Interpreters of Aquinas’s theory of natural law have occasionally argued that the theory has no need for God. Some, such as Anthony Lisska, wish to avoid an interpretation that construes the theory as an instance of theological definism. Instead Lisska sees Aquinas’s ontology of natural kinds as central to the theory. In his zeal to eliminate God from Aquinas’s theory of natural law, Lisska has overlooked two important features of the theory. First, Aquinas states that the desire for God is (...) a primary precept of the natural law and thus constitutes a critical aspect of his ontology. Secondly, Aquinas’s theory of natural law must be seen in the larger context of his theory of participation since he says, “The natural law is the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.”. (shrink)
This book is the result of a three-year study undertaken by a multidisciplinary working party of the Institute of Medical Ethic (UK). The group was chaired by a moral theologian, and its members included biological and ethological scientists, toxicologists, physicians, veterinary surgeons, an expert in alternatives to animal use, officers of animal welfare organizations, a Home Office Inspector, philosophers, and a lawyer. Coming from these different backgrounds, and holding a diversity of moral views, the members produced the agreed report as (...) a result of detailed and rigorous discussions. The book sets out facts about animal experiments and about animal abilities to experience pain, distress and anxiety. There is a detailed examination of the moral claims related to the benefits likely to accrue from animal research, and of strategies for weighing these benefits against the harm caused to animals, in order to decide whether particular research projects ought or ought not to proceed. This leads to consideration of the statutory and non-statutory controls which safeguard standards in such research. The final section explores a variety of philosophical arguments about the use of animals in research, and offers a philosophical justification for the Working Party's more practical conclusions. Written in clear, nontechnical language, this book is accessible to lay people as well as to scientists. It is the first such document to emerge from a meeting of people with such widely differing views on this highly controversial subject, and represents a major contribution towards informing and raising the quality of contemporary debate. The book is unique in drawing together material and ideas never before found in one volume. It will interest a broad spectrum of readers, from ethicists and animal rights advocates to scientific researchers and laboratory administrators, along with general readers concerned about this compelling issue. (shrink)
In this book and the companion volume The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination, Craig undertakes the first thorough appraisal of the arguments for and against the tensed and tenseless theories of time.
We have synthesized a 582,970-base pair Mycoplasma genitalium genome. This synthetic genome, named M. genitalium JCVI-1.0, contains all the genes of wild-type M. genitalium G37 except MG408, which was disrupted by an antibiotic marker to block pathogenicity and to allow for selection. To identify the genome as synthetic, we inserted "watermarks" at intergenic sites known to tolerate transposon insertions. Overlapping "cassettes" of 5 to 7 kilobases (kb), assembled from chemically synthesized oligonucleotides, were joined by in vitro recombination to produce intermediate (...) assemblies of approximately 24 kb, 72 kb ("1/8 genome"), and 144 kb ("1/4 genome"), which were all cloned as bacterial artificial chromosomes in Escherichia coli. Most of these intermediate clones were sequenced, and clones of all four 1/4 genomes with the correct sequence were identified. The complete synthetic genome was assembled by transformation-associated recombination cloning in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, then isolated and sequenced. A clone with the correct sequence was identified. The methods described here will be generally useful for constructing large DNA molecules from chemically synthesized pieces and also from combinations of natural and synthetic DNA segments. 10.1126/science.1151721. (shrink)
Current practices of identifying and treating small indolent thyroid cancers constitute an important but in some ways unusual form of overdiagnosis. Overdiagnosis refers to diagnoses that generally harm rather than benefit patients, primarily because the diagnosed condition is not a harmful form of disease. Patients who are overdiagnosed with thyroid cancer are harmed by the psycho-social impact of a cancer diagnosis, as well as treatment interventions such partial or total thyroidectomy, lifelong thyroid replacement hormone, monitoring, surgical complications and other side (...) effects. These harms seem to outweigh any putative benefit of knowing about a cancer that would not have caused problems if left undiscovered. In addition to harms to patients, thyroid cancer overdiagnosis leads to significant opportunity costs at a societal level, due to costs of diagnosis and treatment. Unlike many other overdiagnosed cancers, accurate risk stratification is possible with thyroid cancer. At the individual patient level, use of this risk information might support informed choice and/or shared decision-making, as mandated by clinical ethics frameworks. And this approach might, to some extent, help to reduce rates of diagnosis and intervention. In practice, however, it is unlikely to stem the rising incidence and associated harms and costs of overdiagnosed thyroid cancer, especially in situations where health professionals have conflicts of interest. We argue in this article that thyroid cancer overdiagnosis may be usefully understood as a public health problem, and that some public health approaches will be readily justifiable and are more likely to be effective in minimising its harms. (shrink)
Is Goodness Without God Good Enough contains a lively debate between William Lane Craig and Paul Kurtz on the relationship between God and ethics, followed by seven new essays that both comment on the debate and advance the broader discussion of this important issue. Written in an accessible style by eminent scholars, this book will appeal to students and academics alike.
