Thursday, August 10, 2017

Is Islam Ethical?


Alice C. Linsley


The rise of Islamic terrorism due to the radicalization of younger people across the globe has raised questions about the ethics of Islam. Are violence, intolerance, and imposition of Sharia inherent to this religion? If so, is peace and co-existence possible?

One might argue that Islamic ethics is essentially about domination. The religion provides justifications to kill non-Muslims, rape, seize lands, behead those who commit adultery (mostly pinned on women); dismember law breakers, enslave women and boys for sex, and tell lies to advance Islam. This ethical system is contrary to the values espoused by most Western young people who oppose discrimination, segregation, and the destruction of priceless artifacts. However, many do not realize that Islam and the values of the secular West are at odds. The naive have fallen prey to sophisticated Islamic propaganda. They also have not learned to think critically about their own culture.

Were one to read only the writings of Dr. Khaula Rehman, the view of Islamic ethics would be very different. This revisionist perspective would have us believe that Islam promotes freedom of speech and human rights. Yet the sacred texts of Muslims expose this false narrative. Consider the following:

Hadith Bukhari, 52:260; Bukhari 59:643 3
Muslims may kill Jews and Christians if they do not convert or pay.

Qur'an 8:12; 8:60 5
Muslims are justified in terrorizing non-Muslims.

Qur'an 4:3; 4:24; 5:89; 33:50; 58:3; 70:30 6
You can enslave others for sex and work:

Qur'an 65:4 7
Muslim men may rape, marry (consummate marriage), and divorce pre-pubescent girls.

Qur'an 33:27, 8:69, 48:20; 8.
Muslims may seize land, houses, and the wealth of non-Muslims.

Qur'an 5:38
Islamic justice requires that the hands of thieves be cut off.

Hadith Bukhari 81:792 9
Muslims may lie to advance the cause of Jihad.

Qur'an 98:6; 11
Muslims may treat non-Muslims as vile creatures deserving no mercy.

Qur'an 4:10
Treat non-Muslims as sworn enemies.


Choose your darkness

It is easy to criticize the ethics of Islam, but western secularism is equally dark and evil. It would have us believe that the earth and all life results from random material processes; that life is meaningless; that the individual controls his destiny; that there is nothing special about humans; and that the unborn child is a lump of flesh to be removed, like an unwanted tumor.

Our politics and social policies are dictated by activism and lobbyists, rather than Sharia. Our public system of education excludes all metaphysical conversation (thanks to John Dewey). Consumerism and coddling characterize the universities so that it is easier to enroll in a course on transgender studies that it is to study logic or quantum physics.

When it comes to religion, our social conventions are across the board, at least at first glance. We want the freedom to believe and practice our own religion, be it "churchy" or secular. In reality, we all are herded down the same path, away from intimacy with our Creator. The accepted places of prayer are noisy entertainment venues. No bowing on prayer rugs facing the east. Rather a casual worship in jeans, sipping a Starbucks, and keeping God at a distance.


Related reading: Islamic Iconoclasm; Muslim Style Segregation; The Heresy of Worshiptainment

Monday, July 3, 2017

Quote of the Week - Dorothy L. Sayers



“The thing I am here to say to you is this: that it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality, unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe. It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism. And it is fatal to imagine that everyone knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.”
Dorothy L. Sayers Creed or Chaos? Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 1995 [1949], pp. 31-32

Monday, June 19, 2017

Remembering Ralph D. Winter


Ralph D. Winter (1924-2008)  Missiology and Founder of the US Center for World Missions




Ralph Winter stepped onto the world stage at the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland. There he issued a call for other Protestant evangelists to proselytize to the world's "unreached people," those who had not been exposed to Christianity. In identifying mission fields, Winter looked for "ethnic pockets," isolated areas where language, ethnicity, culture and social status as well as religion had hindered the spread of the Christian Gospel.

Winter was born in South Pasadena in December 1924, the middle son of Hugo H. Winter and his wife Hazel. Hugo was a prominent freeway designer with the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, and his wife, Hazel.

Ralph Winter earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering at Caltech before serving in the Navy during World War II. After his discharge, he studied for a doctorate in linguistics, anthropology and mathematical statistics at Cornell. He then attended Columbia, where he received a master's degree in teaching English as a second language, and Princeton Theological Seminary, where he was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1956.

In 1956, he and his wife Roberta went as missionaries to Guatemala. Roberta was a registered nurse. Ten years later he returned to the United States to become professor of missions at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. At Fuller he trained missionaries, sharing with students his experiences working with the indigenous Maya people of Latin America. Roberta died in 2001.

In 1976 he decided to leave the classroom to become a strategist for Christian outreach, founding the interdenominational U.S. Center for World Mission on the former campus of Pasadena Nazarene College. A year after establishing a research institute there, he founded the related William Carey International University.



In 2005 Ralph Winter was included along with Rick Warren and James Dobson in Time's compilation of the most influential American evangelicals. 

Dr. Winter died at age 84 at his home in Pasadena after battling multiple myeloma and lymphoma. Winter is survived by his second wife, Barbara and his 4 daughters: Elizabeth Gill, Rebecca Lewis, Linda Dorr and Patricia Johnson, all of whom became involved in missions.

Having worked with Dr. Ralph Winter on a few projects, I can say that he was a dynamo and a visionary. May his memory be eternal!

Alice C. Linsley


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Michael Cook on The Great Human Dignity Heist





Michael Cook is the Editor of BioEdge,newsletter about bioethics, and MercatorNet. He also writes a bioethics column for Australasian Science.

Michael likes bad puns, bushwalking and black coffee. He did a BA at Harvard University. He then moved to Sydney. He did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature.

He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US, the UK and Australia.


Monday, June 5, 2017

Quote of the Week: John Lennox



“In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.” ― John C. Lennox, God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Exit Paris Agreement: Good News for Bioethicists?


Michael Cook
Editor of BioEdge

Now that President Donald Trump has backed out of the Paris Climate Change agreement, employment prospects for bioethicists may pick up. Let me explain

The boundaries of bioethics are very elastic, and on some maps they take in care for the natural environment. I would predict that in the measure that scientists lose faith in a political solution to global warming, some will back geoengineering projects to cool the planet.

These include tactics such as injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere, dumping iron filings into the sea to promote algal blooms, and machines to capture carbon dioxide. These involve significant risk and place great power in the calculations of technocrats. They need to be studied very carefully. As University of Chicago climate scientist Raymond Pierrehumbert said a few years ago, “I see lots [of geoengineering ideas] that are feasible but they all terrify me.”

A 2010 conference on the ethics of climate intervention at Asilomar, in California, addressed some of these issues using principles drawn from the famous Belmont principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-malificence and justice. And who knows more about these than bioethicists? Dust off those resum├ęs.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

LAWS: Ethics of Robotic Violence




Russell Stewart, a professor of computer science, has written an informative article on LAWS in which he explains the moral and ethical issues of robotic weapon systems.

LAWS stands for lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Read the article here.

Related reading: Peter Asaro On Banning LAWS; US: Take Lead Against Lethal Robotic Weapons