- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan; 3rd ed. edition (August 5, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310291097
- ISBN-13: 978-0310291091
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics 3rd ed. Edition
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“Scott Rae is one of the leading Evangelical ethicists in North America, and this thoroughly updated version of Moral Choices features the excellence we have come to expect from his pen. Based on its breadth of coverage, depth of insight, and accessibility of style, it is now the go-to text for colleges and seminaries. It is also a must read for pastors and laypersons who want to be informed about the ethical issues of our day. I highly recommend it.” -- J. P. Moreland
“Moral Choices is an outstanding text for an introductory course in bioethics. The survey of philosophical thinking throughout history sets the context for dialogue. The model that is presented is especially useful for beginning students. Our classes work through the model to learn the principles, and then apply that model to 1-2 topics, working in depth. As a result, its strengths and weaknesses are revealed. Then, students are able to understand the challenges associated with bioethical issues. This enables them to be equipped for issues that are arising. Moral Choices has been a foundational component to accomplish this.” Mount Vernon Nazarene University -- Paul Madtes Jr.
“ Moral Choices is characterized by particular strength in its discussion of ethical methodology, its approach to bioethical and business ethics issues, its accessibility and readability, its use of cases and discussion questions, and its engagement with a wide range of both secular and Christian thinkers through the ages. It is conservative and evangelical while remaining irenic and dialogical.” -- David P. Gushee
“This is a well-crafted introduction to Christian ethics. Professor Rae exhibits in his work the very virtues that he extols his readers to emulate. His love of learning, Christ, and the good, the true, and the beautiful comes through loud and clear. Although one may find oneself disagreeing with Professor Rae, as I do on a few issues, you will be more informed, challenged, and enlightened as a consequence of reading this book.” -- Francis J. Beckwith, Professor
From the Back Cover
With its unique union of theory and application and its well-organized, easy-to-use design, Moral Choices has earned its place as the standard text for college ethics courses. This third edition offers extensive updates, revisions, and brand new material, all designed to help students develop a sound and current basis for making ethical decisions in today's complex postmodern culture. Moral Choices outlines the distinctive elements of Christian ethics while avoiding undue dogmatism. The book also introduces other ethical systems and their key historical proponents, including Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant. After describing a seven-step procedure for tackling ethical dilemmas, author Scott Rae uses case studies to address some of today's most pressing social issues. He guides students in thinking critically and biblically about: ? Abortion ? Reproductive Technologies ? Euthanasia ? Capital Punishment Sexual Ethics ? The Morality of War ? Genetic Technologies and Human Cloning ? NEW: Ethics and Economics NEW FEATURES * Online resources for instructors, with test banks, PowerPoint presentations, and more * Chapter on ethics and economics covering global capitalism, environmental ethics, and business ethics * Significant new material on bioethics and stem cell and embryo research * Discussion questions at the end of each chapter * Sidebars with case studies for discussion
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The chapters range from about fifteen pages to forty pages. The length of the book made it accessible by not overloading the reader with too much. However, the book was still challenging by including different sides of debate on all the issues.
Some extra features of this book that are worth noting are the sidebars and case studies. The book includes sidebars and case studies to use for further information and thought on the topics. For example, a famous philosopher may be featured as making an important contribution to the topic under discussion, or a case study might focus in on a story about the issue that has been in the international news. The sidebars and case studies helped to further complicate each issue, and my class was quite provoked by some of the case studies. They definitely added a new dimension to each issue.
Each chapter also includes suggested readings for further study, which I always find helpful and interesting. Because this book was an introductory guide, there were definitely some topics I wanted to learn more about after reading the chapters, and the suggested readings allow the reader to pursue in more depth topics that are provocative.
The book had excellent introductory chapters on why a person should study ethics (Chapter 1), biblical views on ethics (Chapter 2), and different ethical philosophies of secular worldviews (Chapter 3). The book even had a helpful chapter on a method for navigating decision – making on ethical issues (Chapter 4). All these introductory chapters framed the book nicely, and Chapter 4 taught the reader how to navigate ethical choices, a skill that will even help the reader learn how to process ethical issues that are not specifically included in this book. Considering how fast society is discovering new technologies, a chapter designed to enable the reader to work through a suggested model on ethical decision – making is an essential element.
After the first four introductory chapters, the book goes into specific ethical questions in more detail. The book has chapters devoted to Abortion and Stem Cell Research (Chapter 5), Reproductive Technologies (Chapter 6), Biotechnology, Genetics, and Human Cloning (Chapter 7), Physician – Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia (Chapter 8), Capital Punishment (Chapter 9), Sexual Ethics (10), the Morality of War (11), and Ethics and Economics (12). I appreciated how the book did not treat some issues as more important than others, but, rather, discussed and engaged every issue at the same caliber. Even though some issues received more page coverage than others, it did not feel as though the issues treated in shorter pages were ignored or dismissed.
