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R.R. Reno is editor of First Things.

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Obama

From First Thoughts

Well, the Clinton express seems to have suffered a delay in Iowa. Barack Obama is an interesting political phenomenon. His inter-racial identity makes him a symbolic blank screen onto which Americans can project their perennial post-cultural fantasies. The early Republic was filled with claims that . . . . Continue Reading »

Nietzsche's Deeper Truth

From the January 2008 Print Edition

At the outset of On the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche reports that his polemical book of pseudo-history, pseudo-anthropology, and pseudo-psychology is an exercise in knowing ourselves. We cannot simply investigate morality and Christianity, as if these were topics we could entertain with . . . . Continue Reading »

Universities and the Left

From First Thoughts

The recent unpleasantness at Princeton brought to mind Villanova professor Robert Maranto’s musing about the ideological tilt of academia, ” As A Republican, I’m on the Fringe .” It’s a familiar story. There are far more liberals and Marxists in the professoriate than . . . . Continue Reading »

More On Pascal’s Rule

From First Thoughts

Robert Miller rightly points out that science is consequential. It matters whether or not my doctor understands the nature of sickness and has at his disposal some strategies for cure. But Pascal’s Rule does not say that science is inconsequential. His Rule only points out that questions that . . . . Continue Reading »

Pascal’s Rule

From First Thoughts

Pascal once wrote, in so many words, that the certainty of our knowledge is inversely proportional to its significance. The truths of physics give us no words to say to a friend dying of cancer. Evolutionary biology cannot console us at the graveside. . . . . Continue Reading »

Mall Horror Story

From First Thoughts

Omaha, my adopted hometown, was in the news last week. A nineteen-year-old went into a mall and shot a dozen people, killing eight, and then himself. A few days later I had dinner with an Israeli friend. “Suicide bombers I understand,” he told me. “They kill innocent people, but . . . . Continue Reading »

The Secular Left?

From First Thoughts

Why is it a commonplace to speak in terms of the religious right and secular left? Surely there has been a secular right: Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, supply-siders, libertarians, and so forth. And there has been a Christian Left: Walter Rauschenbusch, Dorothy Day, and of course the Democratic . . . . Continue Reading »