This is post #1000. The hard part is deciding what not to write about. Today’s world presents plenty of material, such as yesterday’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. Who are today’s great ethicists? Where does one go to learn about ethics? The Reputational Ranking of Philosophy PhD Programs has Harvard and M.I.T. tied for 9th place. The pursuit of ethics deserves a generous share of our best and brightest.
Circa 1975, I took an interdisciplinary course in Biomedical Ethics, with students and faculty from Emory University’s Schools of Medicine, Law and Theology. One issue was who gets kidney dialysis when machines were few. A medical professor said, “The one most impactful decision for renal health in America would be for McDonalds to put less salt on their french fries.”
Among the issues we discussed were organ transplants, Karen Ann Quinlan’s case, in vitro fertilization, and Roe v. Wade. Abortion remains our most difficult biomedical issue. I agree with those who say abortion should be legal and rare. I agree with the United Methodist position on this issue, beautifully and powerfully expressed by my pastor, Stephanie York Arnold.