Livestock Exchange by Mark D. Linville

Livestock Exchange

Mark D. Linville on Peter Singer’s Bestial Loss of Moral Reasoning

Paul’s discussion in the first chapter of Romans reads like the script for a tragedy, but a tragedy on a grand scale, telling of the ruination not of one man, but of an entire race of men. The fatal flaw is a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the Creator and a propensity to worship created things instead. If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, the rejection of God is the source of folly. A fool and his money may soon be parted, but his dignity is not far behind.

Scripture records several boneheaded business transactions in which fools swapped the priceless for the worthless. Esau exchanged his birthright for a bowl of soup. The people of Israel bypassed an artesian spring, choosing instead to sop up what stagnant water remained in their broken cisterns. And the idolaters Paul describes in Romans exchanged the glory of the Creator for mere likenesses of mere creatures. It is as if the prisoners in Plato’s cave, having been brought outside to see a colored and textured world and offered their freedom, opted to return to the world of pale shadows on the fire-lit wall.

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Mark D. Linville is Professor of Philosophy at Atlanta Christian College and author of Is Everything Permitted? Moral Values in a World Without God (RZIM Critical Questions Series). He and his wife Lynn have four grown children and four grandchildren, and live in Fayetteville, Georgia, where they attend the Christian Church.

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