A Worthy Conspiracy

Edmund Burke once said that he did “not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people,” but in the case of Germany, that claim has been sorely tested. Ever since the horrors of the death camps were exposed, the world has been asking how such barbarism could have taken . . . . Continue Reading »

Stanley Fish Goes to College

You can always count on Stanley Fish. He strikes a few sound blows¯and then all too soon he’s flailing away, sometimes doing more harm than good. Fish is like ice in good bourbon: pleasing at the outset, but after time the source of watery ruin.A recent article, “Professor, Do Your . . . . Continue Reading »

Truth and Freedom

Human liberty depends on an accurate grasp of the human condition, not as we might like it to be, but as it is: “The truth shall set you free.”Let us suppose, for instance, a situation in which truth is rendered servile by some contemporary enthusiasm. If truth is held captive by a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Good Life

In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, William Motley, a geneticist of Oxford University, writes, “Fighting Down syndrome with prenatal screening does not ‘border on eugenics.’ It is a ‘search-and-destroy mission’ on the disease, not on a category of citizens . . . . ” . . . . Continue Reading »

Big Science, Little Consequence

As I’ve observed in a previous posting, brain science is a hot new area of research, and some of the experts are absolutely convinced that new knowledge about brain function will lead to big changes in how we view ourselves. Once we know that what seems to be free choice is, in fact, a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Complementarity of Man and Woman

The brilliant lay philosopher of Judaism, Dennis Prager, has written lucidly about the utter distinctiveness of Judaism among the nations of its time in its understanding of human sexuality. Prager writes: The gods of virtually all civilizations engaged in sexual relations. In the Near East, the . . . . Continue Reading »

Support First Things

First Things is holding its annual fundraising drive . As Richard John Neuhaus writes, “I well know that some of our readers have very limited means. Even a small gift is a real sacrifice. Others, however, have been blessed with very considerable means. To all I say: Please give as you are . . . . Continue Reading »