Thursday, April 02, 2009

Who Counts as Human?


The idea of "humanity" is modern. Athens and Rome had Athenians or Romans but not "men", in the sense of members of the human species. The word humanitas first appeared in the Roman Republic and meant eruditio et institutio in bonas artes (erudition and training in good conduct). Humanity was not a quality shared but, as Cicero put it, a standard of behaviour used to separate the homines humani (the educated Romans) from the homines barbari (the rest).

PETA Killed 95 Per Cent of Its Adoptable Pets

Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) published documents online showing that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) killed 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care during 2008. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the animal rights group kills an average of 5.8 pets every day at its Norfolk, VA headquarters.

Taxes Governor Recognizes Abortion Hurts Women

Texas Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed April as Abortion Recovery Awareness Month stating: "Ending a pregnancy through abortion interrupts the natural birth process and creates significant trauma and stress for those involved in the pregnancy. An abortion is a tragic ending, not only because of the loss of a life, but also because of the physical and psychological trauma caused by the procedure itself. This often leads to lasting emotional and mental health problems for the mother, father and other involved family members."

Vatican Investigates Miracle Recovery

When Jory Aebly was shot in the head, execution-style during a mugging five weeks ago in Cleveland, Ohio, that should have been the end of it. Doctors at the Metro Health Medical Center told his family it was a "non-survivable" injury, according to the hospital's Web site. But Tuesday, a very-much-alive Aebly was wheeled to a press conference before he went home in what some believe is a true "miracle," possibly good enough to help earn deceased Pope John Paul II sainthood.