Posts Tagged ‘Morality’

Papal encyclical on nonviolence on the cards

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

Pope Francis says he is considering working on an encyclical letter on nonviolence. He discussed the possibility with reporters during his return flight to Rome after his week-long trip to Thailand and Japan. “The plan exists, but the next pope will do it.” The encyclical is one of many “projects in the drawer” that are Read more

Learning from the Weinstein morality play

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

A Hollywood brushfire about sexual misconduct by producer Harvey Weinstein has become a raging forest fire which has jumped the Atlantic. Obviously, criminal allegations have to be proven, but apologies and obscure admissions of guilt show that the flames are spreading far and wide. After Weinstein, other Hollywood figures, including Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, have Read more

Ethics: knowing who we are and what to do

Friday, October 14th, 2016

This fall I am giving presentations to all of the high school teachers, staff and administrators in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. These talks take place on an annual basis, and they are dedicated to a regular cycle of topics. This year, the theme is morality. Lucky me! My guess is that disquisitions on doctrine Read more

Why don’t schools teach morality and empathy?

Friday, July 29th, 2016

A few months ago, I presented the following scenario to my junior English students: Your boyfriend or girlfriend has committed a felony, during which other people were badly harmed. Should you or should you not turn him or her into the police? The class immediately erupted with commentary. It was obvious, they said, that loyalty Read more

Mandatory vaccination in schools looms in two US dioceses

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

In two US dioceses, the parents of children attending Catholic schools are being told they must have their children vaccinated, regardless of moral qualms. But critics say such compulsion is contrary to moral advice given by a pontifical academy. The Church has moral difficulties with certain vaccines, the cell lines for which were originally derived Read more

The moral bucket list

Friday, April 17th, 2015

About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and Read more

Evangelium Vitae — the Gospel of Life — twenty years on

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Last week, a young friend of mine attempted to defend the truth about marriage among a group of peers at a secular university. She presented a meaningful argument about families, social stability, and gender complementarity. None of her classmates refuted her arguments. Instead, they accused her of being a bigot and a homophobe, called her Read more

Auckland Study – Big gods not needed to help societies to grow

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Some scientists have suggested that belief in the big gods of moralising religions, such as Islam and Christianity, helped people cooperate with each other and encouraged societies to grow. Psychology studies have shown people are nicer to each other when they think someone is watching, —especially if they believe that someone has the power to Read more

Archbishop of Canterbury laments ‘moral claptrap’ in sermons

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The Archbishop of Canterbury says some sermons he has heard amounted to “moral claptrap” about being nicer to each other. Preaching at an evensong service in New York in January, Archbishop Welby said Jesus’ life “challenges every assumption” about society. “He does not permit us to accept a society in which the weak are excluded Read more

No Christianity, no foundation for morality

Friday, December 5th, 2014

In their attempt to argue that effective and binding codes can be developed without a deity, atheists often mistake inferior codes – “common decency” – for absolute moral systems. The Golden Rule, or doing as you would be done by, is such a code. But the fact that men can arrive at the Golden Rule Read more