"Ten Universal Principles" – Review
Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.
I first discovered Fr. Robert Spitzer through his recent book, New Proofs for the Existence of God, which goes beyond the classical arguments for God’s existence and moves into modern physics and philosophy. In that book he uses high-level scientific and mathematical discoveries like string theory, universal space-time asymmetry, and quantum cosmology to make a compelling case for God. And he does it well: it’s the first book I would hand to a skeptical scientist or atheist mathematician.
Fr. Spitzer’s new book, Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues (Ignatius Press, paperback, 155 pages) takes a similar intellectual approach, but this time he's defending the pro-life philosophy. Without resorting to religion, Spitzer explores ten universal principles that apply to every human being. They include things like:
- The Principle of Non-Contradiction
- The Principle of Full Human Potential
- The Principle of Natural Rights
- The Principle of Beneficence
He then explores how each of the principles, when obeyed, lead to full and flourishing life but, when ignored, bring dysfunction and death. One of the most interesting sections contained his commentary on the infamous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, which helped legalize abortion in 1973. Spitzer probes the decision line-by-line to show how illogical and baseless it was, and how it violates almost every one of these ten universal principles.
Don’t be misled by the back cover copy that suggests the book would be an easy read. Ten Universal Principles is a tightly-reasoned and scholarly book. It's heavy on philosophy, logic, ontology, ethics, and metaphysics and demands your full attention You will have to work hard as you read it, but it’s well worth the effort.
If you're looking for a less academic style, I recommend Dr. Peter Kreeft’s The Unaborted Socrates and Three Approaches to Abortion. But professors, academics, and anyone else looking for high level pro-life arguments will enjoy Ten Universal Principles.