Christian Ethics - Lesson 7


In this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the consistency between the professor's theory of the state presented in Social Justice in the Christian Church and the New Testament. The professor explains that the state is a God-ordained institution to check against sin, and he identifies as a moderate anti-statist who recognizes the need for government but also the inherent evil in any concentration of human power. He points out that the New Testament recognizes constraints upon governmental power, and he mentions Revelation 13 as an example of how the state can function as a symbol of anti-Christian government. The lesson concludes with a discussion of the concept of justice and how it is often appealed to without a clear understanding of what it means, encouraging Christians to go back to ancient Greece to gain a better understanding of the concept.

Ronald Nash
Christian Ethics
Lesson 7
Watching Now

Social Ethics

Part 2

II. Justice

A. Government in the New Testament

1. The state is ordained by God.

Romans 13

2. It is a check against sin.

3. It is a necessary evil.

4. Proper restraints on governmental power are necessary.

Revelation 13

B. Justice in Ancient Greece

1. Involves giving a person her due

2. Two kinds of justice

a. Universal justice

b. Particular justice

i. Commercial justice

ii. Remedial justice

iii. Distributive justice

C. "Social Justice"

1. Fairness and righteousness in the Bible

2. The distribution of a good or burden by the state

D. The Fairness Aspect of Justice

1. The formal principle of justice

2. The material principles of justice

a. Irrelevant principles

b. Relevant principles

c. The problem with need

E. Two Contemporary Theories of Justice

1. Just results

2. Critique of just results

3. Just procedures

F. The Difference between Justice and Love

1. Non-discrimination vs. discrimination

2. Coercive vs. Non-coercive

3. The Year of Jubilee

a. Leviticus 25

b. Predicated on land as the most important possession

c. It was never instituted.

d. Not practical today

  • Gain insights into philosophical ethics and Christian responses, and the Christian role in society regarding the state, justice, economics, and education.
  • In this lesson, Dr. Nash introduces you to the concept of hedonism, which is an example of a consequentialist ethic. He reviews non-hedonistic consequentialist philosophies, psychological hedonism, and ethical hedonism.
  • This lesson introduces you to the theory of deontological ethics and Emmanuel Conte. You will learn that the deontological ethic judges morality by examining the nature of actions and the will of agents rather than goals achieved.
  • In this lesson you will learn about the system of ethics that focuses on virtue and introduces the Four Cardinal Virtues, which are temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage, and emphasizes the importance of being the right kind of person who possesses the traits of character, and C.S. Lewis's book "Christianity" provides an informative treatment of the Four Cardinal Virtues and the Three Theological Virtues.
  • You will gain insight into C.S. Lewis's views on Christian ethics and the morality analogy he presents, where morality is like a fleet of ships that must fulfill three conditions to succeed: every ship must run properly, the relations between ships must be proper and orderly, and the fleet must head to the right destination.
  • You will learn about the importance of distinguishing between society and the state. Society is a voluntary organization of people, while the state is the group of people who claim a monopoly on the use of coercive force within a geographic boundary. By understanding this difference, you can prevent the government from interfering with your voluntary associations.
  • You will gain an understanding of how the professor's theory of the state in Social Justice in the Christian Church aligns with the New Testament. He explains that the state is a God-ordained institution to check against sin, and he is a moderate anti-statist who recognizes the need for government but also the inherent evil in any concentration of human power. The New Testament recognizes constraints upon governmental power, and Revelation 13 is an example of how the state can symbolize anti-Christian government. The lesson also discusses the concept of justice and how it is often invoked without a clear understanding, suggesting that Christians should study ancient Greece for a better comprehension of the term.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insight into the evangelical civil war that happened 20 years ago, learn about its early stages recorded by Clark Penick, understand the harmful effects of left-wing evangelicalism, and see how many evangelicals on the left became enamored with their own self-virtue in what they thought was a crusade to help the poor.
