Well, the podcast has roared back into life with the episode on Divine Command Ethics. Although time is a pretty scarce resource, as I mentioned in episode 39 there are a couple more episodes in the making already. Episode 40 will be in the area of epistemology and philosophy of religion, looking at the question of what faith is (when that word is used in the couplet of “faith and reason”). The episode after that, episode 41, will step away from philosophy and into the world of historic and systematic theology, looking at the doctrine of the descent into hell as mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed.
I’m working on several articles for publication as time allows as well. The first is a fairly popular level exposition of the place of religious convictions in politics and law, aimed at a New Zealand audience. Another is a piece on whether or not a thoroughly secular (in the sense of godless) outlook can give a plausible account of the type of doctrine of equality required by the liberal democracy. The other two pieces are actually being prepared as papers to be delivered at conferences, but after they have been delivered and hopefully subjected to critical feedback I plan to submit them for publication. The first of these is called “The Non-moral Goodness of God” and will be presented at the APRA conference at the University of Auckland this coming July. It’ll be interesting to see how the talk is received by Eric Weilenberg, as it offers some criticism of his comments in his work Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe. The second piece is “The Epistemological Objection to Divine Command Ethics” which responds to the concern that if Divine Command Ethics is true, then people who don’t believe in God have no hope of acquiring moral knowledge – a concern that is most recently raised by Wes Morriston, and which I argue is mistaken. I’ve submitted this paper for presentation at the annual conference of the Evangelical Philosophical Society in San Francisco this November, and I’m hopeful that it will be accepted. If all these projects succeed that’ll be four decent academic achievements this year, which might not be a lot for a full time academic, but for someone in my position it’s not too shabby!
What follows is a bit of somewhat more personal information for those who are interested.
As I type this it’s a little after 4:15pm on Sunday the 27th of March. Tomorrow morning my wife Ruth is going into hospital to have what I guess is fairly major surgery. She has ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura), and has not responded to drug treatment, so tomorrow she’s having a splenectomy (removal of the spleen). It will be done by keyhole surgery so hopefully she will only need to be in hospital for a few days, but when she comes back home she will not be able to return to work for about six weeks, which is going to be a bit of a financial challenge. To those of you who are so inclined, please pray that the surgery will go well, that it will have the right outcome, that Ruth will be able to recover in good time, and that we’ll be able to manage during the time that she’s not working.