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Human Exceptionalism

Center on Human Exceptionalism

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Is Society Now Adopting the Values of ‘Blade Runner’?

“Blade Runner” may be the most influential science fiction movie of my lifetime.  The 1982 film starred a terrific Harrison Ford as a world-weary detective assigned to find a terrorist cell of artificially intelligent cyborgs with super human capacities. Led by Rutger Hauer, the cyborgs have traveled to earth from space colonies in a desperate attempt to force their designer Read More ›

Euthanasia Zealots Push Starvation as ‘Death with Dignity’

It’s getting very dark in euthanasia-land. Not content with legalizing assisted suicide for the terminally ill in six states plus the District of Columbia — with Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Colombia allowing lethal jab euthanasia — and unsatiated with Switzerland’s suicide clinics to which people from around the world attend — the so-called “death with dignity” movement now is pushing self-starvation as a splendid way to die. Read More ›

Oversight Needed

Somewhere in the Great Beyond, Aldous Huxley must have been shaking his head and saying “I told you so” after Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced the birth of twin girls whose genes he claimed to have edited. If true, these are the first genetically engineered human babies. After creating the embryos via in vitro fertilization, He—known in the biotechnology research Read More ›

Canadian Doctors Get Ready for Child Euthanasia

It never made any sense. The assurance that active euthanasia would always be limited to terminally ill, competent adults just never made any sense. Here’s the problem: Once a society widely supports eliminating suffering by eliminating the sufferer and redefines as a “medical treatment” the act whereby doctors kill seriously ill patients, there is no logical argument for limiting euthanasia to adults with legal decision-making capacity. After all, children suffer too, so how can they be logically refused “medical aid in dying” — or MAID, the current euphemism for euthanasia and assisted suicide — only because of their age? The short answer, of course, is that they can’t and they won’t be, once a society generally embraces euthanasia consciousness, as is demonstrated …

Transhumanist Bill of Wrongs

Transhumanists have seen the future and it is authoritarian. More specifically, it is both authoritarian and anti-human. To make matters even worse, transhumanism would coercively bankrupt the world economy. Beyond that, it’s a pipe dream that threatens venerable Western values. What’s not to like? For those who may not know, transhumanism is an increasingly influential futuristic social movement that flowed out of the high academy to become a pet cause of atheism advocates and Silicon Valley billionaires. Akin to a contemporary Tower of Babel project, it is utopian to the core, with adherents who grandiosely plan to “seize control of human evolution” to bring about a “post-human” species that will leave natural humanity in its wake. When it first emerged, Read More ›

A Gruesome Plan

The Hippocratic Oath is dead. “Do no harm” medicine is fast becoming extinct. Contemporary health care is increasingly under the sway of a utilitarian bioethics that makes the elimination of suffering the prime directive—to the detriment of traditional standards of medical morality that deem all human life equally worthy of care and protection. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has been …

The Wages of Death

Twenty-five years ago, Newsweek published my first essay. In the wake of my friend’s suicide under the influence of the Hemlock Society, I worried that some suicides would be “promoted as a virtue” if assisted suicide, or euthanasia, was ever accepted. (Assisted suicide involves a doctor’s knowingly prescribing drugs for use in the patient’s suicide; euthanasia involves a doctor’s lethally injecting the patient.) After that, I predicted, eligibility for hastened death would expand to those “who don’t have a good ‘quality’ of life,” “perhaps with the prospect of organ harvesting thrown in as a plum to society.” Read More ›