On Blogging Heads TV, Robert Wright discusses how we reason about the human good with Robert P. George of Princeton University, a leading scholar of modern natural law theory (with whom readers are no doubt familiar).
- Chapter 1: Natural law vs. utilitarianism (12:01)
- Chapter 2: Why exactly is friendship good? (14:03)
- Chapter 3: Euthanasia and human dignity (7:22)
- Chapter 4: Natural law and conservativism (5:02)
- Chapter 5: What can be done in the name of the greater good? (12:28)
- Chapter 6: Just war theory (6:17)
Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a member of the Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His books include In Defense of Natural Law and Clash Of Orthodoxies: Law Religion & Morality In Crisis.
I’ve watched a few episodes of ‘BloggingHeads’ — video debates between leading bloggers/authors — but this was the first with Dr. George, who is very adept at getting right to the point and crystallizing the respective positions of each side. Likewise this may serve as a good introduction to viewers who aren’t generally accustomed to analyzing moral situations from a (Catholic) natural law perspective.
I’ve written about this issue before. Now I’m going to, as I hear the politicians say on C-SPAN, revise and extend my remarks.
What inspired me to write this time around was a discussion on facebook about a new page dedicated to finding 1 million people who don’t believe in evolution. Of course, the discussion was taking place among people who obviously accept the theory of evolution. I’m not sure what the politics of each involved are, but I can say the following: they are mostly young, they are mostly in college. That means their politics probably lean left, if they don’t topple over to the left. Some might even lean right, and secular conservatives are not unheard of.
They may disagree on fiscal issues and even in some cases, “social” issues – but there is almost a unanimous consensus among educated people that not only is the theory of evolution true; anyone who doesn’t accept it as true without hesitation or reservation is a backwards fool, someone who should keep out of science, keep out of politics, and in one case I saw in this particular discussion, should not be allowed to breed.
Read the rest here (and comment there, if you don’t mind)
Some time ago, someone asked me:
Suppose–just for the sake of argument–you were convinced that an honest reading of the Tradition of the Church required you to believe that the initial chapters of Genesis were historical. Would you be able to do it, or do you think that Darwinism is so irrefutable that you would have to abandon or radically redetermine your faith?
I think this is the question that worries a lot of Catholics without a strong scientific background as they watch the evolution/creationist/ID debate on Catholic blogs. Here are these otherwise solid Christians taking common cause with the likes of the Richard Dawkins against their brother Christians. What gives? Are these folks really Christian? Do they care more about science than about faith? Do they only accept Catholicism so long as it agrees with science?