  • By studying this lesson, you will gain insight into the major differences between capitalism, socialism, and interventionism. You will learn that interventionism is often responsible for economic crises that are attributed to capitalism. You will also learn about the overlapping and continuum nature of economic systems and the gray area where an economic system may be viewed as socialism or interventionism.
  • This lesson discusses the decline of old liberation theology and how some of its proponents are now advocating for capitalism and democracy as being what the poor of the third world need, and presents shocking quotations from individuals characterized as evangelical, such as Jose Marquez Bonino, who promotes Marxism and praises tyrants like Castro and Mao Tse tung, as well as material about the three major kinds of Marxism that have existed in the world.
  • This lesson will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of interventionism and its role in the Great Depression, including the fact that blaming capitalism for the depression is based on four myths, and that interventionism actually deepens recessions by disguising the information produced by a market economy.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain an understanding of the crisis facing American education, as highlighted by Alan Blum's book The Closing of the American Heart and the author's complementary book. The focus is on the importance of values, standards, and morality in education, and the need to reopen the American heart to reopen the American mind. The lesson introduces the three kinds of illiteracy currently affecting Americans at every level of the educational process, with a particular emphasis on functional illiteracy, which refers to the inability to read, write, or use numbers well enough to get along in society.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about the incompetency of public school teachers in America, caused by academically weak students being attracted to the profession, lack of content courses in their college curriculum, unimpressive and radical left-winged professional educationists, and the National Education Association being an enemy of America's young people, with four essential steps to improve education, including getting a clear focus on the educational role of the family, increasing local control of education, changing the curriculum to prepare students for life after school, and changing teacher education programs.
  • Gain knowledge of the difference between the biblical ethic and other philosophical systems. Though it may seem simple, it is an underlying system that can lead to complex issues. The divinely revealed scriptures are the starting point for moral reflection, but not a ready-made answer. Some New Testament commandments are archaic or obsolete, and many modern moral problems are not discussed in the Bible.
  • You will gain insight into the pro-life stance and be equipped to inform others. Christians need not be timid about talking about these issues.
  • This lesson explores the arguments and counterarguments surrounding abortion, arguing for caution and conservatism in ending any life, emphasizing the need to balance the right of the mother with the rights of the infant, and briefly touching on the issue of rape and how it complicates the matter.
  • As you go through the lesson, you will learn about infanticide and euthanasia, and how the disrespect for unborn human life has led to an increase in cases of infanticide, along with some suggestions for what Christians should do in the case of children born with life-threatening handicaps.
  • In this lesson, you will explore the five major passages of Scripture related to homosexuality, including different interpretations of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, and concludes that the Bible clearly condemns homosexual activity.
  • This lesson explores the topic of capital punishment in the context of Christian beliefs, arguing for consistency and emphasizing the need to view Old Testament laws in the context of specific situations that are no longer applicable.
  • This lesson discusses the three approaches to war and peace and distinguishes between principled pacifists and hypocritical, unprincipled pacifists, who are members of the political left and denounce American military actions but support violent revolutionary organizations.
  • You will gain an understanding of the growing issue of divorce and remarriage within the church, the responsibilities of Christian leaders in addressing it, and the need for Christians to think through what the Scripture teaches on these matters and formulate principles that will guide their thinking and conduct.
  • This lesson provides insight into how responsible Christians can make ethical decisions about birth control, considering the importance of intention, distinguishing between ethically acceptable and unacceptable forms of birth control, and emphasizing the importance of wise and careful means in achieving family planning goals.

