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Drug Testing and the Right to Privacy: Arguing the Ethics of Workplace Drug Testing
I argue that drug testing is ethically justified under the terms of the employment contract, which specify not only reasonable expectations for an employee's performance, but also the employer's right to come to know of it. I argue that knowledge of employee drug abuse is relevant to the terms of contract, and the employer is therefore entitled to make use of it, and in invoking this right does not violate the employee's privacy.
Abraham in Romans 4: The Father of All Who Believe
In this article I challenge the traditional interpretation of Romans 4, which claims that Abraham is being offered by Paul as an example of Christian faith. In other words, if we believe like Abraham did, we'll be saved also. In contrast, I argue that Abraham is used by Paul to show why Gentiles can be considered members of God's people, not as an example of individual belief. Gentiles share in the covenant because they, too, are children of Abraham. Abraham provides the reason why Gentiles experience salvation, not the example of how an individual becomes saved. (The traditional view interprets the text like the readers are American individualists rather than those who identify themselves by the group/family/people they belong to.)
Pagan Ethics and the Rhetoric of Separation: A Sociological and Rhetorical Context for 1 Thessalonians 4:1-5:11
The traditional view of this passage is that Paul is tying together a collection of challenges that have no relationship to one another aside from the current issues facing the Thessalonians. In contrast, I am arguing that Paul has a specific agenda in this section -- namely, to encourage his readers to live morally distinct lives from the pagans that surround them. The topics he selects are not random, but are rooted in a specific rhetorical strategy to promote ethical distinctiveness in the Christian community in Thessalonica.
The Possibility of Perfect Obedience: Paul and An Implied Premise in Galatians 3:10 and 5:3
This is an article on Galatians 3:10 and 5:3, which are typically used to argue that Paul thought the Law demanded perfect obedience. My argument is that Paul never believed this, because no Jew of Paul's time ever believed this. Jews have always believed that the Law provided a sacrifice for sins -- so it allowed for imperfection. Paul thought the same. Rather, what Paul is denouncing is the idea that a Jew can count on righteousness through his circumcision despite the fact that he does not obey the Law. So the contrast is not between faith and Law, but between faith (which involves real obedience) and trusting in circumcision (which is not the same as obeying the Law).
The Social Trajectory of Virtual Reality: Substantive Ethics in a World Without Constraints
VR technologies are directed at enjoining a participatory engagement in a virtual world which leaves the user unconscious of the interface. Virtual worlds are constructed to promote increased participation; the worlds are created with a sense of incompleteness, which draws the user into the world experientially, seeking to explore and be fulfilled. The experience of VR not only requires the removal of physical constraints, but also any sense of risk and consequence—constraints which undermine a participatory engagement and mitigate both the interface's transparency and the user's satisfaction. Moral responsibility constitutes a constraint which not only mitigates a virtual worlds experience, but which may prove antithetical to the medium's long-range social influence.
The Apostle Paul and the Currents of Culture
This is a lecture giving the reasons why it is so difficult to follow Christ in contemporary American culture. It develops an understanding of worldview and culture to try and explain the difficulties in breaking free of the dominant culture’s value system, and how we can do that as disciples (using the Apostle Paul as an example).
The Trinity
This is a paper I wrote awhile back which explains the doctrine of the Trinity, why it is completely rational (noncontradictory), and gives some extended support for the divinity of Christ. I dialogue with the Jehovah’s Witnesses at points throughout.
The Rationality of Belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
An extended treatment of the resurrection, covering the reasons why people don’t accept the resurrection, evidence for the resurrection, and how it compels rational belief.
Why I Am Not A Mormon
This is an extended treatment of the problems I have with Mormonism. It is a good tool for explaining to a Mormon the problems with their religion without being too confrontational. It assumes that the reader is already basically familiar with the teachings of Mormonism.

© Copyright 2014 Michael Cranford. All rights reserved.