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The Altruistic Species

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN: 1599471221
Size: 19.20 MB
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What motivates altruism? How essential is the phenomenon of altruism to the human experience? Is altruism readily accessible to the ordinary person? In The Altruistic Species, Andrew Michael Flescher and Daniel L. Worthen explore these questions through the lenses of four disciplinary perspectives—biology, psychology, philosophy, and religion. In the course of their investigation, they make an extended argument for the existence of altruism against competing theories that construe all ostensible cases of benevolence as self-interest in disguise. The authors consider theories of egoism; the role of genetics and evolutionary biology; the psychological that induce altruistic behavior; philosophical theories of altruism in normative ethics such as Kantian, utilitarian, and Aristotelian models of moral action; and accounts of love of the neighbor in Christianity and Buddhism. Additionally, they offer a new, comprehensive definition of altruism that is inclusive of the insights of each of these perspectives. The Altruistic Species reinvigorates the debate over the prevalence of selfless motivation in human behavior—whether it is a rare or ubiquitous phenomenon, something that is always to be considered exceptional or a capacity that members of any community potentially could develop. This noteworthy interdisciplinary examination of altruism balances science, virtue theory, and theology. It is ideal courses in ethics, human behavior, and evolutionary biology, as an educational resource for other multidisciplinary studies, and for interested lay readers.

Dictionary Of Scripture And Ethics

Author: Joel B. Green
Publisher: Baker Books
ISBN: 1441239987
Size: 80.13 MB
Format: PDF
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This one-stop reference book on the vital relationship between Scripture and ethics offers needed orientation and perspective for students, pastors, and scholars. Written to respond to the movement among biblical scholars and ethicists to recover the Bible for moral formation, it is the best reference work available on the intersection of these two fields. The volume shows how Christian Scripture and Christian ethics are necessarily intertwined and offers up-to-date treatment of five hundred biblical, traditional, and contemporary topics, ranging from adultery, bioethics, and Colossians to vegetarianism, work, and Zephaniah. The stellar ecumenical list of contributors consists of more than two hundred leading scholars from the fields of biblical studies and ethics, including Darrell Bock, David Gushee, Amy Laura Hall, Daniel Harrington, Dennis Olson, Christine Pohl, Glen Stassen, and Max Stackhouse.

Love And Christian Ethics

Author: Frederick V. Simmons
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626163677
Size: 22.28 MB
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In Love and Christian Ethics, nearly two dozen leading scholars analyze and assess the meaning of love from a wide range of perspectives. Chapters are organized into three areas: influential sources and exponents of Western Christian thought about the ethical significance of love, perennial theoretical questions attending that consideration, and the implications of Christian love for important social realities. These major experts in the field bring a richness of thought and experience to deliver unprecedentedly broad yet rigorous analysis of this central tenet of Christian ethics and faith. Love and Christian Ethics is sure to become a benchmark resource in the field.

The Uncontrolling Love Of God

Author: Thomas Jay Oord
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
ISBN: 0830899014
Size: 61.22 MB
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Rarely does a new theological position emerge to account well for life in the world, including not only goodness and beauty but also tragedy and randomness. Drawing from Scripture, science, philosophy and various theological traditions, Thomas Jay Oord offers a novel theology of providence—essential kenosis—that emphasizes God's inherently noncoercive love in relation to creation. The Uncontrolling Love of God provides a clear and powerful response to one of the perennial challenges to Christian faith.

