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)
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)
For children, the collateral damage of the COVID-19 pandemic response has been considerable. In this paper, we use the framework of evidence-based medicine to argue that child abuse is another negative side effect of COVID-19 lockdowns. While it was certain that school closures would have profound social and economic costs, it remains uncertain whether they have any effect on COVID-19 transmission. There is emerging evidence that lockdowns significantly worsened child abuse on a global scale. Low-income and middle-income countries are particularly (...) vulnerable to increases in child abuse. The best available external evidence from systematic research during the pandemic demonstrates an increase in the risk of child maltreatment, an increase in child maltreatment hospitalisations and a concerning decrease in official child maltreatment referrals. The paradoxical phenomenon of increased hospitalisations and decreased reports is unlikely to be explained by a genuine decrease in child abuse. We conclude that lockdowns have an unacceptably high risk of negative side effects for children, as evidenced by child abuse, the true extent of which appears to be masked by lockdown-related disruptions to schools and other surveillance systems. The desire for a sense of security may be a tempting bias towards emphasising the resilience of children, but it is ethically problematic to push children towards abuse in the name of public health. It is our view that the collateral damage of prolonged school closures for society’s most vulnerable members is a powerful ethical consideration against any pandemic response which involves their use. (shrink)
The ethical question is whether university mask mandates should be relaxed. I argue that the use of face masks by healthy individuals has uncertain benefits, which potential harms may outweigh, and should therefore be voluntary. Systematic reviews by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections concluded that the use of face masks by healthy individuals in the community lacks effectiveness in reducing viral transmission based on moderate-quality evidence. The only two randomized controlled trials of face masks published (...) during the pandemic found little to no benefit. Without high-quality evidence, it is difficult to justify a requirement rather than a recommendation. Notwithstanding, one might argue that the precautionary principle justifies mask mandates. If the precautionary principle can justify implementing mask mandates due to the risk of forgoing possible benefit, then it might also be able to justify not implementing mask mandates due to the risk of potential harm caused by the intervention. It is commonly thought that there is little to lose from the use of face masks, but this is not necessarily true. It is possible that masks have done more harm than good. (shrink)
There exists a deep and broad population of Christians who feel the labels of 'liberal' and 'evangelical' both describe their faith and limit their expression of it. By working to reclaim the traditional, historical meanings of these terms, and showing how they complement rather than oppose each other, Wesley Wildman and Stephen Chapin Gardner stake a claim for the moderate Christian voice in today's polarized society. Found in the Middle! offers a foundational approach to the theology and ethics that (...) undergird a congregation where moderate Christians can thrive. Wildman and Garner serve as helpful guides on a quest for a humble theology, an intelligible gospel message, a compelling view of church unity, and a radical ethics deeply satisfying to most Christians with both liberal and evangelical instincts. Pastors, congregational leaders, seminarians, and all thoughtful Christians will learn how truly moderate Christianity can unite the compassionate openness and social activism of liberal Christianity with the magnetism and spiritual fervor of evangelical Christianity. You may feel lost in the middle, but you are not alone there. The middle may be the place where you find yourself living most authentically. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science evidence-based medicine is a value laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses (...) expected utility theory using the best available evidence in order to avoid doing more harm than good. In accordance with the Kantian respect for individuals as ends in themselves, evidence-based medicine calls for integrating the values and preferences of the patient. De-emphasizing intuition, clinical expertise, and pathophysiologic rationale emphasizes the need for the intellectual virtues of curiosity, critical thinking, and courage. Evidence-based medicine is a successful clinical practice that can be morally justified by all three major ethical theories. Although its focus on maximizing good health outcomes and integrating respect for individual patients has been emphasized, the role of the intellectual virtues in evidence- based medicine remains highly under-explored. (shrink)
Evidence-based medicine is a clinical decision-making framework which makes claims about what physicians ought to do. Though heralded as the cutting edge of medical science, evidence-based medicine is a value-laden normative theory which implicitly depends on substantive views regarding what is morally good or right. In this paper, I provide an ethical analysis of evidence-based medicine. I consider its normative underpinnings in three ethical theories: utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and virtue ethics. In the face of uncertainty, evidence-based medicine endorses expected utility (...) theory using the best available evidence in order to avoid doing more harm than good. In accordance with the Kantian respect for individuals as ends in themselves, evidence-based medicine calls for integrating the values and preferences of the patient. De-emphasizing intuition, clinical expertise, and pathophysiologic rationale emphasizes the need for the intellectual virtues of curiosity, critical thinking, and courage. Evidence-based medicine is a successful clinical practice that can be morally justified by all three major ethical theories. Although its focus on maximizing good health outcomes and integrating respect for individual patients has been emphasized, the role of the intellectual virtues in evidence-based medicine remains highly under-explored. (shrink)
