Ethical Systems or Sin, Evil, Inhumanity
The Consequences of Ideas (Good News Publishers: 2009), p. 29.
Protagoras, probably the most influential Sophist in Athens, is frequently described by modern historians as the "father of humanism." His famous maxim, "Homo mensura," declares that "man is the measure of all things," of the existence of things that are and of the nonexistence of things that are not. ¶ From a biblical perspective, of course, the honor of being the first humanist does not belong to Protagoras. Indeed, it is accorded not to a man, but to a serpent whose maxim was "Sicut erat Dei," "You will be like God" (Gen. 3:4).
J.P. Moreland, The Simon Greenleaf Law Review 8 (1989), pp. 25-55.
But apart from a pure interest in scholarship, why should Evangelicals care whether or not Rawls was Kantian? In recent years, there has been tremendous growth in the number of Bioethics Committees in acute and long term health care facilities. Since these committees are interdisciplinary, their membership is open to lawyers, nurses, social workers, doctors, clergy, and laymen, and others who are not trained in moral philosophy. There is a danger in this. Some of the literature on bioethics which is used to train people to serve on Bioethics Committees blurs or minimizes the distinction between deontological and utilitarian normative theories because both theories (especially the rule varieties of each) often imply the same moral decision. One example of this minimization of the distinction between deontological and utilitarian theories is Rawls. He is often listed as an example of a deontological theory, but I hope to show that he is closer to utilitarianism. ~ An Excerpt
Roger Crisp (Oxford University Press: October 2006), 176 pages.
In Reasons and the Good Roger Crisp answers some of the oldest questions in moral philosophy. Fundamental to ethics, he claims, is the idea of ultimate reasons for action; and he argues controversially that these reasons don't depend on moral concepts. He investigates the nature of reasons themselves, and how we come to know them. He defends a hedonistic theory of well-being and an account of practical reason according to which we can give some, though not overriding, priority to our own good over that of others. ~ Product Description • "Roger Crisp's Reason and the Good defends, in a forthright and amiable style, quite an array of doctrines in metaethics and normative ethics, many of which challenge orthodoxy.... this bold and sweeping work contains quite a number of provocative discussions of interest to theoretical ethicists of many stripes." ~ Chris Heathwood, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
William J. Wainwright (Ashgate Publishing: May 2005), 264 pages.
Covering a broad range of topics, this book draws on both historical and contemporary literature, and explores afresh central issues of morality and religion offering new insights for students, academics and the general reader interested in philosophy and religion. • "It is well-written, cogent, the analyses were informative and detailed (but not so detailed they'd put you to sleep) and the arguments rigorous, clear and cogent. ... Wainwright is a top notch Kant scholar, and you can see he has a passion for the man's work when he discusses Kant's argument for the existence of God. The arguments are so clear, so simple, and he defends them so well, I'm almost tempted to write in the margins 'QED'. I really thought Wainwright shed new light on this subject, and pulled effectively from other scholars who have done work on it. The same is true of his analysis of the argument from the phenomenology of conscience. His presentation, his analysis of possible objections and his counter-arguments are like water, this way truth lies. ~ Plantinganut at Amazon.com
Maria Pia Lara, ed. (University of California Press: Oct 1, 2001), 328 pages.
This innovative volume will be welcomed by moral and political philosophers, social scientists, and anyone who reflects seriously on the twentieth century's heavy burden of war, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other evidence of people's desire to harm one another. Mar’a P’a Lara brings together a provocative set of essays that reexamine evil in the context of a "postmetaphysical" world, a world that no longer equates natural and human evil and no longer believes in an omnipotent God. The question of how and why God permits evil events to occur is replaced by the question of how and why humans perform radically evil acts. ~ Product Description
J. Daryl Charles (William B. Eerdmans: April 2008), 344 pages.
Restating what all people intuit and what this means in moral, specifically bioethical, discourse is the raison d’être for this volume. J. Daryl Charles argues that a traditional metaphysics of natural law lies at the heart of the present reconstructive project, and that a revival in natural-law thinking is of the highest priority for the Christian community as we contend in, rather than abdicate, the public square. Nowhere is this more on display than in the realm of bioethics, where the most basic moral questions — human personhood, human rights versus responsibilities, the reality of moral evil, the basis of civil society — are being debated. With his timely application of natural-law thinking to the field of bioethics, Charles seeks to breathe new life back into this key debate. ~ Product Description
"The Browning of America", an Interview with Richard Rodriquez, (Salon.com)
This lack of a sense of history has allowed us a kind of romance with race and ethnicity that is fanciful. I did a documentary some years ago about America and teenagers and the past and all these kids who were announcing themselves as wanting to recover their history, as though it was some reassurance, when everything I've ever read about American history is an embarrassment. It's filled with tragedies of all kinds. The notion that we would study history in order to feel better about ourselves is just ludicrous. But we have this romantic sense because we know it so little, our past really seems noble. I don't look to Aztec Mexico for any reassurance about my identity. I'm aware that Aztec Mexico was a decadent society; its bloodlust was so extreme that its ultimate sexual energy was its pursuit of death. There's nothing in that history for me that leads me to the romantic calendars that you see in Mexican restaurants with the Aztec, almost naked with the feathers coming out of his head, and the Aztec princess at his knees. Nothing of that is convincing to me. History is a terrible, terrible burden which we need to confront, but I don't think the search for authenticity begins there.
"Battlestar Galactica Episodes 421-423 Commentary" (March 23, 2009: 1:27:00)
And this is the key moment of the finale, [Baltar] realizing the connections. Baltar is the man who has been thinking about and talking about God from the very beginning. Since the moment that Caprica Six said "God is Love" and Baltar dismissed her belief and mocked her belief. There is a direct connection between that moment and here where Baltar in the finale realizes, truly realizes, there is a different, there is another hand at work here, that there is something else going on, that there is a greater truth, that there is really something to this idea of destiny, that there is really something to this notion that he is a player in a grander play, and that he has to fill that role. I was really intrigued by that and I really wanted that to be a part of what happened at the end...