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Commitment to Human Rights

January 03, 1988

Charles Thaxton and Stephen Meyer make the case that modern science has imperiled human rights by its invention of robots and its discovery of biological evolution. Against this peril they urge a return to the "traditional view of man's origins"; that is, the Judeo-Christian one of man as made in the image of God as the only viable logical underpinning of human rights as understood in the Western world.

I am sure this comes as a surprise to some Buddhists and Muslims, as well as to atheists in the tradition of Thomas Paine, that their concern and dedication to human rights rested all along on a tradition they were not aware of, or rejected along the way to wisdom. It might also come as a surprise to such proponents of the Judeo-Christian tradition as Augustine and Czar Nicholas, who saw no hope for salvation, much less human dignity, lacking the supreme power of a right-thinking State to coerce depraved mankind into righteousness.

Before Thaxton and Meyer despair for human rights if Judeo-Christian views on the nature of man are abandoned, they should remember that Darwin and Einstein were most humanistic while quite beyond the constrictions of their religious traditions. Modern science is not the enemy of humanity, and the tradition of Torquemada is not its savior.

DAVID KASE

Palos Verdes

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