Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics

By Magnuson, K. T. | Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, December 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics


Magnuson, K. T., Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society


Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics. By Scott B. Rae. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995, 253 pp., n.p.

This book joins recent publications in Christian ethics that are meant to help students think through contemporary moral issues. The temptation, for both author and student, is to bypass the more difficult work in theory in order to get to the interesting (often explosive) issues at hand. Rae offers a balance. Chapters 2-5 focus on theory, discussing Christian ethics, major people and theories in the history of ethics, and a procedure for making ethical decisions. Chapters 6-12 address various contemporary ethical issues: abortion, reproductive technologies, euthanasia, capital punishment, sexual ethics, war, and "legislating morality."

Rae's style is very readable, and the content is presented in such a way that it should appeal to students and others who want an introduction to ethics. His chapter on making ethical decisions offers practical, common-sense guidelines that will interest many readers. Further, the discussions of various issues will be of interest to most readers, and Rae gives some helpful case studies and facts.

The chapters on ethical theory, especially summaries of major thinkers and systems in the history of ethics, provide useful introductions to the topics and offer some important insights. For instance, in his chapter on major figures in the history of ethics Rae notes that moral authority has long been conceived of as being either immanent (deriving from human beings) or transcendent (external to human experience) and suggests how this basic dichotomy functions in contemporary ethical debates. In addition, he points out that the end result of ethical reasoning is often derived from the questions one asks, something that is not often recognized in contemporary ethical deliberation.

There are some shortcomings, however. First, some positions are not adequately represented, as when Rae dismisses absolutism as not being "an attractive or realistic position to hold," driving people to relativism. "It is better to see morality on a continuum, with absolutism at one extreme and relativism at the other" (p. 89). Setting aside the value of Aristotle's golden mean (virtue being the middle ground between opposing vices), surely there are some who believe that a well-reasoned absolutism is an attractive and realistic position to hold (and can even be integrated with the virtues of compassion, kindness and love!

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.