An understanding of the transcendence of creation forms the essential foundation of natural science. But does that understanding require revelation?
The roots of today’s judicial activism stretch back one hundred years to the appointment of controversial Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a champion of “sociological jurisprudence.”
The truth that human beings possess a natural personhood and natural rights is not incompatible with the idea of corporate personhood and rights that exist not by nature but by convention.
Corporations, and civic associations in general, are necessary bulwarks between governmental power and individual citizens—but they’re not people. Now more than ever, we must recover a clear understanding of what it means to be a human person with inherent dignity and natural rights.
With a simple change, the Senate can restore its republican bona fides, give minority points of view an audible voice, greatly reduce the number of filibusters, make incremental gains in the passage of bills important to the majority, and improve the quality of debate.
Justice William Brennan’s vision of a living constitution continues to dominate contemporary constitutional interpretation, in spite of its troubling inconsistencies.
In direct opposition to international law, both the central UN bureaucracy and individual Member States are aggressively promoting same-sex marriage worldwide.
The destruction of the Jedi order was due, in large part, to their persistent blindness to the deep, essential, and ineradicable power of familial love. The Skywalkers can bring balance to the Force because they unite it with love learned through family.
Today we are called to reflect anew on the vision and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., not in mere deference to ceremonial custom or civic piety but instead as Lincoln reflected on the Founders, mindful of the crisis of the times.
In its zeal to deal with suffering, modern bioethics fails to account for the rights of the sufferer. There is no law that can legitimize taking a life too soon.
When assessing the case of Christopher Dunn, in which some key details remain hazy, we ought to give his physicians and hospital ethics committee the benefit of the doubt.
In a domain in which the proposed “therapies” are so drastic, it is not too much to ask for a solid, evidence-based statement of who is being treated, for what, and why, before writing a prescription or passing a law.
No American should be forced to violate his or her moral and religious beliefs, especially when it comes to morally fraught issues in health care.
Big Business and Big Law are using Big Government to impose their cultural values on small businesses and ordinary Americans. Indiana does not need to create new laws on sexual orientation or gender identity for people who identify as sexual minorities to be treated justly. The best way to protect all Hoosiers is for Indiana not to adopt a SOGI policy at all.
Bradley J. Birzer’s intellectual biography of the twentieth-century conservative thinker Russell Kirk highlights the complexities of the American conservative movement and its ongoing challenges.
In deciding to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from an alert and cognizant patient who was pleading for his life, a Texas hospital’s ethics committee stole from him the two most fundamental rights enumerated in our Constitution: life and liberty.
Traditions, duties, and ideals cannot exist without attachment to particular communities—a man can love his neighbors or his nation, but he cannot love an abstraction like humanity.
A recent film accurately portrays the deep emotional and psychological problems that transgender people experience, but it fails to address the reality of life after sex reassignment surgery and the need to treat comorbid psychological disorders.
On August 2, 2018, Pope Francis announced an update to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making a prohibition on the death penalty official Catholic teaching. Prior to this change, many scholars believed that the historic teaching of the Church did not declare capital punishment intrinsically immoral, even if the practice is, as a matter of prudence, not required in countries with modern prison systems that can safely isolate dangerous criminals. Other scholars argued that the natural law duty to respect all human life does in fact render any intentional taking of human life morally unacceptable, and that this development of doctrine does not contradict any infallible teaching. The articles below lay out this debate, with clear summaries of the arguments on both sides.
Intentional killing is always wrong, and support of capital punishment often stems from a misunderstanding of the nature of human dignity.
If one accepts the legitimacy of punishment and the principle of proportionality, then it is impossible to claim that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong.
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.
While not explicitly denying the principle of proportionality, Tollefsen implicitly rejects it, leaving his argument not only counterintuitive but incoherent.
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.
Edward Feser and Joseph M. Bessette’s new book asserts that Catholics cannot legitimately reject the death penalty as wrong always and everywhere. They are wrong. Part one of a two-part essay.
Four conditions must be met for a teaching of the Catholic Church to be considered infallible. Acceptance of the death penalty meets none of them. St. John Paul II laid down theoretical markers that provide a clear basis for a Catholic teaching rejecting the death penalty in principle. Part two of a two-part essay.
Arguments against the death penalty can be made not only on the basis of theology but also on the basis of natural law philosophy. The first in a two-part series.
There is a genuine tension, not just in Aquinas but in Church teaching more generally, between claims about the intrinsic goodness, sanctity, and inviolability of human life, and claims about political authority to kill. The second in a two-part series.
E. Christian Brugger is wrong: neither scripture nor tradition could justify a reversal of the Church’s millennia-old teaching on capital punishment
If E. Christian Brugger is right, then the Church has been teaching grave moral error and badly misunderstanding scripture for two millennia. Nothing less than her very credibility is at stake.
Aquinas taught the principle that a punishment ought to be proportionate to the offense, where death is a proportionate punishment for the gravest crimes.
It’s three times more likely that you’ll die of lightning than that Aquinas will turn out to be wrong about something. The same cannot be said of New Natural Law philosophy.
Reason operating without error judges that no human being should ever intend the death of another human being for any reason whatsoever. No achievable good can justify such a choice. And that is the foundation for the case against the death penalty.