The traditional Christian view that God foreknows the future exclusively in terms of what will and will not come to pass is partially rooted in two ancient Hellenistic philosophical assumptions. Hellenistic philosophers universally assumed that propositions asserting 'x will occur' contradict propositions asserting 'x will not occur' and generally assumed that the gods lose significant providential advantage if they know the future partly as a domain of possibilities rather than exclusively in terms of what will and will not occur. Both (...) assumptions continue to influence people in the direction of the traditional understanding of God's knowledge of the future. In this essay I argue that the first assumption is unnecessary and the second largely misguided. (shrink)
The question of whether or not God exists is endlessly fascinating and profoundly important. Now two articulate spokesmen--one a Christian, the other an atheist--duel over God's existence in a lively and illuminating battle of ideas. In God?, William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong bring to the printed page two debates they held before live audiences, preserving all the wit, clarity, and immediacy of their public exchanges. With none of the opaque discourse of academic logicians and divinity-school theologians, the authors (...) make claims and comebacks that cut with precision. Their arguments are sharp and humorous, as each philosopher strikes quickly to the heart of his opponent's case. For example, Craig claims that we must believe in God to explain objective moral values, such as why rape is wrong. Sinnott-Armstrong responds that what makes rape wrong is the harm to victims of rape, so rape is immoral even if there is no God. From arguments about the nature of infinity and the Big Bang, to religious experience and divine action, to the resurrection of Jesus and the problem of evil, the authors treat us to a remarkable display of intelligence and insight--a truly thought-provoking exploration of a classic issue that remains relevant to contemporary life. (shrink)
The case recounts an incident of theft at a CEOs home during a company party. The rogue may well be an employee, and the CEO considers his options: should he let the matter pass and preserve the good will generated by the party, or should he stand on principle and engage the issue frontally? Three commentators provide perspective on an optimal response. They consider whether the CEOs true intent is to show appreciation or showcase opulence. In addition, the aberrant behavior (...) at this celebratory event suggests some measures that management might take in the workplace. (shrink)
Craig and Moreland present a rigorous analysis and critique of the major varieties of contemporary philosophical naturalism and advocate that it should be abandoned in light of the serious difficulties raised against it. The contributors draw on a wide range of topics including: epistemology, philosophy of science, value theory to basic analytic ontology, philosophy of mind and agency, and natural theology.
