Common Sense Professional Ethics: A Christian Appraisal

Volume 29
Fall 2001
Common Sense Professional Ethics: A Christian Appraisal

Christian organizations have joined the secular professions in spelling out detailed ethical codes. Yet what basis can be provided for the supposition that these ethical codes truly inform us about what is objectively right or wrong? Frequently, modern ethicists have argued that we must derive our moral judgments by the application some specific "€˜ethical theory"€™ to ensure that we are arriving at moral truth. The lack of success in this modern project has contributed to post-modern skepticism about the possibility of arriving at objective moral truth. The modern moral project, and its post-modern skeptics, share a set of mistaken assumptions Plantinga has summarized under the term "€œinternalism."€ These assumptions are contrasted with the common sense moral realism advocated by the Christian thinker Thomas Reid. It is argued that common sense moral realism provides a practical and rich basis for professional ethics that is informed by a Christian worldview, one that does not leave us with the forced choice of either first justifying our ethical beliefs on some special grounds or doubting the reality of objective moral truth. The implications of this approach for ethical training are briefly considered.

Dr. W.L. Hathaway
225 - 234
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