Sunday, April 03, 2005

Body and Soul

From today's Washington Post, a "Mystery of Body and Soul" in which author Philip Clayton explores the Terri Schiavo case from both a religious and scientific perspective.

Some who integrate science and values in this way do so in religious terms, others eschew religious categories and adhere instead to a humanist philosophy....The humanist response is more subtle, amorphous and hence harder to describe. But for many nonreligious people, the sense remains that life is somehow sacred even if it is not grounded in a divine creative act. Something more emerges in life, and something more is lost when it ends, than medicine can ever fathom. Perhaps the value of an individual's life is a product of how we treat him or her.

The distinction not made above, though, is between mere human life, and human personhood. And that is, indeed, more subtle, amorphous and hence harder to describe.

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