Theoretical and theological basis for Christians  living an ethical life.

Dr. Ronald Nash
Christian Ethics
Lesson Transcript


There is one remaining question in chapter two that I want to ask and answer. The question is, is the theory of the state presented in that book Social Justice in the Christian Church and defended by your professor? Is that position consistent with the New Testament? And the answer in a nutshell is yes, of course it is. You can't you wouldn't expect me to to give you a theory of anything that would be inconsistent with the New Testament. Now, your chapter concludes with three or four pages on that subject. I refer, for example, to the most well-known passage about government in the New Testament, Romans or Romans 13, which makes it very clear that the state is ordained by God. And why is that ordained by God? And the answer is it is a check against sin. All right. The state is a God ordained institution to which someone might ask. Isn't that right? Isn't that fact inconsistent with the position that your book takes against the state? And the answer is, of course, it's not inconsistent. It would be that view would be a problem for somebody who was an anarchist. But I am not an anarchist. Okay. That view might even be a problem for someone who's a radical libertarian. But I'm not a radical. I am a moderate. I am always moderate. All the positions I take are moderate. I am a moderate anti statist, which simply means government is a necessary evil. We need government. If we're without government, we're going to be in deep water. All right. We're going to be in deep trouble. But there must we must recognize the evil that is inherent in any concentration of human power. And so we must devise ways to restrain the growth, the inordinate concentration of human power in in certain people or in certain public institutions. So that kind of limit, if you go from Romans 13 to other passages in the New Testament, it is clear that the New Testament recognizes constraints upon governmental power. The disciples said we ought to obey God rather than man. The power of government is not omnipotent. One encounters situations in which people must say are justified in saying no to governmental power, no to the state. And then, of course, many Christians need to review what Revelation 13 says about the state. Never forget that one of those two beasts that functions as a symbol in Revelation 13 symbolizes anti-Christian government. It symbolizes the Roman state, which, of course had become drunk on the blood of martyrs, symbolizing governments of all times that wage war against the people of God. So I would I would just suggest in passing that all of you who are wise and reflective people will have no trouble recognizing how compatible the moderate anti statism defended by your professor, how compatible that is with the teaching of the New Testament. And we will now turn our attention to the question of justice. Justice. Chapter three. Back in ancient Athens, Socrates observed the following phenomenon. Socrates observed how often various individuals justified radical changes in the laws, radical changes in the structures of society and the state by appealing to an undefined concept of justice. People were told in ancient Athens that we had to do this or we had to do this because justice demanded it. But when Socrates asked these people to please explain what they meant when they used the word justice, he got nothing but silence. Throughout human history, countless efforts have been made to change laws or change society by appeals to justice. When the people who tried to make those changes clearly had no idea what justice was. Well, the same situation applies in the United States, and it is applied in this country for decades now. Political leaders and rabble rousers of all kinds want us to think that this or that change in society or this or that changes in this or that change in the law is mandated by the nature of justice. I'm going to be presumptuous enough to tell Christians that they can make real progress in understanding the concept of justice by going back to ancient Greece. Now, some some of you might say, well, why don't you go back to the Bible? And the answer is simple. The Bible is not a philosophy textbook. The way to proceed in these matters is to come up with the clearest thinking we can and then see if it coheres with Scripture. If there's anything you should know about me by now, it is that I'm not one of these deductive people who says the only things we can know or should do are those things that we can deduce from the Bible. And the reason I'm not one of those people is because all of those deductive I really do is read their own ideology and the scripture and then go through the pretense of deducing that ideology from something else. They don't deduce it. They read it here. And I give you lots of examples in chapters five and six of the social justice book. Now, if you go back to the ancient Greeks, here is the first thing that you will learn from them and see if you agree with it or not. The ancient Greeks said justice always involves giving a person per do, and I'm going to use the feminine pronoun. Why? Because it always drives a few male chauvinist nuts. I guess. So. I'm going to use the female pronoun. All right. Listen, in matters like this, there's no there's no reason to to make any big deal of a male or female pronoun. So once in a while, I don't think it hurts to use the female pronoun. All right. And doing that doesn't turn me into some kind of a radical feminist. Let's take some example here. We have two racers in the Olympics Who should get the first prize? Answer the person who wins the race, the trophy. The first prize trophy goes to the person who meets the criteria. In this case, crossing the finish line first. So justice is done when the winner gets the prize and injustice is done when the prize is given to the loser. You don't give an Olympic gold medal to somebody who comes in second or third or fourth. Now, notice something else here, and I talk about it later in this chapter. Under the heading of economic merit and moral merit, we may not always like the outcome. Now, this particular year, nobody really felt bad that the Russian. But the Russians won the first prize in the hockey. Maybe you did. I don't know. But some of us remember the year when the Russians basketball team stole the gold medal. Remember that? Now, the fact that you don't like who got the gold medal because you may not think they merit the gold medal morally is a totally different issue from whether they deserve it as far as justice is concerned. This is one place where a lot of Christians