Video: Appeals to Natural Law and Scripture and the Effectiveness of Jordan Peterson

Today’s question:

I guess I’m intrigued about a couple of things.

First, do you really think it’s the case that there is actually any kind of moral consensus in principle among people? The kind of thing that lets pro-Natural Law folk say, “Everyone knows that murder is wrong” when, actually, a glance at our history raises at least some questions about this.

I guess this is prompted in part by the fact that what passes for sexual ethics in the public square is now moving so fast that even I feel old-fashioned, and (more to the point) I can remember a day not so long ago when “Everyone would have thought” that things now accepted as normal would have been described as abhorrent and unnatural.

Doesn’t this ethical slide raise at least some questions about the stability of any kind of NL ethic?

And second, a question from the other side of the coin. Shouldn’t Jordan Peterson’s remarkable success in making arguments in the public square in part on the basis of an unashamed appeal to the Christian Scriptures give us rather greater optimism that some seem to have about the credibility of making such an appeal to people who aren’t themselves Bible-believing Christians?

Might it not be possible to make a kind of (presuppositionally?) self-validating appeal to an unacknowledged source of religious authority like the Bible, in a way that doesn’t rely on a prior commitment to its authority, but rather generates precisely that commitment by the cogency of the appeal and the argument as a whole?”

This is the video on biblicism to which the questioner was responding:

If you have any questions for me, please leave them on my Curious Cat account. If you have found these videos helpful, please tell your friends. If you would like to support my continued production of them, you can do so on my Patreon account. You can also get the audio of these videos on Soundcloud or iTunes.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Audio, Controversies, Culture, Ethics, Philosophy, Questions and Answers, Revelation, Sex and Sexuality, Society, Theological, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Video: Appeals to Natural Law and Scripture and the Effectiveness of Jordan Peterson

  1. cal says:

    Before getting too far in, I realized that within the space of a minute, you used the word nature/natural over a dozen times as an adjective, adverb, or a noun in attempting to demarcate a correct from a false understanding of natural law. Maybe that’s a tick from doing this off-the-cuff, but it’s off putting for an interlocutor who’s suspicious from the gate. I’ll keep listening.

  2. john daniel says:

    I really liked your posting about this, and I’ve seen a few more like it recently – the best part about yours is, it’s very informative and useful and full of good information without a bunch of usless rants and BS!

    I’ll be sure to give this URL to some friends

    Thanks Again

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