Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday Traditio: Richard Swinburne

In today's world, where we see an increase of moral relativism everywhere, it is perhaps not so shocking that the same sort of thinking seeps into the Church. Take the issue of same-sex marriage for example. Because many of us, especially the youth, know someone who is homosexual (I know several myself, including a family member), many come to think that perhaps the practice is fine and that prophets, both ancient and modern, exaggerated its significance. I am not sure why this particular issue is now gaining so much acceptance among Mormons and Christians, but many I know (though not all, to be clear) see almost no problem with it and are infuriated when leaders of churches hold firm in their condemnation of the practice. Recently, an instructor at BYU-Idaho was terminated for posting on Facebook that she thought that homosexuality was normal and therefore not a sin. On the first part she was absolutely correct. Homosexuality is natural and is not a choice. This does not mean that homosexual sexual activity is therefore not a sin. Lying, fornication, and stealing are also natural; we have evidence of all of them in most civilizations. But that does not make them moral.
Richard Swinburne, Emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford

Speaking on this issue and other ethical issues from a Christian point of view is Richard Swinburne, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford. After giving this speech at the Society of Christian Philosophers, Swinburne was attacked by University of Notre Dame professor, Michael Rea, via Facebook in the following statement:

I want to express my regret regarding the hurt caused by the recent Midwest meeting of the Society for Christian Philosophers. The views expressed in Professor Swinburne's keynote are not those of the SCP itself. Though our membership is broadly united by way of religious faith, the views of our members are otherwise diverse. As President of the SCP, I am committed to promoting the intellectual life of our philosophical community. Consequently (among other reasons), I am committed to the values of diversity and inclusion. As an organization, we have fallen short of those ideals before, and surely we will again. Nonetheless, I will strive for them going forward. If you have thoughts or feedback you would like to share with me, I would welcome hearing from you via email or private message.
I find it pretty radical that a Christian professor at a Christian university would attack a fellow Christian philosopher for teaching Christian ideas. Professor Swinburne deserves a formal apology from Professor Rea for his nonsense.

At any rate, Professor Swinburne clearly articulates Christian sexual behavior in this video, and I invite all to listen to and heed his message.

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