Human Exceptionalism

Center on Human Exceptionalism

“Speciesism” Opens the Door to Bigotry

Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer popularized “speciesism,” a derogatory term for the belief that it is acceptable to treat humans differently from animals based solely on species membership. Singer identified this idea as a form of discrimination, as odious as racism and sexism. Speciesism is universally condemned within the animal rights movement (as distinguished from animal welfare advocacy), which holds, in Read More ›

california flag.jpg
California state of United States flag waving on the top sunrise mist fog
Photo by Oleksii on Adobe Stock

Goodbye California: A Lament

I was born at the French Hospital, City of Los Angeles, State of California, in 1949. As of this writing, I have never been outside my native state for more than three weeks. That’s about to change. Last week, I moved from California to the Washington, D.C. area after my wife accepted a journalism job there. The situation should last Read More ›

The Pig-Man Isn’t

There has been much handwringing about the news that scientists injected human stem cells into pig embryos, creating a mostly-pig-but-a-little-bit-human chimera. Some have expressed fears that these experiments constitute a first step toward a hybrid species with human intellectual capacities, like that in H. G. Wells’s horrific Island of Doctor Moreau. Given our neurological complexity, it is highly unlikely that reputable scientists will Read More ›

Nat Hentoff, Great Defender of Human Life

The late, great Nat Hentoff befriended me during the 1990s, I don’t remember exactly when. Having read my work against euthanasia, he reached out to me for an interview for one of his columns. That initial professional interaction bloomed into a good friendship, mostly conducted over the phone, but also in person over meals whenever I was able to get Read More ›

Bioethics in 2017

Assisted Suicide: Last year, Colorado voters and the Washington, D.C. City Council legalized physician-assisted suicide. Ohio, by contrast, passed a law making assisted suicide a felony, no matter who does the helping, and attempts to legalize doctor-prescribed death in about half the states failed. Expect advocates across the country—funded in the abundant millions by George Soros—to push legalization again, with the Read More ›

Bioethics in the Age of Trump

Ever since his unexpected victory, the media have been obsessing over what a Donald Trump presidency will mean for a range of important issues, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change, border enforcement, the judiciary, and Obamacare repeal. But one set of crucial concerns — those that go under the general category of bioethics/biotechnology — has received woefully short Read More ›

Shanghai, China

China Rising

I just returned from two weeks touring the People’s Republic of China. The Great Wall, 2,200-year-old Terracotta Warriors, the Forbidden City—what an experience! The size of the place is mind-boggling. Shanghai alone has almost as many people as the entire state of Texas. Most of the cities I visited are unattractive in that old communist way, with mile after mile Read More ›

A Right to Assisted Suicide for the Institutionalized Mentally Ill

Assisted suicide proponents always promise that facilitated death will be offered solely and strictly to the mentally competent. But once a society accepts the premise of euthanasia—that it is acceptable to eliminate suffering by eliminating the sufferer—there is no way to restrict the putative “right to die” to the mentally healthy. Mental illness often causes greater anguish than any physical disease Read More ›

The Exorcist Takes Christianity Seriously

It is no secret that the entertainment industry often mocks Christianity. It has reached the point of cliché: clergy depicted as lusting hypocrites and believers as reactionaries, haters, and prudish moralists. The institutional Catholic Church, in particular, garners opprobrium; it is regularly portrayed as the perpetrator of dark conspiracies, desperate to maintain its power and prevent the falsity of its Read More ›

Conscripting Doctors

Should anyone outside the military be forced to kill? Most people would say no. But with the ubiquitous availability of abortion—and the push to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia—doctors may soon find themselves required to take lives or risk being booted from the medical profession. Let’s call this threat “medical martyrdom.” Laws today generally protect doctors from being conscripted into Read More ›