WeeklyTech #132

Why the Christian ethic isn’t simply about rules

Often when Christians (and even non-Christians) speak about biblical ethics, we tend to focus on the rules that Scripture gives us. For example, we think of the Ten Commandments in which the second half begins with “you shall not _______.” Whether it’s about murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, or covetessness, we tend to relegate the Chrisitan ethic to a set of moral rules by which we are to live. This type of ethical system is known as deontology, where ethics is a set of rules, duties, or obligations. 

Portraying the Christian ethic in this manner has some merit since God clearly communicates certain commands and rules to his people through Scripture. But one major difficulty with a pure deontological approach is that Christian ethics is accused of failing to address many of the modern ethical dilemmas we face today. The rise of digital technologies, biomedical advancements, and other gifts that the Lord has given his people should be used to love God and love our neighbors (Matt 22:37-39), but they can pose problems for some versions of deontology. How can the Christian ethic deal with contemporary issues for which there aren’t any rules?

The Rundown

How to Avoid Misinformation and Disinformation Online – Patrick Miller | TGC

In one week, I narrowly avoided one case of misinformation and two cases of disinformation. But rather than feeling pride, I asked myself, how many falsehoods slipped past my radar? Probably more than a few.

War makes social media an ethical minefield – Ina Fried | Axios

Platform moderators face complex ethical and legal calls over photos of dead soldiers, images of teens taking up arms, and videos of prisoners of war criticizing the conflict. Everyday users are confronting them, too.

5 Questions for Young Christians About Their Media Choices – Brett McCracken | TGC

Sunday mornings, midweek gatherings, small groups—these are vital and indispensable. But they amount to maybe three or four hours of a Christian’s week. Meanwhile, the average young Christian spends upwards of 40–50 hours per week looking at screens and social media. They’re on TikTok almost constantly. And it’s forming them powerfully.

The Best of Christian Compassion, the Worst of Religious Power – David French | The Dispatch

As you watch the horror unfolding in Ukraine, you are watching two immensely important, competing religious events unfold in real time. First, Russia’s invasion is laced with religious elements. In many ways, it’s a religious war, representing religion at its worst. Second, as we watch the Ukrainian and international church race to Ukraine’s aide, we’re seeing Christianity at its best.