Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about consent. Feminists love to talk about it. And with good reason! It’s important, and it needs to be talked about. But at times, I have found the discussion rather narrow. Most often, consent is discussed in the context of sex. And there’s nothing wrong with that—certainly sex is a big area where consent matters. I don’t wish to downplay or belittle the important efforts made to talk about consent in the sexual realm. But to me, consent is much more than about sex—it reveals a meaningful way to think about how to treat people ethically. Consent really forms the backbone of my broader ethical framework, and I want to unpack that a bit.Continue Reading
Posts Tagged “morality”
One of the skills that I believe is important to teach in schools is the ability to develop and apply moral values to everyday life. In the past, this sort of thing was done by integrating religion into school. Children would be taught Christian moral values and principles, and they learned to apply them. Once schools became more secularized, this religious moral education was removed. And don’t get me wrong—I believe that is a good thing. However, no system of moral values was put in its place. Instead of embracing the moral values of secular society, schools opted toward a “no-values” approach that removed as much value-judgment as possible. The emphasis shifted to facts and analysis of facts instead of values and value judgments.Continue Reading
Reposted from Mar. 22, 2011.
During my own investigations into economic and political systems, I came across the idea of worker co-operatives. These are businesses which are collectively owned by their workers and democratically managed. When I first learned about these, I was stunned at how brilliant of an idea it seemed to be. It was something of a hybrid between a corporation and a partnership. As I investigated other issues, I kept coming back time and time again to this alluring concept that had never been taught to me in my classes on business or economics. It seemed to be an excellent idea, worthy of my support. And in the end, I based some of my own ideas on politics and economics around this concept. So in order to do what I can to support these co-ops, I want to spend a little bit of time talking about the benefits this form of business can have. I’ve divided the benefits into three main areas (though there is some overlap): economic, personal/social, and ethical. But first, let me describe in a little more detail what a worker co-op is.Continue Reading
The orthodox Christian position on the Old Testament is complicated at best. The standard narrative is that Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from a life under “the Law” and ushered in an era of grace. As Paul states, “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14). And again, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast…. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups [Jews and Gentiles] to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it” (Ephesians 2:8-9,15-16).
As a result of verses like these and the teachings of various denominations, most Christians today do not believe that they are obligated to obey the laws as laid out in the Old Testament. However, this causes some problems, which I would like to explore briefly. In short, I think that this view is inherently inconsistent.Continue Reading
I have fairly idiosyncratic views about morality. I’ve written about them (in fairly brief terms) before. But more recently, I’ve had to refine my ideas about what morality is. I’m not sure that I believe in an objective standard for morality any longer. And this was due, at least in part, to my reflections on the ethics of vegetarianism. If that seems strange, let me explain.Continue Reading
Education is crucial to the functioning of a strong, healthy society, because today’s modern society is built upon knowledge and information. And during our many, many years of education, we learn math, science, history, English, art, health, and more. These are all good things, and important for a well-rounded education. But in amongst this smorgasbord of studying, there are several topics that are generally not covered that I think are important for every school to teach. Some of these might not need an entire course to cover them, but at the very least, these are topics that I think every school should be sure to include in their curricula—preferably as early as possible. Let me share with you my thoughts.Continue Reading
Every week during the school year, I get a newsletter from my former high school. It’s a Christian school, with a conservative Baptist principal, so the content is almost always something with which I now disagree. I generally skim through it to see what diatribe he’s on this week (it’s virtually always about the importance of Christian education…how unexpected!). But the newsletter from a couple weeks ago (Sept. 30) was about bullying in particular. The topic was sparked as a result of the recent tragic news of the suicide of an 11-year-old boy. But instead of pointing the blame at the bullies themselves, possible neglectful attitudes of school teachers and staff, or the social stigma surrounding persons with disabilities (the boy had muscular dystrophy), my former principal decided to pinpoint a different cause. I’ll let him explain:Continue Reading