Monday, September 13, 2004

The Question of God...

PBS will be airing a two-part series titled, The Question of God, beginning Wednesday, September 15th. From the website:
The Question of God, a four-hour series on PBS, explores in accessible and dramatic style issues that preoccupy all thinking people today: What is happiness? How do we find meaning and purpose in our lives? How do we reconcile conflicting claims of love and sexuality? How do we cope with the problem of suffering and the inevitability of death? Based on a popular Harvard course taught by Dr. Armand Nicholi, author of The Question of God, the series illustrates the lives and insights of Sigmund Freud, a life-long critic of religious belief, and C.S. Lewis, a celebrated Oxford don, literary critic, and perhaps this century's most influential and popular proponent of faith based on reason.
From C.S. Lewis:
"If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality or Christian morality to Nazi morality."
From Freud:
"It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and admit the purely human origins of all the precepts and regulations of civilization."
For a teaser, check this transcript, from the program, regarding a discussion on Moral Law.

1 comment:

Rusty said...

I've been looking forward to viewing this but have to wait a week & a half! The local PBS station isn't broadcasting until Sept. 25th - in the middle of the afternoon, no less. argh!
Bonnie | Email | 09.14.04 - 8:28 am | #


Very interesting discussion in that transcript about moral law. I’d like to hear some ideas explored further. For example, the Golden Rule: I don’t agree with the guy that said it’s come from our evolutionary history, because if that’s true, how come so many people (like, all of us) don’t live by it? He also says we go around the world overthrowing dictators in order to help people, but, let’s face it; we’re selective in who we want to help. Sure, we can’t help everybody, but what I’m saying is; is the motivation to help people always solelyout of the goodness of people’s hearts? I doubt it.

Bonnie | Email | 09.14.04 - 8:31 pm | #


But back to the golden rule: it is quite helpful, until you reach the limits of what we ourselves know to be best for ourselves. I think that’s another fallacy of the unbeliever and also of the believer to an extent: we don’t know what’s best for us, that’s why we need God’s teaching. Where else do you hear, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you...” (Luke 6:27-28 etc); “Speak the truth in love,” (Ephesians 4:15); or “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, Proverbs 20:22, Hebrews 10:30, Deuteronomy 32:35)? I’m pretty sure Christianity can make exclusive claim to this wisdom, which is clearly not viewed as wisdom by unbelievers.

Bonnie | Email | 09.14.04 - 8:32 pm | #


Then there’s the criticism of absolute truth that says those who believe in it think they have the right to impose or force it on others. The clear fallacy in this is that it equates the thing itself with those who claim to represent it. Isn’t it better to go to the source itself? Besides, under the new covenant, believers are told to “go and make disciples,” not “go and bludgeon whomever you come in contact with until they cry ‘Mama.’”
Bonnie | Email | 09.14.04 - 8:33 pm | #



Yes, one of Lewis' arguments was to question why we would come up with a moral law that none of us keeps? It doesn't make sense.
Rusty | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 - 9:04 pm | #