Show 421: Easter Sunday Special w/ Dr. Bruce Waller

Easter Sunday Special w/ Dr. Bruce Waller

The believed resurrection of Jesus Christ celebrated on Easter Day is the climax of a bizarre moral narrative in which an innocent victim endures great suffering until death, for the purpose of absolving the sins of everyone else; and all of it, arranged and supervised by the Christian god.

The problems with deriving any meaningful message about morality from this very strange story are numerous. Yet despite all of the contradiction and irony in their founding narrative, for most of the past two thousand years Christians have generally managed to believe that each of us must choose of our own free will to let Christ into our hearts and be saved so that after we’ve died we may join him and perhaps our loved ones in a heavenly paradise.. or else we can except to suffer for all of eternity in Hell.  According to the bible the choice is ours, to make of our own free will.

The belief that with our ‘free will’ we are free to choose to be who ever and what ever we want to make ourselves is the primary rationale for assigning moral responsibility.  But today we understand that we are all the result of factors we do not choose.  We do not, and can not choose to be any way other than what our genes and our environmental experiences make possible.  At a time when we know this to be true, can holding people morally responsible still make sense?  And is it fair?

To help us examine the question of moral responsibility we will feature an interview with Dr. Bruce Waller, professor of religion and philosophy at Youngstown State University and author of the recently published book, “Against Moral Responsibility.”  And following our interview with Dr. Waller we will be pleased to again feature the complete recording of the last known mediated debate between Jesus Christ and the Easter Bunny.

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