There are often great temptations to violate the absolute norms against intentional killing and against lying. On the anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs over Japan, we should remember what is at stake in such decisions and how agents constitute themselves in their choosing.
Gender is a way of communicating truths or falsehoods about one’s sex and its corresponding social and cultural roles. An age of gender confusion and rejection calls for reflection on important issues that, in an upright age, would hardly arise. The second in a two-part series.
As animals that reproduce sexually, humans in the paradigm case are either male or female, with the sexes specified by reproductive roles they can potentially fulfill. According to this account, it is impossible for someone to change his or her sex, and all attempts to do so involve mutilation. The first of a two-part series.
It is philosophically and theologically defensible for Catholics to believe that the death penalty is intrinsically wrong.
In spite of its many problematic aspects, the political thought of J.S. Mill provides a low but solid foundation for the essential convictions of the pro-life movement: that the unborn, in virtue of their common humanity, deserve the full protection of the law.
Although we uphold the cultural taboo on incest, we accept something with precisely the same negative effect on integrity, marriage, and family: pornography.
While Adam Seagrave offers a provocative and original reading of Locke, his assumptions about the self and ownership are deeply problematic.
Senator Rubio was on solid ground in saying science has settled the question of when a human being's life begins. Science does not need to wait on philosophy’s pronouncements to investigate what the human embryo is and when its life begins.
“Intention” and “choice” are complex concepts, but we must achieve clarity about them in order to protect human life and upright willing, as we should never choose to damage or destroy human life by intentionally killing a person.
Although Nigel Biggar’s new book on just war has many strengths, the author gets himself into a moral muddle over the question whether the deaths of innocent non-combatants can be deliberately chosen in war.
Both natural law thought and the Catechism agree: animals are not part of the same justice community as human beings, because they do not possess the dignity that comes from existing as a rational being.
Contrary to the judgment of the Supreme Court, abortion is not a private issue. It snuffs out the existence of a member of the human community—a person like us with a radical capacity for reason and freedom.
Because animals are not truly our equals, advocating that we should treat them as such weakens the pro-life cause. But animals are meant to be part of our households, and the way we treat them should express beauty and virtue, not decay, pride, and domination.
Charles Camosy’s new book argues that we should treat animals with the same Christian justice that underlies our treatment of other people. But human beings and other animals are not fundamentally equal in the way that all human beings are, as free and rational beings created in the image of God.
When President Obama lied about the Affordable Care Act, he substituted his own self-governance and self-constitution for that of the American people.
We all have a moral obligation to use our surplus wealth to help those in need, but we should do so in a way that is effective, fair, and in accordance with our own vocations.
A rant against private schools should teach all of us something about the purposes of education, and what responsible parents should seek for their children.
The Gosnell case shows us that a society’s laws teach, and if they teach a lesson of injustice they will corrupt its people over time. Indeed, contemporary abortion jurisprudence undermines the very notion of natural rights and constitutional government.
Is religious belief wrong, and are religious believers morally culpable for their false beliefs?
Richard Mourdock’s comment didn’t imply that God wills rape; instead, it reminds us that God wills a great good in the coming-to-be of any human life, regardless of the evil circumstances surrounding its conception.
Lying is always wrong because it always compromises the love of truth that we need to know and love God better.
Insofar as our lives are governed by reason, we cannot live without truth and a love for it.
In his new book "Where the Conflict Really Lies," Alvin Plantinga levels a devastating critique against the “new atheism” espoused by thinkers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens.
Were the central task of government to be seen as that of aiding citizens in their own self-constitution, oriented towards real human goods including the good of religion, the HHS mandate would be seen for the unjust imposition it is.
The precepts of the natural law are obligatory not because they are commanded, but because they are necessary for our well-being. God’s revelation of these precepts is better understood as a divine reminding and authoritative inviting.
The absolute prohibition of intrinsically evil acts is the limit on one’s positive obligations.
The tradition of common morality does not permit us to excuse the atomic bomb as a “necessary” evil.
Moral absolutes are not “mere” restrictions on our actions. Nor should they be suspended even when upholding them might bring about grave consequences. They are essential for protecting human wellbeing.
The presumptive starting point in the natural law and, more specifically, Christian tradition is one of absolute opposition to intentional killing of beings created in the image of God, for which exceptions must be earned; but the traditional justifications for such exceptions fail.
Nothing that a man does can change his nature as man, and so, considered in himself, it will always remain wrong to kill him. This should be the final judgment of practical reason when brought to bear on the question of capital punishment.
Intentional killing is always wrong, and support of capital punishment often stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of human dignity.
Contraception does not respond to an authentic healthcare need, and the state acts untruthfully and beyond its legitimate authority when it mandates contraception coverage.
Those who care for the severely disabled and dependent testify to our sense that they are part of the human community.
The requirements of natural reason in the pursuit of goods provide a more adequate starting point for moral reflection than the theological considerations in which moral reflection should come to its fruition.
A person bears moral responsibility for the foreseeable side effects of his reckless actions.
The Live Action case is very different from the Nazis-at-the-door problem, but lying is justified in neither situation.
Lying, even for laudable reasons, is wrong.
The pro-life cause must be advanced by truth and by love, and it must be willing to engage in self-criticism when it fails to meet its own exacting standards.
Accepting the “liberal” definition on pregnancy can actually help clarify the morality of contraception, abortion, and embryo adoption.
Americans must still wrestle with what it means to take the lives of innocent civilians intentionally.
Under the new health-care law, pro-lifers may have to accept inferior health plans, rather than wrongly pay into abortion providing ones.
Three issues—the right to secure borders, the moral costs of illegal immigration, and the virtues of generous neighborliness and forgiveness—must be clarified in order to address the problems of immigration reform.
Sometimes a defense of shared liberal values can become the partisan promotion of one of liberalism's strands.
Both Marc Thiessen and his critics have misunderstood an important moral distinction on the question of torture.
Critics of home-schooling need to be tutored about the nature of education and the family.
Having spent 20 years wrongly diagnosed as in a persistent vegetative state, Rom Houben reminds us that disabled persons are capable of many more substantive opportunities for human fulfillment than we are initially inclined to believe. But is bodily life just as such worth preserving? Can care-givers rightly remove hydration and nutrition?
Sugar, spice, and everything nice or snaps, snails, and puppy-dog tails? A controversy over a South African runner makes us ask what boys and girls are made of.
If citizens and politicians believe that victory is to the loudest, or to the most dramatic, then loud and dramatic they will be. The process of public discourse, by contrast, is often deliberative, difficult, and slow. Its participants must, on occasion, “dare to be boring.”
Pragmatic and moral considerations should not be allowed to distort science, nor should they distract philosophy from its pursuit of truth.
Those who favor providing health care to all shouldn’t necessarily oppose the “public option,” but they will be unable to support a bill if it endorses and entrenches the taking of innocent human life through abortion.