Adelaide Chapter

Archive for the ‘Ethical Issues’ Category

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

Is Christianity a force for good?

On Thursday 11th April, Reasonable Faith Adelaide held an informal debate between Kevin Rogers (director RFA) and Scott Sharrad, the president of the Atheists Federation of Australia on the topic “Is Christianity a force for good?”

The debate and discussion have now been published on You Tube.

This is a summary of a talk Artificial Intelligence and its implications on ethics today. The talk was given by Tom Daly to Reasonable Faith Adelaide on the 12th of April 2018.

The talk can be viewed on You Tube and you can access the slides here.

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The nature of religious intolerance in the early modern Era

By Matt Gray

On the 10th of September Matt Gray spoke to our Reasonable Faith group on ‘the nature of religious intolerance in the early modern era’ and the proposition that enlightenment secularism ushered in a greater level of tolerance in early modern Europe.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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On the 1st of August Chris Jolliffe talked on Gay Marriage.

The video recording is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoslZWa12uE.

A number of Chris’s sources came for the  Saving Marriage site. These include:

See also:

The Bible on Homosexuality by Chris Jolliffe

How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships by Mark Regernus

Note: This issue is highly controversial. The above sites represent Chris’s views. For each of the above links there are numerous counter arguments. These can be easily found by Googling the subject title. If you want to get a good feel for this subject then you should research the counter arguments as well.