Sadistic elite?

minnow at minnow at
Sun Nov 2 16:31:30 EST 2003

Charlie wrote:

>Does regretting a necessity mean anything if the
>necessity still exists and is acted upon?
>I'd say so, definitely, in terms of the morality of the person doing the
>acting (which is what we were discussing). And also, perhaps to the person
>being acted upon. Hypothetical example: I need a tooth extracting. There
>are two dentists available, equally skilled, and the medical outcome of
>the procedure will be the same in both cases. But one of them will do it
>simply because it's medically advisable, the other will do it because it
>gives him a sadistic thrill. I know which one I'd rather have!

It has been said (goodness knows whether there is any truth in this at all)
that all really first-rate surgeons need to have at least some sadism in
their make-up, or they would be unable to operate successfully.  If that
were to be the case, I would prefer to be operated on by a sadist who knew
what he was doing, enjoyed his job, was sinfully proud of his expertise,
and treated me like dirt when I was conscious, than by someone full of
compassion whose distaste for what he had to do made his hands tremble and
who would apologise all over the place after I regained consciousness (if I
did) and found that he had bungled the job.

To put it another way, I'd rather that people carving me up don't have any
reason to express regret.  Let's hear it for an elite of medics, not
well-meaning second-rate ones.


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