Worthen at McMaster: Faith, Reason and the Euthanasia Debate in Canada

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Event Details


SPEAKER: Larry Worthen, Executive Director, Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada. Larry is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School who has had a career in management in the not for profit sector and the Nova Scotia government. In his current role he leads an organization of 1500 Christian doctors and dentists who are working towards the integration of their faith and their professional practice. He also has a Masters in Theology and is an ordained deacon in the Catholic Church.

ABSTRACT: The introduction of Bill 52 in Quebec and the consideration of the Carter case by the Supreme Court of Canada this month have placed euthanasia and assisted suicide in the forefront of the public policy debates. Proponents of legalization accuse people of faith of attempting to impose their beliefs on others. Is there a reasonable component of the injunction “Thou shall not kill?” that can be articulated among those who value science as the measure of all truth claims? Should the revealed truth that comes from faith be required to pass the scrutiny of the scientific method? Is rationalistic secularism an objective norm or a subjective worldview? Who is imposing their beliefs on whom?

This presentation will explore the question of who should qualify to enter into debates in the Canadian public square and what arguments they should use, using the current euthanasia debates as a case study.

LOCATION: Room A114, John Hodgins Engineering Building (South Entrance)

Presented by Hamilton Area Science and Religion Forum and the Canadian Scientific & Christian Affiliation.

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