Archive for the ‘sanctity of life’ Category

The Christian Worldview upholds the sanctity of human life

May 29, 2013

Once the old Christian idea of a total difference in kind between man and beast has been abandoned, then no argument for experiments on animals can be found which is not also an argument for experiments on inferior men.

C.S. Lewis, “Vivisection,” in Essay Collection, 693-697

Once you give up the Christian worldview the door is opened to all kinds of potential evil such as performed by eugenicists, Nazis, communists, abortionists etc

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Man is insignificant in evolutionary theory

August 17, 2009

Darwin’s revolution will be completed when we smash the pedestal of human arrogance and own the plain implications of evolution for life’s nonpredictable non-directionality – and when we take Darwinian topology seriously, recognizing that Homo sapiens, to recite the revised litany one more time, is a tiny twig, born just yesterday on an enormously arborescent tree of life that would never produce the same set of branches if regrown from seed. We grasp at the straw of progress (a dessicated ideological twig) because we are still not ready for the Darwinian revolution. We crave progress as our best hope for retaining human arrogance in an evolutionary world. Only in these terms can I understand why such a poorly formulated and improbable argument maintains such a powerful hold of us today.

Stephen Jay Gould, Life’s Grandeur, Vintage, 1997, p.29

Why should we love one another?

August 7, 2009

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 1, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But why should we act in such a way since nations had not been and their barbarism was the very reason for the declaration?

NB  the PREAMBLE

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people

These noble ideals cry out for a secure foundation.

Equality is a value not observed

August 6, 2009

From time immemorial it has been the fashion of critics to point out the obvious facts that in physical strength, talents, and wealth, human beings are not equal. The Declaration of Independence does not assert that all men are equal; it proclaims they are ‘created’ equal.

In essence the phrase ‘ moral equality ‘ asserts in ethical value, a belief to be sustained, and recognition of rights to be respected.Its validity cannot be demonstrated as a problem in mathematics can be demonstrated. It is asserted against inequalities in physical strength, talents industry, and wealth. It denies that superior physical strength has a moral right to kill, eat or oppress human beings merely because it is superior.

C.A. Beard, Freedom, Allen and Unwin, 1942, p.12

The ideal is preserved where a society believes that man (male and female) is created in the image of God.

Sanctity of Life

August 6, 2009

For my part I believe that there is no life so degraded, debased, deteriorated or impoverished that it does not deserve respect and is not worth defending with zeal and conviction … I have the weakness to believe that it is an honour for our society to desire the expensive luxury of sustaining life for its useless, incompetent, and incurably ill members. I would almost measure society’s degree of civilization by the amount of effort and vigilance it imposes on itself out of pure respect for life.

Jean Rostan, the French biologist, quoted from Humanly Possible by C. Everett Koop at the beginning of his The Right to Live; the Right to Die

Dignity and Death

August 5, 2009

Consider Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement. A social worker and nurse, she was appalled at the way medical staff treated people who were about to die-in essence, ignoring them, as tokens of failure. This attitude offended Saunders as a Christian, for she knew that care for the dying was traditionally one of the church’s seven works of mercy. Since no one would listen to a nurse, she returned to medical school in middle age and became a doctor before founding a place where people could come to die with dignity and without pain. Now there are 2,000 hospices in the United States alone, about half of which have a Christian base. Dame Cicely believed from the beginning that Christians offer the best combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual care for those facing death. Now she presents the hospice movement as a glowing alternative to Dr. Jack Kevorkian and his “right to die” movement.

Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing about Grace?p.266-7