Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘Ethical Issues’ Category

Notwithstanding climate denialism, the long-term human implications of climate-change are alarming. World governments will not meet the Paris targets on climate change. We won’t even be close. Following a look at the science, we will examine the consequences of climate change from the perspective of climate-forced human migration. Some 3% of the projected global population will have no choice but to relocate, by about 2100. Nobody, not even the United Nations, which at least recognizes the problem, is doing anything about this looming crisis.

Gordon’s presentation is available on YouTube.

Dr Gordon Stanger

We were privileged to have Dr Hugh Ross give us a presentation on climate change. He covered the following topics:

  • Is climate change for real?
  • What can we do about it?

Just to warn you, he does believe it is real and is related to human activity, but he has some novel ideas on how it can be addressed without causing huge disruption to human flourishing.

You can purchase a Kindle version of his book on this topic from Amazon by clicking on the following link: Weathering Climate Change by Dr Hugh Ross.

Dr Hugh Ross was an astronomer/astrophysicist at the University of Toronto. He is the founder and president of Reasons to Believe, (, and is the author of over 17 books including ‘The Creator and the Cosmos’, ‘Why The Universe is The Way it is ‘ and ‘Navigating Genesis.’ Ross has addressed students and faculty on over 300 campuses in the US and abroad and speaks at various churches and groups on a wide variety of science-faith topics. He runs a weekly meeting for sceptics and agnostics. He is asked to present to government agencies and atheists and leading contemporaries on the powerful evidence for a purpose filled universe.

Sex makes the world go round! Sexual attraction and the resulting sexual activity are vital to almost all forms of animal life, from the simplest to the most complex.

Without sex, life on planet earth would cease to exist. The variation in sexual activity across the animal realm is simply astounding. What is natural for wildlife, such as the birds and the bees and mammals and reptiles and fish and insects and everything else, and what are the implications for human sexuality?

Geoffrey Russell

Geoff’s talk is available on YouTube.

Technology is invading every facet of our lives including our sex lives and relationships; and the pace and breadth of technological change is staggering. We are adopting this technology into our lives and are often unaware and of the real “costs” to us, our societies and our relationships.

In this talk we will briefly survey the landscape of technology that affects our existence in the world as “sexual beings” and then look in detail at some of the darker and more damaging areas of this landscape. Examples are high speed internet pornography, the growing evil of child sexual exploitation and how technology is enabling “new” evils to be visited on the vulnerable.

We will look at this topic from a “largely secular” perspective. However, on many issues, such as the challenges and evils of child exploitation, there is good agreement between people of faith and secular minded people. Still there are significant and obvious implications here for the Church, which we will highlight.

Tom Daly is an IT professional, with over 30 years’ experience and is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. Tom has been asking tough questions of his Christian faith for many years now and is confident that the more scrutiny orthodox Christian faith is subjected to the more it provides a coherent (and breathtaking) worldview.

Tom Daly

His talk is available on YouTube.

Environmental concerns, from climate change to species loss, remain a source of serious discussion and debate across the globe. How should Christians respond to these issues?

Alexis Rockman’s Pioneers (2017), part of his Great Lakes Cycle series of paintings that is now touring the US. Courtesy of the Artist and Sperone Westwater, New York/Chicago Cultural Center

Matthew James Gray from Tabor explores this topic theologically, to show how we are made in God’s image to be stewards working for the good of all creation, including each other.

Matt Gray

Matt’s presentation is available on You Tube.

In modern Western Cultures today it seems that there is more “moral” outrage and indignation about “right” and “wrong” than ever before. It appears that our anger is growing and that, increasingly, we seem splintered into ever smaller groups with ever opposing yet solidly entrenched views with little hope of consensus on any issue of importance. There seems little doubt that this moral anger and outrage is being fuelled by social media. In light of this increasing debate about right and wrong, investigation and civil conversation about “morality” and its implications would be valuable.

Tom Daly presents the “moral argument for God” and examines more closely what we actually mean when we claim something to be “good/bad” or “right/wrong” and if this tells us something about ourselves, our ideas, our anger and also something about the existence of God. We will consider the moral argument for God in light of mankind’s ability to discern right and wrong, and the fact that we seem to be moral beings at our core. Yet scientism tells us that we are merely amoral matter that has developed ideas and feelings of morality by the amoral process of evolution, which, at its core, has what we feel to be the immoral notion that the strong eat the weak. Hopefully we can “reason together”.

Tom Daly

Tom’s presentation can be viewed on You Tube.

Everyone has morals. Christians have morals, Muslims have morals, Hindus have morals and atheists have morals, but where do those morals come from? What is the underlying basis provided by those belief systems for the morality their adherents lay claim to? Also, what would a totally non-moral human look like, if it were even possible for such a person to exist?

In the case of atheism, is there any source for morality? Is there an atheist morality? If there is, then what is it? If there isn’t, then what explanation do we have for the fact that atheists are moral beings?

Brian Schroeder

Brian Schroeder attempts to look at all this and more by drawing from both atheist and theist sources.

The presentation is available on You Tube

This is an informal debate between Scott Sharrad and Kevin Rogers on “Is Christianity a force for good?” The original title for this debate was “Has organized Christianity been a force good?”

The Last supper, by Leonardo da Vinci

Scott Sharrad is the president of the Atheists Foundation of Australia. He was also formerly the secretary of the SA Humanists and president of The Council of Australian Humanist Societies (CAHS).

Scott Sharrad,

Kevin Rogers is the director of Reasonable Faith Adelaide. He is also a research fellow and lecturer at the University of South Australia. They are also both on quite friendly terms.

Kevin Rogers

See the debate on You Tube

“The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to me – the ravings of insanity, superstition gone to seed! I want no part of such a God.” – Luther Burbank The age-old question “How can a good God send people to Hell?” has bothered Christians and been used by others as proof that Christianity is rubbish. But what exactly is Hell, and what is Heaven? Can the concepts of God and Hell be reconciled? An afterlife is not exclusive to Christianity, but is common to almost all cultures. Where did such a concept come from? Brian Schroeder attempts to show that the concepts of Hell and of a good, loving, all powerful God are perfectly compatible and together do make sense.

Brian’s talk can be viewed on You Tube

Most people have some awareness of artificial intelligence (AI), perhaps from Hollywood movies or news articles about driverless cars. However, most people are not yet aware of the breadth of applications possible today, nor the stunning advances that have been made with AI in recent years. Already there are a growing number of important ethical and practical implications arising from these current and continuing advances in AI; yet the general public is not involved, nor the Church and even governments are scrambling to catch-up. This talk is part 1 of a 2-talk series on AI and will survey the current status of AI as well as near term advances. It will introduce and consider ethical questions such as:

  • What are the impacts for jobs in civil society in next few years and decades?
  • What are the right and wrong uses of AI technology? For example, should we use AI robots to keep the elderly “company”?
  • What happens when video and audio can be created by AI so well that real video/audio is indistinguishable from generated?
  • What are the risks from our current and likely future reliance on AI technology?
  • What conversations should we be having to care for each other as AI ushers in a huge increase in the pace of change?

View this on You Tube