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Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics [Hardcover]

By Scott Rae (Author) & Scott B. Rae (Author)
Our Price $ 25.49  
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Item Number 23543  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.46" Width: 6.38" Height: 0.95"
Weight:   1.13 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2000
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310230152  
EAN  9780310230151  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 29.99 $ 25.49 23543
Hardcover $ 36.99 $ 31.44 493084 In Stock
Item Description...
This Christian introduction to ethics familiarizes both seminary and secular university students with basic processes of ethical decision making. This text, updated with a new chapter, tackles the ethical issues involved in genetic technologies.

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More About Scott Rae & Scott B. Rae

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! SCOTT RAE, Ph.D., is professor of Christian ethics and chair of the philosophy of religion and ethics department at Talbot School of Theology. He's written six books, including "Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics" and "Beyond Integrity: a Judeo-Christian Approach to Business Ethics."
D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. is board-certified in internal medicine and has a master's degree in bioethics from Trinity International University. The executive director of The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture, she writes and speaks on a variety of bioethics topics, with special interest in reproductive technologies, medical ethics, and stem cell research. She and her husband, an obstetrician/gynecologist, have three sons and live in Brentwood, TN.

Scott B. Rae has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Christian Worldview Integration
  2. Critical Issues in Bioethics

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality   [3234  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [17908  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Evolution > Genetics   [1069  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Science > Evolution > Genetics   [1323  similar products]
7Books > Subjects > Science > General   [43497  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Bridges A Gap Between Science and the Humanities  Jan 14, 2007
It has been said that we have come as far as we have only because we stand on the shoulders of giants. One of the strengths of ethics when studied as part of a survey of Western civilization has been the discipline's emphasis on consulting the accumulated wisdom of the past. However, in doing so one must not fail to apply these principles to the situations arising in our own time.

`Talbot School of Theology Professor Scott Rae in "Moral Choices: An Introduction To Ethics" maintains this balance by not only analyzing the foundations of this field as set forth in Biblical and historical sources as well as more contemporary systems but also by examining a number of issues arising from advances in technology.

"Moral Choices" is an excellent resource for believers to investigate the complexities of this field of study since Rae does not overly advocate any one particular position per say but rather examines both sides by comparing where each either measures up to or falls short of either the outright teachings of Scripture or the traditional ethical norms derived from sacred revelation. The student will also come away with a better understanding of the legal or scientific developments giving rise to these disputes.

For example, some of the issues examined in "Moral Choices" include abortion, reproductive technology, human cloning, and physician assisted suicide.

In regards to abortion, Rae builds a Biblical position on the topic centering around the Fifth Commandment (Thou shalt not murder) by showing how this injunction applies to the fetus since the child in question retains a distinct personhood from conception onward until death. Rae also goes into the background of a number of court decisions establishing the legal framework for this procedure in the United States such as Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, and Webster v. Reproductive Health Services.

C.P. Snow lamented in "The Two Cultures And The Scientific Revolution" of the widening gulf between those educated in the humanities and those schooled in the hard sciences. Moral Choices does a commendable job of bridging the gap.

Often average citizens shy away from these complex issues for lack of understanding the science involved. However, by defining terms related to reproductive technologies and genetic engineering such as somatic cell gene therapy (the addition of a gene), somatic cell nuclear transfer (the taking of cells from an adult and placing them in an egg in order to grow a clone), and an overview of various infertility treatments such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection and intrafallopian transfer, "Moral Choices" won't qualify the reader to be a Doctor Frankenstien but will certainly give the concerned laymen a better idea of what exactly goes on in the lab late at night.

Like stage magicians, often scientific and philosophical elites prefer to dazzle the common man by keeping much of the process by which they arrive at their proclamations shrouded in secrecy. "Moral Choices" by Scott Rae not only applies fundamental ethical principles to the daunting challenges facing society today but also provides the steps helping one to arrive at an informed decision.

The steps are as follows: (1) Gather the facts. (2) Determine the ethical claims. (3) Determine what principles have bearing on the case. (4) List the alternatives. (5) Compare the alternatives with the principles. (6) Consider the consequences. (7) Make a decision.

