Monday, May 30, 2011

Rethinking Choice: Human Personhood and the Abortion Debate

Fetal Development
Update: It has come to my attention that the timeline I'm describing has an error by a week or two. I don't have time to fix it, but the underlying idea is sound.

One of the most politically important questions of our day is defining the bounds of a human life, and who has control over it. This is in large part because it is so divisive, a treacherous landscape governed mainly by religious and political motivations, rather than by empirical truths, and serves as a distraction from the truly critical issues facing our country. It is therefore imperative that we formulate and proactively support a definition of human life that accounts for both fetal development and the fact that the mother and fetus are a single, integrated system.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The World is Safe For Now: 2012, Harold Camping, and Why the Biblical End of the World Won’t Happen

The Death Star's superlaser about to hit Alderaan.
How worlds ended in Star Wars.
Doomsday. It’s a frightening and captivating idea which has held firm in the imaginations of humans for as long as we’ve been telling each other stories. Indeed, one only needs to look to the big summer movies which routinely threaten humanity/the earth/the universe with every imaginable form of destruction.

Talk of the real end of the world has heightened in the last few years, first with the idea that the Maya supposedly predicted 2012 as the end, and most recently with Harold Camping’s extraordinarily well-publicized biblical ‘calculation’ that the rapture would occur this year. Both of these ideas were ludicrous, and I’ll briefly explain before discussing the biblical end of the world in general.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrating the Death of a Terrorist

The announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death around 10:30 pm on May 1st, 2011 came as a surprise, and some details of the operation were similarly surprising, not the least of which is the fact that he was hiding in plain sight, right in the midst of a Pakistani military town near the capital. His death certainly won’t mean the immediate end of efforts against terrorism, and it may even lead to an initial increase in attempted attacks.

But the details of the operation aren’t really what I want to talk about right now. I want to talk about our reactions to his death. Though I’m certainly not alone in discussing this.