Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life Ethics: archive

To active file <<<<

Will this 'missing link' render her speechless? Yeahhh, think so too!

WSJ: "Fossil Discovery Is Heralded"

In what could prove to be a landmark discovery, a leading paleontologist said scientists have dug up the 47 million-year-old fossil of an ancient primate whose features suggest it could be the common ancestor of all later monkeys, apes and humans. (...) The discovery has little bearing on a separate paleontological debate centering on the identity of a common ancestor of chimps and humans, which could have lived about six million years ago and still hasn't been found. That gap in the evolution story is colloquially referred to as the "missing link" controversy. In reality, though, all gaps in the fossil record are technically "missing links" until filled in, and many scientists say the term is meaningless. (...) >>>

May 20, 2009
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Cranmer: "Vatican: Obama choice is ‘the worst’"

(...) While the world watches in awe as the President-Messiah continues to pronounce his beatitudes upon all people everywhere, it appears that only the Vatican has the audacity to express any disquiet about the morality; only the Vatican has the discernment to express any concern over the policies; only the Vatican has dared to say how ‘disappointed’ it is with Obama's first acts as President. It is no surprise that the Roman Catholic Church is finding President Obama somewhat antithetical to all that it holds dear. Good intentions and genetically improving the race is something good, right? (...) >>>

Jan 29, 2009
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Yahoo!News: "UK baby born without breast cancer gene"

The first British baby genetically-selected to be born without the gene which causes breastcancer is "doing very well" in hospital. (...)

Jan 9, 2009
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Today's Postmodern notions of "The Great Ape Project" (see elsewhere in this file) and the New Age Materialistic Mysticism that future humans will be developing superhuman/supernatural abilities are further variations on the theme. Excellent piece, comes RECOMMENDED ...

ESR: "The diamond anniversary of dehumanization", by Bruce Walker

Seventy-five years ago, on January 1, 1934, one of the most insidious laws in human history came into effect in Nazi Germany. The innocent sounding name was The Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring. It was the ghastly pinnacle of an unholy theory of human eugenics. Darwinism – not the Theory of Evolution, per se, but the sinister notion that natural selection made God superfluous – liberated man from his obligation to treat fellow men as special creatures in a divinely ordered universe.

In 1915, Canon McClure in his book, Germany's War Inspirers, noted how Germans slid toward eugenics as a replacement of eugenics for traditional religion. He talks of people openly calling for eugenics having "strong claims to become an orthodox religious tenet of the future" and "Eugenics becoming a religious dogma among mankind." He also noted that the nihilist Nietzche was a "pioneer of Eugenics." (...) >>>

Jan 5, 2009
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... what do you get when you spell soros backwards (just joking) ... "Expose SoroS on Facebook" ...

NewsMax: "George Soros Funds Catholic Left" (received by email)

An organization founded by billionaire investor and Democratic financier George Soros has funded two “left-wing” Catholic groups that support abortion rights, according to Catholic League President Bill Donohue. Soros “is connected to two apologists for abortion rights: Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United,” Donohue said in a Catholic League release. “In 2006, Soros’ Open Society Institute gave Catholics in Alliance $100,000 [double the amount he gave in 2005], and in the same year, Catholics in Alliance listed Catholics United . . . as an organization with which it has a formal relationship. 

“John Podesta, who runs the Soros-funded organization Center for American Progress, admits that he works closely with Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United.” Donohue asks, “Why would any Catholic organization take money from a man like George Soros? . . . And why would Soros have any interest in funding Catholic groups? He doesn’t give the Catholic League any money, and if he offered, I would refuse it. “The reason Soros funds the Catholic left is the same reason he lavishly funds Catholics for Choice, the pro-abortion group that has twice been condemned as a fraud by Catholic bishops. They all service his agenda, namely, to make support for abortion rights a respectable Catholic position.” 

On Oct. 17, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput accused Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United of doing a “disservice” to the Catholic Church, according to Donohue, who added, “He’s right — and now we know what really makes them tick.” Chris Korzen of Catholics United sought to counter the criticism from Donohue by asserting that Soros’ organization also contributes to Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and Catholic Legal Immigration Services. But Donohue told LifeNews.com, “Unlike the three Catholic organizations cited by Korzen, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance are apologists for abortion. “Their passion for abortion rights is so strong that they refuse to endorse the legal ban on partial-birth abortion.”

26th Oct 2008
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The Witherspoon Institute: "Obama's Abortion Extremism," by Robert George

Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States. He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress. Yet there are Catholics and Evangelicals-even self-identified pro-lifeCatholics and Evangelicals - who aggressively promote Obama's candidacy and even declare him the preferred candidate from the pro-life point of view.

