Monday, April 20, 2015

subvert the moral circle!

If you have not seen my previous post about moral circles, read this first and then this.

boundary diagrams: backyard, walled city, moral circle. by robg

The concept of the moral circle makes for a great diagram, and can be thought of as "going around me and my family," kind of like a fence around your backyard with you and your family happily inside it, and those who are "not family" (like strangers and stray dogs) kept outside. Kind of like the walls that used to encircle towns and cities in medieval times.

Jesus subverts the boundary-oriented moral circle...

He subverts the boundary-oriented moral circle by tilting it up and affixing it to his head, like a giant monocle.

Jesus sees everyone as family.

jesus subverts his moral circle. cartoon by robg

Richard Beck, in an excellent post on his blog, has this to say:
...we work to EXPAND the Moral Circle. We do this by modifying the identification algorithm ["Are you friend/family or stranger?"] to label more and more people as "family." As we do this everyone becomes brother or sister to me. I begin to live in a world with fewer and fewer strangers.

What is amazing about this is how Singer's notion [of the Moral Circle] is clearly anticipated by the bible. The NT ethical vision is to live in a world without strangers. And this is accomplished by harnessing family metaphors and imagery and applying each more and more inclusively.
Read the rest of his post for more on this.

In the meantime, here's an idea for those of you who don't rely on glasses: get a pair of old glasses, take the lenses out, and spend a whole day walking around with them on, being conscious of everyone you see in them being part of your family because of being part of Jesus' family. If anyone asks, be brave and tell them what you are really doing! It could be an interesting conversation...

rob goetze

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