October railfanning

Seeing as we've now hit the 10th month of 2005, another day of railfanning is on the horizon. One of my 2 remaining railfanning days is scheduled for October. So, canyon trip, or something a little more exotic, like Stevens Pass? Naturally, the 15th is out, as that's the model railroad show (who's coming to that, by the way?) What other saturdays look attractive at this point? Any takers?

Copyright in Canada

If you happen to have a little time available for some reading on the topic, Michael Geist has come up with a freely downloadable, peer-reviewed collection of essays on copyright in Canada. The download site is here.

Church History

I've been debating acquiring some some of recorded lectures available through the Regent College Bookstore, but given that I'm currently trying to save money I instead did a little searching around on the web to see what else was available.

I figured that I would share with you one of the resources that I've discovered thus far: a set of lectures on Church History. At the moment I've grabbed all of the MP3s corresponding to the apostolic church, the early church, and the period wherein Christianity was officially adopted by the Roman empire.

To what extent is right or wrong dictated by time or circumstance?

I was reading through Christian Renewal this afternoon, and I noticed a block titled "Relativism now the majority view in America."

Anyways, the answer a survey turns out is often representative more of the organization conducting it, than of the truth of the matter (it's all about how the questions are phrased). I'd consider myself a believer in absolute morality, but in that survey I'd probably classified a relativist. I think that whether an action is right or wrong does vary according to circumstance, albeit in a controlled fashion.

  • Case 1: Consider some action, X, that is in the absolute sense not immoral (is it a sign that I've been in school too long when I start defining variables in my sentences?). If a person, Y, believes that God says that he/she should not do action X, then I believe that if Y does action X then they've done wrong (as they've acted contrary to what they believe that God demands of them). That said, this does not excuse a person who performs an act that they believe is either morally-neutral or morally-required, but which is in the objective sense immoral.
  • Case 2: This is the relatively common example given of where person A can save person B's life is by stealing C (needed medicine, food, etc) from a closed drug/grocery store when they can't find the owner, otherwise person B will die.

I'm not quite sure what position to take on the issue in case 2. I don't think you can really find some point when B is nearing death beyond which the action of breaking into the store would become moral. Consider Jesus' words in Mark 2:23-27 as a possible example of situational ethics.

So, what are your thoughts on this issue? Am I just missing a distinction between morality and ethics?

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