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1 "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity in Modern Medicine: The Standard of the Natural Moral Law" "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity.

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Presentation on theme: "1 "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity in Modern Medicine: The Standard of the Natural Moral Law" "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity in Modern Medicine: The Standard of the Natural Moral Law" "Testing What is Consistent with Human Dignity in Modern Medicine: The Standard of the Natural Moral Law"

2 2 INTRODUCTION  1. In two of his works, After Virtue and Whose Justice? Which Rationality?, Alasdair MacIntyre points out a central problem of the post modern world and a problem that our conference on human dignity in modern medicine must face: in much moral discourse, the participants are using incommensurable moral concepts; people are using the same words, but these words, even those related to such fundamental notions as person and dignity, have different definitions.

3 3  2. The different ways in which such fundamental notions as "who is a human being", "what are human rights", "who is a person", and "who is God" are understood give rise to different social-cultural communities with their own lived moral traditions.

4 4  3. MacIntyre analyzes a number of different moral traditions but here will focus on two: the dominant secular tradition of the post-modern world of Europe, North America, Taiwan and Hong Kong (grounded on the philosophies of Nietzsche, existentialism, deconstructionism and logical positivism) and that of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

5 5  4. These two world views have fundamentally different notions of the foundation of human dignity: for the Magisterium of the Catholic Church it is the human person as created image of God with a mission of entering an eternal relationship of love with the Triune God; for secular, post modern philosophy it is the self- creating, self-determining individual with a mission to maximum self-development and self- expression. HOW TO DETERMINE WHICH VIEW IS RIGHT??

6 6  5. Jacques Maritain, a modern French- Catholic philosopher, has analyzed carefully what the natural moral law is and how it comes to be known. In this analysis he points out the natural moral law imposes an historical test on all human cultural- historical communities: the more such communities' moral life is consistent with natural moral law, the more they will prosper; the more such communities depart from the natural moral law the more they will diminish and even ultimately disappear.

7 7  6. Not all the values of the post-modern world are incompatible with the Catholic Magisterium; on the other hand, certain values, and the practices that follow from them, certainly are incompatible. Unfortunately, many Catholic bio-ethicists and medical ethicists have chosen the values of post-modern secularism over the Magisterium.

8 8  7. By applying Maritain's test to some concrete medical pratices, we may derive greater confidence in the way that the Magisterium understands the meaning of human dignity and how it applies. that understanding to current, concrete problems of medical morality. We will especially try to show the historical reality that as post-modern cultures have accepted the medical practices associated with reproductive rights and sexual liberation, they have entered "the second demographic transition": which is a clear proof of a culture headed for death.

9 9 Example  Brazil's Federal Council of Psychology (CFP) has announced that it will prohibit psychologists from helping the Catholic Church to weed out candidates to the priesthood who have homosexual tendencies.

10 10  CFP has ruled that "psychologists cannot evaluate people for this purpose, under penalty of infringing the Code of Ethics and Resolution 001/99 of the CFP, which establishes norms of behavior for psychologists in relation to the issue of sexual orientation."

11 11  The ruling, which can be legally enforced in Brazil, could make it more difficult for Catholic officials to apply new Vatican guidelines for screening candidates for the priesthood to remove those with "deep seated homosexual tendencies."

12 12  The Vatican announced the guidelines for psychological testing last month in an attempt to enforce its centuries-old policy, reiterated in 2005, of excluding those with deep seated homosexual tendencies from the priesthood. The 2005 pronouncement came in the wake of the clergy sex abuse crisis, which mostly involved priests molesting adolescent boys.

13 13 Magisterium’s notion of human dignity We start from the highest truth of faith: Trinitarian Love. Who is human person: the person’s dignity, value, mission. The human person is God’s image → dignity, value. Forming an eternal relationship of love with God → The person’s mission. Moral norms are consistent with person’s dignity, value and mission.

14 14 Trinitarian Love Marriage and family life Children more able to learn in loving environment how to love God. Increase love in family. Conjugal act. The particular act through which trinity and parents co-create human person. Human person Increase unitive love between spouses.

15 15  Three absolute moral norms: 1. Absolutely forbidden to kill innocent human being. 2. Sex outside marriage absolutely forbidden. 3. Separation of procreative and unitive functions of conjugal act absolutely forbidden.

16 16 Moral truth — From St. Thomas to contemporary Magisterium God’s objective moral truth Church’s faith Revealed truth Human reason Natural moral law From St. Thomas to contemporary Magisterium, revealed truth and the truth of the natural moral law should be consistent.

17 17 Martin Luther God’s objective moral truth According to each Christian’s faith to recognize Revealed truth Reason Even if in objective theory, still some subjectivity is included. Because it relies on personal interpretation without common standard, for example Catholic Magisterium and Tradition. Corrupt, unreliable Reason More and more emphasize function of reason. Enlightenment

18 18 Empiricism  1. Concept comes from experience.  2. Deny human being has a priori concept.  3. Moral Standard is not reason, but emotional: pain or happiness (experience, feeling, utilitarianism).

