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...]

C. Stephen Evans on Kierkegaard

My Baylor colleague, C. Stephen Evans, was interviewed earlier this week on KGO radio in San Francisco. The topic was the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, a thinker about which Steve knows quite a bit. You can listen to the interview here. … [Read more...]

Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion” at Forty

That's the title of my latest entry over at The Catholic Thing. It is adapted from portions of my August 3, 2011 presentation at the University of Colorado symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of Thomson’s article. Here's an excerpt: What Thomson is granting, then, is a view of personhood consistent with the pro-life position only insofar as it is aligned with a minimalist understanding of autonomy and choice. That view isolates the individual from other persons – generationally, contem … [Read more...]

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...]

Fr. Barron comments on why so many atheists are on the CNN Belief Blog

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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...]

From tomorrow’s New York Times: Intelligent Design Debate Ensnares the Journal “Synthese”

That is the title of an article that will be published in tomorrow's New York Times (14 March 2011). Authored by Mark Oppenheimer, here's how it begins: According to one cynical view, academic disputes are so vicious only because the stakes are so low. Yet as the editors of Synthese, a leading philosophy journal, can tell you, what they publish matters: in debates over Christianity, the teaching of evolution, and American politics. This story began in March 2009, when a special issue of Synthese … [Read more...]

Res ipsa loquitur

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Law, Liberty and Virtue – a Conference at Princeton University – 16-17 May 2011

Next week I will be at Princeton University participating in what promises to be an outstanding conference: Law, Liberty and Virtue (May 16-17, 2011). I will present a paper as part of the panel on Tuesday afternoon (May 17), "Revisiting Hadley Arkes’s First Things on its 25th Anniversary." The other panel members include Hadley P. Arkes (Amherst College), Diana J. Schaub (Loyola University Maryland), Michael Uhlmann (Claremont Graduate University) and Robert P. George (Princeton Unive … [Read more...]

Al Mohler: Killing of bin Laden was just, but not an act of justice. Is this possible?

Albert Mohler, Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, makes this statement in a recent blog post on the killing of Osama Bin Laden: "The death of bin Laden was fully justified as an act of war, but not as an act of justice. The removal of a credible threat to human life — a clear and present danger to human safety — is fully justified, especially after such an individual has demonstrated not only the will, but the means to effect murder on a massive scale."I'm not sure what to … [Read more...]


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