get confused. They see Oliver Stone's movie Wall Street. All right? They see any Oliver Stone movie right at the moment and they say, look at that scum. Look at that dirty, vile, foul so-and-so. All right. Well, yes, he is a scoundrel. He is a moral monster. All right. But the simple fact is, if if his economic behavior accords with the rules and the laws of the country. Then. Then he's getting what he what he what he is do. Justice always involves giving a person her due. Now, what you find, or at least what I argue, is in in the case of liberal justice, something takes place here so that people are supposed to get something that they are not do. And the people end up losing some things that they the justice might suggest that they are not supposed to lose. Well, keep that in mind. Now, there's something else we can learn from the ancient Greek analysis of justice. And that second point is the Greeks distinguish two kinds of justice. They called them universal justice and particular justice. This is all in chapter two of social justice in the Christian church. Terminology comes from Aristotle friends. It comes from Aristotle's NYE Committee and Ethics. Now, when Aristotle talked about universal justice, what he meant was righteousness. And the reason he called righteousness universal justice is because he said this is something that we can expect of all human beings, regardless of their particular situations in life. We have a right to expect human beings to keep the law to behave in a moral way, to be honest and trustworthy and truthful. Aristotle said regardless of whether they are a judge, a businessman or whatever. So righteousness is universal justice in the sense that we this is the way and we expect all human beings to behave. Now, what is particular justice? Answer It's fairness. Universal justice is justice as righteousness. Particular justice is justice as fairness. We expect people to be fair. But the catch here and Aristotle saw this beautifully. The catch here is that being fair in the in the in the in the major areas of life in which this is possible depends upon your holding certain positions. And so Aristotle identified three particular kinds of justice. He called them. And this language may be different from what you read in the book. He called them commercial justice, remedial justice and distributive justice. And it may explain the three of these. Commercial justice is treating people fairly in business exchanges. Commercial justice is treating people fairly in business exchanges. If McDonald's advertises that this sandwich is a quarter pounder and it only weighs three ounces when they pull it up, put them on the griddle, then McDonald's is guilty of unjust business behavior. If a business man sells you a defective automobile knowing it's defective, he is cheating you. That is unjust behavior. So commercial justice is treating people fairly in business exchanges. Now notice the notice. Why It's particular justice. You can practice this justice only if you're in a position to engage in a business transaction, you see. Well, not all of us are in those. Not all of us occupy those situations. If you're not a salesman, if you're not a business owner or something, your opportunity for practicing commercial justice is greatly restricted. That's why Aristotle calls it particular justice. You must occupy a particular kind of position before you can practice commercial justice. The next kind of justice is remedial justice. And this is the kind of justice we expect to see practiced in a court of law. If an innocent man is found guilty, that's not fair. And so we call that injustice. If a guilty person is set innocent free, that's not fair. That's an injustice. So remedial justice, that's treating people fairly in in a court setting. Once again, it's a kind of particular justice because not all of us find ourselves in those kinds of situations. All right. Distributive justice. Distributive justice is the kind of fairness that should be exhibited whenever some good or burden is distributed among two or more people. I'm going to repeat that because that's a little tricky. Distributive justice is the kind of fairness we expect to see exhibited whenever some. Thing that's good or bad is to be distributed among two or more people. Now, let me give you some examples. Suppose a rich man, a rich man or a rich man, a rich man dies and leaves a will. And suppose you are his only living heir. And let's suppose that you treated that man like the rich uncle. He was you. You bestowed that man with your time and your love and your. You know, your is only heir. So you go to the reading of the will, and you can see this coming, of course. And he says, I bequeath to my loving nephew, Sam, my collection of pet rocks, and I bequeath to my favorite housekeeper the rest of my estate. All right. Or whatever. And you you stand up and you shout injustice. That's not fair. And the. And the sweet thing. Who was your uncle's housekeeper for many years? She smiles and she says, I think it's very fair. I think it's very just distributive justice. Or here's another case of distributive justice. Let's say you and your rival sibling, do you have a rival sibling? Of course, no. Christian has a rival sibling. All right. But let's say that you and your rival sibling, maybe it's your big brother, Bubba, who always your mother's favorite. You know that your mother loves Bubba more than she loves you. All right. Let's say she has made your favorite dessert. What would it be that called off your favorite desserts? Banana cream pie, lemon meringue pie. Whatever it is, it's full of cholesterol and sugar. All right, So your mother says, Here is your peas, darling. Right. And Bubba's going to eat the rest of it. When you shout distributive injustice, you see, there is some good to be distributed. The dessert. And your mother is giving Baba three times as much of the pie as she's giving you. That's not fair. Now, your mother says, the mother says to you, I love you, dear, but bubbles are growing. Oh, I see. Now, what mother's trying to do is justify the special treatment she's giving Baba here. Well, distributive justice not only affects goods that are to be distributed, it also affects burdens to be distributed taxes. There is a principle of distributive justice. These are the taxes. You know, we have progressive rates of taxation in this country, 15%, 28%, 33% the most recent years. Some people think it would be fairer just to have a straight percentage. You know, where do we get this? Some people pay 15% and then other people 20, 28%, and still other people pay 30. Well, people with these different percentages from I'll tell you, we