A Conversation About Ethics
Talking about ethics is not an easily embraced conversation in today’s electrified political society, but Michael Jones, Mark Farnham, and David Saxon talk through 15 ethical topics in their new book Talking About Ethics: A Conversational Approach to Moral Dilemmas.
“My question for Mike was, ‘why do we need another ethics book?’” Saxon shares, “he said, ‘First, there aren’t that many applied ethics books out there. Most books are heavy theory with an application as you read. Second, I want to do this in a unique way. I want it to be a conversational approach.’”
Jones invented three college students who are close friends at a fictional, secular institution: an evangelical, a Greek orthodox, and an atheist. Talking About Ethics follows the journey of these friends as they encounter 15 different scenarios that lead them to discuss and research ethical topics including abortion, capital punishment, and animal rights.
Talking About Ethics was written with a college-aged audience in mind with the hope that Christian and secular schools alike will find it to be a helpful resource in their ethics classes.
“We want to slant the reader to what we think is the better argument,” Saxon states. “But we don’t do it by saying ‘this is right’ and ‘this is wrong.’ We do it by having stronger arguments for the right side versus the wrong side. But we have arguments for all sides.”
While there are elements of the book that make it more like a textbook (glossary of terms and study questions at the end of every chapter), the authors created the concept with the hope that anyone who picks up the book would enjoy it and learn from it.
“No matter how strongly we felt about the answer [on most topics], we tried to be very ‘soft’ in how we presented it. Let the characters give the strongest arguments they can on all three sides, then let the reader, teacher, or ethics class sort it out,” Saxon explained.
“I marvel that God has allowed me to be published in something that I never would have envisioned,” Saxon adds. “He did something very cool and I have been very humbled by it.”