“Cloned human embryos would be the first human embryos whose genetic makeup would be determined not by the chance union of egg and sperm, but by deliberate human selection and design. When research cloning is seen in the context of growing powers of genetic screening and genetic manipulation of nascent human life, it becomes clear that saying “yes” to creating cloned embryos, even for research, means saying “yes,” at least in principle, to an ever-expanding genetic mastery of one generation over the next.”

–Testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, March 19, 2003 regarding S. 303,
which proposed to permit “therapeutic” cloning

“Accurate description is crucial to moral evaluation. One should try to call things by their right names. One should not encumber thought by adopting fuzzy concepts. And one should not try to solve the moral question by terminological sleight of hand – the way that some scientists today try to win support for cloning for biomedical research by denying that the cloning of embryos is cloning or that the initial product is an embryo.”

–“Ageless Bodies, Happy Souls,”
Spring 2003, New Atlantis

“In athletics, as in many areas of human life, practice is the most important means of improving performance. Specific abilities are improved by means of self-directed effort, exercise and activity. One gets to run faster by running; one builds up endurance by enduring; one increases one’s strength by using it on ever-increasing burdens. The capacity to be improved is improved by using it; the deed to be perfected is perfected by doing it. The causal link between training and improvement is utterly intelligible.

The steroid-using athlete also improves, but passively and unintelligibly. True, the bioengineer who produces the biological agents can understand the physiochemical processes behind the improvement. But, from the athlete’s perspective, he (or she) improves as if by magic, without the self-directed activity that lies at the heart of better training.”

“The Price of Winning at Any Cost,”
Feb. 1, 2004, Washington Post

“Could life be serious or meaningful without the limit of mortality? Is not the limit on our time the ground of our taking life seriously and living it passionately? To know and to feel that one goes around only once, and that the deadline is not out of sight, is for many people the necessary spur to the pursuit of something worthwhile. ‘Teach us to number our days,’ says the Psalmist, ‘that we may get a heart of wisdom.’ To number our days is the condition for making them count.”

“L’Chaim and Its Limits: Why Not Immortality?”
May 2001, First Things

“Marriage and procreation are, therefore, at the heart of a serious and flourishing human life, if not for everyone, at least for the vast majority. Most of us know from our own experience that life becomes truly serious when we become responsible for the lives of others for whose being in the world we have said, “We do.” It is fatherhood and motherhood that teach most of us what it took to bring us into our own adulthood. And it is the desire to give not only life but a good way of life to our children that opens us toward a serious concern for the true, the good and even the holy. Parental love of children leads once-wayward sheep back into the fold of church and synagogue. In the best case, it can even be the beginning of the sanctification of life – yes, even in modern times.”

– “The End of Courtship, Part 3,”
Boundless webzine, 1997