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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

One of the strangest things a person can believe in is the Resurrection. Given the existence of God, the concept of resurrection is not impossible. For human beings whose souls remain somewhat incomplete without a body, the resurrection is fitting for their complete happiness. Not impossible, and very fitting, and eyewitness accounts in the case of Jesus.

For bioethics, the resurrection of Jesus tells us a few things. I went into some of them in my post on the Feast of the Annunciation last month. I just want to say something brief here.

If the resurrection is true, then bodily suffering in this life is not the greatest evil that can befall a human being. While human beings rightly strive to cure diseases and avoid senseless injuries and pain, at the same time we should not fear suffering or recoil from it. It is not the greatest evil.

If the resurrection is true, the greatest evil is the loss of God and being resurrected unto eternal separation from Him. The body, rather than being perfected and a joy to the soul, will be ever a burden. Imagine the worst possible earthly suffering. Then imagine lasting for millions and billions of years.

Bioethics must keep in mind man's eternal destiny. Not everything we can do is a good thing to do.

And for you atheists out there: If there is no God, then there is no such thing as ethics either, so it is simply hypocritical, an oxymoron to say you're an atheistic bioethicist. Bioethics cannot exist, except as an exercise in formulating plausible rationales to justify whatever you want to do, to placate or coerce those of opposite views into silence. But it would not be about right and wrong.

If there is a right and wrong, there must also be a God. If there is a God, then bodily suffering (though an evil to be combated) is not the greatest evil facing mankind (separation from God is), and the resurrection is possible, and the eyewitness accounts of Jesus' resurrection are plausible and reliable.

And the resurrection becomes a touchstone for authentic bioethics.

Happy Easter, everyone!

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