Every chapter includes biblical support for and against different ways of thinking about the topic under discussion. The biblical integration was helpful, and the biblical integration framed the discussions of the topics well. However, a major advantage of this book was that, even though the Bible was used for support, every chapter included secular pro and con arguments. The secular pro and con arguments were helpful in teaching Christians how to engage an increasingly secular culture.
My only criticism of the book is that the chapter on sexual ethics is far too short. However, the most recent edition of this book was published in 2009, which explains why the chapter on sexual ethics is so abbreviated. The topic of same – sex marriage is addressed in only one page (although the issue of homosexuality is discussed at greater length). Birth control is given about three pages, and I still felt like it needed to be developed much further. Even the entire debate about sex changes is addressed in less than one page. Also, secular arguments against homosexuality and same – sex marriage are virtually non – existent (however, the biblical case against homosexuality was well developed and very helpful). I definitely recommend getting additional resources on sexual ethics to cover these topics as they are increasingly important to the cultural conversation of the West. Maybe purchasing another book to supplement this book on those topics would be helpful.
I do wish that this book will be updated and expanded in the future to include more about sexual ethics. I also hope that a new edition would include new chapters, because I felt like some important new ethical issues were left off. A chapter discussing the legalizing of marijuana would be a helpful addition, as my class had to find supplemental materials to read to cover that issue. Another interesting addition would be a chapter about immigration and even divorce.
This book was an excellent resource. However, if this book is going to be used in a classroom setting, outside materials should be integrated into the curriculum. In my class, the teacher had us watch recorded debates on TV about the issues. The teacher also had us watch single person presentations on the TV arguing for one side on some of the topics. The teacher even spent some days reading us articles from newspapers that dealt with current case studies in different parts of the world on the topics. These extra resources helped me realize that the issues covered in this book are real issues facing our society, and that this book is just a foundational guide to navigating the messy ethical issues that the next generation of Christians will face.
Before buying this book, the only ethical issues I was familiar with were abortion and homosexuality. However, this book greatly expanded my ability to understand and explain, not only abortion and homosexuality, but all the ethical issues included in this book. I am far more confident in my ability to engage my culture as a Christian, and I know that my ethical convictions can stand up to scrutiny. Before reading this book, I was always shy and quiet when ethical issues came up, and I typically had no idea what to say or what I thought about the issues. Sometimes I would not even know what the issues were. Now, I am much more informed about ethical issues, and I have developed my own opinions on the topics throughout the course of my class.
I would highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants a general overview of ethical issues and some beginning help thinking through them. Most of all, I would highly recommend it to high school students and college students as a resource for understanding and discussing their Christian worldview on many current ethical issues.
Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics by Scott B Rae is an excellent tool for the thinker who finds himself reflecting on and attempting to navigate through the critical moral issues in today’s society. The weight of current issues within culture today has serious consequences on the future and thus, should be addressed with the utmost significance. As Christians, we are to be active within our culture, yet maintain our integrity and in order to do this we must be able to address moral issues through the lens of Scripture. Personally, I look at where our culture is going and immediately feel a sense of urgency to be able to address the issues which Scott B Rae covers in his book. This book not only has helped me know specifically what I believe in regards to various topics such as abortion, reproductive technologies, euthanasia, capital punishment, and sexual ethics, but why I believe the things that I do and what sort of support I can give to my claims.
Scott B Rae is purposeful in beginning his book not with the hottest issue today, but by explaining different ethical systems, moral reasoning, Christian ethics, and most importantly, how we can make ethical decisions. “Morality is primarily concerned with questions of right and wrong, the ability to distinguish between the two, and the justification of the distinction.” (Chapter 1) Rae does a good job at presenting Christian ethics as being centered on the person of Christ and composed of various aspects of different ethical systems. Setting his style from the beginning in these few introductory chapters, Scott B Rae presents all aspects to a given topic fairly. From different ethical systems to different components of euthanasia or views of capital punishment, the reader is presented with the pros and cons of each and is encouraged to take a view on the issue rather than be assaulted with Rae’s personal views.
The book as a whole is very easy to read, very applicable, and very informative. It is full of philosophically sound reasoning, solid examples, and support from Scripture. Scott B Rae’s chapter on sexual ethics in his book Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics is the archetype of his thoughtful, biblically grounded, philosophical, and loving approach to sensitive moral issues at large in today’s culture.
I would recommend this book to the person who wants to engage the culture around them and know where to stand morally on big issues today.