As Iron Sharpens Iron

An ongoing and online discussion between: an Orthodox informed Ecumaniac without a denominational home, an ordained Baptist youth pastor with an open mind, a Calvinist worship leader/seminarian with a staggering vocabulary and ability to make a point, and a cradle Catholic with a love/hate relationship to Rome.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A question of ethics

First, thanks for both of your responses re: Eriugena. I think you both explained it about the best possible given our meat-brain capacities. Or incapacities. Whatever. I think, as Aaron said, the problem comes when we define God as "infinite" which would mean that all things are of Him. That is why Eriugena (and you) said "nothing" would be a better term.

Moving on, I was preparing my lesson on WWII and came across this bit of info about Bonhoeffer. He said that ethics is determined by two things:
  1. The need of one's neighbor
  2. The model of Jesus of Nazareth.
There are no other guides, since Bonhoeffer denies that we can have knowledge of good and evil. Your thoughts?


Blogger fra edwin said...

Even the most basic life form is attracted by pleasure and avoids pain. So there are ways of differenciating good and evil on the physical level. And, using only natural law, we can see the effects of actions and determine whether these effects are good or evil. So, even without revelation, there can be a sense of humanitarian ethics. I suppose that this could be further informed by acknowledging the "need for one's neighbor."

The witness of Jesus Christ is certainly the most perfect witness we have for good. But Christ, even as the ideal, is not the only model. In revelation, we have the witness of all the saints - Jewish and Christian. One of the most amazing things about Christian witness is how diverse the witness is - in its humanity, its circumstances and even in its imperfectness attempting greatness.

So, I guess I would have to disagree with Bonhoeffer. We have many guides.

1:41 PM  

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