The boundaries of honesty are the focal point of this exploration of the individualistic origins of modernist ethics and the consequent need for a more pragmatic approach to business ethics. The tendency of modernist ethics to see honesty as an individual responsibility is described as a contextually naive approach, one that fails to account for the interactive effects between individual choices and corporate norms. By reviewing the empirical accounts of managerial struggles with ethical dilemmas, the article arrives at the contextual (...) preconditions for encouraging the development of reflective moral agents in modern corporations. (shrink)
Wentzel van Huyssteen's Alone in the World? (2006) presents an interpretation of human uniqueness in the form of a dialogue between classical Christian theological affirmations and cutting-edge scientific understandings of the human and animal worlds. The sheer amount of information from different thinkers and fields that van Huyssteen absorbs and integrates makes this book extraordinary and, indeed, very rich as a work of interdisciplinary theology. The book commands respect and deserves close attention. In this essay I evaluate van Huyssteen's proposal (...) as well as the method he uses to produce it. Special attention is given to the concept of embodiment. Van Huyssteen's concept of embodiment is substantially correct in most respects and largely consistent with the scientific and theological pictures of human nature. In a few respects, however, his interpretation of the bodily character of human life appears to be insufficiently thoroughgoing relative to our best contemporary knowledge of human nature from the natural sciences. (shrink)
The classical wave-particle problem is resolved in accord with Newton's concept of the particle nature of light by associating particle density and flux with the classical wave energy density and flux. Point particles flowing along discrete trajectories yield interference and diffraction patterns, as illustrated by Young's double pinhole interference. Bound particle motion is prescribed by standing waves. Particle motion as a function of time is presented for the case of a “particle in a box.” Initial conditions uniquely determine the subsequent (...) motion. Some discussion regarding quantum theory is preseted. (shrink)
The journey of liberal theology in the last couple of centuries is akin to the person who enters a mirror maze with high hopes of finding a graceful and quick way through. Beginning with a clear plan about how to navigate the maze, he winds up confused, disoriented, surrounded by useless self-images. He unwittingly passes through the same places over and over again, never gaining a relevant perspective for guiding decisions about where to go next. For some of these lost (...) souls, the overseer of the maze comes to the rescue, perhaps after sensing rising panic, and for the sake of public safety escorts the exhausted liberal theologian out of the maze and into the sunshine, whereafter the shattered explorer swears .. (shrink)
In this response to essays by Barbara J. King, Gregory R. Peterson, Wesley J. Wildman, and Nancy R. Howell, I present arguments to counter some of the exciting and challenging questions from my colleagues. I take the opportunity to restate my argument for an interdisciplinary public theology, and by further developing the notion of transversality I argue for the specificity of the emerging theological dialogue with paleoanthropology and primatology. By arguing for a hermeneutics of the body, I respond to (...) criticism of my notion of human uniqueness and argue for strong evolutionary continuities, as well as significant discontinuities, between primates, humans, and other hominids. In addition, I answer critical questions about theological methodology and argue how the notion of human uniqueness, theologically restated as the image of God, is enriched by transversally appropriating scientific notions of species specificity and embodied personhood. (shrink)
Uncoupling the mirrors in Marinov's (1) coupled-mirrors experiment allows them to be separated as far apart as desired, and orders of magnitude improvement in accuracy can be obtained for the determination of the absolute velocity of the closed laboratory.
The Michelson-Morley result is described empirically by generalized Doppler equations. If the phase of a light wave is not invariant, in agreement with the quantum nature of light, special-relativistic kinematics need not be assumed. Einstein particle dynamics and Maxwell-Lorentz electrodynamics in a moving system are derived without assuming special-relativistic kinematics. An alternative explanation for the decay rate of moving radioactive particles is presented. The observation of a third-order Doppler effect may yield the velocity of the closed laboratory.
Smith, Wesley J The growth in policies that force healthcare workers to participate in activities that are deemed both immoral and unprofessional as against the sanctity of human life has given rise to the need for bringing about conscience in health care. The need for fashioning proper conscience clauses and challenges faced in its implementation are highlighted.
Voigt's 1887 explanation of the Michelson-Morley result as a Doppler effect using absolute space-time is examined. It is shown that Doppler effects involve two wave velocities: (1) the phase velocity, which is used to account for the Michelson-Morley null result, and (2) the velocity of energy propagation, which, being fixed relative to absolute space, may be used to explain the results of Roemer, Bradley, Sagnac, Marinov, and the 2.7° K anisotropy.
