December 6, 2013
Imagine with me the following scenario: You are resting peacefully at your home, when all of a sudden you hear a loud bang. You rush outside to see what happened, and across the street is a wrecked car with a man trapped inside. As you approach the car to offer help, it becomes engulfed in flames. The man is fully conscious, but unable to escape. You’ve called 911, but it will be 15 minutes before they are able to arrive with a fire truck and the jaws of life. The man is burning before your eyes with no chance of survival, and you hear his blood curdling cries from within the car: “Shoot me, please! Shoot me! Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!”
You own a gun, and have the means to honor this man’s request. The choice is yours: Do nothing, and watch this man burn to death in excruciating pain for the next 10 minutes, or get your gun, and shoot the man to hasten his death to avoid the unbearable suffering. What would you do?
Once you have answered this question, scroll down below for an additional question.
Euthanasia is the practice of actively and purposely killing an individual because they are experiencing some form of unbearable suffering. Think, for example, of the person with terminal bone cancer whose body is wracked with pain. If you were to meet such a person, and they requested that you kill them to end their suffering, would you do it?
If you would kill the man in the car, but not the man with cancer, please explain what you see as the morally significant distinction between the two scenarios. Likewise, if you would not kill the man in the car, but would kill the man with cancer, please explain what you see as the morally significant distinction between the two scenarios.
December 5, 2013
Christians often disagree regarding matters of personal holiness. Those defending themselves against the charge of sin for some X will often respond by saying, “It’s not that bad.” Of course, to say something is “not that bad” is tantamount to saying it’s “not that good” either. In such cases, we should be honest with ourselves and others and just admit that X is not spiritually advantageous for us, even if it is morally tolerable. Would we be better off if we abstained? Perhaps. Are we sinning if we don’t? No.
December 4, 2013
Posted by jasondulle under Odds & Ends
I was thinking the other day how I could be a better conversation partner, and show myself more friendly to others. I began to think about the kinds of things I find annoying when talking to others: failure to make eye contact, interrupting, dominating the conversation, changing the topic, etc. Then, I thought of another faux pas that I’m sure most of us are guilty of. Not only have I observed it so often in others, but I find myself doing it as well, either due to nervousness (particularly when meeting someone new), my desire to demonstrate our commonalities, or in some cases, just pure selfishness. To what do I refer?
When in conversation with someone, we have the tendency to relate our own experience when it is similar to something the other person is talking about. The worst thing to do is relate your story while the person is in the midst of telling their own! But it may be good to withhold your story, even if they have finished theirs. I don’t know about you, but if, when I finish telling my story to someone, they immediately begin talking about themselves, I get the feeling that they are more interested in their own story than mine. It almost feels like you have two people competing against one another to share their personal story, each talking past the other. If we want to be a better conversation partner, and show ourselves more friendly while in conversation, instead of telling our story, how about we seek to know more about their story? Show them you are listening and you care by asking them to share more. Not only is this flattering to your conversation partner, but it expresses our genuine interest in them as a person. Rather than using their story as an opportunity to talk about ourselves, we use it as an opportunity to get to know them better. We’ll have plenty of opportunities to share our own experience in the future.
November 28, 2013
Posted by jasondulle under Apologetics
Arrogance is not descriptive of what you believe, or even the confidence with which you believe it, but rather how you believe it. Arrogance is an attitude one has about their beliefs; an unwarranted display of superiority over others who do not think as you do. It is a feature of one’s character and behavior, not one’s beliefs.
November 25, 2013
We hear more and more about gender identity confusion these days. Gender identity confusion is when a person thinks s/he is the gender opposite of their biology: a man who believes he is a female trapped in a man’s body, or a woman who believes she is a male trapped in a woman’s body. Rather than considering this as a mental disorder in need treatment, however, today’s proffered solution is to perform a sex-change operation so that one’s body will match their perceived gender. I am persuaded that this solution to the problem is wrong-headed.
November 20, 2013
The cultural acceptance of homosexuality as morally benign or morally good has happened at an alarming speed. While there is a complex of reasons for the shift, one of the most influential is the meme that being gay is not a choice. Admittedly, for most people who engage in homosex, this is true. Their same-sex attractions are not chosen. They come naturally to them, just as opposite-sex attractions come to naturally to a heterosexual. What is chosen is whether or not the person who experiences same-sex attraction acts on those desires to actually engage in homosex.
The “gay is not a choice” meme has been so important for the acceptance of gay rights that when Sex in the City star, Cynthia Nixon, stated publically that she simply chooses to be in a lesbian relationship, the gay community was in an uproar. They feared that her comments would negatively affect their fight for civil rights.
November 18, 2013
Many believe science has disproven God. This is not possible, even in principle. The truth of the matter is that advances in science are providing more reasons to believe in God, not less. While scientific discoveries cannot prove God’s existence, they can be used to support premises in arguments that have theistic conclusions/implications. For example, science has discovered that the universe began to exist. Anything that begins to exist requires an external cause. Since the universe encompasses all physical reality, the cause of the universe must transcend physical reality. It cannot be a prior physical event or some natural law, because there was nothing physical prior to the first physical event, and natural laws only come into being once the natural world comes into being. Whatever caused the universe to come into being must be transcendent, powerful, immaterial, spaceless, eternal, and personal, which is an apt description of God.