Displaying episodes 31 - 60 of 104 in total
We probe the coherence of just war theory one more time by asking some general questions about it.
We look at the final tenet of just war theory, the idea of "just peace."
We look at the sixth tenet of just war theory, the idea of "last resort."
We look at the fifth tenet of just war theory, the idea of "reasonable success."
We look at the fourth tenet of just war theory, the idea of "discrimination" or "civilian safety."
We look at the third tenet of just war theory, the idea of "right intention" or "proportionality."
We look at the second tenet of just war theory, the idea of "just authority."
This episode explores one of the first tenets of Just War Theory, the idea of "just cause." We explore the concept of just cause to uncover how it is idealistic, produces incompatibility with other ideas, and is inconsistently applied.
Since today is Independence Day in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to look at how we have gained and maintained our independence. We take a look at some very hard truths about the United States, and the human condition expressed in it, as it is in all empires throughout history.
Our original series explored the positive case for Christian nonviolence. In this series, we will take a look at the Just War Theory and see how it holds up to scrutiny. In our first episode of the series we'll lay out the general composition of this theory and discuss its formation in Christian thought.
We re-explore a topic discussed in episode 7 - if most Christians believe it's moral to condone the assassination attempt of Hitler, why don't we condone the killers of the New Holocaust, abortionists? Since this was one of the conundrums which lead me to the acceptance of pacifism in order to be morally and logically consistent, I think it's worth exploring again at the end of our abortion series.
This episode piggybacks off the previous one by digging into the structures of racism in abortion. We discuss the shifting demographics of abortion and how the very people decrying abortion and attempting to legislate directly against it tend to be the group which creates and fosters the environments most conducive to producing abortions.
I was disappointed, though not surprised, to discover that the anti-abortion position and movement in Evangelicalism (especially the white brand) has racial overtones. While our sullied past doesn't negate the logical case made against abortion in season three, I do think it is vital that we Evangelicals are honest about our history. Understanding the past helps lead us to repentance, honesty, integrity, authenticity, and restoration, whereas the ignoring of the past leads to hard heartedness and blindness of both past and current injustices. This episode ties in consequentialism, race, and politics - three topics which have been discussed at length throughout the three seasons so far.
This episode wraps up our case for abortion by surveying the landscape of both the Christian and secular positions, as well as bringing in the topics of our previous two seasons: nonviolence and consequentialism.
I take a look at one of the arguments the pro-abortion side often levies against the anti-abortion side. Ectopic pregnancies are viewed as an area where pro-lifers are inconsistent in their application of the logic. In this episode I take a look at what I believe a consistent anti-abortion logic entails.
Some would argue that you shouldn't even listen to me on the topic of abortion, as I am a man. Men not only have a vested interest in the abortion discussion, but also have the inability to understand from a woman's perspective. While such an argument undermines the possibility of using logic in arguments, I look at where the vested interests truly lie, and in how we recognize in other areas how diverse voices are vital for fighting injustice.
As Memorial Day approaches, we explore what it looks like for a pacifist to faithfully and truthfully live out a day which honors lives lost in war. We take some cues from Stanley Hauerwas and his article on the sacrifices of Christ, and we address some of the shallowness of a day which, rather than honoring the loss of human life, honors the loss of only particular lives. I will advocate that instead of tossing Memorial Day to the side, we think about what most are truly saying in their celebrations, and replacing that shallow expression with a full expression of the imago dei in all.
I take a look at Patrick Tomlinson's smug conundrum offered to the anti-abortion advocates. He asks what a pro-lifer would do if they had to choose between saving a toddler or 1,000 embryos in a fire. I take a look at how Tomlinson shoots himself in the foot with this consequentialist argument, as he undermines the possibility of he, himself, being able to do any good in the world. This episode wreaks of the consequentialism discussed in season 2. If you're unfamiliar with that, you should go back and listen to the season.
If you don't want strange and tentative, skip this episode. I take a second look at the issue from bodily autonomy by addressing a very strange case, that of Phillips vs. Irons. This is a prototype argument that is quite strange, and I acknowledge that it could be off the rails a bit. However, I think it's interesting and perhaps it will spark some good conversation and thoughts about how to further the discussion on the topic of abortion and bodily autonomy.
