WHAT Do You Believe about Moral/Ethical Issues and Why

Posted By Fred Lian on May 20, 2019 | 0 comments

This summer’s Adult Spiritual Formation series moves into July (already?) with a look at the field of Artificial Intelligence as it has grown from Vannevar Bush’s visionary idea in the early days of 1930s microfilm, to smart phones and driver-less cars, to tomorrow’s “moral machines”. Unless you’re already a member of the Quantified Self Movement, you’ll want to join us on July 7 to explore the possibility of becoming your own digital avatar as ASI arrives. Que PAS, eh? What’s the difference between “active” and “passive” euthanasia? Is that different than “physician assisted suicide (PAS)”? Proposition 106 passed in 2016, Colorado’s “End of Life Options Act,” making us the sixth state to legalize PAS. Although the arguments surrounding this issue seem to be of recent origin, Ecclesiastes (900 BC?) reminds us that “there is nothing new under the sun” and Thomas Aquinas was fighting the same polemics in the 13th century as we in the 21st. Although relatively new to the US (Oregon was the first in 1994), the practice has a longer history in Belgium and the Netherlands and on July 14 and 21 we’ll examine both the “Dutch Experience” as well as how well the last 10 years in Oregon have been working out. “The Most Dangerous Sins to Our Christian Life are the Ones We Think Are Anonymous” and as we leave July on the 28th we turn our attention to the epidemic of Pornography, and although we may not know exactly how to define it, in the words of Justice Potter Stewart “we know it when we see it”. And we can see it nearly everywhere as our culture becomes enmeshed in it and a distinction between “pornographic” and “obscene” becomes blurred and “obscenity” laws seem to be more and more only selectively applied.

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