July 22, 2014

Wesley Smith on Peter Singer

From First Thoughts by Wesley J. Smith: Peter Singer Sympathetic to Human Extinction as Way of Avoiding Suffering Peter Singer blogs at the New York Times about a new book (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence, by David Benetar) that apparently advocates human extinction as a way of preventing human suffering. Singer doesn’t agree, but is clearly sympathetic. From Singer’s post: I do think it would be wrong to choose the non-sentient universe. In my judgment, for most people, life is worth living. Even if that is not yet the case, I am enough of an optimist to believe that, should humans survive for another century or two, we will learn from our past mistakes and bring about a world in which there is far less suffering than there is now. But justifying that choice forces us to reconsider the deep issues with which I began. Is life worth living? Are the interests of a future child a reason for bringing that child into … [Read more...]

Podcast: The Animal Rights Movement from an Orthodox perspective

The Illumined Heart on Ancient Faith Radio with Kevin Allen

Human exceptionalism advocate and author Wesley J. Smith speaks with host Kevin Allen about the animal rights-animal liberation movement and its insistence on the "moral equivalence" between animals and humans! How does this compare with Orthodox teachings about the "brotherhood" of humans, animals and inanimate nature (St Gregory Palamas)? Listen and find out ! Listen here: … [Read more...]

Wesley J. Smith: Unless we all matter

Unless we all matter...

The Source "God loves each of us, as if there were only one of us." - St. Augustine. If you want to accurately predict what could soon go wrong in society, just read the professional journals.  Case in point: A bioethicist named Alasdair Cochrane, a deep thinker at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights in the UK, argued recently in Bioethics that we should discard our (already tenuous) embrace of intrinsic human dignity as the foundational basis for establishing medical ethics and enacting health care public policies. Eschewing human exceptionalism and the sanctity of human life would have huge ramifications, and in urging what he calls an "undignified bioethics," Cochrane does not shy away from describing the stakes: …the possession of dignity by humans signifies that they [all people] have an inherent moral worth.  In other words, because human beings possess dignity we cannot do what we like to them, but instead have direct moral … [Read more...]

Knocking Human Beings Off the Pedestal of Exceptionalism

Occasional commentator to AOI blog and human rights activist Wesley J. Smith warns in a recent article that, "society’s belief in the unique moral value and importance of human life is under unprecedented assault...Most people still believe in human exceptionalism and are unaware that powerful social and cultural forces are working diligently to dismantle the sanctity of life ethic as the fundamental value of our social order." He is correct. Read it carefully, think through the logic, and heed the warnings. The crisis in the West is one of anthropology with ominous implications. +++++++++++++++++++++ By Wesley J. Smith. Published on The Church Report website. Society’s belief in the unique moral value and importance of human life is under unprecedented assault. Most people still believe in human exceptionalism and are unaware that powerful social and cultural forces are working diligently to dismantle the sanctity of life ethic as the fundamental value of our … [Read more...]

Keep the Human in Humane

Wesley J. Smith

Wesley Smith, occasional commentator on AOI blog published the is article on To the Source. Visit Smith's blog Second Hand Smoke. When Aldous Huxley wrote his prophetic 1932 novel Brave New World, he envisioned a dystopian future in which mankind would become, in the words of bioethicist Leon Kass, "so dehumanized that he doesn't even realize what has been lost." Huxley believed we would evolve into a society steeped in radical hedonism—where drugs would be used to erase every negative emotion and promiscuity would be not just the norm, but the expected. He also saw our future as becoming profoundly utilitarian and eugenic, depicted in his novel by genetically engineered babies being decanted through a cloning-type process rather than being born, a society without families, without the old and sick—who are done away with rather than being cared for—and without real purpose other than experiencing transitory pleasure. It is a world in which human life has been … [Read more...]

Wesley J. Smith: Orthodox Advocate for Human “Exceptionalism”

afrvertical

Our culture is at a crossroad about the value of human life, argues author and human rights activist Wesley J. Smith in an interview with Kevin Allen on the "Illumined Heart" podcast (Ancient Faith Radio). Do we value human life simply because it is human, or do we value it based on notions and definitions of "personhood" including such characteristics as sentience, awareness, stages of biological development and others factors? The former allows for a universal definition of human rights. The latter reduces human beings to "subjects" that are bound to shifting and often capricious standards that determine who lives and who dies.   Listen here: widget here (43:38) It's a heated battle (one that even spills over into the comments of this blog on occasion). Often, the the level of vituperation in the attacks against religious defenders of human life arise because the utilitarians understand their view allows for no coherent defense of any human rights, Smith says. "They … [Read more...]