Category Archives: Fordham University Student Voices

Dignity, By Virtue of Bodily Requirements

Felix Gonzales Torres,

Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (1991).

STUDENT VOICES

By: Robert Schmaltz

“Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life…”

~ Hans Jonas (1984)

Human dignity refers to a kind of value that is difficult to distinguish without first recognizing something unique to the embodied human, the capacity to not only sustain life but radically proliferate a state of wellbeing and the capacity to absolutely annihilate. Humans can improve upon the excellences of physical conditions almost ceaselessly, tenderly care for the most fragile of conditions, and we can break bodies beyond comprehension. Why has some skepticism emerged from comparing the value of dignity to the function of autonomy? I uphold the view that for autonomy to have any worth, which it does, it must be preceded by the recognizable value of dignity. Ultimately, the objective value of human dignity is held in the practice of living and sustaining embodied lives.

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Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer

singer book

Book Review: The Most Good You Can Do by Peter Singer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). ISBN 978-0-300-18027-5.

Reviewed by Michael S. Dauber

Peter Singer’s new book The Most Good You Can Do is the latest installment in a series of works dedicated to advancing altruism as a way of life. The book expands directly on Singer’s work in The Life You Can Save (2010), a best-selling text that argued that our obligation to help the poor overseas is just as strong as the obligation to save a drowning child one comes across in a river: if one can easily help, one is required to, and distance and nationality are not excuses to withhold aid.

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The Significance of Philosophical Ethics in a Scientific World

 STUDENT VOICES

By: Michael S. Dauber

In the course of my studies and in my everyday experiences, I have often been asked about the significance of philosophy. What is it? Does philosophy even matter anymore since science answers many of our pressing questions?

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Measles Outbreak: A Public Price for the Preeminence of Autonomy?

By Ken Ochs

The recent measles outbreak has led to policy discussions among 2016 presidential hopefuls, a systematic mobilization of public health groups to combat the surging number of cases, and the near-inevitability that tougher laws on vaccinations will soon be debated and subsequently passed in legislatures across the country.

Historically, states have dealt with the issue in remarkably different ways, with very little in common aside from their tolerance for exemptions for medical reasons. California, the source of the current outbreak, allows for “religious” and “philosophical” exemptions—the types of dispensations that would be targeted by new regulations.

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Separation of Church and the Voting Booth? The Moral Dilemmas of a Catholic American Voter

 

By: Thomas Merante

With each election, Americans are reminded repeatedly of their civic duty to participate, the importance of “rocking the vote,” and how each party will get the country “back on track.” Yet with MTV ads screaming at teenagers to go to the polls and attack ads that aim purely at candidates’ character, it seems that the real issues are becoming lost in an election frenzy. Consequently, it can be very difficult to determine how to vote, especially when there are serious moral issues on the line, despite a constant news stream of information on the candidates, their positions, and public opinion on the positions. What moral questions should Catholic Americans ask when contemplating contemporary political issues, and what ethical dilemmas do they face in the voting booth?

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Considering the psychological needs of immigrants

 

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By: Charles M. Olbert

On September 16, the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education and Center for Religion and Culture hosted a conference to discuss whether we have a moral obligation to immigrants. Entitled “A Crisis of Conscience: What Do We Owe Immigrant Youth and Families?” the conference featured former U.S. Senator and 50th Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, former immigration judge Sarah Burr, and Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. David Ushery, journalist and host of NBC’s “The Debrief” moderated the event.

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