Augustine’s first conversion is to the Christian Platonism of his day, which brought along with it a free-will defence to the problem of evil. Formative as this philosophical influence was, however, Augustine’s own experience of sin combines with his sense of God’s sovereignty to lead him to modify the views he inherited in significant ways. This transformation is demonstrated by setting Augustine’s evolving position against that of Gregory of Nyssa.
Responding to the complicated conditions produced by both the Constantinian Revolution and the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West, Augustine concerned himself not so much with “earthly transitions” as with the only transition that he believed had final significance: the transition of Christ from death to life.
Abstract One thousand and seventy?nine pupils aged between 13 and 16 years, from years three through five of Protestant and Catholic secondary schools in Northern Ireland, completed a survey of moral issues, together with a scale of attitude towards Christianity and a range of indices of religious behaviour. These data are employed to develop and to establish criteria of reliability and validity for a scale of traditional Christain moral values. Tentative scale norms indicate that pupils in Catholic schools hold more (...) strongly to traditional moral values than pupils in Protestant schools, that girls hold more strongly to traditional moral values than boys, and that the acceptance of traditional moral values declines between the third and fifth years of the secondary school. (shrink)
The primary function of the European Court of Human Rights is to ensure that administrative and judicial processes in member states effectively conform to pan‐European Convention standards (‘constitutional justice’) rather than seeking to provide every deserving applicant with a remedy for a Convention violation (‘individual justice’). But, in order to do so effectively some core elements of the Convention's constitution require more deliberate articulation and more consistent application. In seeking to show how this might be achieved, this article argues that (...) three primary constitutional principles—the judicial protection of Convention rights (the ‘rights’ principle), the democratic pursuit of the public interest (the ‘democracy’ principle), and the principle of priority to rights (the ‘priority’ principle), each exercised according to the rule of law—can be distinguished from a cluster of secondary principles which support them in a variety of ways. An analysis of the Convention's key provisions shows, in particular, how the ‘priority’ principle can, and should, operate to give the Court's decisions greater coherence and constitutional authority. (shrink)
Abstract Religious and moral education may be regarded by some educators as discrete and separate subjects, but it is argued in this paper that they have close relationships with each other. Moral socialization is an essential part of growing up, and young people need to be made aware of the ethos of their society. In the past in Britain the moral code was largely derived from the Christian faith, and educators in a secular society face difficulties helping young people to (...) work out their form of commitment and to live by a moral code. For the religious person, belief and moral commitment belong inescapably together in one ultimate vision. Thus it is argued that religious and moral education should be planned together and not be conceived as separate subjects in the school curriculum. (shrink)
Over and above the probable peaking of worldwide oil production as a current reality, the arrival of hard limits on all energy resources is very much nearer in the future than many people realize. The public discourse on Peak Oil and the associated arrival of hard limitson energy availability has attracted more than its share of brilliant and creative minds. In addition to scientific and technical analysts, thisgroup includes a fair number of generalists who have engaged in broader forms of (...) reflection upon the likely economic, social, political, and cultural effects of Peak Oil and other hard energy limits on the structure of current world civilization. In this paper, I select for examination three such generalists who are both especially talented and widely read by those having an interest in this topic: James Howard Kunstler, John Michael Greer, and Dmitri Orlov. My intention is to survey their central ideas in turn, with a view to forming a reasonably well-developed and concrete notion as to how the impending arrival of hard limits on energy consumption will affect the structure of built space in coming decades. I focus both on the macro-infrastructural level and on what one might term the micro-infrastructural level of the built space within which the denizens of contemporary industrial civilization live their daily lives. Theprincipal focus of the discussion will be on the situation in the United States, though many of the lines of argument presented may be applied much more broadly if suitably adjusted in light of locally prevailing conditions elsewhere. (shrink)
Costs at the end of life disproportionately contribute to health care costs in the United States. Addressing these costs will therefore be an important component in making the U.S. health care system more financially sustainable. In this paper, we explore the moral justifications for having discussions of end-of-life costs in the doctor-patient encounter as part of an effort to control costs. As health care costs are partly shared through pooled resources, such as insurance and taxation, and partly borne by individuals (...) through out-of-pocket expenses, we separate our defense for, and approach to, discussing both pooled and individual aspects of cost. We argue that there needs to be a shift away from formulating the options as a dichotomous choice of paying attention to end-of-life costs versus ignoring such costs. The question should be how personal costs will be managed and how societal expenditures should be allocated. These are issues that we believe patients care about and need to have addressed in a manner with which they are comfortable. Conversations about how money will be spent at the end of life should begin before the end is near. We propose discussing costs from the onset of chronic illness and incorporating financial issues in advance care planning. Through these approaches one can avoid abruptly and insensitively introducing financial issues at the very conclusion of a person's life when one would prefer to address the painful and important issues of spiritual and existential loss that are appropriately the focus when a person is dying. (shrink)