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.
Author: Christopher O. Tollefsen (Christopher Tollefsen)
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.
As recent polls and recent events show, Americans remain morally opposed to sexual infidelity in marriage. At the same time, Americans show broad acceptance of premarital sex. But an examination of the reasons why infidelity within marriage is detrimental to human flourishing reveals sexual infidelity prior to marriage to be just as harmful.
Revelations about the infidelities of prominent social conservatives like South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign have led many to mock advocates of public virtue who nonetheless succumb to personal vice. But what’s so bad about hypocrisy?
If religious traditions, belief systems, and moral frameworks are the result of a genuine commitment to and search for the truth, then disagreement of truth claims among adherents must be taken as a sign that some, or even all, of the searches have failed. How can this be a good state of affairs?
The recent publication of the Torture Memos and of the International Red Cross report on the treatment of high-level detainees in the aftermath of 9/11 has returned to national prominence the discussion of the morality of torture and “enhanced interrogation” techniques. It is important to be clear, as a moral matter, on what boundaries should be accepted in interrogation of human beings; a responsible and non-politicized discussion is essential on this difficult issue.
The state is required to protect persons not just from physical harm but from being forced to violate their limited but definite freedom of conscience.
Religious liberty and religious authority are frequently seen in tension, but they need not conflict. In fact, a proper understanding of both shows that they are equally necessary for full human flourishing.
Freedom of conscience is an important, though limited, right. In some cases a state may prevent someone from acting on her conscientious judgments. But in other cases—such as those in which a pro-life doctor is required to perform an abortion—the violation of conscience is intrinsically unjust.
While abortion opponents decry the deliberate destruction of human embryos, as many as half of all embryos are lost naturally. How should pro-life advocates address this problem?
Welfare rights really do exist, and are usually best provided for by voluntary associations. Still, even if states aren’t always the best solution, they do have a role to play.