HUMAN LIFE: Some Moral Issues by John F. Dedek

HUMAN LIFE: Some Moral Issues

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Is abortion morally justifiable? Is war? These are two of the questions to which Dedek attempts to suggest answers. He demonstrates first that, although the Christian Church has always condemned abortion in general, therapeutic abortion was often allowed after the 14th century on the grounds that it was only ""indirect"" abortion, and that this opinion prevailed until the late 19th century. He concludes, that with the proper conditions, there seems no reason why, theologically, the practice should not prevail today. The same technique applied to the question of war produces approximately the same distinctions and the same results. Since exceptions are possible to the rule against abortion, so are they possible to the rule against war; this does not, however, exclude the right of any Christian, through ""conscientious objection,"" to witness for peace. Questions of less immediate importance -- artificial insemination, genetic surgery, transplantation, etc. -- are treated in a more cursory but in a no less balanced manner. The author's position cannot be described as either liberal or conservative, but reflects the viewpoint that moral issues are never simple and can never be articulated in absolute terms. His rational presentation, and his refusal to be herded to the right or to the left, will commend his work to anyone who refuses to regard either ancient tradition or modern expediency as the norm of human behavior.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1972
Publisher: Sheed & Ward