19 19 1. Nietzsche claimed “the death of God”. Hence, everyone has to create his own nature. 2. If God is not the creator, then the human being has neither a common nature nor a common need. 3. The basis of morality is need. 4. Everyone creates his own values, has his own subjective morality. People need to tolerate each other. God The Will To Power PERSON

20 20 Kant Logical positivism Empiricism Categorical imperative is moral criterion. Only that which is proven by experiment is true knowledge. If a conflict between science and emotion, science must be chosen, morality must give way. Ethics is based on feeling, therefore not true knowledge, as it cannot be proven by experi- mentation. Utilitarianism

21 21 Deconstructionism  1. Deny the identity among human beings. Emphasize each person is different and the importance of these differences.  2. Morality has no objective standard. Metaphysics and natural moral law don’t exist.  3. “Respect each person and tolerate other’s differences” seems to become the one demand of morality.

22 22 Maritain’s Theory on How the Natural Law is Known  Through an analysis of history, we can apply a text to determine whether a culture understands and executes the natural moral law.

23 23 1. In the long term, justice and correct value system will tend to protect human society and lead to real success. 2. In the long term, injustice and evil will tend to damage and destroy society and will lead to complete failure.

24 24 God’s reason Eternal LawRevelation (Bible, Tradition) Natural moral law ( human reason’s participation in the Eternal Law ) Human reason Moral value of a human being’s free act.

25 25 Integrated fullness of life Person Family Society Religion Essential inclination

26 26 Normal behavior Non-normal behavior Fullness life No fullness of life or inconsistent with human nature Ontological evil

27 27

28 28 A Contemporary Comparison in Human Life Ethics: The Sexual Liberation Movement versus the Roman Catholic Church  Starting assumptions: 1.What is permitted: (1) The sexual liberation movement in general holds the follows: as long as there is free consent and no one gets hurts, any form of sexual expression is permitted. This includes extra-marital and premarital sex, homosexual sexual relations, masturbation, sado-masochism, fetishisms, groups sex, pornography, and, for the most ardent supporters, pedophila, polygamy and polyandry. (1) The sexual liberation movement in general holds the follows: as long as there is free consent and no one gets hurts, any form of sexual expression is permitted. This includes extra-marital and premarital sex, homosexual sexual relations, masturbation, sado-masochism, fetishisms, groups sex, pornography, and, for the most ardent supporters, pedophila, polygamy and polyandry.

29 29 (2) In opposition, the Catholic Church forbids all of these as serious disordered forms of sexual expression or of sex within marriage relationship.

30 30 2.What the law should be: (1) For the sexual liberation movement, in order to enjoy as complete sexual freedom as possible, contraception, abortion and divorce with remarriage must be legally permitted and all laws prohibiting sexual acts (homosexuality or pedophilia, etc.) must be repealed. (1) For the sexual liberation movement, in order to enjoy as complete sexual freedom as possible, contraception, abortion and divorce with remarriage must be legally permitted and all laws prohibiting sexual acts (homosexuality or pedophilia, etc.) must be repealed. (2) Again, all these are forbidden by the Catholic Church. (2) Again, all these are forbidden by the Catholic Church.

31 31  The prime example of a nation that has adopted most of the ethics of sexual liberation is Sweden. (Most of developed nations of Western Europe and North America, Taiwan, Hong Kong have gradually followed Sweden’s lead.)

32 32 1. From elementary school, students are taught the theory of sexual liberation. 2. Over 90% teenagers have premarital sex before they are 19 years old. 3. Over 50% Swedish children are born out side of marriage. 4. The second demographic transition began early in Sweden (rates ranging from 1.2 to 1.5 are the average in Europe).

33 33 Second Demographic Transition  1. Those nations which have accepted medical practices associated with reproductive rights and sexual liberation have entered what demographers term "the second demographic transition: meaning long-term situation of reproductive rates below replacement level (2.1 child per woman).

34 34 According to United Nation total fertility rate for the following countries: Country Fertility rate in 2008(birth/woman) Hong Kong 1.00 Singapore1.08 Taiwan1.13 Japan1.22 South Korea 1.29 Italy1.30

35 35 According to United Nation total fertility rate for the following countries: Country Fertility rate in 2008(birth/woman) Greece1.36 Germany1.41 European Union 1.50 Sweden1.67 U.S.A2.01 Philippines3.00

36 36  3. Characteristics of Cultures in Second Demographic Transition (according to demographers!): a) Widespread promotion of effective contraception backed up by legal abortion contraception backed up by legal abortion

37 37 b) Separation of sex and marriage leading to a general acceptance of pre-marital sex, co- habitation, delay of marriage, delay of having children, increasing number of women who never marry, increasing divorce. c) Aging populations: Japan, Taiwan, all of Western Europe, Canada, "secular-anglo" USA.

38 38  4. No nation that has entered the second demographic transition has come out of it; even with generous government incentives to have children.

39 39 Comparison between Sweden and Philippines:  In 1930 the population of Sweden was 6 million, that of the Philippines 13 million; today the whole population of Sweden, 9 million, can fit into greater Manila, while the young population of the Philippines tops 84,000,000.

40 40 Comparison between Thailand and Philippines:  A recent study has shown that comparing Thailand and the Philippines, while both reported approximately the same number of AIDS cases in the early 1980s, Thailand, which has aggressively promoted condoms as the solution to AIDS now has 700,000 citizens infected with the HIV virus, while the number of AIDS cases in the Philippines, which has promoted abstinence and fidelity, has remained in the thousands.

41 41 Conclusion???


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