What is going on here? I have examined the arguments advanced by Obama's self-identified pro-life supporters, and they are spectacularly weak. It is nearly unfathomable to me that those advancing them can honestly believe what they are saying. But before proving my claims about Obama's abortion extremism, let me explain why I have described Obama as "pro-abortion" rather than "pro-choice." (...) >>>

17th Oct 2008
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... the following article deals with a subject that is slowly but surely being pushed on to society: the acceptance of pedophilia ... it is related to the Left's approach to crime in general; it is not the result of Free Will made a bad moral call, but on the contrary, follows from a person's inability to conform to society's arbitrary conventions. Therefore society is at fault, not its 'victim' who is unable - through no fault of his own - to conform to arbitrary social norms; whereas rape was at one time considered 'a fate worse than death', it is today seen as a minor offense and something with which the victim will just have 'to deal': any sexual action is an expression of 'nature' which society shall ave to accept ... (thank Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

PJM: "Towelhead and the Normalization of Sex With Children"

(...) There’s a new civil rights push in Hollywood: the right to have sex with your children. And this Friday, with Towelhead, Hollywood releases their next theatrical volley to normalize the very worst kind of sexual deviancy. During the Q&A, after a sneak preview of Towelhead, writer/director Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) said of child rape, “Society wants us to believe that’s a soul destroying event, I don’t believe that.” (...) Towelhead is the latest in a years-long Hollywood crusade to make the child molester sympathetic and the act of molestation just another step in the evolution of normal, healthy, youthful sexuality. (...) There’s nothing, however, worthy of defense in a spate of recent films that go well beyond the fleshing out of these monsters. (...) Liberal Hollywood’s intolerance of smoking (well, smoking that which is legal), anything or anyone conservative, and George W. Bush is absolute, and yet they always manage to somehow find the nuance in society’s monsters — the sympathetic side of terrorists and child molesters. But there’s something more insidious than just hypocrisy at work here. It is an attempt to normalize, excuse, and promote the worst kind of sexual depravity. >>>

27th Sep 2008
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... if you believe the Nazis ceased to exist after 1945, think again ... the result of Kant's approach to ethics: an individual's absolute duty towards the collective ...

EurSoc:"Logan's Run Revisited"

Remember the old sci-fi movie Logan's Run? A few centuries from now, population growth puts so much pressure on the world's resources, it is decided that the young should lead sybaritic lifestyles while the old - that it, anyone over 30 - are killed off to prevent them taking up space. (...) Who better then to speak the unspeakable than 84 year old Baroness Warnock, who has argued that euthanasia should not only be legal but that the elderly and infirm should be pressed towards death. Baroness Warnock speaks as one of Britain's most respected and best-connected authorities on health and ethics. She is described by the Daily Telegraph as Britain's leading moral philosopher, and in the 1980s sat on a committee which advised on embryo research. (...) there's nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so for the sake of others as well as yourself." (...) >>>


23rd Sep 2008
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... the closing of the scientific mind ...

EurSoc: "The C-Word"

Whatever you say, say nothing. The creationism debate continues. Except that for The Royal Society, there is no debate. The 350 year old science institute forced its director of education, Rev Professor Michael Reiss, to resign. His crime? He argued that creationism should be discussed in schools, if there are children in class who believe it. (...) >>>

... here's another sample how the closing of the scientific mind works in The Spectator ...

18th Sep 2008
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NCR: "After 30 years, bishops, politicians, voters vexed by abortion"

The U.S. bishops' administrative committee announced Sept. 10 the bishops’ conference will take up the enduring and vexing issue of politics and abortion in America when it meets in Baltimore next November. The meeting, which will come one week after the national elections, will take place with an urgency generated by a series of critical statements bishops have made in recent days of major Democratic Party political figures. (...) The bishops took on Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate, Senator Joseph Biden, for remarks they have made about abortion. (...) While the bishops are absolutely firm on the moral issue of abortion, Catholics, including Catholic politicians, continue to be divided in their political responses. This has been the case for more than three decades, and the division is unlikely to be resolved before next November 4th when voters once again go to the polls. (...) >>>

Updated: 12th Sep 2008
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NCR: "Vatican newspaper article challenges 'brain death' notion"

Debates over when life begins are by now wearily familiar, if no closer to resolution – witness Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama’s recent comment that pegging a precise moment is “above my pay grade.” (...) an equally agonizing debate is brewing at the other end of the biological continuum – not over when life begins, but when it ends. The article strongly challenged the concept of “brain death,” referring to the collapse of all neurological functions, to certify someone as actually dead. Just like debates over the beginning of life, the question of the moment of death has excruciatingly practical consequences. Because organs such as hearts and lungs usually must be removed before respiration and circulation cease in order to be suitable for transplant, going back to cardiopulmonary criteria for death would, in effect, mean that many organ transplants would become impossible. (...) the use of neurological criteria is a sham – it’s based, they say, not on real science, but on the desire to speed up declarations of death in order to supply a booming market for transplants. (...) “The idea that the human person ceases to exist when the brain no longer functions, while the body, thanks to artificial respiration, is kept alive, implies an identification of the person with brain activity alone,” Scaraffia wrote. “This is contradiction with the concept of the person according to Catholic doctrine, and therefore with the directives of the church in the case of patients in a persistent coma.” Scaraffia also pointed to cases in which pregnant women have been declared “dead” on the basis of a lack of brain activity, yet kept alive artificially in order to bring the baby to term. Someone capable of giving birth, she implied, defies common sense notions of what it means to be dead. (...) All this suggests that brain death may be the next front in bioethical controversies. (...) >>>

Updated: 3rd Sep 2008
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... the following excerpt cannot be digested any further without affecting understanding of the subject; what it amounts to is this: like philosophy - in this case it is science that is abused and perverted to prop up an irrational piece of ideology ... this article covers the materialistic side of the subject, let alone morality ...