Heroes Saints And Ordinary Morality

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013414
Size: 25.27 MB
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Most of us are content to see ourselves as ordinary people—unique in ways, talented in others, but still among the ranks of ordinary mortals. Andrew Flescher probes our contented state by asking important questions: How should "ordinary" people respond when others need our help, whether the situation is a crisis, or something less? Do we have a responsibility, an obligation, to go that extra mile, to act above and beyond the call of duty? Or should we leave the braver responses to those who are somehow different than we are: better somehow, "heroes," or "saints?" Traditional approaches to ethics have suggested there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and those called heroes and saints; between duties and acts of supererogation (going beyond the expected). Flescher seeks to undo these standard dichotomies by looking at the lives and actions of certain historical figures—Holocaust rescuers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, among others—who appear to be extraordinary but were, in fact, ordinary people. Heroes, Saints, and Ordinary Morality shifts the way we regard ourselves in relationship to those we admire from afar—it asks us not only to admire, but to emulate as well—further, it challenges us to actively seek the acquisition of virtue as seen in the lives of heroes and saints, to learn from them, a dynamic aspect of ethical behavior that goes beyond the mere avoidance of wrongdoing. Andrew Flescher sets a stage where we need to think and act, calling us to lead lives of self-examination—even if that should sometimes provoke discomfort. He asks that we strive to emulate those we admire and therefore allow ourselves to grow morally, and spiritually. It is then that the individual develops a deeper altruistic sense of self—a state that allows us to respond as the heroes of our own lives, and therefore in the lives of others, when times and circumstance demand that of us.

Moral Evil

Author: Andrew Michael Flescher
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626160112
Size: 40.83 MB
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The idea of moral evil has always held a special place in philosophy and theology because the existence of evil has implications for the dignity of the human and the limits of human action. Andrew Michael Flescher proposes four interpretations of evil, drawing on philosophical and theological sources and using them to trace through history the moral traditions that are associated with them. The first model, evil as the presence of badness, offers a traditional dualistic model represented by Manicheanism. The second, evil leading to goodness through suffering, presents a theological interpretation known as theodicy. Absence of badness—that is, evil as a social construction—is the third model. The fourth, evil as the absence of goodness, describes when evil exists in lieu of the good—the "privation" thesis staked out nearly two millennia ago by Christian theologian St. Augustine. Flescher extends this fourth model—evil as privation—into a fifth, which incorporates a virtue ethic. Drawing original connections between Augustine and Aristotle, Flescher’s fifth model emphasizes the formation of altruistic habits that can lead us to better moral choices throughout our lives. Flescher eschews the temptation to think of human agents who commit evil as outside the norm of human experience. Instead, through the honing of moral skills and the practice of attending to the needs of others to a greater degree than we currently do, Flescher offers a plausible and hopeful approach to the reality of moral evil.

The Compassionate Instinct The Science Of Human Goodness

Author: Dacher Keltner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393076851
Size: 53.81 MB
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Leading scientists and science writers reflect on the life-changing, perspective-changing, new science of human goodness. In these pages you will hear from Steven Pinker, who asks, “Why is there peace?”; Robert Sapolsky, who examines violence among primates; Paul Ekman, who talks with the Dalai Lama about global compassion; Daniel Goleman, who proposes “constructive anger”; and many others. Led by renowned psychologist Dacher Keltner, the Greater Good Science Center, based at the University of California in Berkeley, has been at the forefront of the positive psychology movement, making discoveries about how and why people do good. Four times a year the center publishes its findings with essays on forgiveness, moral inspiration, and everyday ethics in Greater Good magazine. The best of these writings are collected here for the first time. A collection of personal stories and empirical research, The Compassionate Instinct will make you think not only about what it means to be happy and fulfilled but also about what it means to lead an ethical and compassionate life.

Unlimited Love

Author: Stephen G. Post
Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press
ISBN: 1932031316
Size: 32.97 MB
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What if we could prove that love heals mental illness and is vital to successful therapeutic outcomes in all areas of health care? What if we could prove that people who live more for others than for self have greater psychological well-being? In Unlimited Love, Post examines the question of what we mean by "unlimited love"; his focus is not on "falling" into love, which is "altogether natural, easy, and delusional." Rather, he focuses on the difficult learned ascent that "begins with insight into the need for tolerance of ubiquitous imperfection, and matures into unselfish concern, gratitude, and compassion." He considers social scientific and evolutionary perspectives on human altruistic motivations, and he analyzes these perspectives in a wide interdisciplinary context at the interface of science, ethics, and religion. In Unlimited Love, Stephen Post presents an argument for the creation of a new interdisciplinary field for the study of love and unlimited love, "engaging great minds and hoping to shape the human future away from endless acrimony, hatred, and violence."