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Intellectual Provocateur Cornel West Coming to St. Paul

Princeton professors to debate 'The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity.'

will sponsor a debate between Princeton Professors Robert P. George and Cornel West on “The Nature and Basis of Human Dignity” on Monday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.

The Catholic Center for Evangelization at Bayley-Ellard in a release said that the scholars will discuss the question of whether or not humans possess inherent dignity and, if we do, what it means for how we in the United States should treat individuals.

“For centuries, the Catholic Church has evangelized the world through spirited debates,” said the Rev. Geno Sylva, Center Director and the Bishop’s Vicar for Evangelization for the Diocese of Paterson, in the release. “Faithful and profound philosophers and theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas would verbally joust with any and all opponents before great crowds gathered in a public forum armed with the belief in the inherent attractiveness of Gospel Truth.”

The event will be faithful to the format of old, unstaged with no pre-determined outcome. "It is bold, unrehearsed, and designed to stimulate dialogue and debate about issues of great importance related to the dignity of the human person. It will be spirited, lively, intellectually stimulating, and spiritually transforming," the release stated.

George served on the President's Council on Bioethics and the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of “In Defense of Natural Law, Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality” and “The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis.”

West is a prominent democratic intellectual. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard and the University of Paris. He has written 19 books and edited 13 books. He is best known for his classic “Race Matters,”  “Democracy Matters,” and has a new memoir, “Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud.”

Registration for the debate is $20 per person prior to April 1 and $25 thereafter. Students with a valid ID can attend for $10.  For more information, visit  www.insidethewalls.org.

MadInNJ March 22, 2011 at 06:03 PM
As far as "whether or not humans possess inherent dignity and, if we do, what it means for how we in the United States should treat individuals," Dr. West could have saved himself the trip and just posted the following from our Declaration of Independence - We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It took almost another century before that matter was settled for all races, another 50 after that before women became "full partners" through suffragette, and another 50 before we really started to embrace full equality for all (Brown v BOE, Civil Rights, etc.). But that phrase has always been our guiding principle and I don't think the idea that in America, all citizens possess Human Dignity. I'm sure there's plenty to argue about the unborn, and looking at some countries overseas the answer is definitely - NO!

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