a hilarious read. Tittle also made some valid points throughout the book and I got to say, I agree. It just drives me nuts I could never talk about something like the sexism issue without getting people defensive. Definitely worth a read


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