Leon Kass, chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, and Eric Cohen, editor in chief of the New Atlantis journal, have written a stimulating and edifying op-ed on the relationship between athletic excellence and human excellence. "The Price of Winning at Any Cost" in Sunday’s Washington Post argues against the use of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports, ending with this startling claim:
We would become a society of spectators, and our activities mere spectacles. Worst of all, we would be in danger of turning our would-be heroes into slaves, who exist only to entertain us and whose freedom to pursue human excellence has been shackled by the need to perform--and conform--for our amusement and applause.
For the Aristotlean logic that leads them to this plausible conclusion, read their essay. I dare say, it speaks quite well of President Bush when op-eds written by his friends in academia remind one of the higher things in life.