Thinking Christian

Thinking Christianity for church, home, and community

Ethics

If not the Bible, then how did we come to know that slavery is wrong?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

That WWJTD’s response to my August 24 post, Ten Reasons the Bible Has It Right On Slavery, was scornful is hardly surprising. First, he caught me legitimately in an error: I misused the word “condone” where I meant “heartily affirm.” I should have said, “Note that the Bible does not heartily affirm everything that it recognizes, nor even everything that it regulates (divorce being one other example).”

JT notes correctly that the Bible does condone slavery, which is to say, it allows that …

 

Wake Up! Wake Up!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Wake up! Wake up to this! Wake up to that! Can anyone realistically wake up to everything? No. To try would be to exhaust yourself right back to sleep. What then shall we do with all that’s going on in the world? As I’ve written in this month’s BreakPoint column, that’s the Crisis of the Caring Conscience.

While I’m mentioning articles, I’d like to direct your attention to an interesting one from a blogger who says he doesn’t know much at all. I …


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Who Is the Bigot?

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Who is the bigot?

Mark Joseph Stern proposes an answer to that question in a recent Slate article, taking his cues from a new book by Stephen Eric Bronner, titled The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists.

Stern makes it amazingly simple: “Anybody who opposes equal rights for gay people” is a bigot by definition. That much is easy. As we’ll see in a moment, though, it’s hard to understand what moral basis he builds that belief on.

I’ll come to that shortly, but first, for context, …

 

Some Serious Thinking On Evolved Morality

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

We’ve been discussing the moral argument for God here lately in a two-part short series, where I introduced this version of the argument:

AB1. We cannot know whether any action really is right or wrong unless right and wrong are real. AB2. We know that some actions really are right and others are wrong. AB3. Therefore (AB1 and AB2) right and wrong are real. AB4. If there is no God, then right and wrong cannot be real. AB5. Therefore (AB3 and AB4) there …


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Evidence for God: Humanism vs. Moral Knowledge (Moral Knowledge Part 2)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith

This is a corrected re-write of a poorly constructed post I wrote a couple days ago. Some of the content is the same, but I’ve clarified the context and purpose.

I have seen it before, and I’m seeing it again: I don’t know why anyone speaks of atheistic “humanism:” atheism denies humanness. “‘Humanity is dead, and we are its murderers,’ says the Madman.”

That’s a bold and controversial statement, I know, and I know that …

 

(Deprecated Post) Evidence for God: Atheism vs. Humanness (Humanness & Moral Knowledge Part 2)

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith

Update April 8: I left out some important context when I wrote this post, which you may find by jumping down to comments 136, 137, and 142. My apologies for the error and the confusion that resulted. I’m deprecating this post because of the errors, and asking you to read here instead.

I don’t know why anyone calls it humanism: atheism denies humanness. “‘Humanity is dead, and we are its murderers,’ says the Madman.”

 

Evidence for God: Humanness and Moral Knowledge, Part 1

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith

Introduction: Moral Knowledge We All Share

Do you know whether it’s right or wrong for parents to nurture their children? Do you know whether it’s right or wrong for parents to torture their children for fun? Do you know whether it’s right or wrong for a power plant to practice green environmental methods? Do you know whether it is right or wrong for a chemical plant to dump its waste products into the nearest river?

I …

 

Evidence for God: Humanness, From a Personal Angle

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Part of the extended series Evidence for the Faith

How do we know Christianity is true? What evidence is there for our beliefs? The answers to the first question are as broad-ranging as the question itself. The answers to the second depend on which beliefs we have in mind.

This series is title, in part “Why I Believe.” I don’t intend to stay focused on that for long, since my reasons for belief need not have anything to do with anyone else’s. The real …

 

Seven Reasons To Give Old Testament Ethics the Benefit of the Doubt

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Why do Christians give Old Testament ethics the benefit of the doubt?

That question came up before Christmas, as a result of discussions here on slavery in the Old Testament. There is no denying that the slavery codes in the Pentateuch seem wrong, even barbaric, to 21st century readers (most readers, that is: slavery is still a thriving enterprise of death in our world today).

As I will repeat in point 4, “the benefit of the doubt” is hardly required for most OT ethical matters. …

 

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