I want to share some experiences from inviting Christian friends to contribute to a course on "the values of nature", and my own shifting position on one of the major ethical issues of our age.
Until recently I tried to steer clear of academic treatment of ethics and values. I was trained as a natural scientist, where ethics were never discussed except as extrinsic issues to be avoided (or navigated with minimal fuss) when planning research projects. Then the term "values" also seemed to have postmodern overtones of subjective preferences detached from any normative reality. Finally, I felt, as a Christian, that ethics was so closely tied to my faith that it was daft to imagine it could be studied in a neutral secular way. But was I being narrow-minded?