RAPID RESPONSE REPORT
DEFENDING HISTORIC CHRISTIANITY IN A POSTMODERN WORLD
THE POSTMODERN VIEW OF MAN
Several months ago my wife (a high school science teacher)
attended a national conference for science teachers in
"For three thousand years at least, a majority of people have considered that human beings were special, were magic. It's the Judeo-Christian view of man. What the ability to manipulate genes should indicate to people is the very deep extent to which we are biological machines. The traditional view is built on the foundation that life is sacred....Well, not anymore. It's no longer possible to live by the idea that there is something special, unique, even sacred about living organisms."
This quote is from Robert Haynes, president of the 16th
International Congress of Genetics. I found it in a terrific article from
one of the guys (Jim Leffel) at the
Of course this PM view of man presents them with some real difficulties. If man is not qualitatively different than the animals, on what basis should we treat man differently? There appears to be none, and it is easy to see why Singer believes we should treat a chimp with more regard than a human fetus. Leffel in his essay says: "How, for example, can we speak of protecting human rights without identifying the bearer of those rights." Though they dread hearing it, the Nazi dictum that there is some "life not worth living," is very PM. Need we keep reminding our readers of the close affinity of PM and Fascism. Mortimer Adler, editor of The Great Books, and author of about 50 books, anticipated this moral dilemma back in the 60's when he published what I believe to be one of his most insightful books, entitled: The Difference of Man and the Difference It Makes. As you might recall, about 10 years ago Adler announced that he had converted to Christianity. I believe he was in his eighties at the time. I personally believe that this ethical dilemma had something to do with his disenchantment with humanism. The lesson here is that we should push PM's on this ethical issue--the basis for benevolence toward our fellow man. I have a brief outline available surveying this subject which you might find helpful www.fni.com/cim/briefing/humdif.html
Before we can converse with PM's about the subject of who man is, it stands to reason that we should be thoroughly familiar, not only with the PM view, but with the Christian view. I think Francis Schaeffer's little book: Pollution and the Death of Man is a good survey of both sides of the issue. Yes, the book is about ecology, but Schaeffer very wisely deals with the issue of man in that context. It's still very relevant today.
OTHER ARTICLES OF NOTE
Nancy Pearcey just keeps churning out good articles. She makes us all look bad with her productivity. How does she do it?
In the light of the recent court decisions in the presidential election she has written "The Roots and Remedy of Judicial Imperialism: Why Judges Make Law.” In a PM world how do judges make legal decisions? www.discovery.org/viewDB/index.php3?command=view&id=533&program+CRSC
The article by William Kristol and Jeffrey Ball that she quotes from ("Against Judicial Supremacy") can be found here: www.weeklystandard.com/magazine/mag_6_12_00/kristol_bell_art_6_12_00.asp
In First Things, Pearcey
reviews Pete Singer's new book on politics and
In Issue #4 of RRR www.fni.com/cim/rapid/RRRFour.htm
we reported that the
In response to the previous declaration, the Pope now says heaven is open to all as long as they are good. This is in line with previous universalistic teaching of the RCC and the Second Vatican Council. Now the Pope is not a PM, but the pressure to issue this clarification was certainly due the fuss that arose among multiculturalists.
Michael Medved, a notable critic
Finally, two articles about religion growing on university
campuses. The first is from the
The second is from the
Next issue will be in January, 2001. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from the CIM staff.
For Christ and His Kingdom