Nicholas Wolterstorff explains how the West is living on borrowed capital.
The philosopher Richard Rorty, who died maybe ten years, eight years ago, wasn’t in my judgement very honest on this score. He didn’t think there was any way of accounting for human rights, he was just very glad that it was embedded in practice. And he remarked in one place that we who are not Christians are living on borrowed capital. I think that’s true. I think it’s the capital bestowed on the West by Judaism and Christianity that accounts for the fact that we treasure the lives even of the impaired human beings. That was not true in ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Impaired infants were allowed to just die. I don’t know how they happened to treat people in comas and so forth.