human dignity

The Tyranny of Tolerance

When the Supreme Court re-defined marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision to include same-sex relationships, it was immediately clear that this sea change would create a conflict between this newly-discovered constitutional right, and the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: the right of religious liberty. Everyone from pundits [...]

Christ and the Meaning of Authentic Humanism

I am a humanist, but not that kind of humanist. Humanism is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days—but like most terms that once had a strong philosophical foundation, humanism has been so thoroughly detached from its philosophical substance it is another empty term in public consciousness. That said, it is an [...]

Sexual Liberation and the Emergence of Transhumanism

Sexual liberation and transhumanism share an anthropology. Both view the human person as an emergent phenomenon, and as something malleable. Both view the self as sovereign, the will as ultimately answerable to nothing other than its own prerogatives. Exploring the intersection between these two movements requires me to give an account of technology. In speaking [...]

Dignitas: The Manners of Humility

Accounts vary, and a few say that the story about our civil Founders is apocryphal, but it would seem that the story is true. As one of the more jovial national patriarchs, Gouverneur Morris, a native of New York City, but representing Pennsylvania, willingly accepted a challenge from Alexander Hamilton during the Constitutional Convention in [...]

A Catholic Answer to the Indignities of Modern Man

“When the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man, of his dignity and his life.” ∼ Evangelium Vitae, 21 It is a perplexing fact of history that one of the world’s most prolific mass murderers, Adolf Hitler, was also a vegetarian who abhorred cruelty to animals. This [...]

When Love, Mercy, and Dignity Lose Their Meaning

Love, mercy, and human dignity are all wonderful things, and it's right for the Church to emphasize them. It's also right to take them seriously, and try to understand what they are, what's behind them, and where they point. To do that we need to remember that on the Christian view—indeed, on any sane view—we [...]

On Justice Kennedy’s Tenuous Grasp of Human Dignity

“At the heart of liberty,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, poetaster supreme, versifying for the majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), is “the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” That included the mysterious business of taking other lives, inconvenient lives brought [...]

Do Welfare Restrictions Violate Human Dignity?

Do state restrictions on how public welfare recipients can spend benefits offend the dignity of the poor? Kansas recently enacted a law banning the use of welfare benefits to buy alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco products, lottery tickets, concert tickets, professional or collegiate sporting event tickets or tickets for other entertainment events intended for the general public [...]

A Catholic Reply to the Charge of Bigotry

Bigotry looms ever larger as a public concern today. Among the educated, articulate, and well-placed, it’s considered an intolerable moral flaw, a revolting psychological deformity, and a totally unnecessary pathology responsible for most of the world’s evils—war, crime, poverty, suicide—you name it. As bigotry has grown in prominence as an issue, what counts as such [...]

How Obamacare Offends Human Dignity

The Catholic Church’s social teaching is erected on the belief in the basic dignity of the human person. The Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church is replete with references to human dignity with regard to social, political, and economic life. The encyclical Pacem in Terris by Pope John XXIII provided a catalog of [...]

Faith and the Employer

The diocese of Lansing, where I currently attend mass, is a pretty good one, as such things go in the contemporary United States.  Our parish has a very good priest and I’m confident we won’t soon be joining in on the practice I’ve seen in the archdiocese of Detroit of worshiping in the round, complete [...]

Evolution, Human Dignity, and Crafting Public Policy

"A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him [...]

Benedict XVI, Still Soldiering on

With the celebraton of his 85th birthday, this makes Benedict XVI, the sovereign of the Vatican City State, the eighth oldest world leader. Although insiders say that Benedict is slowing down, he lives at a pace which would kill younger men: a relentless succession of trips in Italy, trips overseas, daily speeches, a multitude of [...]

Curiosities about Counting

We live in an Age of Endless Numbers.  We count everything:  batting averages, how many Kindles were sold last week, the average speed of drivers on Highway 64 at 6 a.m., the number of breast cancer patients in Alabama over the age of 50.  Very few things in our society remain uncounted.  And yet numbers [...]

The Dignity of Human Life and Procreation: Reflections on the Recent Vatican “Instruction”

The recent Vatican “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation” is a profoundly significant document. The issues it discusses, the “Brave New World” reproductive technologies and their associated social practices — in vitro fertilization, sperm banks, surrogate motherhood, sex selection, etc. — have recently emerged as major [...]

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