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Focus on the Family’s on-line magazine did an interview with me for a feature on “pro life heroes.” I am certainly no hero. All I do is write and speak, emitting hot air and particulate matter as I go, hence the name of this blog. And as for being pro life, my thesis is human exceptionalism and the equal moral worth of human life—and it still stuns me that is deemed controversial.

The text, linked here, abridged from a much longer interview, is edited fairly, both as to substance and context. Here is how it concludes:

Q: Given embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and genetic engineering, is science working against the pro-life movement?

A: An unfortunate hubris has seeped into the leadership of science and bioethics—an attitude that sees science as the be-all and end-all. But naked science, unmediated by morality, can become monstrous. I’m not saying these scientists are monstrous, but that biotechnology has developed astonishing powers to the point that we possess the ability to manipulate the very building blocks of life. It seems to me that kind of sheer power calls for a little humility. After all, we are the species that created the unsinkable Titanic.

In our society, we create proper parameters and checks and balances through democratic processes. We don’t allow certain things to be done in human research, not because science says don’t do it, (but) because our ethics and our values say don’t do that to human beings. Science, as every human enterprise, needs ethical boundaries beyond which it should not go, and we have a right to decide what those proper parameters are.

Hardly heroic, but I hope there is some wisdom to be found.
(Last week Rita Marker, my mentor in working against assisted suicide and the head of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide was the featured interviewee. Here is the link to what she had to say. If you are interested in the assisted suicide issue, you won’t want to miss it.)

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