Wealth and Pride in the OT

I taught parts of Deuteronomy in my Sunday School class this past Sunday. The class is with high school juniors and seniors. They are a great group (and not just because I brought donuts today). During Priesthood I wrote down the following thought:I was struck by much of what I read in Deuteronomy. However, I was particularly drawn into the treatment of wealth in Chapter 8.The chapter starts with Moses reminding the Israelites of their humbling experiences, as well as the care that the Lord … [Read more...]

On the Saying “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

Not sure if I hate the sin, but I hate this saying.I have been thinking about the idea of autonomy developed by Immanuel Kant. For Kant, the thing which makes humans special (and deserving of dignity) is that they are able to choose for themselves their own conception of the good life. Not only can we choose a conception of the good life (the type of life we want to live), but we can revise that conception as life goes on.As a philosopher, I should be able explain why this is the best … [Read more...]

Lowell Bennion and a Liberal Mormon Theology: Series Intro

I brought Lowell Bennion’s “Do Justly and Love Mercy: Moral Issues for Mormons” to church with me today, I got it for Christmas and I have wanted to take a closer glance. What I have discovered in reading Bennion is that his way of thinking closely mirrors mine. Well…sort of. He is clearly smarter, more articulate, and more faithful than me. However, his thought seems to reflect an engagement with the great moral and social thinkers of the Western cannon, particularly Aristotle and Kant. I find t … [Read more...]

Mormonism, Politics, and Ideology at Sunstone

I am looking to put together a panel for Sunstone on the broadly-defined category of Mormonism, Politics, and Ideology. I have some ideas for what I might do. I am now looking for the rest of the panel. Anybody interested?Below is the Call for Papers with other conference info:Sunstone … [Read more...]

Rawlsian Social Justice Themes in Mormon Thought

Authors Note: This is not an essay/post about Glenn Beck. The ideas below have been bouncing around my head since Fall 1999 when I was first introduced to the philosophy of John Rawls.This is not about the crass politics of talk radio, but instead about a philosophical debate which dates back to Plato. In particular, this argument is one deeply rooted in the works of Rousseau, Hume, and Kant.The following is still in a rough form. It represents the notes I used for my presentation at the … [Read more...]

Mormon Times: Social Justice in the Book of Mormon

Yesterday, I presented on Rawlsian social justice themes found in the Book of Mormon at the seventh annual meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. Mormon Times of the Deseret News did an article about me presentation.The article does a good job of picking up on some of my main points. As a former reporter, I know that these type of presentations are not easy to cover. I would like to thank Michael De Groote for coming to the speech and the article. I was not expecting it.I … [Read more...]

A Mormon Perspective on Social Justice

I write about social justice, mostly the theory of justice presented by the late philosopher John Rawls. I am not looking to add anything new today. But considering the recent comments by Brother Beck, I want to point out some of the things which I, a Mormon, has had to say about social justice.I have written about the moral justification of liberal justice in two posts (here and a much updated version here).I have looked at the economic and social implications both here at FPR and at this … [Read more...]

Sandel on Morality and the Free Market

"We have drifted from having a market economy to have a market society." Wow. A thoughful and insightful critique by the political philosopher Michael Sandel.Check out the clip.Also, I have written a few thoughts, inspired by Sandel and some conversations I have had lately, over at Radical Moderation. … [Read more...]