Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • River of Love +

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing +

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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slaverymonument2Below is an excerpt from a Scot McKnight posting. Read it, then re-read  it; a thoughtful and controversial take on human rights.

Grounding the Dignity of Humans

Anat Biletzki works really hard to show that human dignity, or that life is sacred, or that humans are special, can be grounded apart from the one foundation that has both created the idea and that has sustained the practice, however imperfectly. But, here are some of her ideas ... what do you think? Can human dignity be grounded as a right on a non-religious basis? What of her idea that religions don't ground "human rights"?

One deep philosophical issue that invigorates debates in human rights is the question of their foundation and justification, the question "where do human rights come from, and what grounds them?" There are two essentially different approaches to answering that question - the religious way and the secular, or philosophical, way.... A good representative of the first camp is the religious historian and educator R. H. Tawney: "The essence of all morality is this: to believe that every human being is of infinite importance, and therefore that no consideration of expediency can justify the oppression of one by another. But to believe this it is necessary to believe in God."

There is, however, no philosophically robust reason to accept this [religious] claim. True, the religious answer is straightforward and clear-cut. True, philosophical theorizing on the foundations of human rights in particular, and morality in general, may be complex, or nuanced, or even convoluted. True, the word "sacred" carries religious connotations. But that could just be a manner of speaking - and dignity and inviolability certainly do not need to be tied down to the sacred....

Below is a link to the complete posting.

http://www.patheos.com/community/jesuscreed/2011/07/21/grounding-the-dignity-of-humans/#more-18600

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

  • River of Love

    There's a river of love that runs through all timeBut there's a river of grief that floods through our livesIt Read More
  • I Am Nothing

    I stutter when I tryTo speak the language of lifeI want to shout out loudBut I just cry insideSometimes it Read More
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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Christ is a Great Savior: a review of the movie Amazing Grace +

    Amazing Grace is a historical drama about William Wilberforce who was elected to British Parliament at the age of 21 Read More
  • Wilberforce, Hollywood's Amazing Grace, Charlotte Allen +

    William Wilberforce's relentless campaign eventually led the British Parliament to ban the slave trade, in 1807, and to pass a Read More
  • Making Beauty out of Ugly Things: Grace by U2 +

    Grace, she takes the blame She covers the shame Removes the stain It could be her name Grace, she carries Read More
  • The True Nature of Grace and Love: a movie review of the Soloist +

    The 2009 movie The Soloist is based on a book by the same name, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Read More
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