Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category
Racism, human trafficking, and abortion all share a common source to their evil – the fundamental denial of human dignity – more specifically the creator endowed dignity of being made in the image of God. This is unilaterally accomplished by carving out groups of people (by ethnicity, gender, vulnerability, or age) who are classified as sub-human and therefore not treated as equal human beings.
Racism denies the image of God in a particular ethnicity, people group, or tribal affiliation. It seeks to make the persons of such groups or affiliations lesser than your group or affiliation. In doing so it assails the inherent worth endowed by God. There are several idols at work in racism – power, control, pride, and ironically likely both self-love and self-hatred.
Human trafficking denies the image of God in humanity by treating certain humans as not being human at all, but rather property. All sense of dignity and worth must be deconstructed in order to justify the human as property. There are several idols at work in human trafficking, most notably, greed, power, control, and lust.
Abortion denies the image of God in those of a certain size, age, gestation, or relative level of “wantedness.” The human is made to be sub-human because it is small, young, not yet viable, and has not travelled the magical 6″ journey down the birth canal that suddenly and mysteriously imbues it with life, human rights, and legal status. Their are several idols at work here, most notably, lust, selfishness, comfort, and escape.
While perhaps difficult to personally engage heavily on all three fronts, I find it ironic that my own age demographic seem inclined to care about the first 2 of these 3 and not the third. I don’t know if this is for reasons of ignorance, idolatry, apathy, or all of the above. It will be interesting how history plays itself out on this particular issue… but I am willing to wager that our grand children will think of abortion with a similar disdain that our generation holds toward the Holocaust.
The Banality of Evil and Our Cultural Morass
I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to cut up our children for the pursuit of the ideal body, the next ladder rung of the career, or the perfect orgasm. I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to allow persons to be treated as property for sex or for unpaid work for the pursuit of cheaper goods, uncommitted and intimacy-less sex (rape). I hope we would see ourselves as being more dignified than to allow other ethnicities to be treated as less worthwhile, less valuable, and sub-human for the pursuit of feeling good about one’s own tribe at the expense of another tribe.
There is a certain banality to evil that lulls us into going along and getting along. It was the same banality that anesthetized the very bright German people into the wholesale slaughter of persons categorized as sub-human.
What we want is what we worship and what we worship controls us. This is true if we are pagans, atheists, agnostics, or Christians. We are all slaves to our wants. Those wants drive our ideas… And ideas have consequences… Often dire ones.
What the heart loves, the will chooses, the mind justifies – Thomas Cranmer
Great fake travel posters made by artist Ali Xenos. There are some great ones of Rivendell, Tatooine, Dagobah, and Winterfell.
‘Gravity’ Spinoff: Watch the Other Side of Sandra Bullock’s Distress Call – Jonas Cuaron’s seven-minute companion short, filmed in Greenland and featuring Bullock’s voice
Brutal personal piece on about one young man’s battle with our present culture of death – “I Lost My Daughter to the Culture of Death”
Modalimy – Co-parenting for those that want children but not a relationship or marriage. You really cannot make this stuff up.
“Nelson Mandela: A Candid Assessment” – from Catholic site Crisis Magazine
Interesting piece from personal finance blog Mr. Money Mustache entitled, “Get Rich With: The Position of Strength.” Makes some salient points.
Interesting piece in the Atlantic dealing with Clickbait and UpWorthy’s game changing headlines
Here is the AUDIO for the first lecture.
I was struck by a few things in doing my research on the life, thought, and influence of Nietzsche. First, I am struck at how dark, bleak, and sick was Nietzsche’s early world. Second, I was struck by the damning affects of the poison that flowed from the Tubingen School, particularly in the thought of Strauss, Feuerbach, and Schopenhauer (Tubingen was the school that started all of the criticism of the Bible that eventually led to the splitting of Protestantism into its conservative and liberal branches). Third, I am struck by how different Nietzsche’s thought changed over time and how he moves beyond all of his influences. Fourth, I am struck by both the radicalness and the consistency of Nietzsche’s atheism, he is the one atheist who says that morality is contingent on the existence of God. Fifth, I am struck that Nietzsche is really a kind of Greek thinker in the vein of Dionysus and that the goal of his whole philosophy is life affirmation. Sixth, I am struck by how much I agree with Nietzsche both in what bothers him and what he affirms. Finally, I couldn’t agree more with David Hart when he says, “The only really effective antidote to the dreariness of reading the New Atheists, it seems to me, is rereading Nietzsche.”
Below is the outline and audio from the first lecture:
I. Biography and Psychology
B. Boarding School at Pforta
C. Chronic Illness
E. University of Basel
F. Franco-Prussian War Medical Orderly
II. Intellectual Influences
A. David Frederick Strauss – Das Leben Jesu
C. Friedrich Lange – History of Materialism and Critique of its Present Importance (Geschichte des Materialismus)
III. Nietzsche’s Thought
A. “The Death of God”
C. Master and Slave Morality
E. Will to Power (der Wille zur Macht)
F. Eternal Recurrence (ewige Wiederkunft)
IV. Nietzsche’s Influence
C. Albert Camus
F. Martin Buber
G. Adolf Hitler (sort of)
I have been sitting on this story for a few weeks now as it was mere rumor. However, the Denver Post and Colorado Springs Independent now corroborate that Focus on the Family has purchased a 30 second ad in this years Superbowl.
Pam Tebow had amoebic dysentery during her pregnancy with Tim. The doctors counseled her to abort Tim but Pam and Bob would not abort Tim. The ad will promote the obvious, life is beautiful and we are thankful that these parents chose to not kill their son.
The story hits close to home. My own mother had shingles during the first half of her pregnancy with my older brother. The doctors said that there was next to no chance that he would be a normal baby and their unilateral counsel was to abort him. My parents refused. My brother was valedictorian of his high school class and will have acquired his PhD in Materials Science this year. He was the best man at my wedding and is my best friend. I cannot imagine my life without my brother.
Tim’s football skills nor my brother’s academic success justify the decisions of their parents. These men were created in the image of God, knit together in their mothers womb, and by necessity are of intrinsic worth. If Tim had not won two National Championships or my brother been smart, the decisions of their parents were still moral.
Abortion is a stain on this country. I honestly believe we will feel the same shame and remorse for abortion that we be feel now for slavery. True social justice is protecting the rights of the weakest members of society.
I did not want to make this post to be about Focus on the Family. I have been critical of the Christian Right on this blog before, particularly their employing of reductionistic methods that fail to understand the complexities of American culture(s). I am also not sure if spending millions of dollars on a Superbowl ad is a wise use of funds. I hope that the ad is well done and compelling.