got them from the Democratic Party. That's where we got them from. All right. We got them from the liberals in Congress. Why not have a straight percentage for everybody and in fact, eliminate a lot of the rich people's tax dodges and loopholes and so on. So here is Aristotle's point. Treating people fairly depends upon being in certain situations in life. And those situations in life may be business, may be legal or may be simply instances of some kind of distribution of a good or burden. Listen to two points that I'm going to make here. In the details of the argument are available in the social justice book. Religious liberals, the religious left, loves to quote verses from the Old Testament that talk about justice. And I give you some examples of the verses they love wrong about chapter five or six and what they have a simple two step procedure. They quote these verses, God loves justice and we don't listen. No one, no Christian wants to minimize those passages of Scripture. But after these religious leftists quote these biblical passage. Just the talk about justice and then connect God with justice. You know what they do next? They immediately jump to the conclusion that that the Bible requires that we practice what the liberals call social justice. Now, I haven't told you what social justice is yet. I will in a minute. It's it's a species of distributive justice. But here's my answer to the religious leftist. When the Bible talks about justice, there may be some cases where it has fairness in view. And I think the context would make it clear, for example, when the Bible talks about justice scales, a business man using just scales. That would clearly be fairness in the commercial sense. Right. But I want to submit to you that in most cases where the Bible talks about justice, it's referring to righteousness. It's not referring to some modern day, some 20th century theory of social justice. Well, let me let's take an example. Genesis says that no, what was a just man? What does that mean? Does that mean that never voted the straight Democratic ticket? I don't think so. I mean, you know, biblical exodus can do remarkable things. My guess is that when the Bible says, no, it was a just man, it means he was a righteous man, honorable, decent, trustworthy. So you begin. The point is they take the hallowed word of justice, which in its primary sense refers to the righteousness of God. And then they try to slip us into a 20th century political and social theory. So they take justice. They pull it out of context. And before you know it, they're implying that if we are practicing justice, we are supporting a peculiar, a particular modern day theory. This this is called an anachronism. You know, this is when you read something that is contemporary and modern into an ancient document. Now, let me tell you what social justice is for these leftists. This is a situation in which some good a burden is to be distributed by the state. That's what social justice really boils down to the distribution of some good or some burdened by the coercive state. Now what are examples? Welfare. Social welfare would be a supposed example of this is a distributive good where the power to do the distributing is is possessed by the state. Now, of course, the reason why the state possesses wealth, which it is then presumed entitled to distribute, is because the state has already taken that wealth or those possessions from other people. So what happens here is social justice becomes a euphemism for a situation in which the liberal state acts like Robin Hood. But there's only one difference. The original Robin Hood stole from thieves who were agents of the state. Right? The original Robin Hood only stole from the Sheriff of Nottingham and other people. So he stole from statists. But the modern Robin Hood state steals from innocent people. For the most part, law abiding people who haven't cheated or stolen anything. They're just people who are trying to get by and the state steals from them and gives to others in what is supposed to be a mechanism that will improve the quality of life for these other people. So we have a very strange thing going on here. One more thing about justice. Two more things. What I've what I've told you so far is don't allow some religious zealot to confuse you by his appeals to justice when he doesn't know what he's doing. But now the next thing I want to do is I want to give more meaning to the to the idea of fairness. We've said you can talk about justice is fairness. But what does that mean? Well, I'm going to tell you what it means. And again, we can get a great help here from Aristotle. Aristotle tried to define the idea of fairness in terms of what he called the normal or what other people have called the principle of justice, the former principle of justice. And here his here is Aristotle's formulation of that. He said, justice means justice means justice equals treating equals equally. And treating one equals treating only equals. And. And think about this. Notice that people who are confused on this matter of fairness often say, well, you're not treating people fairly unless you're treating everybody the same. For some people, justice means treating everybody equally. Not so for Aristotle. Aristotle believed that when you treat equals equally, then you've got justice. And when you treat unequal equals unequally, then you have justice. Now let's see if that matches your own intuitions on that. Let's see. Well, let's take some cases of violating Aristotle's principles. Let's say that we have one student in this class who gets an F on absolutely every piece of work. I don't want to give any of you idiots. All right, So he gets an F on every quiz and F on every exam, and he gets a super F on his research paper. Okay, Super F And let's say the rest of you do perfect work, and I am your quizzes on your exams, and I write Perfect. Okay, Now let's say that I give you this example. Well, I've started down this road, so I have to finish it up. Let's say I get the student who's gotten F's on everything in AA for the course, and I give the rest of us, you would all quickly shout injustice. But that's that's a bad example, because what I need to make my case is a situation where you all do the same work. Let's say you're all equal in your performance are all equal, but I treat one or two of you differently and give you ways or let's say give and give you abs and give everybody else the same grade. You would come to me and you would say, Wait a minute, wait a minute. I get the same quality work as so-and-so. And you gave him an AA, but you gave me an F that's an or B, even if you even recall, cited some