WeeklyTech #170

What does the image of God have to do with social ethics?

Years ago, I was talking with a fellow Christian ethicist about various aspects of social ethics (moral reflection on societal, structural, and communal issues) and it struck me that he never spoke much about the doctrine of the imago Dei, or the image of God, as central to the Christian ethic. I pressed in a bit on why he didn’t seem to emphasize it, and he responded that the Bible simply doesn’t really speak of it much and that when it does it mainly focuses on how Christ is the perfect image of God (Col. 1:15-17). To my surprise, he did not see the doctrine as the primary force behind the moral vision of the Church.

I never really heard much about the image of God even though I grew up around the church. I learned about the horrors of abortion and the call of the Church to care for “the least of these” no matter how small (Matt. 25:40), but it was never talked about in light of the image of God. However, from my earliest memories, there was an understanding that there was something unique about humanity, that my neighbors were to be valued above the rest of creation, and that all of our lives had some deeper purpose and meaning. Even without the language of the imago Dei, it was clear to me and my church that every human life was sacred and worthy of respect.

The Rundown

Should Students Use AI for Writing Assignments? by Jeremy Pierre | The Gospel Coalition

Earlier this semester, I tweeted, “Historic note: This opening day of Spring Semester 2023 marks the first time I had to tell students that no AI may be used in the writing of any assignment. It felt like an explanatory flashback scene in some sci-fi apocalypse.”

Explainer: The “three-parent baby” IVF technique you should know about | ERLC

Over the past decade, scientists have developed a technique called mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), which allows for the creation of babies with three genetic parents. MRT was originally developed to prevent the transmission of certain genetic diseases from parent to child.

You Can’t Sever Orthodoxy from Ethics by Trevin Wax | The Gospel Coalition

In debates over sexual ethics today, whenever longstanding positions are challenged, some say, “The creeds don’t speak to this.” Or “This issue is separate from our confession of faith.” Or “Theological affirmations are one thing, but ethical pronouncements are another.”

Virginia judge uses 19th-century slavery law to rule frozen embryos are property by Betsy Reed | The Guardian

Frozen human embryos can legally be considered property, or “chattel”, a Virginia judge has ruled, basing his decision in part on a 19th-century law governing the treatment of enslaved people.

People Over Robots by Lant Pritchett | Foreign Affairs

We live in a technological age—or so we are told. Machines promise to transform every facet of human life: robots will staff factory floors, driverless cars will rule the road, and artificial intelligence will govern weapons systems.