Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

Mar 6, 2015 by

By Justin P McBrayer, New York Times: What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture. What I didn’t know was where this attitude came from. Given the presence of moral relativism in some academic circles, some people might naturally assume that philosophers themselves are to blame. But they aren’t. There are historical examples of philosophers who endorse a kind of moral relativism, dating back at least to Protagoras who declared that “man is the measure of all things,” and several who deny that there are any moral facts whatsoever. But such creatures are rare. Besides, if students are already showing up to college with this view of morality, it’s very unlikely that it’s the result of what professional philosophers are teaching. So where is the view coming from? A few weeks ago, I learned that students are exposed to this sort of thinking well before crossing the threshold of higher education. When I went to visit my son’s second grade open house, I found a troubling pair of signs hanging over the bulletin board. They read: Read...

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Why I am not negotiating on Christian sexual morality

Jan 8, 2015 by

by Julian Mann, Cranmer’s Curate: To those who say the Reform voice should be heard in the House of Bishops’ facilitated conversations on human sexuality in order to maintain the unity of the Spirit among disagreeing Anglicans, your curate would respectfully respond as follows: Biblical sexual morality is a first order issue on which all of us who profess Christian faith are called to holiness. Negotiating on this would surely be contrary to the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5 when he commanded that within the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ ‘fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints’ (v3 – NRSV).  He went on to say in v5: Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. As is clearly recognised in our Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer in its Solemnization of Holy Matrimony, fornication is defined biblically as any form of sexual intercourse outside of heterosexual marriage. Read...

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Queen beats Archbishop of Canterbury as ‘most moral leader’ in new poll

Dec 28, 2014 by

By Lucinda Borkett-Jones, Christian Today: The Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge rank ahead of religious and political figures for their moral leadership, according to respondents in a survey commissioned by TheSunday Times. In the YouGov survey, which was conducted before the Queen’s speech on Christmas Day, respondents were asked to choose three or four names from a list. About one third (34 per cent) said the Queen provided the best moral leadership for Britain. The monarchy also took second place, with 30 per cent of respondents saying that Prince William and Kate set the moral tone. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban and who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year, came third. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, came fourth, with 15 per cent, and David Cameron was ranked fifth. Prince Charles didn’t do quite as well as other members of his family, with only 8 per cent. Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain, came in 15th place with just 5 per cent of people recognising his moral leadership – the same as Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. Read...

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‘Parties treat gay marriage opponents as morally inferior’

Nov 25, 2014 by

From The Christian Institute: David Cameron’s ‘casual imposition’ of gay marriage “insulted settled beliefs”, and “wounded him politically”, a former editor of The Daily Telegraph has said. Writing for the paper, Charles Moore commented that the main political parties treat opponents of same-sex marriage as “moral inferiors”. He criticised the assumption in parts of the Western world that those who disagree with redefining marriage are “bigots” and should be “virtually disqualified from public office”. ’Casually imposed’ Moore, a columnist and former editor of The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph, said that the “balance” of civil partnerships was “violated by the way that Mr Cameron casually imposed gay marriage”. “His approach insulted settled beliefs, and therefore wounded him politically more than people like to state directly”, Moore added. Last month, Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh said the Party’s “controversial and revolutionary” same-sex marriage policy is one of the reasons it has lost voters. Read...

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Want to stop revenge porn? Just keep your clothes on!

Jul 6, 2014 by

by Rachel Johnson, Mailonline: At a 50th last month, the birthday girl got up and made her speech, in the course of which she said something about being divorced and on the market again that gave the merry throng of friends, admirers, family and her own children very slight pause. ‘And, gosh, I’ve also had to learn all about SEXTING,’ she said. It wasn’t that the visual this conjured up was upsetting (she is a slim, stunning blonde) – more the fact that it is now quite normal for a woman that age to send pictures of her naked self to potential dates and partners. In fact, it’s not just normal. It seems to be expected. Men on Grindr, the gay hook-up site, don’t use chat-up lines, they exchange pictures of their genitals. And according to some estimates, a third of schoolchildren have sent explicit images of themselves. It’s so common that the acronyms NIFOC (naked in front of computer), GNOC (get naked on camera) NP4NP (naked pic for naked pic) and POS (parent over shoulder) need no explanation to anyone in their teens or 20s. Of course, sexual imagery, erotic art and pornography have always been with us, from cave paintings to Klimt to Tinder. But now – it hardly needs saying – such images aren’t kept on dusty shelves in garages or stashed under beds. They are around for ever. And so a new genre of nastiness between the sexes has been born called revenge porn or, to give it its full title, the online distribution of sexually explicit images of a non – consenting individual with the intent to humiliate that person. Read...

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What about the current dirty men at the BBC?

Jul 4, 2014 by

By Charles Moore, Telegraph: ‘A culture changes by example and a licentious old man being found guilty will help do that,’ says a leader in the Times. Perhaps, but I would be much more impressed if it were a licentious younger man. We can all moralise away in retrospect about what the BBC and others allowed Rolf Harris CBE or Sir James Savile to get away with. It is easy to attack them when they are old or dead. You still very rarely hear of sex charges against current performers. I would not dream of suggesting that Russell Brand is a sex criminal, but we know, from his own account, that he has slept with a great many women. He even, with Jonathan Ross, telephoned the elderly actor Andrew Sachs, and they left a message on his answering machine boasting of how Brand had slept with his granddaughter. The BBC broadcast this as comedy. If the wheel of celebrity fortune ever went against Brand, would it be surprising if some of the women who have slept with him decided to accuse him of ‘inappropriate’ acts? Read here...

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