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Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions

3.38  ·  Rating Details  ·  122 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Arthur Holmes addresses the questions: What is good? What is right? How can we know? In doing so he also surveys a variety of approaches to ethics, including cultural relativism, emotivism, ethical egoism and utilitarianism--all with an acknowledgment of the new postmodern environment.
Paperback, 150 pages
Published November 29th 2007 by IVP Academic (first published March 1st 1984)
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Jacob Aitken
Mar 11, 2016 Jacob Aitken rated it it was amazing
This is a lucid, accessible systematic treatment of ethics from a moderate Reformed perspective. Like other systematic treatments (Geisler, Feinberg, Davis) Holmes surveys a number of options in ethics (egoism, relativism, etc) and finds problems. The second half of the book explores a constructive, Christian alternative.

For Holmes ethics is about the good (what virtues should we cultivate?) and about the right (what is my moral duty?) (Holmes 12).

The sections on emotivism, egoism, and utilitari
Timothy Darling
More than Wright, Holmes ascribes to an ethic that involves rules as means for an external control on moral habit formation. He too, however, follows an Aristotelian emphasis on the Telos, goals in the ultimate human virtues: Courage, Self-control, Wisdom, and Justice; drawing in Aquinas's Faith, Hope and Love (which are so clearly drawn from Paul that one wonders why they are attributed to Aquinas). But Holmes leaves his "list" of virtues open mentioning the Fruit of the Spirit and even vaguer ...more
Dec 19, 2015 Josh rated it liked it
Helpful, but it seemed overly dependent on general revelation as an adequate source of moral knowledge. The destructive effects of sin on the mind, and the subsequent need for special revelation and redemption seemed absent from this attempt at a Christian ethic.
Oct 26, 2014 Cheyanna rated it it was ok
Shelves: in-my-office
This book presented interesting ideas about ethics but the information was lost by the over use of rhetorical questions. The passive writing style took away the impact of the ideas presented. The author does a reasonable job maintaining their conservative perspective without passing judgment or belittling others. If you can overlook the pages of rhetorical questions you will likely find thought provoking material regardless of your theological stance of the issues presented.
Shay Hayford
Jun 03, 2015 Shay Hayford rated it it was ok
this book challenges one to think more about his or her principles concerning certain moral choices
Jeffrey Backlin
Mar 15, 2014 Jeffrey Backlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
One of the better introductions into ethics that I've read, this series is very good.
Chris Bloom
Mar 12, 2010 Chris Bloom rated it really liked it
By far the best book I read in my PHIL201 class, though I know that's a pretty sad endorsement. Holmes does a good job of laying out the various consequentialist and deontological theories of ethics before moving on to a discussion of virtue ethics. There are even a few jokes.
Veda Sorrells
For my Philosophy class. Kind of confusing at times.
Jamie Pennington
Jun 23, 2012 Jamie Pennington rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Much deeper than I thought it would be. Rich in depth and knowledge and a well rounded exposure to various thoughts and philosophies. I highly recomend.
Gregory Soderberg
Gives in too much to the spirit of the age!
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Arthur Frank Holmes (March 15, 1924 – October 8, 2011) was Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois (1951–1994). Before his retirement in 1994, he had served for several decades as Chairman of Wheaton's Department of Philosophy. Thereafter, he held the title of Professor Emeritus. After his retirement, he returned and taught half of the yearlong history of philosophy sequence, particul ...more
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“Again and again the old groupings of left and right no longer seem helpful. Sloganeering and dogmatizing settle nothing, nor do emotional tirades and protests really help us sort things through in a thoughtful, biblical fashion.” 2 likes
“The witness of solid moral character to a righteous way of life must never be underestimated.” 1 likes
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