On this episode of What It Means to Be Human, Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith takes a look at "personhood theory" advocated by such as Princeton University's Peter Singer. Listen in and learn more about the threat to the sanctity of life ethic as the fundamental value of our social order. As Smith says, "The time has come to pay attention. If human life is knocked off the pedestal, universal human rights will be impossible to sustain."
What It Means to Be Human The primary moral challenge facing the 21st Century is defending the belief that human life has intrinsic value simply and merely because it is human. What It Means to Be Human, a new podcast reported by Discovery Institute senior fellow and award winning author Wesley J. Smith, will expose the many policies and proposals in bioethics, bioscience, radical environmentalism, and animal liberation that threaten this ideal and undermine universal human rights. Smith's distinct approach will present his listeners with eye-opening facts and unique analysis. Always provocative and rigorously researched, What It Means to Be Human will never disappoint. About Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith What is Bioethics? See Below [img:http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/filesDB-download.php?command=download&id=677]Award winning author Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture. In May 2004, because of his work in bioethics, he was named by the National Journal as one of the nation's top expert thinkers in bioengineering.Read more on Wesley J. Smith's blog: Secondhand Smoke [http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/]. Smith left the full time practice of law in 1985 to pursue a career in writing and public advocacy. He has authored or co-authored eleven books. He formerly collaborated with Ralph Nader, co-authoring four books with the consumer advocate: Winning the Insurance Game (1990), The Frugal Shopper (1991), Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety (1993) and No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America (1996). His book Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder, a broad-based criticism of the assisted suicide/euthanasia movement was published in 1997. Forced Exit was released in a revised and published by Encounter Books in an updated paperback edition in 2003. Smith's Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards). His book Power Over Pain (co-authored with Eric M. Chevlen, MD) is a consumer's guide to obtaining good pain control. His most recent book is Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World. In it, Smith investigates the morality, science, and business aspects of human cloning. He is currently conducting research for a book about the animal liberation movement. Smith's writing and opinion columns on assisted suicide, bioethics, the morality of human cloning, the dangers of animal liberation, legal ethics, and public affairs have appeared nationally and internationally, including in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Mother Jones, Free Inquiry magazine, The National Post (Canada), The Age (Australia), Western Journal of Medicine, and the American Journal of Bioethics. He has also been published in regional publications throughout the nation. Smith wrote the chapter on assisted suicide for the Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice and has authored chapters in several books relating to the various issues about which he advocates. Smith appears regularly on television and radio talk/interview programs, including having appeared on such national programs as ABC Nightline, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, CNN Crossfire, CNN World Report, CBS Evening News, CSPAN-Book TV, Fox News, and CNN Talk Back Live. He has also appeared internationally on Voice of America, CNN International, and on programs originating in Great Britain (BBC), Australia (ABC), New Zealand, Germany, and Canada. Smith is an international lecturer and public speaker, appearing frequently at political, university, medical, legal, disability rights, bioethics, religious, and community gatherings across the United States, Europe, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. What is Bioethics? Discovery Institute's program on bioethics examines a constellation of related issues, including assisted suicide and euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human genetic manipulation, human cloning, and the animal rights movement. Many of these issues are currently at the center of public attention. Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=13&isFellow=true] is Discovery's most active contributor to bioethics. Mr. Smith, a prolific author, activist, and former Ralph Nader co-author, has become one of the nation's leading advocates for the value and sanctity of human life. His most recent book, Consumer's Guide to the Brave New World [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3541] presents a clear-eyed vision of two potential futures: In the first, biotechnology will be a powerful tool to treat disease and improve the quality of our lives. But in another, darker scenario, we will be steered onto the path that Aldous Huxley and other prophetic writers first warned against fifty year ago, before science fiction became science fact. Two of his other books, Forced Exit [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3563] and Culture of Death [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3543], examined assisted suicide and the biomedical industry respectively. Mr. Smith is currently working on a book critiquing the radical animal rights movement. At the same time, he maintains an active schedule as a public speaker, while publishing several related stories and editorials per month, and blogging daily at Secondhand Smoke. Senior Fellows Jonathan Wells, John G. West [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=18&isFellow=true] and Francis Beckwith [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=43&isFellow=true] are additional contributors to this program. Besides supporting the research and publication of related books, Discovery Institute's program on bioethics encourages public speaking and debates, radio and television interviews, short articles and op-eds by Fellows. The Institute also holds public conferences and policy briefings for state and national legislators on these important issues. [http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=41&isFellow=true]
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