Posts Tagged by ethics

Generous with other people’s money

My challenge is this: on what basis can we possibly justify taking money from other people by taxation (ie, through coercion, threat of punishment, etc), to achieve that which we think is a worthy charitable end? [More…]

If you see a beggar on the street, it is perfectly right and proper to want to help him. If you proceed to go over and help him, you’ve done what pleases God. If instead you go across the street, stick a gun in a rich man’s rib, and take the rich man’s money and go over and help the beggar, I am not so sure that is what God had in mind.

Using the government to do our good deeds is essentially being generous with someone else’s money.

I see no basis in the Scriptures for Christians to condone or participate in such a methodology.

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Eugenics the Logical Consequence of Evolutionary Theory Part One

So, if it is the case that eugenics is not a logical consequence to evolutionary theory, by all means, we should wonder how it came to be so strongly associated in the first place. It isn’t enough to righteously deny a connection. For decades the most learned people on the planet believed there was.

To help promote such an investigation, I submit for your reading the positions of a certain Jacob Appel, a modern evolutionary bio-ethicist in support of eugenics, and a book called Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe,writing in 1918. Skip to around chapters 7 and 8 and see if you can spot the similarities between Popenoe’s arguments and Appel’s. (Earlier in, Popenoe credits the Germans for their innovation…)

For example, there is this juicy bit: “The science of eugenics is the natural result of the spread and acceptance of organic evolution, following the publication of Darwin’s work on The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, in 1859.” Page 148.

So, where did the world’s smartest men go wrong in the early part of the 20th century? And why do their arguments sound so similar to what we hear coming out of today’s politicians urging us on to ‘make sacrifices’ ‘for the good of society’?

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Science as Club to Snuff Debate, Choice, and Conscience

This story is a perfect illustration of scientism and its dangers to our society. The idea that something is intrinsically morally correct by virtue of being ‘scientific’ is a non sequitur, certainly, but nonetheless coming to be quite common. Science gave us the atom bomb, too, but it is self-evident that the decision to use it should be political. But can the decision to use it ever be scientific? (The movie IRobot comes to mind, here).

Is there any way to get from an observation of reality or increase in technology to “And you ought…” ?

Of course not. In short, just because the morning after pill is effective and it is only ‘unlikely’ to have the result that conservatives fear, it doesn’t follow that it should be used at all, or that it should be made available to people who are not yet legal adults. Cars are effective, too, but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t be in the loop as to whether or not their underage children should be allowed to drive them.

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On Embryos and Babies and Octuplets

My blog is racking up some nice numbers lately and much of that can be credited to a recent post about the California Octuplets. I’d like to make some clarifications.

In the first place, I stand by my general assessment that as Christians and pro-lifers, since we believe embryos are real persons, the Octuplet outcome is much better than the alternative, which of course is death.

While it is true that the mother in this case probably doesn’t deserve charity, again, as pro-lifers our concern isn’t exclusively for the mother, but also for the children. It is difficult to understand why they don’t deserve charity. They are in this world and so we should care for them. Let the secularists say, “They cost the state 1.3 million dollars, so screw them!” That option is not available to us.

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Octuplets Birth a Victory for the Pro-Life Cause?

What would have been their fate had they not been implanted? I suppose eventually they would have been destroyed. This doesn’t seem like a good solution to me. After the embryos have been created, I find myself happy that they have been given a chance at life.

While in the main the woman strikes me as a pretty loopy in the net analysis I’m glad she did what she did, at least insofar as the embryo implantation goes.

My main point of resistance is not with the implantation but with the creation of the embryos in the first place. In my mind, it is here where the ethical questions should have been played out by the doctors and by society at large. Do we really want to be generating thousands upon thousands of embryos that will be stored indefinitely and then, at the last, destroyed? I am all for helping parents conceive and have children and receiving medical help if necessary, but I am not for creating embryos that one does not plan to implant.

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Lincoln on Slavery Applied to Abortion: Irony in Electing a Pro-Choice Black President

Of course, if humans, individually and collectively, are the final reference point then one may in fact say any of the things above and get away with it. In other words, despite there being clear concern about what happens if the reasoning is taken to its conclusion, some basis needs to be provided for why one shouldn’t adopt the reasoning at all. That is why in the end, the issue of the Divine Morality becomes so critical from a practical stand point.

Which is why it is so ironic that we find a black president who claims to believe in God essentially giving into arguments for abortion on demand. What can explain that?

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One Conservative Reaction to News that Sarah Palin’s Daughter is Pregnant: What would Obama Think?

But to the central issue: does Bristol’s behavior undercut the moral position of her parents? I say no. If the Palins had disowned their daughter, that would have undercut their moral position. For the Christian faith has never been about being perfect and always about owning up to one’s mistakes and receiving forgiveness.

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