From the general, to the specific, from art to business and sport, from sex, to babies and the family, to death, Ethics Bites is a fascinating and absorbing series of interviews, covering an impressively broad range of topics. These include climate change and future generations, animal rights, euthanasia, corporate responsibility, perversion, plagiarism, in-vitro fertilization and art, pornography, censorship and free speech.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss altruism. The term altruism was coined by the 19th century sociologist Auguste Comte and is derived from the Latin “alteri” or "the others”. It describes an unselfish attention to the needs of others.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss blood. For more than 1500 years popular imagination, western science and the Christian Church colluded in a belief that blood was the link between the human and the divine.
Melvyn Bragg and guests Justin Champion, Susan Hardman Moore and Diarmaid MacCulloch discuss the ideas of the religious reformer John Calvin - the theology known as Calvinism, or Reformed Protestantism - and its impact.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss whether religion can still be seen as a way of interpreting and judging good and evil in modern western civilisation and examines what the discoveries of Darwin and our knowledge of the true physiological nature and history of man has done for us in terms understanding our concepts of good and evil.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss redemption. In St Paul's letter to the Galatians, he wrote: "Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery". This conception of Redemption as freedom from bondage is crucial for Judeo-Christian thought.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of thought about space, and examines whether cyberspace has introduced a new concept of space in our world or if its roots are in Einsteinian physics....or Medieval theology?
Melvyn Bragg and guests Amira Bennison, Robert Gleave and Hugh Kennedy discuss the split between the Sunni and the Shia. This schism came to dominate early Islam, and yet it did not spring at first from a deep theological disagreement, but rather from a dispute about who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad, and on what grounds.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Apocalypse. George Bernard Shaw dismissed it as “the curious record of the visions of a drug addict” and if the Orthodox Christian Church had had its way, it would never have made it into the New Testament.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and teachings of The Buddha. Two and a half thousand years ago a young man meditated on life and death and found enlightenment. In that moment he saw his past lives spread out before him and he realised that all life, indeed the very fabric of existence, was made of suffering.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of the Devil. In the Gospel according to John he is ‘a murderer from the beginning’, ‘a liar and the father of lies’, and Dante calls him ‘the ill Worm that pierces the world’s core’.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Was Henry’s decision to destroy monastic culture in this country a tyrannical act of grand larceny or the pious destruction of a corrupt institution?
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Jesuits, a Catholic religious order of priests who became known as “the school masters of Europe”. Founded in the 16th century by the soldier Ignatius Loyola, they became a major force throughout the world, from China to South America.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Vikings’ myths. Thor’s huge hammer, the wailing Valkyrie, howling wolves and fierce elemental giants give a rowdy impression of the Norse myths. But at the centre of their cosmos stands a gnarled old Ash tree, from which all distances are measured and under which Valhalla lies.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Spanish Inquisition, the defenders of medieval orthodoxy. The word ‘Inquisition’ has its roots in the Latin word 'inquisito' which means inquiry. The Romans used the inquisitorial process as a form of legal procedure employed in the search for evidence.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discusses Zoroastrianism.
"Now have I seen him with my own eyes, knowing him in truth to be the wise Lord of the good mind and of good deeds and words."
Thus spake the real Zarathustra, the prophet and founder of the ancient and modern religion of Zoroastrianism.