Religion, Bioethics and Public Policy, with Ronald Lindsay
27 Mar, 2009
Few areas of public policy have been fraught with as much controversy as bioethics. Each novel development in biomedical technology seems to spark rancorous disputes, and religious dogma is inevitably invoked in these debates, often through claims that a new technology is “unnatural” or requires us to “play God.”
Many secularists object to religion having any influence on public policy. The counter-argument from the religious is typically two-fold: 1) the religious are entitled to have input into public policy; and 2) to the extent public policy is informed by morality, religious viewpoints must necessarily be considered.
Both contentions are fundamentally flawed, according to Center for Inquiry President & CEO Ronald A. Lindsay, and he will demonstrate why in his talk. To illustrate how public policy disputes that have a moral dimension can be resolved without resort to religion, Dr. Lindsay will use examples from his recent book, Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogma. (Copies will be available for purchase and signing.)
Dr. Ronald A. Lindsay is the president/chief executive officer and senior research fellow of the Center for Inquiry. Dr. Lindsay received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University, with a concentration in bioethics.
He has had several articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, and The American Journal of Bioethics. His recently published book Future Bioethics: Overcoming Taboos, Myths, and Dogmas (Prometheus Books 2008) was favorably reviewed in the prestigious science journal Nature, which observed that the book is “readable, reasoned and accessible” and successfully “challenges the taboos of bioethics.”
Dr. Lindsay is also a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and was a practicing lawyer for over 25 years before joining CFI. He was the lead attorney in approximately twenty federal and state appellate cases and has written approximately fifty appellate briefs, including briefs in several prominent Supreme Court cases addressing constitutional law issues. He is considered an expert in church-state cases.