Title

God Says It, That Settles It? The Nature and Place of Moral Authorities in Political Discourse

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2018

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

Public policy discussions involve certain presuppositions about ethical authorities, but disclosing ethical authorities is controversial to many. Some argue that a just society, to say nothing of public persuasion, suffers when an appeal is made to a particular worldview and the moral authority found within it. Others make bald and rash appeals to moral authorities and even consider the attachment of other reasons to them as self-undermining. In this essay, I attempt to show that moral authorities are relevant and legitimately disclosed in public ethics debates. However, for Christians in particular, I point to examples drawn from the Bible not only to show that public persuasion goes beyond mere authorial-appeal and embraces authorial-reasoning, where public advocates identify the ethical directive, but also to explain why public policy derived from that directive is sensible for everyone.

Publication Title

Christian Bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality

Volume

24

Issue

1

First Page

95

Last Page

110

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