Moral Choices: An Introduction To Ethics begins with the question "Why Be Moral?". From considering the ramifications of the issues examined in the text, the reader will conclude how can we afford not to?

by Frederick Meekins
Moral choices from a christian prospective  Jul 16, 2003
The book was overall a very good read, simple and to the point. I enjoyed the style and the message. I would recommend this book to anyone teaching ethics. Since most of todays ethics teachers seemed somewhat confused.
Nearly very good.  Aug 9, 2002
Rae notes in his introduction that "the moral life and moral decision making are the focal points of this book." He has done an admirable job in this regard. While the book is written from a Christian ethicist perspective as an introduction to ethics, his evaluations of different topics are mostly treated with well thought out and logically coherent explanations. He spends two entire chapters giving an honest look at alternative ethical systems including relativism, utilitarianism and ethical egoism. He also spends time looking at several of the significant players historically in ethics including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Aquinas and Augustine. This edition is expanded and covers topics not included in the first edition.

My one and only major concern with Rae is his position that the removal of nutrition and hydration from a non-terminally ill person, which can be found at the top of page 204, is justifiable. He argues that in such a non-terminally ill person (the example here is someone in a perpetual vegetative state), the act of withdrawing or refusing to initiate nutrition or hydration "does not constitute starving someone to death" He further argues that it is the injury that has put them in this state of not being able to feed themselves orally. This argument does not logically hold. By removing or withholding nutrition and hydration from anyone, regardless of the presence of or absence of injury, they are being starved to death unless the injury is terminal and causes death first. In addition, based on Rae's rational anyone with an injury that prevents them from being able to feed themself would justifiably be able to have hydration and nutrition withheld or refused. Also, Rae's argument is in direct contradiction of his arguments against abortion in chapter 6 making his metaethics internally inconsistent.

Great Christian introduction to ethics  Aug 28, 2001
I found this book when I was browsing through a bookstore in Washington DC a few weeks ago. There were recommendations by Francis J. Beckwith and J.P. Moreland on the book; needless to say these are some of the most learned men in the Christian intellectual world. The book is about ethics (the process of determining right and wrong) and morality (the actual content of right and wrong). Scott B. Rae, in addition to being an academic ethicist (and a Christian committed to Scripture), serves on several California hospital ethics committees. This is apparent by the way he begins many of his chapters; he crafts a real-life scenario where making the moral decision requires some serious thought.

The theoretical part of the book is clear and important; knowing why people have specific moral views is as important as its resolution. I think quoting Professor Beckwith's comments on the book might be illustrative: 'In fact, there's not a better book anywhere that so clearly ties ethical theory and moral practice.'

The book starts with four background chapters: 'Christian Ethics,' 'Major Figures in the History of Ethics,' 'Ethical Systems and Ways of Moral Reasoning,' and, 'Making Ethical Decisions.' For a person new to the study of ethics and tired of media moral reasoning, these chapters were refreshing. In the, "Christian Ethics," chapter, in addition to examining Scripture, Rae makes the conclusion that Christians who use the Bible can still in good conscience use natural law (this is moral information from general revelation; that is the world and Creation, rather than special revelation, the Bible). He makes the point that general revelation morality (i.e. natural law) and special revelation morality (i.e. the Bible) are usually in agreement though the arbiter in rare cases of disagreement should be Scripture. The importance of natural law for the Christian is not to be underestimated. Granted that the Christian wants to be able to influence his/her surrounding culture for Christ, promoting justice, order etc., natural law means that a Christian can make a moral argument without quoting the Bible or compromising the Bible.

The sections on the history of ethics and ethical systems are helpful both to the person who wants to simply learn about ethics, those who want to understand the reasoning people use in the public forum and so on. About half of the book is dedicated to the big moral issues of our day: Abortion, Reproductive Technologies, Genetic Technologies and Human Cloning, Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, Capital Punishment, Sexual Ethics, The Morality of War and Legislating Morality.

The general approach that Rae takes is to use a scenario at the beginning of the chapter, offer arguments for and against, evaluate these arguments, look at Scripture, and then offer a conclusion. Also, each section has footnotes and a, 'Further Reading,' list.

One of Rae comments from the, 'Sexual Ethics,' chapter could serve as a reason for all Christians to carefully consider how to present their moral case in the public forum:

'Making the biblical case against homosexuality persuasive to a secular audience that has little regard for biblical authority is difficult, particularly in view of the aggressive gay rights movement and a growing societal tolerance for homosexuality. But that does not mean further attempts to make the Bible's teachings on homosexuality persuasive to the broader culture should not be undertaken.' (page 237) I think this book is a good starting place to help lay people understand ethics and how to carefully think through these issues and the process we go through in coming to moral conclusions.


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