Thaddeus Kozinski considers the recent debate between Hadley Arkes and Matthew O’Brien—which he views as presenting competing eudaimonistic and deontological theories of moral philosophy—and offers an alternate theological-traditionalist account of ethics :

As I said at the outset, theology, unlike in the ancient debates, has not been an interlocutor in this and virtually all other academic and public discussions of ethics and politics. Sure, the theologian is allowed to have his say, but he is barred from ever having an authoritative say, from being one of those insiders whose deliberations and speculations are to become an integral part of “public reason.” The theologians have a quite compelling story, the philosophers and public policy folks admit, but we need a story more appropriate, more “true,” for our pluralistic, secular, political culture. However, when dealing with the foundations of ethics, the Christian theologian’s story is not just one story among others—it is one that must be read by everyone, for it is meant for everyone. It is ultimately everyone’s story. Moreover, as Radical Orthodoxy has shown, the ostensibly a-theological, secular stories that automatically pass the muster of public reason are nothing if not theologically implicated, even if only implicitly. Now, although the Christian story is everyone’s story, only a very select audience has heard it in its entirety, believed it fully, and made it a model for their own life-stories. Yet, even for the unbeliever, the theologian’s story has clear and arguable logical, ethical, philosophical, legal and political ramifications and components, just as the “non-theological” stories have implicit yet robust theological moorings. Let those who have ears—that is, those who have taken out their old and decrepit, modernist, Enlightenment earplugs—hear: “We are all theologians now.”

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(Via: Front Porch Republic )

Articles by Joe Carter

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