AI Technology: The New Intellectual Revolution And Ethics

Apr 8th, 2023 | By

The Age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is upon us. It is a transformation of human thought and interaction with machines unprecedented in human history. Many are talking about AI but few understand it and even fewer are wrestling with the ethical implications of this revolution. Recently, Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google and Daniel Huttenlocher, Dean of the Schwarzman College of Computing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published an article in the Wall Street Journal that profoundly impacted me personally.

Ethics: The Unthinkable Becoming Acceptable

Mar 2nd, 2019 | By

Years ago, I read an article written by the late Chuck Colson, who made this observation about ethical issues in Western Civilization: “What was once unthinkable, become debatable and then gradually becomes acceptable.” I do not know whether this was original with Colson or whether he borrowed it from someone else, but many times I have affirmed the accuracy of this reflection. I guess I have become hardened as I have gotten older, but I find myself rarely stunned by cultural accommodation anymore. Developments I once regarded as unthinkable are now accepted widely and enthusiastically.

Should We Grow Transplantable Organs for People in Animals?

Feb 11th, 2017 | By

For the first time, biologists have succeeded in growing human stem cells in pig embryos, increasing the possibility that one day soon we may develop human organs in animals for later transplant. . . This means that the human-organ-growing pigs would be examples of chimeras?animals composed of two different genomes?a human and a pig. When the human stem cells are implanted into an early pig embryo, the result is an animal composed of mixed pig and human cells.

The Ethics of Human-Animal Stem Cell Research

Sep 17th, 2016 | By

In early August 2016, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it was planning to lift its ban on funding some research that injects human stem cells into animal embryos. This rather remarkable decision involves growing human tissues or organs in animals to better understand human diseases and develop therapies to treat them. That scientists are placing human cells into animals is not new; this has been a common practice for years. What is new here is that such implantations involve human stem cells being placed in animals. Human stem cells are placed into developing animal embryos where they can become any type of cell?for organs, blood or bones. The larger goal of such a practice could be, for example, growing a human kidney in a pig for a transplant back into a human.

Human Dignity and Euthanasia: A Biblical Perspective

Apr 26th, 2014 | By

One of the most fundamental of all biblical propositions is that humans are created in God?s image: That humans both resemble God (e.g., attributes such as intellect, emotion, will) and represent God (i.e., as His theocratic stewards, Gen. 1:26ff) provide the basis for the worth, value and dignity of humanity.

Intolerance in America: The Case of Brendan Eich

Apr 19th, 2014 | By

Over the last twenty years especially, homosexuality has been reframed as an issue of rights. The debate over same-sex marriage has been redefined that way as well. Overall, both issues are now viewed exclusively as a civil rights issue. One of the primary results of viewing these as civil rights issues is the tendency to limit First Amendment rights, especially the freedom of speech and the freedom of religious expression. In other nations, we are already seeing this occur. In England, a Catholic school was forbidden to fire its openly gay headmaster. In Canada, the Alberta Human Rights Commission forbade a Christian pastor from making ?disparaging? remarks about homosexuality or even repeating biblical condemnations. Such blatant challenges to free speech are not quite yet occurring in America, but we are almost there.

An Ethical Dilemma: Genetic and Reproductive Technologies and the Human Embryo

Mar 8th, 2014 | By

Ethically speaking, does the end always justify the means? Does a seemingly good end (having healthy babies free of all genetic disorders) justify the means (in vitro fertilization, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, etc.)? Reproductive and Genetic Technologies have empowered humans to a degree unimaginable only a few years ago. These technologies are also empowering parents to decide what kinds of children they want. Therefore, these technologies raise profound ethical questions, including ethical questions about the human embryo.

Do Chimpanzees Have Rights?

Dec 20th, 2013 | By

In late November, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a chimpanzee named Tommy of Gloversville, New York. Stephen M. Wise, leader of the Nonhuman Rights Project, is demanding that the State Supreme Court in Fulton, County, NY recognize Tommy as a legal person, with a right to liberty, but one that has limits. . .
How should we think about this rather novel and extraordinary legal argument to establish that chimpanzees are legal persons, with rights and liberties? Permit me to offer several reflections on the growing animal rights movement

Abortion: 40 Years after Roe v. Wade

Nov 30th, 2013 | By

The Supreme Court?s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 changed America. Abortion remains one of the most contentious issues in our culture, with positions on both sides of the divide uncompromisingly hardened. For many, it is the touchtone issue of life. And perhaps because it deals with life and its value, it will never diminish in its importance to American civilization. Several thoughts:

Postmodern Autonomy, Gambling and Marijuana

Nov 16th, 2013 | By

At the center of the Postmodern worldview is the doctrine of personal autonomy–the idea that as free humans we are a law unto ourselves. In Postmodernism, the self defines reality. There are virtually no boundaries for behavior and there are few authority figures that matter anymore. Autonomy impacts all aspects of culture?entertainment, business, law, leisure and religion. The autonomous self defines reality because there is nothing transcendent to do so. If there is a god, he is a deistic god, who is more therapeutic than sovereign, and who serves at the behest of the human. Such a claim has a haunting ring of familiarity to it, for the book of Judges has as its refrain, ?Every man did what was right in his own eyes.?