The fifth commandment : a biblical and philosophical interpretation and its application in the USA
The Fifth Commandment: A Biblical and Philosophical Interpretation and Its Application in the USA addresses today's controversial moral issues relating to life and death, viewing them from a Christian worldview. The thesis also serves as a modern commentary on Exodus 20:13, which says, "You shall not murder." The prohibition means that one may never deliberately (intentionally) and directly (not accidently) take the life of an innocent human being. It is a moral absolute, which applies to all times, in all places and for all people. A moral absolute is grounded in God's immutable nature and, therefore, does not change with the passing of time. But its application may and often does change with time. Three fundamental presuppositions or starting-points are at work in writing the thesis. First, God has revealed his will to humankind in the Scriptures, which are interpreted by human beings whom God has endowed with the faculty of reason. By studying human acts in the light of God's revelation in the Scriptures and various Christian theological traditions, Christian scholars in ethics have discovered moral principles which govern the lives of all human beings. Second, God the Creator designed, as it were, the blueprint on human nature. In other words, human beings are made in the image of God (cf. Genesis 1 :2627). Since he is the Designer of human nature, he knows what moral acts are best or most fulfilling for the human person. Following his principles result in moral and spiritual health. Conversely, he prohibits moral acts which he knows are harmful to the human person. Third, the prohibition against murder is a moral truth and, as such, is not subjective; that is, its veracity does not depend on whether the person feels or even thinks that it is wrong. Rather, the prohibition is objective, independent of the person's mind, existing in reality. Moral truth exists in reality, because the moral world is just as real as the physical world. The three presuppositions are in diametrical opposition to the modern secularist worldview. Christians should be counter-cultural, which means, first, in theory, they are willing to critique the moral errors of modern society in the light of the moral truths which are derived from biblical revelation. Second, in practice, they are willing to stand for the sanctity of human life in a "culture of death."
- ETD@PUK