The plurality of models of ultimate reality is a central problem for religious philosophy. This essay sketches what is involved in mounting comparative inquiries across the plurality of models. In order to illustrate what advance would look like in such a comparative inquiry, an argument is presented to show that highly anthropomorphic models of ultimate reality are inferior to a number of competitors. This paper was delivered as a keynote address during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.
At last someone has called a spade a spade. To think God is literally a personal being is idolatry. And when you are dead you live on not in any otherworldly place but in the goodness you offer to the world. Sadly—and I really mean this as a condemnation of theologians—this plain-speaking, spade-calling truth teller professionally identifies as a philosopher and is not recognized as a theologian. A sizeable minority of theologians agrees with this brash thinker on God and life (...) after death, of course; not all theologians are supernaturalists. But the widespread commitment among theologians to support ecclesiastical institutions and to nurture the faith of religious believers prevents most professional theologians .. (shrink)
When Robert Cummings Neville retired from Boston University in May, 2018, an era ended. Not a career—certainly not; the publications keep pouring forth from the windowed, garden-surrounded office that has been the generative home for most of Bob's books and articles. Not a pattern of influence—obviously not; the many people Bob has influenced, including me, continue to give evidence of that influence in their writing and teaching, as well as more privately in their thinking and warm recollections of a model (...) scholar and colleague. Rather, what ended was an era of institutional formation and commitment that crystalized, promoted, and protected rigorous yet generous philosophical reflection on every aspect of... (shrink)
Abstract. Don Browning's intellectual artfulness is particularly evident in three areas: as analyst of basic assumptions in intellectual systems, as fundamental ethicist, and as mediating theologian. His work in each area has been extraordinarily fruitful, both theoretically and practically. In each area, however, his skillful handling of complex issues also has subtle limitations. This paper identifies those limitations, analyzes them as facets of an articulate but preemptive defense of a preferred theological outlook, and thus as a limited failure of Browning's (...) otherwise broadly successful implementation of a critical hermeneutical method. (shrink)
Operating universities under pandemic conditions is a complex undertaking. The Artificial University responds to this need. TAU is a configurable, open-source computer simulation of a university using a contact network based on publicly available information about university classes, residences, and activities. This study evaluates health outcomes for an array of interventions and testing protocols in an artificial university of 6,500 students, faculty, and staff. Findings suggest that physical distancing and centralized contact tracing are most effective at reducing infections, but there (...) is a tipping point for compliance below which physical distancing is less effective. If student compliance is anything short of high, it helps to have separate buildings for quarantining infected students, thereby gracefully increasing compliance. Hybrid in-person and online classes and closing fitness centers do not significantly change cumulative infections but do significantly decrease the number of the infected at any given time, indicating strategies for “flattening the curve” to protect limited resources. Supplementing physical distancing with centralized contact tracing decreases infected individuals by an additional 14%; boosting frequency of testing for student-facing staff yields a further 7% decrease. A trade-off exists between increasing the sheer number of infection tests and targeting testing for key nodes in the contact network. There are significant advantages to getting and acting on test results quickly. The costs and benefits to universities of these findings are discussed. Artificial universities can be an important decision support tool for universities, generating useful policy insights into the challenges of operating universities under pandemic conditions. (shrink)
Organizations that believe they should "give something back" to the society have embraced the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Although the theoretical underpinnings of CSR have been frequently debated, empirical studies often involve only limited aspects, implying that theory may not be congruent with actual practices and may impede understanding and further development of CSR. The authors investigate actual CSR practices related to five different stakeholder groups, develop an instrument to measure those CSR practices, and apply it to a (...) survey of 401 U.S. organizations. Four different clusters of organizations emerge, depending on the CSR practice focus. The distinctive features of each cluster relate to organizational demographics, perceived influence of stakeholders, managers' perceptions of the influence of CSR on performance, and organizational performance. (shrink)
This is a response to Wesley J. Wildman’s “Behind, Between, and Beyond Anthropomorphic Models of Ultimate Reality.” While I agree with much of what Wildman writes, I raise questions concerning standards for evaluating models of ultimate reality and the plausibility of ranking such models. This paper was delivered during the APA Pacific 2007 Mini-Conference on Models of God.