Scientific Americans

My review of Yuval Levin’s excellent and thought-provoking book, Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy , is up now at First Principles. Yuval’s closing exhortation to conservatives, to write more clearly, probingly, and persuasively about human dignity, is problematic, . . . . Continue Reading »

Why do they want marriage?

One used to see a great deal more of this kind of rhetoric : Instead of applying its impressive muscle to creating an alternative to this hoary, unsecular, historically sexist, and needlessly restrictive institution, the movement instead opted to perpetuate it. If the status quo could be expanded . . . . Continue Reading »

Randomness and Pantheism

Patrick Appel has a long, introspective roundup of reader reax to some posts on atheism at the Dish. He closes with a personal take, acknowledging there is a connection between pantheism, agnosticism and atheism. [ . . . ] Most of the tension between the terms does revolve around “God” . . . . Continue Reading »

Balzac, of all things

Here are a couple of excerpts from a brilliant decoding of Balzac’s esotericism, accomplished by Scott Sprenger, a colleague of mine at BYU. Consider the applications to the analysis of Straussianism, and to a post-Straussian postmodern critique of modernity: The fundamental problem that . . . . Continue Reading »

A Secular Political Philosophy

Charles Taylor’s monumental (or at least huge) A Secular Age is, I suppose, old news already, but, as usual, it has taken me a long time to figure out how to undo Taylor with his own statements, and so now of course I have to share. Finally I’ve figured out this out, and I thought you . . . . Continue Reading »

Jewish Survival in a Gentile World

There are only two possible strategies for Jewish survival in a gentile world. One is to be tolerated. The other is to be indispensable. The first strategy hopes that if every minority is tolerated, then perhaps even the Jews, the minority with the longest history of persecution, might also be . . . . Continue Reading »

Abortion: Hamlet, Machiavelli, Obama

Do read Alan Jacobs on Obama at Notre Dame. Because the clump-of-cells argument is so crude and ‘final’, Obama, putting himself at the front of a long train, seeks refuge in bad postmodernity. Rather than overdetermining the abortion question as a question of science — and this, . . . . Continue Reading »