An important new blog on moral and social issues

My friend, David Boonin, a philosopher at the University of Colorado (where he also serves as the department chair), has recently put together a philosophically serious blog, What's Wrong?. Self-identified as "the not quite official blog of cu-boulder's center for values and social policy," it includes on its advisory board not only your truly but also Elizabeth Brake (Arizona State), John Corvino (Wayne State), Robert George (Princeton), Dale Jamieson (NYU), Christopher Kaczor (Loyola Marymount) … [Read more...]

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Why do prolifers believe that pre-born human beings are one of us?: Some resources

Given the recent discussions about Planned Parenthood's alleged selling of fetal parts and organs, and the outrage and responses that have ensued, it's important to remind ourselves that opponents of abortion, that is, prolifers, have offered a strong case for their position. It is a case that is almost unanimously ignored by the mainstream media as well as online outlets (e.g, Slate, Salon, Huffington Post, Media Matters, etc.) that seem more gifted at issuing rhetorical flourishes rather than a … [Read more...]

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Important article on understanding fetal tissue research by Biola’s Scott B. Rae

With all the attention on the Planned Parenthood videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress, it's important that both critics and supporters become better acquainted with the case against the research and medical use of organs and parts procured from dead fetuses resulting from elective abortions. Although published over 20 years ago in Christian Research Journal (Fall 1991), I highly recommend Scott B. Rae's article, "Spare Parts from the Unborn: The Ethics of Fetal Tissue … [Read more...]

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Alexander Pruss’ One Body: An Essay on Christian Sexual Ethics – 30% off

My esteemed colleague, Alexander Pruss, late last year published the book, One Body: An Essay on Christian Sexual Ethics (University of Notre Dame Press, 2012). I selected it as one of the best books I read in 2012.  If you have been looking for a philosophically sophisticated, though clearly written, presentation of Christian sexual ethics by a leading scholar in the field, one that has distinguished himself in the wider academic world, this is the book for you.Thus, I am delighted to draw … [Read more...]

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From Left Behind to Right Behind: Denny Burk’s review of Mark and Grace Driscoll’s “Real Marriage.”

Just read Denny Burk's enlightening review of Mark and Grace Discoll's Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life (Thomas Nelson, 2012).  The Rev. Driscoll, a committed Calvinist, is a well-known megachurch pastor in the Seattle area.  If Driscoll's book is Evangelicalism's answer to John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Evangelicalism has no idea what the question is.  Here's an excerpt from Burk's review:  "Although some Christian authors comment on the ethics of a husband sod … [Read more...]

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Dignity Never Been Photographed: Scientific Materialism, Enlightenment Liberalism, and Steven Pinker

That is the title of an article I published in the Summer 2010 issue of Ethics & Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics (vol. 26.2).  (The title, if you have not noticed yet, is from a line in the Bob Dylan song, "Dignity"). Here's how the article begins (endnotes omitted):In March 2008, the President’s Council on Bioethics published a volume entitled, Human Dignity and Bioethics.  It consists of essays penned by council members as well as other scholars and practitioners invited t … [Read more...]

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August 3 Symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

Tomorrow, August 3, I will be at the University of Colorado in Boulder participating in a symposium on the 40th anniversary of Judith Jarvis Thomson article, "A Defense of Abortion," published in 1971 in Philosophy and Public Affairs. (For more on the symposium, go here. It is open to the public.) What makes Thomson's argument so important is that she grants to the prolifer his most pivotal premise, that the pre-born human is a person from conception, but nevertheless concludes that abortion is … [Read more...]

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Aristotle, Ethics and God

My Baylor colleague, Trent Dougherty, has posted a brief entry at The Prosoblogion, "Ethics without God, Aristotle style." His post, as well as some of the comments, reminded me of an exchange at First Things I had four years ago with Villanova law professor, Robert T. Miller:Francis J. Beckwith, "The Irrationality of Richard Dawkins. " First Things On the Square (20 June 2007) Robert T. Miller, "Response to Francis Beckwith." First Things On the Square (25 June 2007) Francis J. Beckwith, "R … [Read more...]

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