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Humanize

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Humanize

Discovery Institute Center on Human Exceptionalism

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Humanize with Wesley J. Smith from Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism, where human rights meet human responsibilities. We speak on the controversial issues of human life and human thriving that impact our daily lives.
 
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show series
 
In this episode of Humanize, Wesley has a wide-ranging a conversation with his close friend Joseph Bottum, one of our most well read and original thinkers, a true intellectual in the best sense of that term. Their conversation ranges from the new field of cyber-ethics, to poetry, to the importance of cemeteries in maintaining human community, to ho…
 
Perhaps no field in society has the naked power, as does bioethics, to impact our individual lives and those of the ones we love. Bioethics focuses on the challenges of mortality, how we care for the ill and vulnerable, and the rights and responsibilities that flow from being a member of the human family The problem is that there is Read More ›…
 
When Terri Schiavo collapsed with a cardiac arrest in 1990, she could have had no idea that 32 years later people all over the world would know her name and care very much about the manner in which she died. What began as a private family tragedy ultimately exploded into an international cultural conflagration and what was perhaps the most Read Mor…
 
It is no secret that our country is badly divided and riven by profound moral, religious, and political differences about what constitutes the good, the best means of promoting human flourishing, and even the proper meaning of the term, “civil rights.” The question thus becomes: How do we maintain mutual respect and comity, and retain sufficient co…
 
The usual canard about the pro-life movement goes something like this: “Pro-lifers care so much about babies before they are born, but not much after. The thing about canards is that, by definition, they are not true. Pro-lifers also work hard to protect the lives of born people—often in coalition with activists and organizations that do not oppose…
 
The COVID pandemic has been one of the most politically and culturally divisive events in American history. Which seems odd. Usually, a universal external threat unite societies and rallies populations to focus on the common foe. Instead, American society fractured into different tribes, which often coincided with our preexisting political factiona…
 
Adoption didn’t used to be a matter of significant controversy. Public and private adoption agencies worked diligently to place children needing families with those who wanted to love them. Private adoptions often happened without a hitch. These days, adoption has been caught up, at least to some degree, in the culture wars surrounding abortion and…
 
We live in intellectually mediocre times, when commitment to true debate as a means of ascertaining truth — and the understanding that reasonable people can have different opinions — has been replaced by a desire among the culturally powerful to stifle heterodox thought and punish unapproved opinions. Wesley’s guest on this episode of Humanize refu…
 
Is criminal justice a “human dignity issue?” Wesley’s guest, Pat Nolan makes a compelling case that it is and for improving the manner in which—and attention we pay to—the care and rehabilitation of incarcerated people. In their conversation, Nolan discusses his upbringing in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood and how that led him to a career got in …
 
People of true principle are rare commodities in this age of bitter political divisions and cultural discord. What matters exclusively for too many, is winning. Indeed, we live in such strident times that some find it difficult to be friends with people with whom they disagree. In this sense, we have lost the crucial understanding to living in mutu…
 
Since the murder of George Floyd, the nation has been embroiled in racial unrest of a kind not seen in decades. It is a disturbing time. Is racism best struggled against through the colorblind approach of the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or a newer strategy—summarized by the term “critical race theory”—that sees race as the central fact o…
 
“What is truth?” Pontius Pilate famously asked Jesus. That is a most human question, because of all the known species in the universe, only we even understand the concept of Truth with a capital T. As moral beings, most of us, at least to some extent, seek to live out our lives in ways that we conceive of as Truth. Read More ›…
 
Since the Holocaust, we have agreed to the idealistic vision of “Never Again,” that is, the kind of evil perpetrated by the Third Reich against Jews and others can never be allowed to be repeated. But do we mean it? Today, the Chinese Communist Party is carrying out what can only be described as “Fourth Reich” policies to suppress religion Read Mor…
 
