On another note, the other day I was sitting around with a couple friends, expanding our intellectual horizons, when I broke out Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs and read through the series of 23 questions Chuck Klosterman claims to ask everyone he encounters to find if he can really love them. After picking through a couple randomly we came upon this one:
Genetic engineers at Johns Hopkins University (Yfbfb's alma mater) announce that they have developed a so-called "super gorilla." Though the animal cannot speak, it has a sign language lexicon of over twelve thousand words, an I.Q. of almost 85, and--most notably--a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs seven hundred pounds) becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson speculates that this gorilla would be "borderline unblockable" and would likely average six sacks a game (although Jackson concedes the beast might be susceptible to counters and misdirection plays). Meanwhile, the gorilla has made it clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent.
You are commissioner of the NFL: Would you allow this gorilla to sign with the Oakland Raiders?
Most of the 23 questions are open-ended and leave a good amount of room for debate. Upon first read I had thought this was also a question worthy of debate, I was wrong.
The only answer that allows for cohesion of moral belief is that if the "super gorilla" is capable of reproducing (fertile children) with humans then he is allowed to play. If he is not, then he cannot. The reason this argument holds true is that if the "super gorilla" is capable of procreation with humans then he is not a gorilla at all, he is a human. And if he is a human than he must be afforded the same opportunities as other humans.
Those who would argue that the beast's origins in a laboratory disqualify him from competing in organized competitions have a difficult argument to make, one that is certainly fraught with moral and ethical peril (I love writing like a philosopher).
We live in a time when many children are more a product of the lab than they are of loving parents. The first "test-tube" baby was born in 1978, and since then there have been myriad advances in conception technology that allow children to be born to those who could not have children on their own. There is no debate as to whether these children would be allowed to compete in the NFL and there should not be.
Be back tomorrow with a review of Band of Horses at Terminal 5 from Sunday night.