Misguided Philosophies

Robert P. Gervais, MD and Jerome C. Arnett, Jr., MD
Article Type: 
Summer 2002
Volume Number: 
Issue Number: 

Dear Dr. Arnett,

...The author of “Is there a Duty to Die” [philosophy professor John Hardwig, East Tennessee State University] utilized the same misguided arguments to “justify” death as those proposed centuries ago to defend the indefensible, namely, slavery.

Misguided philosophies redefine terms in order to justify the attainment of predetermined ends. That is to say, in order to justify the extermination of the sick human, the latter is conveniently redefined as a non-person. Likewise, in order to justify “people stealing” or slavery, misguided philosophies of yesteryear redefined black humans as less than persons or subhuman.

The redefinition of terms to suit the moment undergirds totalitarian or leftist ideology. For example, most laws passed by all current governments are arrogantly declared to be “just” not because they are per se just but because government says this or that law is just. It is a throw back to Louis XIV who pompously stated, L’Etat, C’est Moi (“The state, it is I”).

Robert P. Gervais, MD
Mesa, AZ

Dr. Arnett Responds:

Dear Dr. Gervais,

The problem you noted in your January 3, 2002, letter is a manifestation of our subjective (utilitarian) philosophy with its politics of socialism and its population-based ethics relying on altruism (not benevolence).

All bioethicists reject the lessons of history and the teachings of Objectivist philosophy. So they must blur the distinction between animals and humans (never mind the faculties of reason), change the meaning of terms (language), use confusing and emotive ideas, and flawed reasoning — gobbledegook, subterfuge and double-talk. Of course, they reject individual rights.

The Summer 2002 issue of the Medical Sentinel is on ethics.

Jerome C. Arnett, Jr., MD
Elkins, WV




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Altruism or hypocrisy! Part 1

Left-wing altruism call it in many cases hypocrisy!

VP Joe Biden gives almost nothing to charity, and yet incessantly calls Republicans greedy. Tim Geitner is a tax cheat; Charlie Rangel is corrupt; and the greatest hypocritical megalomanic (after George Soros)– Warren Buffet, the "patriotic millionaire"– is a self-serving, publicity-seeker, who owes a billion in back taxes, and yet for media consumption says the rich should pay more. And Bill Clinton sent his old under-wears to charity, $2 a shot; he should have sent them to a burlesque museum!

Buffet makes astoundingly PC, hypocritical statements purely to be quoted and his picture printed. Truly philanthropic people, do not go to the media in bombastic fashion for self-promotion, as he does repeatedly and continues to do for self-promotion. No money in the world can buy him the propaganda he is getting from those comments. 

Truly altruistic people do the good deeds with little fanfare, like Mother Teresa and myriads of others in food kitchens, missions, not to mention friends and neighbors in need.

These self-promoting millionaires are free to donate their whole fortunes without waiting for the government to take it away from them, or push the state to take away from others! Altruism in search of self-promotion is not philanthropy, but hypocritical, selfish greed in disguise, not beneficence.

There is no better philanthropy than enlightened self-interest, as when Thomas Edison developed the light bulb and Alexander Graham Bell the telephone, and we all benefited, while they became rich! MAF

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