Our next heading reads:
The Culture of Life: Proclaiming It And Defending It.
Three short paragraphs introduce the seventh theme of the ninth chapter. Why is the Catholic stance so unambiguously pro-life? Any by this, not politically pro-life, though there are elements that encourage political action in favor of life in all its stages. Let’s read of a basic dignity of human beings, which is reason enough for respect and honor:
464. The human being created in God’s image and likeness also has an exalted dignity that we cannot trample and that we are called to respect and promote. Life is freely given by God, a gift and task that we must safeguard starting at conception in all its stages, until natural death, unambiguously.
Science and technology present new challenges. But the age-old question surfaces: Just because we can do something, should we?
465. Globalization influences the sciences and their methods, ignoring their ethical implications. We disciples of Jesus have to bring the Gospel to where the sciences operate, promote dialogue between science and faith, and in that context, assure that life is defended. This dialogue must be carried out by ethics and in special cases by a well grounded bioethics. Bioethics works with this epistemological foundation in an interdisciplinary manner, where each science contributes its conclusions.
“Epistemology” is a particular challenge as of late in the US: the determination between personal opinion and actual knowledge. There are things in our experience that we dearly want to be true, but they aren’t. Politics tends to draw out these desires. Bioethics cannot function unless we can be clear about the truth of matters that impact life.
466. We cannot escape this challenge of dialogue between faith, reason, and the sciences. Our priority for life and family, both of which are laden with issues debated in ethical matters and in bioethics, impels us to cast the light of the Gospel and the Church’s magisterium on them.(Cf. John Paul II, FR, September 14, 1998)
So, that dialogue must continue, as best as we can achieve it. Remember, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference is available at this link.