Introducing The Human Exceptionalist
A Monthly Newsletter of Discovery Institute
Last week—according to the experts—the 7 billionth human was born on Planet Earth. To those who view human life as a scourge on the planet (and there are many), this simply represents another mouth to feed on a sphere of finite and diminishing resources. Others, like Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith, see this as an opportunity—through the power of an added human mind—to solve our most difficult problems. That is the dividing line between those who see human beings as an overpopulating animal and those, like Wesley, who argue in favor of Human Exceptionalism. The latter—a term coined, in part, by Wesley himself—argues that all human beings possess equal moral value and dignity simply because they are human.
Discovery Institute—through the excellent work of our Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith—is one of the great defenders of human life and human dignity. As many of you know, Wesley is a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard and National Review, a frequent guest on the talk radio circuit around the country, and a blogger with international reach.
I am pleased to add to that list of accomplishments the Human Exceptionalist newsletter, a new monthly publication that will keep you apprised of important developments in this field. The newsletter is not just a way to keep you informed, though that is certainly important. It is also an educational tool, meant to provide you with the tools you need to defend ‘human exceptionalism’ in your homes and communities. In short, it is the “next step” in Discovery Institute’s growing work in this field, and in our efforts to combat the anti-human sentiment that is becoming so prevalent in our culture.
I hope you enjoy this debut issue. If you wish to receive future editions take a moment to become a subscriber by following the link at the right. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments!
Steven J. Buri
A Note from the Author
Dear Exceptional Human:
Welcome to the first issue of The Human Exceptionalist, the Center for Human Exceptionalism’s monthly report on the many emerging threats to human dignity and equality.
Why The Human Exceptionalist now? Western Civilization, which depends on accepting the moral importance of being human, has generated greater freedom and prosperity than ever before seen in history. Despite this, very powerful and bounteously financed ideological forces in seemingly unrelated—but actually symbiotically connected fields—such as bioethics, radical environmentalism, neo Darwinism, scientific materialism, animal rights, radical environmentalism, and futuristic transhumanism, assert with mounting vigor that being human is, morally irrelevant.
Not coincidentally, as the moral importance of human life has become increasingly marginalized, flora, fauna and—and even nature itself—are seen increasingly as possessing rights equal to those of man. Some even go so far as to declare us to be the enemy of the planet itself! Worse, these nihilistic views are communicated continually (and sometimes subliminally) by popular culture, in schools, at our most important universities, and by the media.
When faced with these subversive philosophies, too many people roll their eyes and say, “It can’t happen here.” No more dangerous words were ever uttered. As The Human Exceptionalist will show, it not only can happen here, it is happening now.
We can no longer afford to be complacent that human exceptionalism remains a self evident truth (to use Jefferson’s immortal words) and that it need not be defended. Indeed, if Western Civilization’s bounty of equality, liberty, and prosperity are to be preserved, we must renew our commitment to promoting human dignity and unique moral value as the foundation of human thriving.
The Human Exceptionalist seeks to help its readers pursue this end, both by informing readers about current anti-human trends. By presenting a monthly compendium from the intellectual “battlefield,” we hope to both inform readers about individual issues that impact directly and indirectly on human dignity—which alone would be worth the effort—but also to illustrate how, like Colorado’s quaking aspens, seemingly disparate issues actually share a common root system of anti-humanism.
The history of this century will depend on whether we continue to adhere to the belief that human life matters simply and merely because it is human. I hope you will join us as we stand proudly for the simple but profoundly important proposition; human life matters!
Wesley J. Smith
Director, Center for Human Exceptionalism