In my opinion, the strongest argument for abortion is the argument from bodily autonomy, also known as the Violinist Argument. I take a look at why this argument seems so strong on the surface, but why it breaks down under the weight of a number of large assumptions which crumble upon closer inspection. While I still think this argument is the strongest for abortion, it is by no means unassailable, and it is by no means solely an objective position.
Unfortunately, most Christian arguments for abortion are bad. Some arguments misuse or cherry-pick the Bible, some arguments are undermined by hypocrisy, and some arguments undermine the core idea Christians rely on - that humans have intrinsic value. We take a look at what I think are bad (or incomplete) Christian arguments and evidences against abortion.
If we know that abortion kills humans, and we know that to maintain intelligible human rights we must acknowledge intrinsic value, we must then answer the next question: are there any circumstances which warrant the taking of an intrinsically valuable human life? I look at reasons for killing which are commonly accepted in our society, then see how reasons for abortion compare to what is generally acceptable.
If it's clear that a fetus/embryo is a living human, we must then discuss how human value is housed. Is it something that is acquired (extrinsic), meaning it can then be lost or lessened, or is value intrinsic to all humans, following humans wherever they go and no matter what? We look at the major problems with adhering to value as extrinsic, which is what most pro-abortion advocates do. For any property you can hold in degrees means it can also be lost in degrees, implying human value is not static and comes on a shifting scale.
When discussing the issue of abortion, most anti and pro-abortion advocates miss the point completely. While anti-abortion Christians show pictures of dead fetuses and try to argue from the Bible, the other side claims to fight for justice for women and the poor. In doing so, both sides frequently miss the foundational question which must be asked before we begin deeper discussions.
In this episode I explore some personal experiences with racism and political idolatry inside the church. I discuss how the same pitfalls which made my community vulnerable to misassessing or pre-judging COVID-19 (and all the other issues discussed in season 2) are the same ones we see come up in regard to race issues and politics.
I saw a lot of disappointing responses from my community (Conservative Evangelicals) in regard to COVID-19. This episode covers my frustration with my community's skewing of truth based on our political filter. Make sure to check out the image gallery of examples.
Today, April 9, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's execution. In the previous episode we took a look at the historical evidence for Bonhoeffer's sustained pacifism, despite the common narrative that he was executed for an attempt to assassinate Hitler. In this episode, we dig into just a few pieces of the book, "Bonhoeffer the Assassin?" which I believe accentuate and complete our series on consequentialism.
This is the original, uncorrected episode. Since most of the corrections were minor, and I felt as though the original had more content and was less rushed, I thought I'd publish it along with the listed corrections from conferring with one of the authors of the book "Bonhoeffer the Assassin?" Dr. Nation's Critiques: 1. If Bonhoeffer did choose to assassinate Hitler, this is a serious issue for the nonviolent position if it represents a shift in ideology as opposed to a moral lapse in the moment. It is often portrayed that Bonhoeffer changed his theology, not that he hesitantly gave in or succumbed to temptation. 2. Jean Lassere and Andre Trocme were not connected to each other 3. Bonhoeffer's rationale for avoiding the military is not analogous to those like Desmond Doss who had a different rationale for service 4. The Abwehr was not scrutinized due to assassination attempts, because the attempts which occurred in the time frame before Bonhoeffer's arrest were not discovered. 5. Bonhoeffer almost certainly knew about the assassination attempts against Hitler, though no connection can be made for his support, participation, or encouragement of that. We only know of him leveraging his position to guarantee peace upon overthrow. 6. The Abwehr had about 12,000 members. A big thanks to Dr. Nation for his help, and so all who want to pursue his work further know, "I have published another essay on the book Ethics that says some things not said in our book in the same way. Also, I have written three lectures that expand on some of this, if you are interested. An early version of the one is available on youtube. I am presenting three new public lectures this semester. These six lectures will become my second book on Bonhoeffer."
As we approach April 9, 2020, we approach the 75th anniversary of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's execution. If you know Bonhoeffer, you likely know him as the pacifist turned would-be-assassin. This episode explores the evidence for and against Bonhoeffer's participation in assassination attempts against Hitler, as well as Bonhoeffer's life and example.
We take a look at another case study of consequentialism in the Bible - the Apostle Peter. I argue that Peter was not at all a coward, but was rather a human with an agenda who became disillusioned when God's way didn't align with his own.