|My hero Lord Sacks:|
Why can't he be Pope or at least Archbishop of Canterbury instead of
pro-gay marriage lefty liberal feminist homosexuals who
infest the Anglican Church and now the Catholic Church?
The relevance of the Bible for law and ethics in society today
The historian Niall Ferguson quotes the verdict of a member of the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences, tasked with finding an explanation for why the West overtook China in the sixteenth century and went on to industrial and scientific greatness. At first, he said, we thought it was because you had better guns than we had. Then we thought it was your political system. Next we thought it was your economic system. But for the past twenty years we have had no doubt: it was your religion.
What was it about the Judeo-Christian ethic that led the West to develop market economics, democratic politics, human rights and the free society? The lecture will look at seven aspects of biblical ethics, each of which played a part in this development: human dignity, freedom and responsibility; an ethic of guilt rather than shame; the family as the matrix of virtue, love as the basis of ethics and covenant as the basis of society. It will argue that all seven are currently under threat, and that the Bible remains an important voice in the public conversation about ethics and law.
Why was the West more powerful than China?
He made 7 points.
1. The Dignity of Man. God made God in His own image.
2. The insistence on Free Will
Joke about Husband blaming Wife who blames the servant based on Adam, Eve and the Serpent
The moral life is a matter of choice which gives us moral responsibility.
God would reveal Himself in the form of l aw.
3. The sanctity of life and Noahhide Covenant.
"Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."
4. A guilt culture which gives rise to Righteousness/Western as opposed to a shame culture which gives rise to Honour.
Shame cultures are visual cultures. Guilt culture is hearing what people are saying about you. [Not really sure what he was on about.]
There is repentance and forgiveness in guilt cultures but not in shame cultures.
There was sexual aniomie and a sexual free for all whenever Abraham's people left the tribe.
Monotheism is the origin of monogamy
Faith is the origin of fidelity.
5. The family is the matrix of society.
6. A free society is a moral achievement.
7. There are moral limits to power.
Then he described how these principles are being eroded.
1. Human dignity cannot survive the absence of God.
2. Quotes from Isaac Beshevis Singer "We must be free - we have no choice."
3. Abortion and euthanasia eroding the the sanctity of life.
4. We now have a Shame Morality instead of a Guilt Morality which only means "Thou Shalt Not Be Found Out."
5. The Family and the sanctity of marriage now being eroded by government's social policies.
6. Covenantal basis of society hard to sustain. Society is now a hotel rather than a community, each of us in our own rooms trying not to be a nuisance to people next door. The creative destruction of the market economy has caused this.
7. The limits of power have been blurred since there is now no distinction between law and morality.
He ends quoting Livy:
"We can no longer stand our vices nor their cure."
On the question of why the West was more powerful than China, I suggested that the reason might be because the Abrahamic God was more powerful than this rather convoluted idea at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tian
He asked me if I could recommend a book for him to read about the Sky God but I couldn't really help him about it cos I barely remembered anything except that he was troubled by disobedient offspring.
No wonder the Chinese lost out to the West. Nothing can beat Cult of the Supreme Being which is really what the Abrahamic faiths are all about.
|The Cult of the Supreme Being|
|The Cult of Reason|