human dignity

What Version of Human Dignity Should Catholics Defend?

Dignitatis Humanae, the Vatican II declaration on religious liberty, appeals to what it says is a growing awareness of human dignity. More recent Vatican pronouncements, including the new language in the Catechism on the death penalty, have done the same. In some ways, it’s easy to see why. The Church holds that God created man … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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