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SourcesHandout09 - Religion 261 Lecture Two What is...

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Religion 261 Lecture Two What is Christian Ethics? Traditions, Norms, and Sources Bible, Reason Tradition, Experience “The knowledge of good and evil seems to be the aim of all ethical reflection. The first task of Christian ethics is to invalidate this knowledge…Already in the possibility of the knowledge of good and evil Christian ethics discerns a falling away from the origin…In the knowledge of good and evil man does not understand himself in the reality of the destiny appointed in his origin, but rather in his own possibilities, his possibility of being good or evil. He knows himself now as something apart from God, and this means that he now knows only himself and no longer knows God at all…The Bible describes this event with the eating of the forbidden fruit. Man now knows good and evil…Man’s life is now disunion with God, with men, with things, and with himself” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics , p. 17-20 “We live in a post-Christian culture that is haunted by Christ” Flannery O’Connor “In such a culture men would use expressions such as “neutrino” “mass” “specific gravity” “atomic weight” in systematic and often interrelated ways which would resemble in lesser or greater degrees the ways in which such expressions had been used in earlier times before scientific knowledge had been so largely lost. But many of the beliefs presupposed by the use of these expressions would have been lost and there would appear to be an element of arbitrariness and even of choice in their application which would appear very surprising to us. What would appear to be rival and competing premises for which no further argument could be given would abound….The hypothesis which I wish to advance is that in the actual
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SourcesHandout09 - Religion 261 Lecture Two What is...

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