A Guide Through the Thicket

For some time now, First Things has sought to bring Catholics and evangelicals together. Richard John Neuhaus, Charles Colson, and their fellow travelers have engaged in an fruitful ecumenism of the trenches, discovering as they went along that they had more in common than they knew, particularly with respect to Christian ethics and the church’s public witness. And much though not all of First Things’ work has been in the service of a religiously informed “public philosophy,” seeking to find a common language for perennial truths about marriage, life, freedom, and other issues in the public square. Continue Reading »

Heart's Knowledge

Disability, Providence, and Ethics: Bridging Gaps, Transforming Lives
 by hans s. reinders 
baylor, 248 pages, $49.95 What sort of world do we live in? Is it a world of chance and fortune without meaning? When bad things happen, an accident or an illness, is it only bad luck? Or is there a . . . . Continue Reading »

Euthanasia's Cancerous Corruption of Medical Morality

During World War II, German doctors euthanized disabled babies and adults. As Robert Jay Lifton reported in The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, no one forced these doctors to kill. Many of them believed euthanasia to be a “healing treatment” that ended “unlivable” lives, liberated families from the burden of caregiving, and kept the country from “wasting” scarce resources on the lebensunwertes leben(“life unworthy of life”). Such was the fruit of years of utilitarian indoctrination and the resulting societal acceptance of eugenics ideology.At the time, Netherlander doctors were well aware that German medical ethics had devolved. Thus, when the German commander of the occupation, Arthur Seyss-Inquart (now known as “the Butcher of Holland”), commanded that Dutch medical practices adjust to the German way, Netherlander doctors courageously defied the order. Continue Reading »

Utility’s Deceptions

Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization by Charles C. Camosy Cambridge, 284 pages, $29.99 Peter Singer has long argued that we need a revolution in our ethical thinking every bit as radical as the Copernican revolution in cosmology. One of the central tasks of this revolution is the . . . . Continue Reading »