November 28, 1994
Nature, Sex, and Person in Thomistic Thought
WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
Certain Catholic feminists of philosophical bent have criticized a strand of Catholic thought as positing in effect two natures of human beings. Sr. Mary Aquin O’Neill, for example, says the Catholic view of complementarity between the sexes has invented a male nature and a female nature. Mary J. Buckley repeats this charge. Both accuse the tradition of arriving at this error by “extrapolating meanings from the male and female bodies” and thus mistakenly attributing culturally-based gender differentiations to human nature itself. Sr. O’Neill seems to prefer an androgynous view of human capability and a biological view of what is “natural” to us. Mary Buckley demands that all talk of “constant” or “fixed” human nature be replaced by a “transformative model,” as she calls it, in which the core of humanity is sheer freedom. The aim of this paper is to show that the Thomistic account of human nature does not commit the mistake the feminist philosophers allege and avoids both of the disastrous (and conflicting) reductionisms into which they fall. Man qua man is one nature, for St. Thomas, not two; yet this one nature is neither pure biology nor pure freedom.
Letter To Doris Gordon
W. H. Marshner
May 3, 1990
Dear Miss Gordon:
I have reviewed the material published by Libertarians for Life, including your brochure entitled, “A Wrong. Not a Right: An Atheist Libertarian Looks at Abortion,” and the one entitled “Abortion and the Question of the Person,” by John Walker. In light of these, I have reviewed the correspondence between you and William F. Buckley, Jr.
Before detailing points of contention, let me concur in Mr. Buckley’s overall commendation of the LFL material. It is lucid and deserves to be persuasive. I particularly think that your use of premises drawn from the obligation of parents toward their dependent children, combined with the fact that the existence of such children is a consequence for which the parents are responsible, represents a fresh and important line of justification for the pro-life position. Perhaps you will allow me to illustrate.
Continue reading “Letter To Doris Gordon”
THE CASE FOR A TWO-AMENDMENT STRATEGY
W. H. Marshner
Abortion and slavery, Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade: how many times have we used that analogy? We have used it for the moral light it sheds on the pro-life cause. May I suggest that it also sheds historical light?
I think it illuminates our political position.
By WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
June 19, 1975
Editor’s Note: With a few notable exceptions, Catholics in this Country have given little attention to the Vatican’s Declaration on Procured Abortion, issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith last November. In the following commentary on this landmark document, Mr. Marshner demonstrates that the Declaration is more than a moral exhortation against abortion; it is a call for Catholics and all men of goodwill to take the offensive against all those who seek to institutionalize — in the name of the common good—this most heinous of crimes.
By W.H. MARSHNER
May 15, 1975
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Abortion referral agencies across America are tied into a lucrative, black- market adoption racket, according to testimony presented Monday, April 28th, before Sen. Walter Mondale’s (D., Minn.) Subcommittee on Children and Youth.
Robert J. McAuley, a reporter with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, testified on the results of a month-long investigation carried out by himself and three other reporters. The investigation uncovered “a national network, with Cleveland as one of the hubs, in which babies were channeled into the hands of couples willing to pay as much as $25,000 to adopt them.”
By W.H. MARSHNER
October 3, 1974
This paper attempts a correlation between biological data and philosophical terminology with respect to the earliest stages of human embryonic development. The purpose is to assist people active in the right-to-life (RTL) movement to meet certain philosophical objections, ancient and modern, to their position. It is not claimed that RTL should incorporate this or any other philosophical correlation into its public argumentation (which is necessarily scientific in character); it is merely argued that the present correlation will protect the movement’s public argumentation from ambush by other philosophical positions, such as those of Dr. James Diamond or Fr. Joseph Donceel.
By W.H. MARSHNER
(Special to The Wanderer)
February 1, 1973
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a sweeping 7 to 2 decision, the Supreme Court struck down on January 22nd the abortion laws of Texas, Georgia, and all but four of the other 50 States. On the basis of a “right to privacy” allegedly guaranteed by the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, the Court majority ruled that during the first three months of pregnancy, a woman and her doctor have the unconditional right to decide whether she will bear or abort her unborn child.