Media scholars have used ethical theory extensively to evaluate journalists' own ethical practices. However, they have given little attention to how ethical theory could be used to assess the way journalists cover the ethics of others. In light of the important role that medicine and other professions play in the lives of individuals and society, this article proposes a framework to evaluate news coverage of ethical issues that involve professions and in society. After making the case for the need for (...) this framework, the article describes the framework itself and the rationale for each component. Finally, ideas for applying the framework in future research are suggested. (shrink)
In this article I use a case study of 3 newspaper pieces about assisted suicide and euthanasia to show how journalists can use analysis and commentary to highlight the ethical dimension of an important public issue. Using an approach grounded in ethical theory, I examine how these pieces-from the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, and New York Times-shed light on ethical issues including matters of duties and consequences. It is argued that an analytical approach that openly frames a topic (...) as having a moral dimension is particularly appropriate for ethics coverage in light of the value-laden nature of writing about ethics. (shrink)
How should we live? What really exists? And how do we know for sure? In this lively and engaging study, Edward Craig argues that learning philosophy is merely a matter of broadening and deepening what most of us do already. But he also shows that philosophy is no mere intellectual pastime: thinkers such as Plato, the Buddhist sages, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Hegel, Darwin, Mill, and de Beauvoir responded to real needs and events—and many of their concerns shape our daily (...) lives. (shrink)
We add texture to the conclusion of Duchon and Drake (Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 2009, 301) that extreme narcissism is associated with unethical conduct. We argue that the special features possessed by financial accounting facilitate extreme narcissism in susceptible CEOs. In particular, we propose that extremely narcissistic CEOs are key players in a recurring discourse cycle facilitated by financial accounting language and measures. Such CEOs project themselves as the corporation they lead, construct a narrative about the corporation and themselves (...) using financial accounting measures, and then reflect on how their accounting-constructed performance is perceived by stakeholders. We do not present empirical evidence about whether the use of accounting language and measures leads to unethical behaviour by extreme narcissistic CEOs — although the conclusions of Duchon and Drake (2009) suggest empirical support is probable. Rather, we focus on developing alertness to the potential for accounting, when engaged by an extremely narcissistic CEO, to be a precursor or implement of unethical behaviour. (shrink)
This is an interpretation of the experiential/religious meaning of Japanese Shrine Shinto as taught us primarily by the priests at Tsubaki Grand Shrine, Suzuka, Mie Prefecture. As a heuristic device, we suggest lines of comparison between the thought and practice of the Tsubaki priests and two Western thinkers: the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and the French philosopher Georges Bataille. This in turn allows the construction of three interpretive categories that we believe illuminate both the Shintō worldview and Shintō ritual practice.
Group beneficial norms are common in human societies. The persistence of such norms is consistent with evolutionary game theory, but existing models do not provide a plausible explanation for why they are common. We show that when a model of imitation used to derive replicator dynamics in isolated populations is generalized to allow for population structure, group beneficial norms can spread rapidly under plausible conditions. We also show that this mechanism allows recombination of different group beneficial norms arising in..
The authors of this lively and thorough introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective introduce you to the principal subdisciplines of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophy ...
While the topic of assertion has recently received a fresh wave of interest from Peirce scholars, to this point no systematic account of Peirce’s view of assertion has been attempted. We think that this is a lacuna that ought to be filled. Doing so will help make better sense of Peirce’s pragmatism; further, what is hidden amongst various fragments is a robust pragmatist theory of assertion with unique characteristics that may have significant contemporary value. Here we aim to uncover this (...) theory, and to show that assertion for Peirce is not a mere corollary of pragmatic conceptions of truth, judgement, and belief, but is rather a central aspect of his philosophy. (shrink)
In recent years, direct brain interventions have shown increased success in manipulating neurobiological processes often associated with moral reasoning and decision-making. As current DBIs are refined, and new technologies are developed, the state will have an interest in administering DBIs to criminal offenders for rehabilitative purposes. However, it is generally assumed that the state is not justified in directly intruding in an offender’s brain without valid consent. Thomas Douglas challenges this view. The state already forces criminal offenders to go to (...) jail without their consent. This represents a serious interference with an offender’s rights. If criminal offenders are already morally liable to incarceration, why is the state not also entitled to administer DBIs without consent for the purposes of rehabilitation? Douglas argument focuses on the right to ‘bodily integrity’. He argues that there is no compelling reason to believe that bodily rights that protect an offender from non-consensual DBIs are stronger than rights that protect an offender from incarceration. This paper will extend Douglas’ analysis. It will consider the more fundamental right to ‘mental integrity’. The right to mental integrity defends an inner sphere of liberty. It protects critical capacities necessary for the exercise of autonomous human agency—without which a vast majority of moral rights could not exist. Thus, the right to mental integrity is ultimately more important for a moral assessment of DBIs. The right strongly suggests that both presently, and in the future, there may be many cases in which the state is not entitled to administer DBIs to criminal offenders without valid consent. (shrink)