The Weekly Standard: " The U.N. Monkeys Around - The 'Great Ape Project' degrades humanity," by Wesley J. Smith

There is a concerted advocacy campaign underway across several disciplines aimed at knocking human beings off our pedestal of moral exceptionalism and redefining us as merely another animal in the forest. (...) The point of this ideological drive is to degrade our perceived self-worth so much that we will readily sacrifice human prosperity and welfare "to save the planet" or "for the animals," while undercutting the power of theistic religion in general, and Judeo-Christian moral teaching in particular, to influence public policies.

Case in point: the Great Ape Project (GAP), which seeks a United Nations declaration that human beings, apes, chimps, bonobos, and orangutans are all members of a so-called "community of equals," and hence are all entitled to Declaration of Independence-type "rights" to life, liberty, and freedom from torture. Since its introduction in 1993, the GAP's radical agenda has gained support from some of the world's most notable public intellectuals and is on the verge of becoming the law of Spain. (See: TEXT, THE WEEKLY STANDARD, July 21, 2008.) The effort to create human/chimp moral equality is distinctly ideological, though proponents often wrap it in a scientific veneer.

Never mind that human beings and chimpanzees are different species that cannot interbreed. And never mind that we have 46 chromosomes (gene-carrying structures) in every cell and chimps have 48. (...) We are no more "98 percent chimp" then we are 40 percent salad because we share approximately that percentage of genes with lettuce. (...) the actual percentage of genetic differences that account "for the anatomical and behavioral disparities between our knuckle-dragging cousins and us" may be as high as 6 percent. (...) Moreover, the purported 94-98 percent similarity--whichever it is--doesn't compare total genetic makeup, but only the DNA that "encodes proteins," that is, that stimulates the production of the building blocks of our physical bodies and functions. But such "coding-DNA" makes up only a small fraction--perhaps 2 percent--of our genome (...)

Looking past the small amount of our DNA that encodes for proteins to the bulk of our genes known as "repetitive" or "non-coding" DNA, we find some congruence, but mostly a wide genomic gulf of difference separating humans from chimpanzees. (...) areas of genetic similarity between us and chimps do not necessarily produce the same outcomes. (...) here are actually 40 million identifiable basic biological distinctions between the two species. (...)

Ideology--not science--is the nub of the matter, reflecting a fervent desire among the "all we are is apes" crowd to destroy the cultural values explicitly upholding the highest moral worth of human beings. Society may choose to go the ape route, of course. But it is perfectly clear that the proposed radical changes in morality and law are not justified by current scientific understanding. >>>

Updated: 22nd Aug. 2008
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Elsevier: "Home for the Elderly No Longer Resuscitates the Elderly" (free translation from Dutch)

Residents of the St. Peter's Hospital were shocked when they received a letter from the management. It said that residents over seventy would no longer be resuscitated. According to them resuscitation markedly reduces the quality of life in people over seventy years of age. Residents and relatives are outraged. The management proposes an 'opt in' rather than an 'opt out': patients must clearly indicate they want to be reanimated, otherwise (...) >>>

... what's more bizarre? the above, or the reactions from politicians and pundits? ... "uncivilized" and "this is age discrimination" ... God keep us!

Updated: 16th Aug. 2008
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Politeia: "The Anti-Human Philosophy of Darwinism"

An article by Dinesh d'Souza on Townhall in clarification of a recent al Jazeera broadcast in which he was juxtapositioned to Richard Dawkins, shoots once again to the forefront the fruitless discourse on Darwin's Theory of Evolution on the one hand, versus Creationism and Intelligent Design (ID) on the other (the latter a legal collation). (...) We see that relativist thinkers use the Christian approach as an excuse for the relativist anti-humanism. The Biblical principle that God created man in His image leads not only to the fundamental objectivity that all men are created equal (also rejected by relativism); but the same teaching laid the cornerstone as well for the anthropocentrism that relativists so fiercely denounce. Man is not Nature's lord and custodian, but its usurper. Down with civilization, long live Rousseau's noble savage! What seems at first glance to be a legitimate debate on a existential issue which may be approached from a religious, philosophical or sccientific angle, can on analysis be reduced to the usual boring banalities of the Postmodern political agenda: a ploy for the deconstruction of Western civilization through the anti-modern dialectic (sigh ...). >>>

Updated: 31st July 2008
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