student, I went with a minus one to give me another minus. That's what I really love. Someone said, Oh, how would I deserve an A-minus for this course? That's what I want to see. Well, I must have been too generous. Let me let me take a look at everything. When do we get upset? Answer. We get upset when we and some equal are treated differently. Right. That's when we get upset. Or we get upset when to other when when we and some other person who is quite different are treated the same. Aristotle said when two people are equal, they ought to be treated the same. And when two people are different, they ought not to be treated the same. They ought not to be rewarded the same. And that is the essence of justice, Aristotle said. Now, is there anybody who wants to defend the denial of this claim? I hope not. When is injustice committed, when unequal, are treated equally, or when equals are treated unequally? That's when you have an unjust situation. This is called the formal principle of justice in the literature. And I want to submit to you that it is totally defensible. But there is one problem with the former principle of justice. It doesn't tell us which similarities or differences among people are relevant to the distribution of some good. You see, we are all alike in some respects. We may all be human beings. That would be a way in which we are alike. But we are also all different. Some of us come from God's country, Ohio. Others of us are disadvantaged. You come from North Carolina, you know where some of us have hair. Some of us do not. Some of us are tall, short, heavy, thin. We are all different. Now, which of these differences and which of these similarities are relevant to the distribution of certain goods and burdens? That's why Aristotle said we now need a different principle. We need a material principle of justice. Now, a material principle of justice will focus on some respect in terms of which people are alike or different, and will justify some distribution of good or burden in terms of that element. Now I'm going to identify material principles of justice that I think you can disagree with me. I'm going to identify some material principles of justice that I think are irrelevant. In fact, they are sub moral. They are unworthy of respect. Okay. These are material principles of justice that should not be given any consideration in the distribution of goods or burdens. I'm out of here. On one's head. Should we ever distinguish discriminate against among people, on and on, whether they're bound or not, for reasons that are purely objective and indisputable? I'm I'm sure you agree the answer. There is no color of ice. I mean, imagine we supposedly drafted people for the Army on the basis of whether they have brown eyes or blue eyes. That's irrelevant to military service. Now, why don't we. Why are factors like this irrelevant? Answer They are irrelevant because people have no control over these things. But now I'm going to write some other things on the board here. Race rules is irrelevant whether a person is black or brown or white. The relevance of a person's race to the distribution of some good or burden is as irrelevant as the color of their eyes. So Aristotle would argue. So I think any self-respecting Christian would argue. And now gender. Sex is also irrelevant. Why not award salaries? You don't award grades on the basis of a person's sex or race or eye color because these things are irrelevant, except for a few exceptions that are that are obvious. If we if the good that were awarding is a. Position as middle linebacker on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Sex may be relevant to that. All right. I don't think any of us would want to date a lady who could qualify as a middle linebacker. Pittsburgh Steelers. And I don't mean that in any male chauvinist dick way. All right. I'm just saying. Yeah, maybe there are times when sex is relevant, but the exception only makes the rule even clearer. If we're making a life. If we're. If we're. If we're casting the movie on the life of Malcolm X, I guess race would be a consideration in the case of anyone qualified to play Malcolm X. If I go up to Mr. Spike Lee and I say I think I'm qualified to play Malcolm X in this movie, he's going to have me thrown out. All right. Let's cut to the bottom line here and give you four or five of the usually relevant material principles of justice. These are the ones that Aristotle recommends that we give primary consideration to need dessert, which has nothing to do with eating anything. It means what you deserve merit, effort, achievement. That's enough. Aristotle says these are the most typically relevant material principles of justice. But Aristotle says no one of them can possibly take precedence over any of the others. The simple fact of life is Aristotle says that sometimes need is the basis for some distribution of a good, but sometimes need is not. Let us suppose that we're dealing with a hospital that has a limited supply of insulin. Who do you distribute the insulin to? I hope you distributed to diabetics. You give it to other people. You're going to make life very difficult for them. All right. Suppose it's a dialysis machine. Who do you put on the dialysis machine? The people whose kidneys aren't working. Need is obviously relevant in some cases of distributive justice, but in many other cases, need is not relevant. Suppose instead of passing out medicine or medical care. Suppose we're passing out grades for a college course or a seminary course. I used to have students come up to me at Western Kentucky University and say, Hey, I'm on the football team, dude. And if I don't get an A for this course, I'm going to be I'm not going to be eligible to play. All right. Well, that didn't work with me, you know. What I usually said was, well, pack up your spikes and leave RAM, because I don't give grades on the basis of need. I give grades on the basis of achievement or achievement. That means I got to do the work. Yeah, well, I guess I'll drop the course then. Well, Ray, dessert, merit, effort, achievement need. Not all of these apply in every case. How do you know which one applies? Aristotle says usually common sense will tell you. All right. If you're handing out first prize awards in a race, it's Desert Merit. Who will cross the finish line first? If it's medicine or hospital care, it's need food. May be that in that same category. If it's a promotion, it may be achievement or effort. So there is no one material principle of justice that applies in every case. Now, I quote in the book, and I do this a little later, I quote a former colleague of mine named Rob Johnstone, who wrote a book