The Christian Mind: Tolerance

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. (Declaration of Independence)

We’ve spent time exploring the concept of moral values. What I would like to do now is discuss Christian moral values specifically. In particular I would like to ask whether Christianity  — traditionally understood — is intolerant. Continue reading “The Christian Mind: Tolerance”

The Christian Mind: Narrative

We’ve spent time in our past few essays laying a proper foundation to discuss Christian morality. Bottom line, any moral claim is an appeal to an authority beyond ourselves. By saying something is either right or wrong, we are claiming there is an ultimate standard by which human conduct is judged — what we called in our last post a Moral Authority.

In other words, you can say you do not like or prefer someone or something. But the moment you declare someone or something wrong or evil or unjust, you are imagining a standard beyond yourself. Continue reading “The Christian Mind: Narrative”

The Christian Mind: Authority

A relative of mine on Facebook a while back was taken up by the news of Caitlin Jenner (formerly Bruce Jenner) having undergone surgery to become a female. The topic in the news at that time was whether it was appropriate to still call Caitlin “Bruce.” My relative felt strongly about the topic and posted the following:

Come on, people! It is 2016! If anyone of my Facebook friends insists on calling Caitlin Jenner ‘Bruce,’ tell me right now so I can unfriend you.

This, in many ways, represents what we might call the New Morality in America: Passionate, vocal, somewhat angry, more than just a bit self-righteous, and completely self-assured of its moral superiority. Honestly, I thought that was the Church’s job. Continue reading “The Christian Mind: Authority”

The Christian Mind: Right

In our last post we explored whether it is wrong for moral values to be imposed upon society. This is an important question because in our day, there is this idea that no one’s values should be imposed upon anyone, much less society. To do so is to commit the modern-day mortal sin.

But the idea that moral values should not be imposed upon others — especially that we should be protected from others imposing their moral values upon us — is itself a moral value. This demonstrates what I called in our last post Newton’s Third Law of Belief: For every objection to the imposition of belief, there is an equal and opposite viewpoint imposing its own belief. Continue reading “The Christian Mind: Right”

The Christian Mind: Values

An individual on a recent blog I follow had this to say about religious faith:

“[It leads] often to harmful advice and rules for women, gay people and society in general. Hence the need to assist [believers] to see the errors in their thinking, at every level.”

This in many ways characterizes a common perception of religious faith today: It is a social evil only doing harm and we would all be better off if it were eradicated. It reminded me of what neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author Sam Harris had to say in his book The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values. Continue reading “The Christian Mind: Values”