Bioethics and the Limits of Tolerance
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1994 Apr; 19(2): 129-145.
Since 1989 there has been an ongoing controversy about the limits of public discussion of bioethical issues in the German-speaking world. While a number of scholars have been involved, Peter Singer and Helga Kuhse have been the principal targets of those seeking to limit bioethical debates. Those who have supported silencing discussion of certain issues have argued that such public discussion leads to a loss of freedom. In the article we argue that toleration is not based on subjectivism but rather on reason. Furthermore, the efforts to suppress debate are often based on a failure to understand our position. Such efforts at suppression also rest on an elitist view of society that must assume that the general public cannot debate such topics.