in which he said, The Christian material principle of justice is need. In fact, you can sum up the Christian principle of justice. I can't believe that Rob Johnstone wrote this, but he did. And I give you the quote. He said from each according to his ability to each according to his need. That's the Christian principle of justice. That's Marx's principle of justice. That's Karl Marx. Come on, Rob. We're not just this business of quoting Marx and telling everybody that this is the biblical principle of justice. You see, the problem with need is and if you reflect on simple fallen human nature, you'll recognize this quickly. The problem with need is it's too vague. You can you can claim that anything is something that you need. What we've got to do is give some content and specification to this. All right. Now, at the end of the discussion of justice in chapter two, here are here's a summary of what you should have learned. Justice occurs in situations where people receive or should receive what they deserve. What they are do to distributive justice occurs in situations where equals are treated equally and unequal or are treated unequally. Three. But this knowledge won't get us very far until we discover some principle that will tell us the relevant respects on which equal and unequal treatment should be based. For several clearly inappropriate material, principles of justice have been identified Race, sex, eye color, family position, wealth. Five. The criteria that may be appropriate are many and varied. They include need desert merit, effort, achievement. No one of them will work in every case. Six While much about the notion of justice remains unclear, it is certain that justice and equality are not equivalent. There is nothing about justice that requires us to treat everybody the same. In fact, there will be many times when if we do treat everybody the same, we will be committing injustice. So the whole notion of justice is is difficult to unpack, but it we can make considerable progress on it. And what becomes obvious is that the religious and the non-religious left has no idea what the concept of justice includes and entails. Now, let's quickly finish up just two or three other items in the in the pages that remain in chapter four. I talk about two contemporary philosophers who have written a lot about justice. Those philosophers are John Rawls and Robert Nozick. I do not have the time to go into the details of their theory, but I am sure you will all arise and call me blessed for not doing that. Both of these men, incidentally, are philosophers at Harvard University. One is a friend of Liberty, Robert Nozick. The other one is a status, a liberal statist named John Rawls. But there is there is a part of Chapter four that I could encourage you to pay attention to, and that's on page 53. And this is really the heart of the debate between these two men. The modern debate over justice really boils down. It really boils down to a debate over just results versus just procedures. Liberal philosophers like John Rawls think that we can have a just society only when the distribution of goods in that society conforms to a certain pattern. That is, when we get the right results, which for a liberal like Rawls, means getting everybody as close to being equal as we can. Okay, the catch the catch with emphasizing just results is that the state has got to perform some terrible acts of injustice on all kinds of people in order to make us approximately the same. The state has practically got to become a glorified fief in order to assist, in order to bring about that kind of equality. Now, on the other hand, if you have a society that places its emphasis upon just rules, just procedures, I would suggest that's about as close to a just society as we can get. This is what we call the rule of law, where the same rules, the same procedures apply to everybody. Now, let's take the example of a game. Say a baseball game. Now, in a baseball game, the same rules apply. But suppose, see, suppose I've read my Ron Sider or my Tony Campolo, and I say, Hey, wait a minute, this isn't fair. Every time the Dodgers play the Indians, the Dodgers end up winning 23 or 22 to nothing. That's not fair. See, I don't like the results. The results aren't fair. So what I say is to the umpires, why don't you change the rules when the Indians are up at bat? Every time the Indians hit a foul ball? Let's call that a home run. All right. And every time they hit a pop up and all, let's call that a single or something, and then maybe the Indians will have a chance. Now, maybe we can laugh at this example, but in truth, that's what the liberal welfare state is all about, having different sets of rules for different people to assure so-called just results. Well, I'm sorry, but that isn't going to be a very just society. Now, on the other hand, if we opt for a society that has just procedures, rules, then we've got to realize that you're going to get different outcomes, you're going to get different results. Some people are going to end up it's a little bit like a lottery. All right. And when I may not like the final score or the game, but at least the rules were the same for everybody and the rules were applied justly. Now, in the book, I do add this admission. In life, if if the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 21 to nothing. They start the next game dead even yesterday score. Yesterday's game has no affect. Minor psychological effect, maybe on today's game. But in the game of life, if you're impoverished yesterday, you're going to be at a significant disadvantage for today's game. The disadvantages of tomorrow do carry over to today. And so if you read the chapter, you will find me agreeing that a compassionate society will try to find ways in which we can even the playing field for as many people as possible. And so I have no problem with Head Start programs, for example. I think those are ways of sort of even in the playing field, What we just need to make sure of as we go through this process is of voiding procedures and means and measures that will make life worse for the poor and the disadvantaged. Let's do what we can to help them, but let's not do it in ways that make their lives more difficult. All right. Well, that's just results and just procedures. Page 76. Next point, the difference between justice and love. Now, boy, I tell you, I've been hammered on this by liberals, and I'm I'm still I'm still not persuaded. The thesis of your book on those pages is this. Justice and love are two different things. And you confuse them only to your own peril. Now, look at the differences. Justice says, do not discriminate. Love says