Contraception and Catholicism: What the Church Really Teaches

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That's the title of a piece authored by University of South Carolina philosopher, Christopher Tollefsen, who this year is serving as a Visiting Fellow in the James Program at Princeton University. The essay published this morning on National Review Online. Here's how it begins: Catholic teaching on contraception is at the heart of the controversy over the Health and Human Services mandate. Catholic hospitals and universities are unwilling to purchase insurance plans that provide contraceptive … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

The Argument From Creating Brainless Children

In a chapter I recently published-- "The Human Being, A Person of Substance: A Reply to Dean Stretton," in Persons, Moral Worth, and Embryos: A Critical Analysis of Pro-Choice Arguments, edited by Stephen Napier. (Dordrecht: Springer, 2011), 67-83--I respond to criticisms of an argument I have used in several venues, including my 2007 book, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge University Press). My 2011 defense of that argument--"the argument from creating … [Read more...]


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