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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

 
Man, did I take a beating here.

Had the post been about someone other than me, I would most likely be cheering it. It's well-written and it's very refreshing to hear someone with faith address issues with responses other than "because God/Bible/Jesus said so." However, since it's about me, I feel obligated to clear up a few points.

All these "I was raised catholic lines..." give me hives. What's up with that? Does any one go around saying "I was raised Italian"

These are two different things. I was baptized Catholic by my two immigrant parents. I was an usher and altar boy as a child and was a Eucharistic Minister and very happy to be doing all those things; very close to the priest. My senior year of high school a had a friend commit suicide and another announce he was gay. Naturally, I went to the priest and he informed me both their souls would wind up in hell. After a couple days of contemplation I decided while I would continue my worship of God I could not stay in a religious community where their interpretation of God's love would be contigent upon whom you love. Of course, this is a separate issue altogether. My point is, I am not a member of the Catholic church any more. You can't say you were raised Italian because you were born Italain. You were not born Catholic.

Working backwards from the post:
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard my friends say "I think faith is a personal thing. I don't believe we should force our beliefs on others...Personal things are not private; personal things are common." -Mark Shea

I wish I had a nickel for every time someone tried to pawn their faith on me. Admittedly, I do not get this frequently from Catholics (outside my immediate family anyway). It is this arrogance of the same people that attribute things to "God's mysterious ways" and "they know God wants me saved". God wants you be a virtuous person. He doesn't want you to talk at people about Him. He wants you to act.


Let's put aside the Fullness of Truth for the moment. Let's just talk about the truth. Shall we? Good. Let's begin with a simple proposition, then. Human beings are special. They are so special that they enjoy a special dignity just for being around. They're lots of reasons for this. Still, who wouldn't argue that this is a self-evident truth? Thomas Jefferson didn't. Neither did many Enlightenment era philosophers. It's kind of hard to argue about the importance of human rights without acknowledging the inherent dignity of the human being.


Well, you're right. And not only are you right, you've said it better than I could. We absolutely must acknowledge the inherent dignity of the human being. I admit in my last post I got caught up in other things but you're dead on. We are not treating these mini-lives with the respect that they require. And with The Holy Fool as my witness, I reaffirm my position on defending the human being.

The cornerstone of any reasoned thought is the law of non-contradiction. This means that something is this or that, or on some continuam in between. Something is not two divergent things at the same time. For example, women are not "sort-of" pregnant. They either are, or are not.

Again, point well-taken. There is no question that at the moment of conception that life begins. The point made by others is: is that life, at that point, a human life? As I've said before, it's got a pretty likelyhood. It certainly isn't going to come out a horse. If it's not some form of human what is it?

Oh, and as for his whole religion-is-personal myopia...

Trying to gain perspective from other points of view is not myopic. I have a hard time believing Hinduism is a sin. That's why I was a bad Catholic.

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