you do discriminate. Love is always directed to particular people. You can't love everybody the same. That's a major difference between love and justice. Secondly, justice. Justice can involve and often does involve the coercion of the state. When we're dealing with criminal justice requires that they be punished through the coercive mechanisms of the state. Love cannot be coerced. You can't force people to love. Now, read those pages carefully and you'll find an enumeration of numerous differences between love and justice. Here's what the religious left us wants to do. He wants to muddle up the difference between love and justice, because what he really wants the state to do is get out its weapons and force people to perform acts of Christian charity. That's what the religious left us wants. He wants us to become blind to the differences between justice and love so that he can get the state to bring out its weapons and coerce people into practicing Christian law. Whenever I go around and speak on college campuses and then stop the questions afterwards, if there's one liberal in the audience. He or she will say, Well, what about the jubilee? Well, I'm going to tell you about the Jubilee. In Leviticus 25, God told the Jews that every 50th year would be a jubilee year and all kinds of great things would happen in the year of the Jubilee. Slaves would go free. Farmland that had been sold or bargained off would return to the original owners. Now, here is what the religious left does with the Jubilee year. They say this is a biblical endorsement of socialism. The Jubilee is God's endorsement of all of these left wing policies and procedures that we enlightened, compassionate Christians want to forcibly impose upon this nation. Now, that is sheer nonsense. And I want to look at it with you, and I invite you to read Leviticus 25 this week. Here are the things you find. Only certain kinds of property were susceptible to the Jubilee principle. And basically that involved land outside of world cities. Well, cities would be cities like Jericho, Jerusalem, for example, and slaves, other land that means land property within walled cities was not subject to the jubilee principle. Other forms of income, like fishing boats, for example, or agricultural tools, were not subject to the Jubilee principle. Now, I want you to assume here that we're back in biblical times, and I'm a little Jewish boy whose father has just died and I have inherited the family farm. And of course, we're also going to assume that the Jubilee principle is in effect. The truth is it was never put into effect. All right. Never. But we will assume that it was. So I call up to my beloved mother and I say, Mother, I'm going to sell the farm. And she said, Oh, you mustn't do that. It's been in our family for generations. And I say, Mother, but you don't understand. You see, I'm a very smart little boy. And I figured out how the jubilee works in 50 years. Actually, now we're two or three years into the Jubilee, and 48 years for the land is going to come back to us anyway. You see, Mama, under the Jubilee, you can never really sell farm land. All you can really do is rent it for the number of years that are left in the cycle. You can't ever get rid of it. It's always going to belong to the family. We're just going to lease it. So there are 47 years left in the cycle. I think I can get $47,000, $1,000 a harvest. And your mother says, Well, what are you going to do with this money? I'm going to build Holiday Inns inside every walled city so they can't touch the holiday. I'm a Jewish boy. See, you can't touch them. The holiday ends inside Jerusalem. You mean that after the Jubilee, you were still on the Holiday Inns? Yes, Mama. I know food. And you know what else I'm going to do? I'm going to. I'm going to. I'm going to I'm going to start McDonald's restaurants inside every walled city street. And I'm going to buy fishing vessels. I'm going to become rich, mama. And so I do take that money. We start the Jerusalem Holiday Inn. The Jericho Holiday Inn, the Jericho McDonald's. Maybe I even branch out into Wendy's. Then I have this fishing fleet, see? And in the meantime, I'm collecting and collecting rent every year from the farm. And then it comes Jubilee time. You see, remember now, Tony Campolo wants you to think that this is God's program of socialism. Does this sound like socialism that I just described to you? Sounds like capitalism to me. So it comes jubilee in year three. And not only do I keep my Holiday Inns and my McDonald's and of course, listen, listen, listen. I tithe my income to reform Theological Seminary. That's right. I tie it and I give lots of money to help the poor, including a succession of farmers who went bankrupt trying to farm my land. See? All right. I give housing to them. So I'm a benevolent, compassionate capitalist. And at the time end of the Jubilee, I get the whole farm back. My. My mother's very old. Of course. 50 years. See, I'm very old. But this is what the Jubilee is all about when it comes. This nonsense that the Jubilee is God's blueprint for some kind of egalitarian society. I don't want to leave you here with some kind of endorsement for materialism. Or remember, my little Jewish boy shares his possessions. All right. He's not selfish. He gets out of he gets a kick out of seeing his exercises and entrepreneurship succeed. But that's what the jubilee. And so now the whole thing is predicated was predicated on the recognition that land was the most important possession in Israel. And so built into the whole jubilee principle is the idea that land can never be given away, it can never be sold, it will always belong in perpetuity to the original family. But it can't be sold. It can only be leased. It can only be rented. That's what the Jubilee boils down to. Now, of course, one must also factor in here the fact that the Jubilee was never instituted. And today you must factor in the fact that the Jubilee couldn't possibly be instituted because the Jews have lost all idea as to the original family that may have owned this particular farm or this particular piece of land. So I mentioned the Jubilee principle, just so that you will be forewarned that, again, there are all these people running around who want to put you under some kind of guilt trip, who want to make you become more look more favorably upon omnipotent government as the final savior and solution for all of our social problems, who want to, in effect, turn you into a kind of humanitarian statist. And what I'm trying to get you to see is that the biblical case, the philosophical case, the economic case for where this whole line of thinking just isn't there.