Every now and then, our electoral system produces one of those quintessentially American characters who coopts the energy of the presidential voting cycle to become a national celebrity and elevate an obscure social movement into greater popular visibility. In 2016 that person was Wesley’s guest Zoltan Istvan, who propelled himself and transhumanis…
 
There was a time when the fields of “science” and “public health” were not controversial. There were good reasons for that widespread public trust. Because of advances in fighting infectious disease, life expectancy materially increased. The scourge of smallpox was eradicated and the polio vaccine brought the crippling disease under substantial int…
 
In a previous program with Donna Rice Hughes, Wesley discussed how children are victimized by commercial sources of pornography and obscene Internet content. It was an important conversation, and if you missed it, you can listen to it here: Donna Rice Hughes of ‘Enough Is Enough’ on Porn, Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), and Healing Our Culture …
 
In this edition of Humanize, Wesley hosts one of the people he most admires in the public sphere. Joni Eareckson Tada is an artist, an international humanitarian, a disability rights activist, a Christian evangelist, and a defender of the sanctity and equality of human life — not just in the comfort of the United States but around the world, includ…
 
In this episode of the Humanize podcast, Wesley interviews Stephen C. Meyer, Director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, about his new book The Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries that Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe.By Discovery Institute Center on Human Exceptionalism
 
It has been said that the 21st Century is the century of biotechnology. And that has certainly proved to be true. From embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, adult stem cell therapies, gene editing of babies, and research that blends human and animal DNA into a single organism, biotechnology offers both hope of great scientific advances to al…
 
We live in a time in which coercion in public health policy threatens to corrupt medical ethics. Efforts to combat the pandemic acerbated this trend — for example, vaccine mandates — but it did not start with COVID. For years, the medical establishment has been at war with “medical conscience,” that is, pushing polices that would force doctors to p…
 
In this episode of Humanize, Wesley J. Smith speaks with Jim Palmer, the president of the Orange County Rescue Mission about the many causes and potential cures of America’s seemingly intractable homeless crisis. It is a crucial, if disturbing, conversation that touches upon the most existential needs of people and our mutual responsibilities to ea…
 
Dr. Ira Byock, Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, joins Wesley J. Smith on Humanize. Dr. Byock is a leading palliative care physician, author, and public advocate for improving care through the end of life. Dr. Byock is an acknowledged visionary and pioneer in palliative care who has made important contributions as a…
 
Is animal rights a subversive threat to human exceptionalism, or is it the next necessary step in society’s moral growth — as its adherents claim? Today’s episode of Humanize features a respectful conversation between Wesley and the animal rights philosopher Gary Francione, the leader of what is known as the “Abolitionist Movement,” that seeks to e…
 
Pornography has become a scourge in the United States. Today on Humanize, Wesley J. Smith speaks with internet safety and anti-obscenity activist Donna Rice Hughes. Donna and Wesley have a mature discussion about one of the great affronts to human dignity, which is pornography. Donna discusses the impact porn has on children—both as victims of chil…
 
This week on Humanize, Wesley interviews Bobby Schindler. Schindler came to international prominence when he and his family launched a multi-year legal and public campaign to save his sister, Terri Schiavo’s, life. After her death by court-ordered dehydration, the family launched the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network that advocates for the medica…
 
Jennifer Lahl joins Wesley J. Smith to speak on her work with The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network and her films including “Breeders: A Subclass of Women?” and “Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender?” as well as other ethical and human rights threats promoted in our culture. In this week’s episode, Jennifer describes what she le…
 
Wesley J. Smith speaks with Dr. Charles Camosy, associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University and author of “Losing Our Dignity: How Secularized Medicine is Undermining Fundamental Human Equality” on fundamental human equality and the threats of secularized medicine. Camosy has vigorously entered the public square in wo…
 
Wesley J. Smith talks with Senator Sam Brownback, who served as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom and as governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Religious freedom is a crucial aspect of human exceptionalism because it is a fundamental human rights issue. Smith and Brownback discuss COVID, free exercise versus the freedom to wors…
 
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