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Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  18 reviews
How do we make sense of life? How should we treat others? How should we reasonably be expected to be treated by others? When human life is at stake, are there reasonable principles we can rely on to guide our actions? How should our laws be framed to protect human life? What kind of society should be built?Many people rely on their religious beliefs to answer these questio ...more
Paperback, 170 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Ignatius Press (first published September 30th 2011)
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Clare Cannon
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Read this book! It's a clear and concise handbook on the philosophy of the human person which should be compulsory reading for every person entering adulthood to help them evaluate the choices and opinions they will face through life. Certainly every journalist, scientist, medical professional, political leader, educator and voter should read it to gain an objective perspective on the views of the human person commonly advocated today.

Spitzer summarises the key principles which guide how a h
Samuel Pratt
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I loved the beginning of the book! The last chapter or two were kind of dry to me, but the first few chapters make it worth reading.
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-list
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
Nov 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I don't remember having read a book with so much content in such a few pages. I had to walk rather slowly, however, in order not to miss any of the arguments and this effort was well worth it.

I think the Principles can be used as a guide to almost anything in life, but Dr. Spitzer uses them to expose with painful clarity the sheer absurdity of the Roe vs. Wade decision and how it contains basically the same logic as the Dred Scott decision, which is listed by historians as a significant factor i
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is "Wow!" This book was an amazing read! This books covers Ethics, Logic, Political Theory, and Culture in order to defend the Pro-Life position, but more than that Life in general. It also goes through the values of culture in order to elucidate on how to transform and transcend it as well. Then Appendix is worthwhile explaining mans need for a transcendental reality in light of transcendent desires. All in all this book is very smart and rational, barely touches on theology even ...more
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
A little weighty and needs to be read slowly but truly a great read. Loved his way of breaking down the principles we need to live by in any just and good society and how Roe v. Wade and the Dred Scott decisions both betrayed these principles. How anybody can go on thinking that abortion is legitimate especially after reading this is beyond me.
Michal Paszkiewicz
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trumps Jordan Peterson's 12 rules for life with 2 fewer rules. Logical, clear and inspiring, this book can improve your life. Spitzer is a fabulous author that I highly recommend ...more
Avel Deleon
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book! Contains much content although it is a short book.
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Bill Johnston
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
I cannot recommend this book. I debated giving it one star, but decided that would imply it was completely worthless, which it is not. But it has too many flaws to recommend that others read it.

Spitzer lays out his ten principles on page 1. While that is handy, the phrasing of them is often not how they've usually been stated and the meaning of each is not at all clear.

He then devotes a chapter to each one. Fairly early in the book, his descriptions of the principles veer into lengthy examples o
Tim Timberly
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has three parts to it. The first section reads like and introduction to philosophy, becoming the foundation for Fr. Spitzer's argument. I wouldn't be surprised if parts of this were taken directly from philosophical lectures he gave to college students. The second section of the book tackles life issues, specifically abortion, head on using the principles from the first section. Finally, the last section introduces four levels of happiness as both an explanation for the different ideal ...more
Terry Koressel
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I gave Ten Universal Principles a 4 star rating, but I must do so with qualifications so as not to mislead readers of this review. This is a philosophical work in its truest form. It is not a book to entertain, but one from which to learn at the deepest human level. It is, at times, a difficult read....requiring intense thought, concentration and contemplation. On the other hand, if you care about improving the quality of your life and the contribution you can make to others and the human condit ...more
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
A great example of a pedantically patronizing, dichotomous mindset of old. Fr. Spritzer cloaks his hatred of the governing system, i.e., the judiciary, in “ethical” principles. Tell me Fr. Spritzer how will you defend the Jesuit orders horrific role within history in dehumanizing native populations? Ten Universal Principles is a disappointing read. Save time and expense and read far greater philosophical and faith base authors and works that will truly challenge you, the reader.
May 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Unlike anything I've ever read before. The life issues include abortion, euthanasia, slavery, etc. I've never read or seen so much truth written in less than 200 pages. Highly recommend this book. ...more
Leila Chandler
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book that everyone should have on their shelf. Excellent legal and moral arguments with airtight logic. I can't recommend it highly enough. It will make you think about life and why you live the way you do. ...more
David Riemer
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is brilliant, reflecting the mind of its author, Fr. Robert Spitzer. The organization of concepts that Spitzer uses to guide the reader through his argument reflects the clarity and correctness of his positions. Spitzer is, first and foremost, a teacher; this shines through every page of this vital book. A basic background in logic and philosophy will help the reader, but if these are lacking, Spitzer provides more than adequate glosses on every topic he deals with.

The unifying princip
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Robert J. Spitzer, SJ, Ph.D., is a Jesuit priest, philosopher, and educator, and retired President of Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA).

Fr. Spitzer is currently the president of the Magis Center of Faith and Reason and the Spitzer Center for Ethical Leadership.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
31 likes · 11 comments
“The idea of a natural right is to preserve life, not to kill it; and a constitutional right cannot supersede the natural right to life. The whole point of natural rights is that they cannot be superseded by the power of the state.” 0 likes
“In order to prevent a violation of the principle of nonmaleficence, every human being must be valued at the highest level of development, because attaching value to any lower level of development risks the possibility of undervaluing that human being (i.e., subjecting him to the classification of being "inferior" or "less than human"). This undervaluation, in turn, allows for a serious violation of the principle of nonmaleficence, that is, justifying killing, slavery, marginalization, isolation, etc., of this human being because the human being is thought to be "inferior" or "less than human.” 0 likes
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