Morality Helping Science

Charles Krauthammer, who was a medical doctor before he became a pundit, says that the newly discovered way of making “pluripotent” cells from ordinary skin cells is going to be easier, cheaper, and better than harvesting stem cells from unborn children. He credits the pro-life policy of George Bush for pushing the research in this direction. High moral standards have actually HELPED science.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joe

    This is just amazing! I really hope that everyone can get on board with this.

  • Joe

    This is just amazing! I really hope that everyone can get on board with this.

  • fwsonnek

    Indeed!

    Pastor MCCain posted a reference with the highest praise to a writing that literally blew my mind by Aland. The concept of vocation is profoundly based on the Rule of Law and a God who gives us first article gifts through order.

    Here is a my summary of what he writes starting at the end of page 6. This article of 24 pages, well footnoted, can be found here: http://cyberbrethren.typepad.com/cyberbrethren/2007/11/are-we-preoccup.html

    What strikes me most is that the formation of standards in the arts and sciences, and religious practice (think liturgy here) are also asserted by Melancthon to be part of the moral order in the apology to the Augustana.

  • fwsonnek

    Indeed!

    Pastor MCCain posted a reference with the highest praise to a writing that literally blew my mind by Aland. The concept of vocation is profoundly based on the Rule of Law and a God who gives us first article gifts through order.

    Here is a my summary of what he writes starting at the end of page 6. This article of 24 pages, well footnoted, can be found here: http://cyberbrethren.typepad.com/cyberbrethren/2007/11/are-we-preoccup.html

    What strikes me most is that the formation of standards in the arts and sciences, and religious practice (think liturgy here) are also asserted by Melancthon to be part of the moral order in the apology to the Augustana.

  • fwsonnek

    summary (this is just a teaser, the actual writing is so much better!):

    Human righteousness is pursued through the selection and development of certain habits in accord with an approved standard.… (wow what a mouthful this is!!!)

    law can be conceived ‘‘more like a general standard of measurement than a norm which predicts the will of God in all individual cases.’’ This includes the Ten Commandments, proverbs, and human standards found in VARIOUS fields of endeavor (emphasis mine).

    different laws of countries are as if given by God himself—whether they were formulated by pagans or Christians (Ap XVI).

    The same applies to vocations (!). Melanchthon distinguishes between personal callings (which are individual) and obedience (which is universal). …precise character of obedience will vary from vocation to vocation (echoing the table of duties in the small catechism I note). . … parent/child…..ceremonial righteousness…church… calendar…liturgy. (Ap XV:).

    Melanchthon suggests Aristotle, ‘‘has written so eruditely about social ethics that nothing further needs to be added’’ (Ap IV:). Aristotle describes virtue as ‘‘golden mean’’: no deficit or excess. This ‘‘golden mean’’ is relative to a person’s character. virtue is to be determined geometrically, not arithmetically.’’ There is no fixed standard (one size fits all) of virtue for everyone.

    Civil ordinances are good creations of God. They have his command and approval. The righteousness of works in all its forms contributes to the preservation and promotion of life in this world. Philosophical righteousness serves the liberal arts. Medicine serves health, meteorology serves navigation, civic virtues serve public tranquillity. Ethics assists statecraft and the construction of laws. Rhetoric assists writing and oratory. Civil righteousness serves the welfare of society (Ap IV:) by enabling people to live together for the common good. Even the observance of ceremonial traditions (ceremonial righteousness) serve to discipline the body to bow the head or bend the knee. The saints used obedience, poverty, and celibacy as non-obligatory forms of discipline in order to have more leisure for teaching and other pious duties (Ap XXVII:).

  • fwsonnek

    summary (this is just a teaser, the actual writing is so much better!):

    Human righteousness is pursued through the selection and development of certain habits in accord with an approved standard.… (wow what a mouthful this is!!!)

    law can be conceived ‘‘more like a general standard of measurement than a norm which predicts the will of God in all individual cases.’’ This includes the Ten Commandments, proverbs, and human standards found in VARIOUS fields of endeavor (emphasis mine).

    different laws of countries are as if given by God himself—whether they were formulated by pagans or Christians (Ap XVI).

    The same applies to vocations (!). Melanchthon distinguishes between personal callings (which are individual) and obedience (which is universal). …precise character of obedience will vary from vocation to vocation (echoing the table of duties in the small catechism I note). . … parent/child…..ceremonial righteousness…church… calendar…liturgy. (Ap XV:).

    Melanchthon suggests Aristotle, ‘‘has written so eruditely about social ethics that nothing further needs to be added’’ (Ap IV:). Aristotle describes virtue as ‘‘golden mean’’: no deficit or excess. This ‘‘golden mean’’ is relative to a person’s character. virtue is to be determined geometrically, not arithmetically.’’ There is no fixed standard (one size fits all) of virtue for everyone.

