Issues in Christian Ethics (Day 2)

One of the people I should really thank publically here is my Aunt Jo who has been gracious enough to let me couch surf in her living room this week and to make me breakfast and coffee every morning. She definitely knows the way to my heart Smile.

Dr. Feinberg spent most of today’s class continuing with his focus on foundational concepts in Christian Ethics. Of special interest to me was his discussion on hierarchialism. Hierarchialism (I’m sure I didn’t spell that right) reminds us that there are situations in life that require us to create a hierarchy of our ethics and to choose between ethical principles. The classic example of this is citizens hiding Jews in their basements from the Nazi’s. The ethical dilemma comes when the Nazi soldier asks if you’re hiding any Jews in your house. If you say yes, than the Jews will be killed; but if you say no than you have just spoken something untrue. These kinds of situations require us to create a hierarchy of virtues that we would not normally have to do. Normally, we do not make a habit out of speaking untruth. However, when given the choice between lying and preserving life a hierarchial approach to ethics tell us that we must choose to preserve life and further more that we actually are not morally culpable for the untruth because we were not free to act otherwise.

This is admittedly pretty heady stuff, so I’m man enough to admit that my head was spinning…and sometimes nodding on more than one occasion. Dr. Feinberg took the last 30 minutes of class to start opening up the conversation on Euthanasia, which was fascinating but since we just barely touched on the subject I’ll save it for tomorrow when I have more information.

After class I drove up to Santa Clarita to The Master’s College to study in their student center (which is much nicer than when I was going here, not that I’m bitter or anything) and tonight I’ll be having dinner with an old friend from PMC Church and then coffee with one another good friend from PMC Church.

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January 10 2012 08:30 pm | Issues in Christian Ethics

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