Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part II

John Rawls’s theory of ethics begins with an experiment he calls the veil of ignorance. The veil attempts to justify the principle “that free and rational persons concerned to further their own interests would accept in an initial position of equality as defining the fundamental terms of their association” (Rawls, 10) [1]. In this experiment, Rawls recognizes that information about race, wealth, and our general background will influence us in our ethical outlook. To counteract our bias, he has us imagine a “situation in which everyone is deprived of this sort of information” (17). From this experiment, Rawls argues that … Continue reading “Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part II”

Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part I

John Stuart Mill

In this article, I will lay the groundwork for my criticism of utilitarianism. In my next article I will explain why I think utilitarianism has very little utility. Ethics is a field for abnormal situations. Amongst the various ethical theories and philosophies put out there, there is wide agreement on most questions. Should I steal from my neighbor? Should I attack the man who honked at me? Should I burn down a hospital? All of these questions have a clear answer (of “No!”) for almost all ethical models. Is abortion moral? Should the government care for those who choose a … Continue reading “Utilitarianism’s Lack of Utility: Part I”

If you are not with me…

…you are against me! In that famous scene from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker stares at Obi-Wan Kenobi with fierce eyes and quotes… Jesus? In an ever-so-subtle slight against Christianity, Star Wars puts a version of Christ’s words in Darth Vader’s mouth when he says, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” Now, Vader does not take Christ’s full words to heart, for he neglects the command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Yes, it would appear that choking your wife, slicing political … Continue reading “If you are not with me…”

The Role of a President

The modern political world often idealizes leaders who “get things done” — in other words, are able to enact an agenda effectively. I see a lot of merit in the arguments for a more powerful executive, though to be fair I have not personally acquainted myself with the arguments against the strong executive. While I am relatively unanchored concerning this debate, I nevertheless want to explore ideas in this piece that look toward scripture to highlight the proper role of a President. To start, consider one of the most pertinent passages regarding this topic when Israel receives its king in … Continue reading “The Role of a President”

Justice and Mercy

In a previous article, I did a brief analysis of the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” and how this phrase is often used or disregarded by Christians trying to bring their faith into practice. As I mentioned in the article, the phrase has its origins with St. Augustine, and while it draws from scripture, it does not come directly. Over the past year and a half, I have had the opportunity to dwell more on this issue that often falls along political lines for Christians. In this article, I want to address the balancing act between those Christians … Continue reading “Justice and Mercy”

A Careful Critique of Calvinism

[1] Before I go into this article I want to comment on what a joy it has been to have this continuing series of articles with Camille. Much of what we discuss on the topic of salvation and predestination happens during long and fervent phone calls. Starting with an article discussing what it means to be a “good man,” we have traveled far in a discussion of God’s plan for man in salvation.  That said I want to outline what we agree on so that we can focus – like a laser – on the points of contention. Both Camille … Continue reading “A Careful Critique of Calvinism”

Christian Midrash: In the Church Today

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these four articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in University in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In my first article, I explained what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. In my second I went into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: In the Church Today”

Christian Midrash: Theology Building

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these four articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in University in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In my first article I explained what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. In my second I went into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: Theology Building”

Christian Midrash: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these four articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in undergrad in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In my first article I explained what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. Now I will go into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The Dolorous … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord”

Christian Midrash: An Adventure in the Fusion of Theological Methodology

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these three articles, where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in college in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In this article I will first explain what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. In the next article I will go into what I see to be a form of … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: An Adventure in the Fusion of Theological Methodology”