Lockdowns, or modern quarantines, involve the use of novel restrictive non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to suppress the transmission of COVID-19. In this paper, I aim to critically analyze the emerging history and philosophy of lockdowns, with an emphasis on the communication of health evidence and risk for informing policy decisions. I draw a distinction between evidence-based and modeling-based decision-making. I argue that using the normative framework of evidence-based medicine would have recommended against the use of lockdowns. I first review the World (...) Health Organization’s evidence-based pandemic preparedness plans for respiratory viruses. I then provide a very brief history of COVID-19 modeling, which was cited as justification for the use of lockdowns in the U.K., the U.S., and much of the world. I focus on the so-called Imperial College model designed by Neil Ferguson et al. as well as the so-called Oxford model designed by José Lourenço et al. I analyze the evidence-based pandemic response known as ‘mitigation’, and I compare it with Ferguson et al.’s experimental strategy known as ‘suppression’. I summarize the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies based on their diametric aims and each model’s parametric assumptions. Based on my critical analysis of the suppression strategy, I attempt to expose what has been called the ‘logic of lockdowns’, which Sunetra Gupta of the Oxford model group has suggested is flawed. Finally, I consider Trisha Greenhalgh’s objection to evidence-based policy based on the precautionary principle, and I attempt to offer a response. I conclude with a brief narrative review of the emerging randomized evidence on restrictive NPIs, which seems to support my claim that mitigation was the strategy that would have been recommended by evidence-based medicine. If this is true, then COVID-19 modeling may serve as an important reminder of the enduring lesson of evidence-based medicine: that one should always ‘Trust the Evidence!’ for better health policy. (shrink)
Rita Charon says that narrative medicine is about honoring stories of illness. In a system where physicians and patients can often feel as though they are reduced to numbers, narrative medicine is a plea to take the narratives of illness seriously. But what does it mean to honor a story? In this essay, I use the framework of narrative medicine to offer narrative reflections on the concept of honor inspired by on three definitions, including respect, moral rightness, and high regard. (...) I explain how each definition illustrates an aspect of honor and its role as an ethical virtue in narrative medicine. (shrink)
This uniquely inspirational and practical book explores human simulation, which is the application of computational modeling and simulation to research subjects in the humanities disciplines. It delves into the fascinating process of collaboration among experts who usually don’t have much to do with one another – computer engineers and humanities scholars – from the perspective of the humanities scholars. It also explains the process of developing models and simulations in these interdisciplinary teams. Each chapter takes the reader on a journey, (...) presenting a specific theory about the human condition, a model of that theory, discussion of its implementation, analysis of its results, and an account of the collaborative experience. Contributing authors with different fields of expertise share how each model was validated, discuss relevant datasets, explain development strategies, and frankly discuss the ups and downs of the process of collaborative development. Readers are given access to the models and will also gain new perspectives from the authors’ findings, experiences, and recommendations. Today we are in the early phases of an information revolution, combining access to vast computing resources, large amounts of human data through social media, and an unprecedented richness of methods and tools to capture, analyze, explore, and test hypotheses and theories of all kinds. Thus, this book’s insights will be valuable not only to students and scholars of humanities subjects, but also to the general reader and researchers from other disciplines who are intrigued by the expansion of the information revolution all the way into the humanities departments of modern universities. (shrink)
Science and Religious Anthropology explores the convergence of the biological sciences, human sciences, and humanities around a spiritually evocative, naturalistic vision of human life. The disciplinary contributions are at different levels of complexity, from evolution of brains to existential longings, and from embodied sociality to ecosystem habitat. The resulting interpretation of the human condition supports some aspects of traditional theological thinking in the world's religious traditions while seriously challenging other aspects. Wesley Wildman draws out these implications for philosophical and (...) religious anthropology and argues that the modern secular interpretation of humanity is most compatible with a religious form of naturalistic humanism.This book resists the reduction of meaning and value questions while taking scientific theories about human life with full seriousness. It argues for a religious interpretation of human beings as bodily creatures emerging within a natural environment that permits engagement with the valuational potentials of reality. This engagement promotes socially borne spiritual quests to realize and harmonize values in everything human beings do, from the forging of cultures to the crafting of personal convictions. (shrink)
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.
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)
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)
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)
Finitary sketches, i.e., sketches with finite-limit and finite-colimit specifications, are proved to be as strong as geometric sketches, i.e., sketches with finite-limit and arbitrary colimit specifications. Categories sketchable by such sketches are fully characterized in the infinitary first-order logic: they are axiomatizable by σ-coherent theories, i.e., basic theories using finite conjunctions, countable disjunctions, and finite quantifications. The latter result is absolute; the equivalence of geometric and finitary sketches requires (in fact, is equivalent to) the non-existence of measurable cardinals.
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
Robert S. Corrington has misgivings about the use of the word "naturalism" to describe his view of reality; in fact, more recently he has been using "deep pantheism" and variants.1 Nevertheless, "naturalism" remains an apt word, conjuring the creative depths of the world around us, and we should continue to use it to describe Corrington's philosophical-theological system—without unduly apologizing for its inevitably circular semantic content, and despite the risk that his view might be known by its name instead of its (...) content. The variant of naturalism for which Corrington is so well known is called (by him) ecstatic naturalism, and he has shown it to be an important version of religiously and axiologically .. (shrink)