July 30, 2007

VIRGINIA POSTREL:

Personal interests aside, the more fundamental issue is the way we treat the term disease. If something is a “disease,” it is worth treating. If it isn’t a “disease,” you should just live with it. But why? Why not treat a biological condition you just don’t like? (I’m assuming that you are directly or indirectly paying for the treatment.) We don’t have to call Restless Leg Syndrome a disease to acknowledge that it disturbs some people’s sleep and that those people would like relief. Contrary to what you may have heard, the only sort of character suffering builds is the ability to suffer–a useful ability in a world where suffering is the routine nature of life but not a virtue that makes the world a better place.

Besides, if suffering is a virtue in itself we’ve always got Middle School. And the DMV.