theological ethics

What is Natural Law: A Brief Explanation and Defense

When seeking to discern between good and bad, I can look to myself or look to others or look to both myself and others. Initially, it may seem justified to adjudicate between good and bad by looking to myself. After all, I am a sensible, reasonable person. I am not a sociopath or cognitively incapacitated. Moreover, I am ultimately the one making the moral decisions, and so they will most likely impact me, so I should have a say in what I think to be good and bad. However, upon further consideration I realize that I have made mistakes in the past. That is to say, I have made errors in judgment including moral judgment. So, I recognize that I have blind spots or biases that may be unknown to me. Often, I have been unaware of my mistakes until someone else shed the light of reason to illuminate the proper way. I conclude from this self-reflection one non-negotiable truth: I am fallible. So, it seems that the final option makes the most sense to look both to myself and others because I am both… Read More »What is Natural Law: A Brief Explanation and Defense

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Functional Gnosticism

As Christians we believe the fact that we exist as embodied creatures is not inconsequential. The Judeo-Christian tradition has always upheld the sacredness of the physical world. Attentive thinkers from Paul to C.S. Lewis have argued that, contra the notion that our bodies are unfortunate barriers and irrelevant to our identities, matter matters to God. The Gnostic philosophy that offered an alternative reality unencumbered by the physical world where we can we find our true selves, was one that Christians took head on in the early church. Could one be both a Gnostic and a faithful Christian? No. Against Gnosticism, the church draws upon its rich resources from the creation narrative itself in which God makes Adam from the dust of the ground to the early creeds which confess that God “was incarnate and was made man,” as we (try to) answer the question, “What does it mean to be human?” Moreover, it is on the grounds that we think our bodies matter that Christian ethics calls for a strict stance on sexual practice, for example. But of course, the necessary presuppositions in place in… Read More »Functional Gnosticism

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Is “Virtue Ethics” Catholic?: A Response to Timothy Gordon and Taylor Marshall

Occasionally, I listen to Dr. Taylor Marshall and Timothy Gordon, two Catholic thinkers who have a show discussing current issues in culture and the Catholic church. They are both obviously very intelligent. I’ve learned from them, and I would like to think that I would get along quite well with both of them in person.

In a recent conversation between these two, as he was discussing his book, Catholic Republic, Tim Gordon said, “Virtue ethics is Catholic.”

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Richard Swinburne and the Society of Christian Philosophers

Something strange happened last week within the Society of Christian Philosophers. If you don’t know, the Society of Christian Philosophers is simply a formally organized group of philosophical scholars who identify as Christians. It is (as far as I know) the broadest and largest academic organized group of Christian philosophers. Like other academic groups, they come together throughout the year to present lectures, discuss ideas, and keep up with the latest news in Christian philosophical discussions. The group was founded in 1978 and some of its past presidents have included esteemed thinkers like Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Eleonore Stump. The current president of the SCP is Michael Rea who also teaches philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Read More »Richard Swinburne and the Society of Christian Philosophers

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