Do we really think what we are currently confronted with is worth protecting with some creative obscurantism? Do we think, for instance, that vast resources should be set aside to preserve the imaginary prospects of a renewed mental life for deeply comatose people, while there are no resources to spare to enhance the desperate, but far from imaginary, expectations of the poor? Myths about the sanctity of life, or of consciousness, cut both ways. They may be useful in erecting barriers (against euthanasia, against capital punishment, against abortion, against eating meat) to impress the unimaginative, but at the price of offensive hypocrisy or ridiculous self-deception among the more enlightened.
Daniel Dennett, Consciousness Explained, Boston, 1991, p. 454