Was Abraham Ethical?


Your Final Exam consists of three parts – the answer to part one, part two and part three are all one-page in length;  each double-spaced for a total of three pages. Be creative and use your imagination when writing your answer to each part.

Part One

Answer the following question based on our class discussion (referencing the Carol Delaney, Ph.D. article entitled, “Was Abraham Ethical? Should We Admire His Willingness to Sacrifice His Son?”) concerning the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Christianity being built on sacrifice.

Would the Catholic Church have responded differently to the sex abuse crisis (2002) if the Catholic Church was formed around protection and not sacrifice? If yes, how? If no, why not?

Part Two:

Create a one-page case study on the topic of “Punishment and Due Process.” The Strike and Soltis book is filled with case studies in each chapter so you should have read enough case studies to begin understanding their make-up and style. Strike and Soltis provide suggestions for writing your own case study on pgs. 141-143.

Part Three:

Evaluate and advise –

This final examination question amounts to answering a hypothetical question attempting to combine your knowledge of religious ethics with education.   Often times with ethical decision-making, the point is not to get to any particular answer but to see how you get there. Do you have the tools to think through ethical decisions with wisdom and discernment?

Basis of Thought: Two of the three Divine Abrahamic faiths i.e. Judaism and Christianity, revealed to the prophets of God, are divine religions that shape outlook of life, people’s perception, culture and civilization and enhance the relationship between God-man-universe. In this process, people who adhere to a particular religion tend to explore the phenomena through the lens of religion. However, throughout the history of religions, it has been observed that these two faiths provoked people to live with peace, love, unity and co-existence but ideological divergence, religious extremism and political interest led people to involve with aggression, violence and destruction.

Below is this year’s question.  So here’s this year’s situation. How would you answer it? 

You are one of the most respected Christian voices in the country. Your insight matters to Christians all over your town, and beyond to believers throughout the country. That’s a heavy burden, especially today. Here is the case study for you to analyze:

Ed Rendell is in charge of his church’s mission efforts in a developing nation. His church has assembled a large and expensive shipment of medical supplies for a Christian medical clinic in this developing country. But the shipment is stuck on the dock because a government official has insisted on a bribe before releasing the cargo. All attempts to pull strings in order to release the cargo have failed. Do you pay the bribe? What advice do you give Ed? What is the ethical thing to do? Why?


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