Category Archives: Moral Philosophy and Ethics

Bathroom Bills and Transgender Rights

My previous post proposed a legal test for deciding cases involving individuals who claim their conscience does not permit them to sell goods or provide services to someone from the LGBT community who seeks a service or good directly related to their claimed status.  I ignored the “bathroom bill” in North Carolina, which has caused a stir, and which is also now implicated in a federal court case in Virginia. As reported by the Washington Post, “A federal appeals court… Continue Reading ››

Frederic Bastiat as Prophet

I have been reading quite a few articles lately in which the individuals (politicians, bureaucrats and just ordinary citizens) are asked about various issues related to the presidential campaigns.  One answer I have heard quite a bit is simply that “the government” should do something.  Sometimes the issues are even cast in terms of a “crisis,” about which someone ought to take action now (or NOW!).  “Pass a law” is another common response.  While I realize that this is a… Continue Reading ››

Taxation and Ethics: Further Reflection

I have continued to read the comments on Jeff Haymond’s blog about progressive taxation, and my own complementary blog, and have decided I should make another foray into this subject to address in more depth the ethical theory of policies such as taxes (but, indirectly, others as well).  The question to begin is:  Is progressive taxation unbiblical and therefore unethical?  On that, I do have to admit from a strictly exegetical standpoint, no tax is either moral or immoral per… Continue Reading ››

How Did “I” Become an “I”? A New Historical Work on Liberalism

It’s time for another book review.  I am reading several books but just finished one by Larry Siedentop, entitled Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism (Penguin, 2014, 434 pages).  The author has a fascinating and somewhat counterintuitive thesis that what we call “Liberalism” ( I will capitalize the word) was really “created” by Christianity and arose over a long period of time from the 3rd or 4th century AD to the later Middle Ages.  Contrary to many scholars… Continue Reading ››

A Biblical case for Proportional (flat) taxation

In my previous post, I suggested progressive taxation was not Biblical, and challenged readers to convince me I was wrong.  In the voluminous follow up comments, I didn’t see any Biblical arguments for progressive taxation.  However several posters suggested that there was not Biblical support for any method of taxation (regressive, proportional or progressive).  In this post I will argue instead that a proportional tax system (flat tax) aligns with Biblical principles.  Necessarily a blog post is going to be… Continue Reading ››

Progressive Taxation: A Complementary Post to Jeff Haymond

What an interesting post and discussion in the comment section on progressive taxation.  I hope Jeff Haymond doesn’t mind.  Let me just add a little on the philosophical and ethical side, since the theological/Biblical has been pretty well covered and the economic problems have also been addressed.  One word raised several times in the “Comment” section was “fair.”  Another implied issue was equality/inequality in terms of the desired outcome of progressive taxation and its rationale.  I want to address these… Continue Reading ››