WeeklyTech #145

Why Roe is about more than just abortion

In the hours following the historic Dobbs decision, which recognized that the states have the right to make laws regulating the practice of elective abortion, moral panic ensued. Almost immediately, pro-choice pundits took to social media and television news decrying the decision by the nation’s highest court and began to sew panic throughout our communities, claiming that the right to abortion represents much more than simply a woman’s ability to choose to end the life of the preborn baby within her.

This same idea was also pointed out by Justice Clarence Thomas in his solo concurring opinion in Dobbs where he stated, “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including GriswoldLawrence, and Obergefell,” even as the majority disagreed with his assessment. The majority opinion in Dobbs sought to limit the scope of the decision simply to the practice of abortion and the overturning of the abortion precedents set by Roe and Casey. They stated, “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.” Whether one agrees or not with Justice Thomas’ rationale for reevaluating these past decisions, he rightfully pointed out what many on both sides of the debate have long acknowledged: that the right to an abortion was decided upon a tenuous reading of the Constitution by the justices, being built upon a discovered right to privacy and a mantra of self-determination that dominates the modern era. 

The Rundown

Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent – Jon Henley | The Guardian

Last week, according to Russian media outlets, a chess-playing robot, apparently unsettled by the quick responses of a seven-year-old boy, unceremoniously grabbed and broke his finger during a match at the Moscow Open.

A Crucial Court Case Exposes the Darkness of America’s Worst Industry – David French | The Dispatch

The case is called Serena Fleites v. MindGeek, and on Friday a federal district court judge named Cormac Carney wrote an opinion that should send a shudder throughout the entire pornography industry

Hulu’s reversal on political issue ads opens a new can of worms – Issie Lapowsky | Protocol

Hulu will now accept ads related to sensitive political issues, after Democrats criticized the Disney-owned platform for rejecting advertising related to abortion access and guns.

Hopeful Realism: Renewing Evangelical Political Morality – Jesse Covington, Bryan McGraw, and Micah Watson | Public Discourse

We need a theologically grounded framework that articulates our principled and prudential convictions, provides us the language with which to deliberate about them amid disagreement, and helps find commonality around real goods. We believe that a revitalized Augustinian natural law theory can help provide such a framework for evangelical Christians.

Three Responses to “Hopeful Realism” – Jordan Ballor, Bradford LittleJohn, and Andrew T. Walker | Public Discourse

The evangelical embrace of natural law must continue to mature, and “hopeful realism” is a meaningful step forward in this respect. However, a postliberal would be quick to detect some slippage in the authors’ statements about the most important common political good that must guide any functional society: its religious vision. Additionally, one area for further development in their proposal is a more explicit basis for how their proposal is “evangelical.”

Chinese Government Asked TikTok for Stealth Propaganda Account – Olivia Solon | Bloomberg

A Chinese government entity responsible for public relations attempted to open a stealth account on TikTok targeting Western audiences with propaganda, according to internal messages seen by Bloomberg.

Did Google Create a Sentient AI or Just a Zombie? – Joe Carter | TGC

A Christian mystic priest and software engineer claims one of the world’s most powerful tech companies discriminated against his religious beliefs after he publicly proclaimed that an AI chatbot has become sentient.