Skip to content

Podcast: How to handle ethical hot potatos

tep-podcastcover-1024x1024

How do we discuss ethical issues without descending into moralism or banging tribal drums? How can we speak of the good news when we talk about the good life?

Andy and I discuss this in reference to recent debates over abortion and euthanasia. Is there a way of holding out Christ in the midst of the culture wars?

In our episode we discuss:

My conversation with a Dawkins defender

Giles Fraser's excellent article on euthanasia, and

Emma's blog post: In defense of Dawkins

DOWNLOAD

SUBSCRIBE

3 thoughts on “Podcast: How to handle ethical hot potatos

  1. Howard Nowlan

    Surely, if atheism truly believes that all there is for us is this life and nothing more, isn't an act of gross immorality to rob that from any child which would be born if not terminated by us? I seem to recall even Dawkins espousing that as such highly developed creatures, we should be much MORE than natural selection has made us, so shouldn't this be evidenced, first and foremost, in our care of those less able than ourselves? Giles Fraser's summary of Christianity (romance at the heart of all) was fine, but was slammed hard in the comments on the web version for failing to distinguish between feeling "low" and being tormented by the agonies that come at the end, and these are all too real... honest Christians in ministry have candidly spoken to me on many occasions on how they have been staggered to see family members physically and mentally shredded at such moments (see, for example, Michael Horton's book, "A Place for Weakness". See also the opening of "A Grief Observed" by C S Lewis), and having been through it when I lost my own wife, I can only affirm the awful pain and ugliness of death, not in the final moment, but in the trail that comes, often for days, if not weeks or months, before this. We indeed "throw ourselves... into this deadly realm of non-identity by virtue of the hope that God will find us in death, and will Himself raise us" from that tyranny (Jurgen Moltmann - The Coming of God).

  2. Howard Nowlan

    (Corrected) Surely, if atheism truly believes that all there is for us is this life and nothing more, isn't it an act of gross immorality to rob that from any child which would be born if not terminated by us? I seem to recall even Richard Dawkins espousing that as such highly developed creatures, we should be much MORE than natural selection has made us, so shouldn't this be evidenced, first and foremost, in our care of those less able than ourselves? Giles Fraser's summary of Christianity (romance at the heart of all) was fine, but was slammed hard in the comments on the web version for failing to distinguish between feeling "low" and being comprehensively tormented by the agonies that come at the end, and these are all too real... honest Christians in ministry have candidly spoken to me on many occasions on how they have been staggered and radically shaken to see family members physically and mentally shredded at such moments (see, for example, Michael Horton's book, "A Place for Weakness". See also the opening of "A Grief Observed" by C S Lewis), and having been through it when I lost my own wife, I can only affirm the awful pain and ugliness of death, not in the final moment, but in the trail that comes, often for days, if not weeks or months, before this. We indeed "throw ourselves... into this deadly realm of non-identity by virtue of the hope that God will find us in death, and will Himself raise us" from that tyranny (Jurgen Moltmann - The Coming of God).

  3. Glen

    Yes Howard, it's almost impossible to do justice to the emotional shredding of grief and of these end of life issues. I think though that Fraser's point can still stand even when there is awful pain. I don't know about the medical side but those I trust on these issues say that palliative care is very good these days and intense *physical* pain can, in the great majority of cases, be treated well. But I think A) a society must never make 'the sum total of pain/happiness' into our decisive calculation or else we will start eliminating *people* in order to eliminate pain. B) There's an irony for those concerned for 'dignity in dying' - unless we embrace at the outset our frailty and dependence simply as *creatures*, we will never be able to face death (let alone much of life!) with dignity. There seems to be an inbuilt assumption in the assisted dying proponents that only self-determination makes for a worthwhile life. If that's your premise then a very great deal of life is not worth living. I'd be very interested to read Horton's 'A Place for Weakness' - sounds like exactly the right note to be striking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Twitter widget by Rimon Habib - BuddyPress Expert Developer