Roe, Roe, Roe, Abort…

October 27, 2005 § 4 Comments

…gently silent scream…

The new Roberts court in action on abortion.

(HT: Mark Shea)

So That’s That

October 27, 2005 § Leave a comment

A dignified way to withdraw, if not precisely addressing the issues that led to it.

Harriet Miers: Typical Modern Liberal?

October 27, 2005 § 3 Comments

Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers said in a speech more than a decade ago that “self-determination” should guide decisions about abortion and school prayer and that in cases where scientific facts are disputed and religious beliefs vary, “government should not act.”…

“The ongoing debate continues surrounding the attempt to once again criminalize abortions or to once and for all guarantee the freedom of the individual women’s [sic] right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion,” Miers said.

Those seeking to resolve such disputes would do well to remember that “we gave up” a long time ago on “legislating religion or morality,” she said. And “when science cannot determine the facts and decisions vary based upon religious belief, then government should not act.”

(HT: Lawrence Auster)

Calculating the Bang and Narrating Design

October 25, 2005 § 2 Comments

John Farrell posts about Michael Behe’s testimony at some evolution trial. I agree with Farrell’s criticism of Behe in this instance, though not with his glib dismissal of Behe and “Intelligent Design” in general. Big Bang cosmology is based on using the mathematics of general relativity to extrapolate backward in time. “Intelligent Design” such as that espoused by Behe does not extrapolate backward in time mathematically: it does so narratively.

But that raises the interesting point that evolutionary theory in general does not extrapolate backward in time mathematically, but rather does so narratively. So Farrell’s criticism of Intelligent Design applies with equal force to evolutionary theory in general. I am agnostic on whether such narrative extrapolations are or are not “science”, but clearly mathematical theories such as general relativity (of which the Big Bang is simply an extrapolated endpoint) are epistemically quite different sorts of things from narrative theories such as evolution.

(HT: DarwinCatholic).

"Pro-Choice" is Not Deceptive

October 19, 2005 § 14 Comments

Michelle Arnold has an interesting post up entitled The Wordplay Of Abortion. This is an important topic, and my own view on it is a bit different from the usual one, or perhaps peels back an additional layer of the onion.

I think that a fundamental problem arises when our public discourse becomes dominated by talk of “rights”. Framing public morality in terms of rights at least connotes, and perhaps denotes, that a person can legitimately choose to have his rights enforced, or not. If I have a right to a particular piece of property I can choose whether or not to have trespassers expelled. If I have a right to life it at least connotes the idea that I (or my representative, if I am not competent) get to choose whether or not I live, and the manner in which I am willing to live.

But that underlying connotation of choice does not obtain as an objective moral matter. As a gedankenexperiment, even if (though this is not possible in reality) the baby herself did not want to live, that would not make it morally acceptable to abort her. And perhaps less intuitively, if I own a piece of property I am its steward, and it would be morally wrong for me to allow it to be overrun and ruined rather than tended in some way for the greater glory of God.

So I agree that language is a big part of the cultural problem and has to be addressed. But I think the rabbit hole goes deeper than most people realize.

George W. Bush vs. Alexander Hamilton

October 14, 2005 § Leave a comment

Miers, Oh Miers

October 13, 2005 § 2 Comments

On the bright side, there is no reason to believe that Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is a legal positivist. On the downside, the reason is because one wonders whether she has any inkling of what the term even means.

I am not necessarily negative about the Miers nomination because of the issue of abstract experience and qualifications, as something formal and distinct from the human person exercising them, though. What is needed on the Supreme Court isn’t a super-Lawyer. What is needed on the Supreme Court is a saint.

Lawrence Auster is pretty unhappy with nominee Miers for the right reasons.

Where Am I?

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