Sunday, February 16, 2003

The prey debates the hunter. If you read nothing else all weekend, I hope you'll read "Unspeakable Conversations," the extraordinary cover story of today's New York Times Magazine. Written by a disability-rights activist named Harriet McBryde Johnson, it's an account of her decision to open up a dialogue and publicly debate Princeton University ethicist Peter Singer, who is well-known for his loathsome view that the parents of some severely disabled babies should be able to kill them up to a month after birth.

Johnson defends her position with intelligence and passion, but that's not why you should read this. Rather, what really reasonates is watching her come to a deeper understanding of Singer as a human being, even as she remains steadfast in her opposition to his views.

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