On radicalism in the Democratic and Republican Parties.

I have not yet met a secular liberal, and very few religious liberals, who have shown they grasp a) that the pursuit of a deep moral relativism after 1973 and b) the turn away from the common-sense focus of the Democratic Party prior to 1973 (when the McGovernites took over the party) has delivered the country directly into the hands of radicals on the right over the last 45 years. Second topic that has...

From the NYReview of Books: “Who is the Pope?”

From the article: “The pope’s tally of curial sins also included cliquishness, acquisitiveness, careerism, competitiveness, and indifference to others; the “existential schizophrenia” and “progressive spiritual emptiness” of many who abandon pastoral service and “restrict themselves to bureaucratic matters”; the “theatrical severity and sterile pessimism,” the “funereal face”...

From the NYReview of Books: The Biology of Being Good to Others

We can observe that mainstream (non-Catholic social thought) academics tend towards explaining human behavior by mechanistic impulse, instinct, or evolutionary “survival of the fittest.” What strikes me about this is the lack of awareness of the near exclusion of explanation of human behavior by consciously held moral purposes. It is also odd that behaviorism and mechanism became dominant in...

The problem of relativism: some remarks on the “religious freedom” act in Indiana and Arkansas.

Remarks by Terence Hoyt: It has been interesting to observe that the liberal and left of center, usually of the secular type, has had to rely on financial motivations (e.g. business interests) to make their point in regards to the Indiana and Arkansas misnamed “religious freedom” act. We must be clear that we have a significant problem when those who know better have to rely on money to...

“Let’s ambitiously and publicly philosophize — as the conservatives do — and think about what shape a sensible political economy might take.”

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times, asking “What Is the Purpose of Society?” Excerpts: “It’s clear to most everyone, regardless of politics, that the big issues — labor, race, food, immigration, education and so on — must be “fixed,” and that fixing any one of these will help with the others. But this kind of change must begin with an agreement about principles,...

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