"Suppose we apply an empirical test to the question of absolutism. Absolute is itself a vague term, but in the religion-and-violence arguments, it appears to indicate the tendency to take something so seriously that violence results. An empirically testable definition of absolute, then, might be “that for which one is willing to kill.” This test … Continue reading Would you kill anyone for your religion?
I recently commented to some Muslims that it "sounds like the Wahhabis are a thorn in the side of Islam the same way Westboro Batpist and other hate movements are a thorn in the side of Christianity." One replied, "Imagine what it would be like if Westboro had several trillion dollars worth of oil, their … Continue reading Wahhabism: A Concern for both Christians and Muslims
"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one … Continue reading The Foolishness of Weakness
I have a huge amount of respect for Ghandi, and I imagine many of you reading this have too. But as I have come to understand Hinduism in more depth I have become increasingly aware that Ghandi was not, and is not, universally representative of Hindu ethics. There is an ethical spectrum in Hinduism that is not … Continue reading The Co-Existence of Violence and Non-Violence in Hinduism
"The Gun is my strength and my defence; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him." (Exodus 15:2 - slightly revised)
Leunig's illustration of our preference for a different gospel.
The psalms of vengeance are without a doubt, difficult for postmodern people to come to grips with, Christians included. Here is an honest look at them from Walter Brueggemann.
What is your view on moral absolutes? I ask this because I have heard different things from different quarters. For example, former Pagan Carl McColeman has said, "while some Pagans might choose to believe in the existence of metaphysical principles like good and evil, others argue that such principles are useless or could even be … Continue reading A question for the Pagan community
It’s frequently said we live in a fragmented culture, but are we ready to admit we have fragmented ethics even within many of our churches? Consider these life sized contradictions The anti-abortion crusader who attacks medical centres kills abortionists in the name of defending life. Or somewhat less extreme, anti-abortion voters who justify infant "collateral damage" … Continue reading Can we be Consistently Pro-Life?
Australian philosophers have unleashed a firestorm of criticism over their claim that the killing newborns is morally the same as abortion and should be permissible if the mother wishes it. They claim this ''after-birth abortion'' is moral as long as it is painless, because the baby is not harmed by missing out on a life it cannot … Continue reading Philosophers argue killing newborns is morally justified
Another messianic prophecy with pacifist overtones: Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no … Continue reading Pacifist Prophecies in the Old Testament (Part 3)
Yesterday I mentioned that holy war “often featured in the Old Testament, but not always.” I also mentioned that apocalyptic pacifism “emphasizes the difference between old and new covenants as a movement towards climax.” Today I would like to demonstrate how pacifism was anticipated “in the last days” by the prophets of the Old Testament. … Continue reading Pacifist Prophecies in the Old Testament (Part 1)