The complexity of human societies of the past few thousand years rivals that of social insect societies. We hypothesize that two sets of social “instincts” underpin and constrain the evolution of complex societies. One set is ancient and shared with other social primate species, and one is derived and unique to our lineage. The latter evolved by the late Pleistocene, and led to the evolution of institutions of intermediate complexity in acephalous societies. The institutions of complex societies often conflict with (...) our social instincts. The complex societies of the last few thousand years can function only because cultural evolution has created effective “work-arounds” to manage such instincts. We describe a series of work-arounds and use the data on the relative effectiveness of WWII armies to test the work-around hypothesis. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to extend the previous research on ethics in retailing. Prior research of Dornoff and Tankersley (1985–1976), Gifford and Norris (1987), Norris and Gifford (1988), and Burns and Rayman (1989) examined the ethics orientation of retail sales persons, sales managers, and business school students. These studies found the college students less ethically-oriented than retail sales people and retail managers. The present study attempts to extend the research on ethics formation to a geographically and academically diverse (...) sample, and to determine if retail management experience in the form of a professional practicum or internship, or entry level management training programs, such as experienced by recent graduates, are critical factors in the formation of business ethics. The sample consisted of thirty-three students majoring in Human Ecology with a concentration in Retail Merchandising and 51 recent graduates of the retail Merchandising program. The series of fourteen vignettes developed by Dornoff and Tankersley (1975–1976) was used. An acknowledged limitation of this study is the validity of the questionnaire developed by Dornoff and Tankersley due to the method of development and new laws concerning warranties and credit etc. which have occurred since 1976. The instrument was used, however, to maintain consistency with earlier studies for the purpose of comparison of groups. No significant differences were found in the students' perceptions of the fourteen actions presented in the vignettes, but the range of the responses in the post-internship tests increased in many cases. The alumni appeared to be slightly more ethical than the students but not as ethical as the managers surveyed in 1986 by Norris and Gifford. Indications are that the critical point of ethics formation may be at the mid-management level and that internships and management training programs have little effect on the ethical perceptions of participants. These findings are consistent with studies such as Gable and Topol (1988), and Jordan and Davis (1990) which showed high Machiavellian scores among young retailing executives, often buyers, as opposed to upper level retailing management. Scales with measure Machiavellianism, or manipulativeness, have been used as an alternative method of examining business ethics. (shrink)
Destructive narcissism is recognized increasingly as a serious impairment to good corporate leadership and ethical conduct. The Chief Executive Officer’s letter to shareholders (an important formal corporate communications medium) has potential to provide linguistic traces of destructive narcissism and insight to aspects of corporate leadership and the ambient ethical culture of a company. We demonstrate this potential through selective analyses of the letters of the Chief Executive Officers of Enron, Starbucks, and General Motors.
The conviction ofthe New Testament writers was that there is no salvation apart from Jesus. This orthodox doctrine is widely rejected today because God’s condemnation of persons in other world religions seems incompatible with various attributes of God.Analysis reveals the real problem to involve certain counterfactuals of freedom, e.g., why did not God create a world in which all people would freely believe in Christ and be saved? Such questions presuppose that God possesses middle knowledge. But it can be shown (...) that no inconsistency exists between God's having middle knowledge and certain persons' being damned; on the contrary it can be positively shown that these two notions are compatible. (shrink)
: Humor seems uniquely human, but it has deep biological roots. Laughter, the best evidence suggests, derives from the ritualized breathing and open-mouth display common in animal play. Play evolved as training for the unexpected, in creatures putting themselves at risk of losing balance or dominance so that they learn to recover. Humor in turn involves play with the expectations we share-whether innate or acquired-in order to catch one another off guard in ways that simulate risk and stimulate recovery. An (...) evolutionary approach to three great literary humorists, Shakespeare, Nabokov and Beckett, shows that a species-wide explanation not only cuts deeper but in no way diminishes individual difference. (shrink)