A buddy of mine from college, one of the few with whom I still maintain regular contact, is convinced that I misplaced my brain somewhere over the course of the last eleven years. He would never say as much, of course, but I have seen it in his eyes on several occasions, especially when we're discussing politics or science. It's the sort of look normally reserved for someone who is pontificating loudly while drunk—wry and pitying and full of mock interest.
Is this indeed love, to want to find it outside oneself? I thought that this is love, to bring love along with oneself. But the one who brings love along with himself as he searches for an object for his love (otherwise it is a lie that he is searching for an object — for his love) will easily, and the more easily the greater the love in him, find the object and find it to be such that it is lovable.
-- Kierkegaard,Works of Love, 157.
During the last quarter of the 20th Century, Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer and pediatric surgeon C. Everett Koop embarked on a project to equip the church on the crucial issue of abortion and warn of the looming threats against human life and dignity. Their book and video series,Whatever Happened to the Human Race, contributed to the awakening of evangelical Christians from their cultural slumber. It sounded a call to action and birthed a movement that seeks to protect human life and dignity, moved to care and act on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society.
How are we to evaluate the Western tradition of autonomy from the perspective of Scripture? What resources can the Christian theological tradition bring to help temper the corrosive effects of autonomy and individualism today?
In December of 2005, the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics met to discuss the topic, "Human Dignity as a Bioethical Concept." The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity is committed to human dignity not just as a bioethical concept but as the fundamental concept in bioethics. Our belief in the fundamental nature of human dignity comes from our view of what human dignity is, where human dignity comes from, and the implications that human dignity holds for bioethical issues.
During this Christmas season, as believers celebrate the Messiah’s birth, it is worth looking afresh at the problem of bioethics. This problem will not disappear any time soon and it only promises to grow in urgency as well as intensity. Consider the following observations. Debates on stem cell research continue to flourish in the public square. Conscientious researchers have wrestled with different options for ethical embryonic stem cell research—including the parthenote, morula, organ transplant, altered nuclear transfer (ANT), and Oocyte Assisted Reprogramming (OAR) options.
James is a retired English professor who has recently suffered a left hemisphere stroke. Once extremely articulate, when James now attempts to speak the result is slow and labored, causing an apparent degree of distress readily evident in James’s facial expression. Also apparent is the depression James now exhibits concerning his current situation. However, speech therapy and neuropsychological evaluations demonstrate that James is improving, albeit slowly.
The media spotlight on the Terri Schiavo case brought the world’s attention to important matters such as the use of advance directives and appropriate legal advocacy for the defenseless. It also made it apparent that the myth of neutrality is not regarded as a myth at all. The myth of neutrality is the idea that a secular point of view is free from philosophical or religious influence and, therefore, objective.
In 1929, the American linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf introduced the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis which popularized this idea that language is used not only to express our thoughts but to shape them as well. As Sapir wrote in "The Status of Linguistics as a Science":