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by Peter and Charlotte Vardy
Publisher:SCM imprint of Hymns Ancient & Modern Ltd
Published:30 November 2012
Discerning the difference between right and wrong is rarely clear cut - especially if one is at the heart of the issue in question. Ethics Matters is a hugely valuable contribution to the minefield that is ethics in today's complex world. It will prove of enormous practical help to teachers, clergy and students, but not exclusively so. This is a book that many will enjoy and benefit from reading.
In the first two parts of the book, the Vardys consider Meta-Ethics and Normative Ethics, surveying the broad variety of approaches that philosophers have explored from Plato onwards. Their ideas are presented in a clear and engaging way, a refreshing change for those of us who remember the stultifying trek through original sources at university. In the third section of the book, the Vardys turn their attention to applied ethics and consider the application of philosophical approaches to a variety of contemporary debates.
One such debate is euthanasia. The authors begin with a clear summary of the various categories of euthanasia and then reflect on the contemporary debate along the continuum from prohibition to acceptance in the light of natural law, proportionalism, situation ethics, Kantianism and Utilitarianism.
Ethics reveals our attitudes to life, but also to death and the relationship we perceive to exist between our physical life and the possibility of life to come. Peter and Charlotte Vardy approach all these issues with a balanced openness (posing questions rather than presenting dogma) that encourages the reader to think for themselves.
This is an excellent book which, with the accompanying website resource - is highly recommended.
Reviewer: David Ford (28/01/13)