Profoundly important ethical and political controversies turn on the question of whether biological life is an essential aspect of a human person, or only an extrinsic instrument. Lee and George argue that human beings are physical, animal organisms - albeit essentially rational and free - and examine the implications of this understanding of human beings for some of the most controversial issues in contemporary ethics and politics. The authors argue that human beings are animal organisms and that their personal identity across time consists in the persistence of the animal organisms they are; they also argue that human beings are essentially rational and free and that there is a radical difference between human beings and other animals; criticize hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; present detailed defenses of the prolife positions on abortion and euthanasia; and defend the traditional moral position on marriage and sexual acts.
• Provides up-to-date and book-length defense of the traditional, natural-law positions on the most controversial issues of the day • Combines philosophy, politics, and ethics to show how the ethical and political controversies are tied to theories of what a human person is • Most complete work on this subject matter in close to twenty years
Introduction; 1. Human beings are animals; 2. Human beings are persons; 3. Hedonism and hedonistic drug-taking; 4. Abortion; 5. Euthanasia; 6. Sex and the body.