Are All Lives Worth Living? A Dangerous Idea Moves Front and Center

Just six years after the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the sanctity of human life, the U. S. Supreme Court would hand down the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion. With that sweeping decision, everything changed. As attorney Jay Webber explains, “The Roe opinion completely reshaped legal views of the unborn, however, and soon thereafter the New Jersey Supremes were singing a different tune. In 1979, that court became the first to recognize the torts of wrongful birth. In light of Roe, the Court said that eugenic considerations in fact did control decisions regarding the birth of a child.”

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The Big Business of Making Babies

The Brave New World we now experience is filled with a myriad of moral dilemmas–and none demands more urgent attention than those related to human reproduction and the massive technological advances that are related to human fertility and babies.

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Human Dignity and the Limits of “Biocultural Literacy”

Even as Americans are coming to terms with the complexity of end-of-life issues and the challenges of medical technologies, the lack of a worldview consensus on these basic questions reveals a dangerous confusion at every level of our national life. Doctors, lawyers, philosophers, and the public at large are divided over the most basic questions of human dignity, human life, and how to make decisions of right and wrong when these are essentially questions of life and death.

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“Do Not Cast Me Off in the Time of Old Age”–The Christian Worldview and the Challenge of the Aged, Part Two

In the January 2006 edition of Commentary, bioethicists Eric Cohen and Leon R. Kass offer a compelling essay on the challenge represented by millions of the aged among us. In “Cast Me Not Off in Old Age,” they warn that we are now witnessing the development of a “mass geriatric society” which will present this country with massive economic, social, medical, political, and ethical challenges.

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Torture and the War on Terror: We Must Not Add Dirty Rules to Dirty Hands

The question of torture arises once again in the context of the War on Terror and has been brought to public controversy with the amendment to the current Defense Authorization Bill sponsored by Senator John McCain. The measure, which would render illegal all “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatments of prisoners under U.S. control, passed by a vote of 90-9 in the full Senate. President George W. Bush had threatened to veto the legislation, if it were to be passed by the House of Representatives. On December 15, the White House announced that it would back the McCain amendment.

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The Moral Education of Physicians—Why It Matters to All of Us

“Modern medicine is one of those extraordinary works of reason: an elaborate system of specialized knowledge, technical procedures, and rules of behavior,” explains Paul Starr. “By no means are these all purely rational: Our conception of disease and responses to it unquestionably show the imprint of our particular culture, especially its individualist and activist therapeutic mentality. Yet, whatever its biases and probably because of them, modern science has succeeded in liberating humanity from much of the burden of disease.”

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Radical Enhancement and the Denial of Human Dignity

Should human beings accept certain limitations in terms of cognitive ability and physical strength? These questions take on a whole new urgency in the face of recent developments in the fields of psychostimulants and other pharmaceutical innovations. Moreover, as if these developments do not represent enough of a challenge, the development of computer-enhanced human intelligence may be just around the corner.

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A Losing Bet — Why Christians Should Avoid Lottery Fever

The newspaper headlines certainly command attention when a record Powerball jackpot of at least $350-million is at stake. As a matter of fact, the gambling interests are counting on lots of attention — and hoping for even greater sales. You can count on a banner headline when the winner is announced, and a new record jackpot is probably right around the corner. Nevertheless, Christians must remember the moral issues at stake. In the end, the lottery makes us all losers.

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Is the Sanctity of Human Life an Outmoded Concept?

Peter Singer has seen the future, and it does not include the sanctity of life. To be more specific, Singer presents his argument about the future in a forum published in the September/October 2005 edition of Foreign Policy. The magazine asked a number of leading intellectuals to suggest what ideas, institutions, and features of contemporary life will be left behind as human beings rush into a bold new future. As Peter Singer sees it, confidence in the sanctity of human life must be abandoned in order for humanity to be redefined in the new millennium.

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Christian Morality and Test Tube Babies, Part One

Questions of human reproduction inevitably define what it means to be human, and the moral issues which arise in connection with sex and reproduction are among the most divisive controversies of our time. The development of “test tube baby” technologies presents us with moral issues which demand answers, and require our most careful thought and reflection.

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The Goodness of God and the Reality of Evil

Every thoughtful person must deal with the problem of evil. Evil acts and tragic events come to us all in this vale of tears known as human life. Yesterday, evil showed its face again as Hurricane Katrina came ashore on the Gulf Coast. The problem of evil and suffering is undoubtedly the greatest theological challenge we face.

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America Should Be Ashamed of SHAM

Steve Salerno is a reporter with wide experience. As a freelance feature writer, Salerno has written for magazines including Harper’s, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and many others. He has contributed articles to the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. Many of his articles have focused upon “money stories,” that deal with financial scandals and controversies in the business world. Now, he is ready to report on the biggest scandal he has ever encountered–America’s self-help movement.

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Reaping What We Sow–The Harvest of Moral Relativism

A culture, like an individual, reaps what it sows. The seed of honor produces a harvest of honorable acts. The seed of anger eventually yields violence. The law of the harvest is part of the divine design for human society, and it allows no exceptions. A society which sows reverence for life will reap a culture of kindness and a legacy of respect. A people shorn of this seed will eventually produce a harvest of unspeakable horror, anguish, and inhumanity.

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