‘The four principles of bioethics’ have their rational basis and truth only within the wider set of moral principles. Outside that context, they demarcate a rather legalistic ethic while also, paradoxically, providing labels for rationalising almost any practice.
During the past thirty years there has emerged in Europe a standard form of legal regulation of sexual conduct….which I shall call the “standard modern [European] position”…The standard modern European position has two limbs. On the one hand, the state is not authorized to, and does not, make it a punishable offence for adult consenting persons to engage, in private, in immoral sexual acts (for example, homosexual acts). On the other hand, states do have the authority to discourage say homosexual conduct and “”orientation” (ie overtly manifested active willingness to engage in homosexual conduct). And, typically, though not univerally, they do so.
The secularism that is a root of a systematised willingness to kill some sorts of weak and dependent people (Evangelium vitae, n. 21), or that takes an intolerant form in denying the legitimacy of using Christian criteria when making political decisions (Doctrinal Note on Participation of Catholics in Political Life n. 6), is not to be confused with a healthy secularity or respect for the secular.
Video of conference on Faith and the Challenges of Secularism at Princeton University in 2003. Opens with presentation by Finnis who, after other speaks, appears later on a panel.