On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Brandon Watson explains Jeremy Bentham’s defense of infanticide : Bentham holds that homicide is forbidden in law primarily because of its mischievous effects, which he sorts into the two categories of  danger  and  alarm . In other words, we forbid homicide in order to deter . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Peter J. Leithart on Babel, Pentecost, and the Church : Though opposed to Babel, Pentecost simultaneously realizes Babel’s frustrated aspirations. Babel is an effort to arrest the scattering of humanity; Pentecost gathers. Babel aims to preserve the unity of human language and faith; Pentecost . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Russell E. Saltzman on surviving graduation ceremonies : The exercise combines elements of a rite of passage with characteristics of an endurance contest, pitting attendees against overheated (or overcooled) auditoriums, crowded lobbies, middle-aged men who don’t use Flomax, and small doorways . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Elizabeth Scalia doubts that women should become more like men: The sexual revolution promise that women could “have it all” has always been oddly paradoxical: It encouraged women to find their best selves by aping men and conforming to traditionally male valuations of worth and . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

R. R. Reno on salvation by technique : The modern era dreams of an end of politics. In its classic form this involves an apocalyptic act of revolutionary will. The French Revolution was colored by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s vision of perfect democracy, the fusion of the free individual with the . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Sarah Degner Riveros reflects on Angelina Jolie and the risk of breast cancer : Women of less means than Jolie are collectively throwing up our hands. How can we, the working poor, afford weeks of preventative therapy, surgery, and breast reconstruction to prevent breast cancer? Will our insurance . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

R. R. Reno on Rabbi Gilles Bernheim’s plagiarism : In the March issue we published “Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption,” written by Gilles Bernheim, Chief Rabbi of France. Or so we thought. It turns out that Rabbi Bernheim plagiarized some portions. Also today, Pete . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

From our June/July issue, Glenn C. Arbery on Cory Doctorow and the theology of surveillance : Surveillance adds the dimension of unsettling intentionality to the vulnerability to technology most people already feel. The problem is not only this power granted little by little to a system of . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

William Doino Jr. recalls  Søren Kierkegaard’s Christian faith : If Kierkegaard’s Christianity creates dilemmas for the secular, it has proven equally vexing for his fellow believers. Kierkegaard was scandalized by the state of Christianity in his day, especially as expressed . . . . Continue Reading »

On the Square Today

From First Thoughts

Peter J. Leithart explores the problem with family values : Traditionally, marriage and family in turn opened out to the community. As Wendell Berry says, “Lovers must not, like usurers, live for themselves alone. They must finally turn from their gaze at one another back toward the . . . . Continue Reading »