8/20/2009

John Kavanaugh, SJ on killing persons

My friends, in continuing to pursue my research for PhD thesis I found these two excellent quotes which I want to share with:

“The prohibition against killing persons is the limit situation in ethics… If we violate this principle, we violate the moral order and the claims that personal reality make on us. This is not to say that torture, brainwashing, and slavery are less evil. It is to say that such cruelty partakes in the fundamental depersonalization of which intentional killing is the prime, irreversible example. An ethics of radical personalism yields to the exceptionless moral principle that personal life must not be negated — because in doing so, the foundation of moral experience itself is rejected.”

"No academic research can approximate the willingness of the professional to enter into the life of a ‘marginal’ person and see oneself within. Yet that will, that openness, is required if one is to abide in the realm of personhood. Academic musings may facilitate control of one’s thought experiments or logical deductions, but they are an escape from the reality of our condition as embodied persons."

Source: John Kavanaugh, SJ, Who Count As Persons?: Human Identity and the Ethics of Killing, p. 120.

* Father Kavanaugh SJ is a professor of philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo. The CPA judges said in 2003: "Father Kavanaugh examines public issues through a moral lens and discusses them thoughtfully and powerfully. He is persuasive without being didactic, and his prose is clear and spare. ...Tough-minded, articulate, on point, Father Kavanaugh asks disturbing questions that demand careful thought about the meaning of the Gospel." Kavanaugh's books include Following Christ in a Consumer Society, Faces of Poverty, Faces of Christ, Who Count as Persons? Human Identity and the Ethics of Killing and The Word Encountered: Meditations on the Sunday Scriptures based on his America "Word" column.

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