Are People Fundamentally Good? 5

Here’s a good one for April Fool’s Day. How do you answer this question: Are people fundamentally good or are they naturally bad?

Why do we pity the fool?

Why do we pity the fool?

I’m going to play the naïve Rousseauean, instead of the devil’s advocate, and say people are good, society corrupts. You are probably going to disagree with me, but I think there is a case to be made here. I won’t simply embrace the noble savage in the end, because I really don’t think the answer to this question is all black and white. It certainly isn’t as simple as the following video makes it out to be. Or is it? You be the judge… More…

Should We Live Forever 3

By Fr Joseph Tham

Recently, I read a book by Gilbert Meilaender, called Should We Live Forever? The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging.  The question of aging and immortality does not seem, at first glance, to be a bioethical topic.  This little book by the Methodist theologian offers profound insights to the oft-ignored questions underlying many bioethical debates today—from euthanasia and the right to die, to regenerative medicine which attempts to extend life using stem cells and cloning, to enhancement and transhumanism. More…

The Passing of a Father of Bioethics 7

By Fr Joseph Tham

Dr Edmund Pellegrino

Dr Edmund Pellegrino

On June 13, 2013, Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, MD, MACP, passed away peacefully at the age of 92.  He rightfully enjoys the title as a Father of Bioethics, due to the importance of his thoughts and the numerous publications and conferences he has given. More…

The Scream of Nature 4

Br Fr Joseph Tham, LC

Munch Edward — The Scream

Recently, Edvard Munch’s emblematic painting “The Scream” was sold for $119.9 million, and became the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction. This painting is one of four similar works by the Norwegian expressionist artist and is also the only one to include a poem on the frame. He explained the inspiration behind this composition: More…

Gay Marriage Should Not Be Called Marriage Reply

In 2008, I published an article in Alpha Omega entitled, “Clearing up Some Natural Confusions on Natural Law.”* In that article I followed Philip Soper’s distinction in “Some Natural Confusions on Natural Law,” concerning the difference between natural law moral theory and natural law legal theory. The present article concerns not the former, not the later (whereas the article I wrote in 2008 concerned the latter, not the former). More…

Plant Personhood? Nuts! Now They’re Saying That Peas Are People Too! 14

You can’t make this stuff up.

Imagine living in fear and uncertainty under the imminent threat that this could happen to you:

Whirled Peas – no pun intended

According to a recent scientific study, peas, that’s right, peas, live in communities, communicate with each other, have memories, and feel stress; therefore, we need to open the discussion concerning the ethical treatment of vegetables. More…

Does Science Need Ethics? Reply

Last May, I was invited to give a talk on this topic at the Faith and Leadership Conference, organized by Renewal in the Spirit Community in Hong Kong.   At first, it seems like an odd question.  It is evident that science and scientists needs to be ethical in their research and their work.  One only needs to recall the haunting images of the atomic bomb explosions over Japan and the Nazi doctors forcing experimentations on concentration camp prisoners.  Science can certainly offer many important advantages to improve our lives, but if it ignores ethics, it could also be used against humanity. More…