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Assignments for Ethics

Recommended Methodology for Learning Experiences:

As a way to assist you in getting the most out of the learning experiences below, I suggest you do the following:

1) Read the required textbook reading first. Make a sincere effort at understanding the material– with particular attention to material that relates to the questions.

2) Read through the questions in the assignment.

3) Check my website (under the appropriate class title) for any hints in regard to the questions. "Hints" refers to the notations I sometimes include that, in a sentence or two, give you the gist of the article and or the point of the question(s) I have asked you to read in conjunction with the required texts. If you do not have internet access, let me know right away so I can provide a hard copy of any hints.

4) Read the articles and complete the assignment.

Assignment 1 – Read Rae, pp. 11-19 and 77-96 (up to "Virtue Theory").Then read Beckwith and Koukl in its entirety. In 4-7 pages, answer the following questions:

1.How does Rae break down the varied ethical systems? How do these systems reason when attempting to arrive at ethical decisions?

2.Define moral relativism.

3.Explain in your own words the three kinds of moral relativism. Give examples of each form your own experience (or make them up).

4.How does culture seek to dilute moral absolutes, thereby redefining morality in relativistic terms? How has our culture succeeded in doing this?

5.How has relativism affected our view of the sanctity / importance of life?

6.What are some ways Beckwith and Koukl suggest for combating moral relativism?

Assignment 2 – Read Groothuis' book in the following increments, answering the questions that pertain to each. Answer all these questions in 5-8 pages:

1.Read the Introduction and chs. 1-2

a) In your own words, what is modernism?

b) In your own words, what is postmodernism?

c) Summarize what the author argues has caused the worldview shift in our culture from modernism to postmodernism. Explain to what degree you follow his argument (i.e., does his explanation make sense? Does it ring true in the real world as you've experienced it – why or why not?)

2.Read chs. 3-4 (these are VERY important chapters – the rest of the course is conceptually built on the biblical view of truth and what is known as the "correspondence" view of truth. You must KNOW these chapters well and conceptually grasp the issues here).

a) In your own words, explain what makes the biblical view of truth distinctive.

b) What does it mean that truth is "absolute"?

c) Explain the importance of the law of non-contradiction and the law of the excluded middle to the biblical view of truth specifically and the validity of logical thought in general.

d) Why is biblical truth an END and not a MEANS to an end?

e) What are the "2 views of truth" (ch. 4)?

f) In your own words, explain the correspondence view of truth.