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Part 1: Components of Your Lens. Week 1: Reason. Reason. life experience. traditions. scripture. Reason. raw facts.

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Part 1: Components of Your Lens

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life experience




raw facts

somethingthatactuallyexists; reality; truth: Your fears have nobasisinfact. somethingknowntoexistortohavehappened: Space travel is nowafact.atruthknownbyactualexperience or observation; somethingknownto be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.somethingsaid to betrue or supposed to have happened: The facts givenbythewitnessarehighlyquestionable. Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. –



theaggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences;surroundings;milieu. thesocial and cultural forces that shape the lifeof a person or a population. – E.g. Korean Shamanism & Christianity


Reason: Deliberative

The deliberative motif rests on the assumption that reason can be a moral guide because God has implanted a natural law within human consciousness. Strong Proponents: Roman Catholics


Reason: Deliberative


1) It speaks to all people, not just Christians who accept divine revelation and therefore, it has the potential to extend Christian ethics beyond the boundaries of the church and those who accept the gospel


Reason: Deliberative


2) It is argued that neither the Bible nor Jesus provides everything we need to know to make ethical decisions in the modern world. Many of the issues we face are not even indirectly addressed in divine revelation thus we supplement with reason


Reason: Deliberative


3) Many find it appealing to do ethics in accord with what is natural within the world and human nature. Adherents of the deliberative approach want to recognize the sinfulness of human nature, but they contend that God’s will for human life does not run contrary to our essential humanness nor to the essential nature of the created world: Telos: Natural end


Reason: Deliberative

Roman Catholics: Thomas Aquinas, best known for synthesizing Aristotle philosophy with Christian thought.


Aquinas’ Assumptions

God is ultimate or pure reason and, as beings made in his image, we reflect something of that pure rationality

We are sometimes faulty only because we do not follow true rationality. It is not the fault of reason itself

Deliberation is rooted in God and thus can contribute to ethics apart from divine revelation

Therefore, a non-believer can therefore gain a partial and yet valid knowledge of God and the divine will. Through natural means a nonbeliever can discover something of the good life that God has ordained.

God’s grace is imperative for salvation and the ultimate vision of God, yet grace does not destroy nature but rather perfects it; thus, natural reason can serve faith


Aquinas’ 4 Laws

Eternal Law: Resides in God

Natural Law: known by all beings. All beings participate in the eternal law and when they put eternal law into practice, this is natural law e.g. common sense and basic principles. Inclination to know the truth, live in society with others, have offspring, and do good. Unchanging and constant in all created things

Human Law: Civil laws that articulate natural law not for individuals but for the common good

Divine Law: The Law of God (Torah) and the virtues that comes from salvation – faith, hope and charity

Aquinas’ conclusion: all ethical issues can be decided by natural reason that is available to all


Pope Pius XII

“Before all else it is certain that the radical and ultimate cause of the evils which we deplore in modern society is the denial and rejection of a universal norm of morality as well for individual and social life as for international relations. We mean the disregard, so common nowadays, for the forgetfulness of the natural law itself, which has its foundation in God, Almighty Creator and Father of all, supreme and absolute Lawgiver, all wise and just judge of human action”


C.S. Lewis: Protestant Version

- There is a natural law that can guide the general behavior of people but has the particular role of pointing them to their own condition before and need of God. “ Human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they out to behave in a certain way and cannot really get rid of it… but they do not in fact behave in that way… these two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.” The source of moral knowledge if God.


C.S. Lewis: Protestant Version

“For my part, I believe we ought to work not only at spreading the gospel but also at a certain preparation for the gospel. It is necessary to recall many to the Law of Nature before we talk about God. For Christ promises forgiveness of sin: but what is that to those who since they do not know the law of nature, do not know that they have sinned? Who will take medicine unless he knows he is in the grip of disease? Moral relativity is the enemy we have to overcome before we tackle atheism.


Kenneth Myers: Expanding on C.S. Lewis

Myers notes that telling a contemporary “pagan that he has disobeyed God’s Word is likely to have little rhetorical power. Telling him that he has, in C.S. Lewis’ terms, gone against the grain of the universe might well pack a bit more rhetorical punch, especially if the inevitability of cosmic splinters is spelled out.” Biblical law language is easy to ignore but there does remain some sympathy in our culture for the idea that things have an essential nature.”


Scripture: Rom 1:19-20

Rom 1:18-20 NIV - The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.


Scripture: Rom 2:14-15

Rom 2:14 NIV - (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,Rom 2:15 NIV - since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

w eak assumption common or autonomous

our worldview

weak assumption: common or autonomous?



life experience











value of life



greater good