Friday, September 17, 2010

Advanced Pro-Life Apologetics at Biola University [Scott]

I'm at Biola co-teaching with Dr. Scott Rae a graduate course for M.A. students on Bioethics. Dr. Rae is covering reproductive technologies and end of life issues. I'm teaching advanced pro-life apologetics.

The content of my lectures can be seen in the outline below.

The extended notes for my portion of the course can be found here.

Course Description: Successful pro-life apologists pursue four essential tasks. First, they clarify the debate by focusing public attention on one key question: What is the unborn? Second, they establish a foundation for the debate, demonstrating to critics that metaphysical neutrality is impossible. Third, they answer objections persuasively. Fourth, they teach and equip. These tasks are necessary because while the street-level debate over abortion rages on, a serious intellectual discussion about the foundation for human rights continues almost unnoticed. What makes humans valuable? Can secularism provide an adequate grounding for basic human rights? How do natural rights differ from merely positive (legal) ones? How do war, social justice, and theology impact debates over abortion? In this course, we will review the basic pro-life case and examine the underlying worldview assumptions that both academic and lay people bring to debates over abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and cloning. We will also discuss why the Christian worldview in particular does a better job accounting for intrinsically valuable human beings, fundamental human rights, and objective moral rules.

Session #1: What is the Issue?
Session #2: What is the Unborn?
Session #3: What Makes Humans Valuable Part 1: Substance View of Human Persons
Session #4: What Makes Humans Valuable Part 2: The Religion Objection
Session #5: Abortion: Law, Metaphysics, and Moral Neutrality
Session #6: Bodily Autonomy Appeals: Analysis of Thomson, McDonagh, and Boonin
Session #7: Assumed Moral Equivalence, and other Common Objections
Session #8: Equipping Your Local Church to Engage

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