HAT Monthly Meeting: Sat Dec 14: The Ethics of the Faith" - Ean Burchell

Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Time: 1:30 – 3 pm
Location:  OISE, 252 Bloor west, Room 4-414
TOPIC: “The Ethics of the Faith: Right, Wrong and the God of Abraham”
Speaker: Ean W. Burchell

“The Ethics of the Faith” will attempt a rational, objective analysis of the ethical implications of monotheism. Central to this attempt will be a discussion of the position of Yahweh/Jehovah/God in the three monotheistic faiths. It will also be important to provide working definitions of “faith” and “ethics.” The key question throughout will be not whether the god of Abraham exists, but whether his commands, laws, and morality tales offer us anything of ethical value.

Themes will include:

The original creative acts and the first “sins.”
The Decalogue and its perceived centrality to Judeo-Christian morality. Other elements of the Mosaic Laws will be brought in to expand on certain of the Commandments.
The creation of the devil. Other “hero” tales may be included as time permits.
Ean W. Burchell was born in Cape Breton in 1965. He studied Politics and History at Carleton University, Ottawa, and then moved to New York City. While in New York, he attended Fordham University and received a Master’s Degree in History and Secondary Education. He returned to Canada and received a Bachelor of Education at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax. For the next 16 years, he travelled in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel and Palestine, Jordan and Turkey, then in Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. In August 2013, Ean submitted his doctoral dissertation on the topic of Instructional Leadership at California Coast University.

His intellectual interests include history, philosophy, religion and politics. As an educator, he has always been particularly concerned with the clash between faith, in anything, and critical thinking, a problem he has encountered at least as often with educated adults as with teen-aged students. His first book, The Ethics of the Faith: Right, Wrong, and the God of Abraham, is an examination of the morality of the god of Abraham, whether we accept the foundational texts of the Abrahamic faiths as literally true or allegorical. Though personally an atheist, Ean has tried not to write from this perspective.