    Civil ordinances are good creations of God. They have his command and approval. The righteousness of works in all its forms contributes to the preservation and promotion of life in this world. Philosophical righteousness serves the liberal arts. Medicine serves health, meteorology serves navigation, civic virtues serve public tranquillity. Ethics assists statecraft and the construction of laws. Rhetoric assists writing and oratory. Civil righteousness serves the welfare of society (Ap IV:) by enabling people to live together for the common good. Even the observance of ceremonial traditions (ceremonial righteousness) serve to discipline the body to bow the head or bend the knee. The saints used obedience, poverty, and celibacy as non-obligatory forms of discipline in order to have more leisure for teaching and other pious duties (Ap XXVII:).

  • fwsonnek

    Might i suggest now, after reading this, that “christian” conservatism OR liberalism are at one in that they are marked and halmarked by a single minded devotion to the rule of law. They appear moderate. as in “moderation”. as in virtue. ESPECIALLY as to the means that they chose to achieve ideal ends.

    this hallmark is identified by attention paid to due process and the golden rule seemingly independent of result.

    Non-christian conservatism and liberalism in contrast come full circle in their insistence on the preservation of whatever they see as right or good by whatever means necessary. They reach for the rule of force as opposed to the rule of law (eg the evil concept of majority rule).

    Indeed this includes the area of science, medicine and biology considered in this post.

  • fwsonnek

    Might i suggest now, after reading this, that “christian” conservatism OR liberalism are at one in that they are marked and halmarked by a single minded devotion to the rule of law. They appear moderate. as in “moderation”. as in virtue. ESPECIALLY as to the means that they chose to achieve ideal ends.

    this hallmark is identified by attention paid to due process and the golden rule seemingly independent of result.

    Non-christian conservatism and liberalism in contrast come full circle in their insistence on the preservation of whatever they see as right or good by whatever means necessary. They reach for the rule of force as opposed to the rule of law (eg the evil concept of majority rule).

    Indeed this includes the area of science, medicine and biology considered in this post.

  • jayfromcleveland

    Wonder if Michael J. Fox and Mary Tyler Moore are going to get on board?

  • jayfromcleveland

    Wonder if Michael J. Fox and Mary Tyler Moore are going to get on board?

  • L. H. Kevil

    Just a quick comment that this column by Krauthammer is head and shoulders better than the usual dreck we read. His case for morality just might convince a few of the Mary Tyler Moores.

    And a quick correction: its pluripotent, not plenipotent.

  • L. H. Kevil

    Just a quick comment that this column by Krauthammer is head and shoulders better than the usual dreck we read. His case for morality just might convince a few of the Mary Tyler Moores.

    And a quick correction: its pluripotent, not plenipotent.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Frank, thanks for telling us about the Aland article. It is indeed mind-blowing, opening up a fruitful dimension of the Augsburg confession that has huge cultural and vocational implications. I appreciate your summary.

    Thanks too, L. H., for catching my wrong word.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Frank, thanks for telling us about the Aland article. It is indeed mind-blowing, opening up a fruitful dimension of the Augsburg confession that has huge cultural and vocational implications. I appreciate your summary.

    Thanks too, L. H., for catching my wrong word.

  • fwsonnek

    #6 LH

    “pluripotent” wow. I am realizing that I know so very little compared to the rest of you here.

    Thanks for accepting one like me here who knows usually much less than he things he does….

    awesome.

  • fwsonnek

    #6 LH

    “pluripotent” wow. I am realizing that I know so very little compared to the rest of you here.

    Thanks for accepting one like me here who knows usually much less than he things he does….

    awesome.

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Vieth

    Thank the good pastor McCain for pointing out this gem. I linked to his site. As you are well aware, his site is full of this sort of stuff, but there is so much, so be prepared to spend some time and be prepared to have to think …

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Vieth

    Thank the good pastor McCain for pointing out this gem. I linked to his site. As you are well aware, his site is full of this sort of stuff, but there is so much, so be prepared to spend some time and be prepared to have to think …

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Vieth

    note the rather radical proposition is that a complete pagan, even one without a belief in a “transcendent authority” (not sure the pagan greek believed in zeus or not….) can outline moral law so completely that melanchthon can say that there is “nothing further to be added” !!!!!! am I reading this right?

  • fwsonnek

    #7 Vieth

    note the rather radical proposition is that a complete pagan, even one without a belief in a “transcendent authority” (not sure the pagan greek believed in zeus or not….) can outline moral law so completely that melanchthon can say that there is “nothing further to be added” !!!!!! am I reading this right?


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