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Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
When I first started reading Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, by Robert J. Spitzer, I was pretty sure my brain was breaking.

I kept going, though. It was too good not to. (I just couldn't read it, at first, at night-it was too easy to give up.)

I have no background with a classical education in the liberal arts. Until recently, I didn't see the need for it.

Though I love to read, I didn't get the reason for immersing myself in the classics and going back to read and study ancient texts. Don't we all just need a trade and a skill set? Isn't that what education is for?

I'm beginning to see that the root for the common wisdom that "if we don't know and understand history, we will have to repeat it" comes from a firm grounding in understanding things like philosophy. In order to know and understand history, I need to study things that are very old and that require a different mindset.

Spitzer's book is not easy reading, but it is, I believe, very necessary, especially if you want to understand the logic and the true horror of our non-logic in the culture of death that we're living in right now.

The subtitle of this book might make you think that it's focused only on abortion. (That's what I thought, anyway.) Wrong! Instead, what Spitzer does in this book is give a tutorial of sorts on ten principles that he calls universal.

They are universal because they are at the foundation of ethics and form the basis of our country. When our founding fathers wrote the documents that are at the core of who we believe we are, they took these principles for granted. So did their contemporaries, as a matter of fact. The fact that many of us haven't heard of them before points to a failure in education, I think.

Thanks to Ten Universal Principles, I no longer have any doubt about the lack of logic that reigns in conversation today. Spitzer put words to things I had felt uncomfortable with intuitively. He explains beautifully and clearly what I have longed to understand better.

You don't need a degree to read and understand this book. You might have to take it slowly, but we would all do well to take on a reading challenge, especially one as critical as understanding why life trumps all else.

I have not read any Supreme Court cases, though I might just tackle a few: Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade for starters. I have somehow never heard about the parallels of how false logic was used in both to hurt people.

At the heart of it, Ten Universal Principles is a book that defends sane thought by, first and foremost, explaining and showing the reader what "sanity" truly is. We live in a time when words are being redefined and truth is being confused. I highly recommend Ten Universal Principles to everyone.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., spends his time debating--convincingly debating--Stephen Hawking. In Ten Universal Principles: A Philosophy of the Life Issues, Spitzer turns toward the "logic" of Roe v. Wade. Abortion advocates stand no chance.

Ten Universal Principles (Ignatius Press, 2011)--accessible to anyone, written for everyone--serves multiple didactic purposes for Spitzer. It would be a great introductory philosophy text for epistemological and ethical ideas. It strengthens pro-lifers for debate, teaching them--and those on the fence--how to reason about life issues. Finally, in informing minds and winning hearts it will save lives.

Spitzer lays the philosophical framework for unborn rights through three principles of reason, pointing to verifiable research proving the zygote possesses a full human genome. Through three ethical principles, Spitzer emphasizes the Silver Rule, and why arguing that the unborn child has incomplete personhood is essentially the same argument made for enslaving the New World Indians. Through three natural rights principles, Spitzer unveils the court's folly in looking toward the Constitution (i.e., the wrong place) for inalienable rights, leaving the reader sizzling with similar indignation over Roe and Dred Scott. In the tenth principle, the Golden Rule, Spitzer relates the life issues to happiness, observing how our culture sacrifices "pervasive, enduring, deep" happiness for immediate gratification.

To my knowledge, there exists in print no refutation of the pro-abortion mind-set as solidly incontrovertible as Spitzer's. This book will transform dialogue between pro-lifers and their pro-abortion counterparts for years to come.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
With life issues becoming more of a concern in North America, Dr. Spitzer asks the correct questions and provided stimulation for formation of a Biblical worldview. A brief, forthright assessment of the philosophical issues of the age with ageless answers. This will hoepfully be a tool for many who desire to truly follow Jesus.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2012
I'm a young adult who likes to educate himself in a well-rounded manner. This book really, REALLY increased my basic knowledge of philosophy, pro-life arguments, and basic life principles. A short, but sweet read, Mr. Spitzer takes you through logic, evidence, and reasoning to back the principles he presents. This is done without the necessity of a certain religion, which makes it more available to non-Christians or non-religious folk.

I learned a lot. I highlighted a lot. I found myself on dictionary.com a lot. But it was all worth it. I definitely recommend this book; I'll be buying it for my girlfriend.

P.S. p.65 is my favorite!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2012
I am so deeply grateful for the information contained within this book. Many times, I have wanted to defend positions regarding life and the dignity of personhood but didn't have the insight or right words..

From experience, I have found that just going the religious route of persuasion in our secular world doesn't work. People--even Catholics, immediately just tune out your words as the spewings of a religious fanatic. However, using the principles of reason, ethics, justice and natural rights, and identity and culture to prove the point leads to a much more reasoned and intelligent discussions.

I am not an educated person so I also appreciated the text within the parentheses that is added throughout the book. It helps me understand more fully the points Fr. Spitzer is making.

I'll be re-reading the book to cement the principles in my mind. An outstanding read!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2012
My beloved father, God rest his soul, was a lifelong atheist. One of his favorite lines was, "When was the last time a priest asked you to THINK?"

I wish he could have read this book, although it might have upset him.

I have never read a more compelling destruction of "Roe vs. Wade" in my life, and I never thought very much of it at any time. (Way back when, I just wondered where those "wise men" found the word "privacy" in the Constitution, much less a "right to privacy" which was an obvious euphemism for a "right to kill the unborn.")

But Fr. Spitzer does not even get involved with the obvious Constitutional problems with that decision. His attack is based on logic, philosophy, and natural rights, and it is devastating.

Highly recommended reading!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2012
This book is very helpful in thinking about the philosophical discussions surrounding the beginning of life and the implications which result from this. It is a good introduction to all the major issues concerning life e.g. when does life begin, when can a life be justly taken, the dignity of an actualizing life, etc. This book is good for anyone who wants to hear a good philosophical defense of life beginning at conception as well as thinking through the consequences of defining life at another point in human development.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2012
I wish all our judges, politicians, people in authority and people at large would read this book and live by the principles and clear reasoning articulated in it. These are truly simple, clear, UNIVERSAL principles and a society that would live by them would indeed flourish. Clear reasoning coming from a clear mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Father Spitzer is an incredibly smart man and sometimes his speeches or books can be hard for me to follow. This was deep but easy to follow and a great book. I have heard people talk about the Row v. Wade decision as not sound law but never knew what the specifics. This book brakes down the decision and makes it easy to understand. Thanks Father Spitzer!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
A meaningful and holistic framework within which a flourishing life may be lived is here presented. A kind of handy DIY to better affirm the FAith.
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