April 23, 2014

Wesley J. Smith: Peter Singer Says Full Moral Status Not Earned by Babies “Until After 2 Years”

Wesley J. Smith

Dostoevsky: When men stop believing in God, they will believe anything. I was alerted by Nat Hentoff about an assertion made by Peter Singer–as reported in the Catholic Eye–at a Princeton conference around the abortion question, in which he claims that human beings don’t possess full moral status until after the age of two. I checked it out for myself. Yup. From my transcription of Panel II on 10/15/10 (press “Event Videos,” 20101015-panel two, to link to access streamed session): Q (beginning at 1:25:22): When discussing at which point after birth we would give full moral status, you gave…a legal or public policy point about practicality… Forgetting the practical or public policy questions, if a person is a self aware individual and self awareness isn’t conferred by birth, and we use mirror tests to determine self awarness…at what point do you think an infant would pass the mirror test and therefore be self aware and be considered a person. Singer (beginning at … [Read more...]

Bioethicist Teaches Doctor to “Think Bioethically”

Over at Second Hand Smoke, a secret camera filmed a conversation between a bioethicist and a doctor about how “thinking bioethically” means it is okay to kill babies. … [Read more...]

John Finnis on the Moral Status of the Fetus

From the American Catholic blog. Look at the clear thinking going on, the direct challenge to secularists and others working to establish the culture of death. Then compare this to our preoccupation with global warming and other dubious fads, the confusion (as the essay below states) between morality and moral status in our didactic discourse, our inability to self-organize (at least on the hierarchical level) thus binding the nascent creativity of many of our priests and laity (the fact we accomplish as much as we do despite the handicaps proves the point), and so forth. American Orthodoxy is at a crossroads and it no longer acceptable to waste another decade arguing about unity and mission like we have the last four. This has to stop. One other point. I find in the essay the philosophical rationale for a point I've been making for years about the claim that the unborn fetus (latin: little one) is merely "potential human life." While the culture of death advocates use the claim to … [Read more...]

Some thoughts on the Wesley J. Smith lecture at St. Tikhon’s Seminary

I listened to Wesley J. Smith's lecture a few days ago and have been thinking about it ever since (listen to it here). Some thoughts in no particular order: 1. It is very good that St. Tikhon's invited Smith to speak for several reasons. First it introduces the seminarians to the concrete questions debated in the larger culture and thus the hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices where end of life decisions are made. They will be called on to consult with families to help make these decisions and must be able to recognize the ideas behind the differing opinions that health care professionals offer in these situations. … [Read more...]

Wesley J. Smith – Bioethics: Creating a Culture of Death

St. Tikhon's Seminary

The Fall 2010 Lecture Series at St. Tikhon's revolves around various life issues and the first speaker in the series is Wesley Smith who is a lawyer and an award winning author as well as a Senior Fellow in Human Rights and Bioethics at the Discovery Institute. He is introduced by the Dean of the Seminary, Fr. Alexander Atty. Listen here: Frederica Mathews-Green also has a podcast reflecting on a recent lecture by Wesley J. Smith. Listen here: Podcasts courtesy of Ancient Faith Radio. … [Read more...]

Saint John Chrysostom and 21st Century Christians

St. John Chrysostom

Taken from a lecture by Fr. Josiah Trenham and republished on Mystagogy. From Mystagogy: [The following portion of a lecture (all of which I recommend to be read) delivered by the Very Reverend Josiah Trenham in 2007 I found to be a very edifying piece on how Christians can implement at least some of the counsels of St. John Chrysostom into our own lives today. Of course, this is by no means exhaustive, but it gives us enough to think about and to hopefully inspire us to dig deeper into the rich treasures of one of the great Fathers of the Orthodox Church. - J.S.] Fr. Josiah Trenham: In this last portion of my lecture I would like to focus upon what I perceive to be several areas in which Saint John Chrysostom’s life and teachings may render the 21st century Christian particular assistance. The Church finds Herself in this new millennium faced by unique particularities, which demand an articulate word from the Holy Fathers to guide us through the unique challenges … [Read more...]

Pence Condemns New Use of Tax Dollars for Obama Care Abortions

Remember the promises? No government funds for abortions. Source: gop.gov We must stop this immoral offense against human life and against American taxpayers. Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration spending $160 million on a “high risk” insurance program that will pay for abortions: It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life by abortion. It is also reprehensible to take taxpayer dollars from millions of pro-life Americans and use them to pay for abortions. President Obama promised the American people that his health care law would not allow federal funding of abortion. But according to an investigation by the National Right to Life Committee, this allocation for Pennsylvania’s high risk pool will break the president’s promise by using taxpayer dollars to subsidize coverage of nearly any kind of abortion. We must stop … [Read more...]

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...]

Current statistics on abortion

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A unified Orthodox Church can speak with clarity…

Read below and you'll see one reason why we need a unified Orthodox Church in America. Wesley J. Smith, human rights activist and occasional contributor to AOI Observer, warns about a bill winding through congress that will surreptitiously fund human cloning. We could have something to say about that. A friend of mine, an Orthodox priest who studied under Leon J. Kass, one of the great public thinkers in America today (see: Smith on Kass), was asked by Dr. Kass when the Orthodox are going to make their contribution. The Orthodox, he said, have the most developed anthropology of any religious tradition in the world. We're Americans. The debates will be raucous -- it's the American way, but they will substantive, fruitful, and when they are done something better will emerge from it -- that's the great promise of America and it is still fulfilled for those who understand freedom and are willing to take responsibility for it. And when unity comes (it can and it will), the important … [Read more...]

Italian Baby Aborted at 22 Weeks for Cleft Palate–Born Alive, Left to Die

baby-with-cleft

From: Second Hand Smoke (Wesley J. Smith) This is what Western Civilization is becoming. From the story: A baby found alive nearly a day after a failed abortion in Italy had been rejected by his mother because he had a cleft lip and palate, according to reports. The 22-week infant was found breathing a day after the operation. He died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother’s home town of Rossano, in southern Italy. The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans revealed that the foetus had a cleft lip and palate, according to reports in the Italian media. The condition is treatable with surgery. The baby – weighing just 11oz – survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, but was left by doctors to die. Culture of death? What culture of death? Also see Wesley J. Smith's latest: Ecocide: A Crime Against Peace? … [Read more...]

Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day 2010 -- Celebrate Life

HT: OrthodoxNet.com LifeSiteNews.com – The pro-life group CatholicVote.org says it’s time to use Earth Day to celebrate nature’s greatest gift – human life. With bus ads in Chicago and in San Francisco and Seattle, CatholicVote.org is encouraging Americans to rethink how they celebrate Earth Day, and how to go about building a culture that respects the environment. This April 22nd will mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. “Our goal is to use Earth Day to get Americans to think more deeply about what it means to truly respect the Earth and creation,” said Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote.org Education Fund. “Prevailing environmental attitudes too often view humans as the enemy of nature. We believe the human person is God’s greatest creation, and the Earth’s greatest resource. Building up a culture of life is the single most important way to build a culture that respects the environment.” “Respect for the God’s creation has a long history in Catholic … [Read more...]