We’re back, obviously. I just figured out it wasn’t above my pay grade after all to get access to this new site. Greetings from Rochester, NY, where I’m about to leave a great conference on Chantal Delsol. Chantal herself was here, as was Dan Mahoney, Ivan the K, Paul Seaton, and Carl Scott. Her view is that the protection of human rights depends upon the reality of human dignity—or the singular greatness of each of the members of our species. It requires an ontology—and probably a theology—that supports the realitiy of personal existence, just as it requires persons or subjects who act reponsibly in light of what they really know about their capabilities and limitations. The person or subject is to be distinguished from the individual, who embraces the solitary fantasy that he can sustain his freedom with emotionally detached self-creation. We’re still stuck with the question of being of being and human being, of who we are as persons given LOGOS, EROS, and THANATOS. A real issue raised at the conference: Is it still possible to speak truthfully of human nature?  Another Delsol issue:  Tocqueville was even more right than he knew that a great foundational of issue of our time is the clash between the personal theology of the Christians and the comprehensive impersonality of pantheism.  Another:  Is the God of the Declaration of Independence an impersonal principle or a providential Creator of a world where the reality of the person has real natural support, a world in which persons are not merely in rebellion against a nature that treats them with undignified indifference?

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