If religious traditions, belief systems, and moral frameworks are the result of a genuine commitment to and search for the truth, then disagreement of truth claims among adherents must be taken as a sign that some, or even all, of the searches have failed. How can this be a good state of affairs?
All education is moral education, because it carries an understanding of the things worth knowing—and a hierarchy of the things more or less worthy of being known. Moral education must also point to a certain end: an understanding of the ways of life that are better or worse for human beings. It must point to a certain kind of political regime in providing the cast of our lives: the laws that protect the integrity of families and the professions, and the terms of principle on which a decent people deserve to live. The following article is adapted from the Commencement Address Arkes delivered at Hillsdale College on May 10, 2009.
President Obama’s “New Beginning” speech in Cairo featured wise and strategically astute language regarding Muslims. Yet coverage of the event by the U.S. State Department office responsible for communication to foreign audiences undermined Obama’s message. Before more outreach to foreign audiences, the Obama White House needs to reach out to its own State Department.
A recent conference at Princeton University asked whether in the midst of current economic challenges natural law philosophy might not provide a better foundation for the practice of economics than the utilitarian account of value that currently underwrites it.
Three months into President Obama’s first term, one of his most prominent pro-life opponents, Robert P. George, engaged in a discussion with one of his most prominent pro-life supporters, Douglas W. Kmiec. The article below is adopted from George's remarks, which called for candid speech on Obama's abortion record.
President Obama’s calls for honest dialogue on the abortion issue can only get off the ground if both sides agree that abortion is a contestable issue. But if it is a contestable issue, it should be settled by democratic processes—not judicial fiat.
Muslims who favor religious freedom deserve to have their voices heard. One way President Obama could be respectful of and show his appreciation for Islam would be to nominate an Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom and support religious freedom in his administration’s foreign policy.
What the Muslim world needs is not Western-style secularization that stresses the privatization of religion, but a form of authentic faith at ease with modernity
A proposed law in Vermont will not only do little to solve the problem of “sexting,” but actually risks resulting in making even more children vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
From the Clinton Administration to Nancy Pelosi, American family-planning policy continues to preserve the eugenicist principle that America would be better off if poor children were never conceived. In fact, Clinton tied Medicaid funding to state promises that it would save the government money in the long run by “averting births” of children who were likely to be a drain on the welfare system. But there is an alternative. The third in a three-part series.
The senators who originally designed our family planning policies believed that the mostly black welfare population was incurably lazy, promiscuous, intellectually substandard, and a burden on public schools, and, moreover, that they probably would remain so indefinitely. Birth control, therefore, was in their eyes a way to reduce the number of these undesirable people. This article is the second installment in a three-part series.
Nancy Pelosi’s widely reported comments on family planning were simply a restatement of a view shared by both political parties. This article is the first installment of a three-part series on the racist origin and eugenicist structure of U.S. family-planning policy.
Regardless of who prevails in the argument over marriage, the politics of denunciation practiced by same-sex marriage supporters will have damaged the public discourse.
The recent publication of the Torture Memos and of the International Red Cross report on the treatment of high-level detainees in the aftermath of 9/11 has returned to national prominence the discussion of the morality of torture and “enhanced interrogation” techniques. It is important to be clear, as a moral matter, on what boundaries should be accepted in interrogation of human beings; a responsible and non-politicized discussion is essential on this difficult issue.
The Iowa court’s recent decision does not simply broaden marriage, it radically changes its nature. While marriage previously served public purposes of attaching mothers and fathers to their children and one another, now marriage merely serves as affirmation of adult feelings.
Faced with Charles Murray’s argument that the welfare state makes everything too easy, a socialist could ask: Should everything therefore be made more difficult? How can Murray say the welfare state is bad for making life easier while praising other state functions that make life easier, like the police? Only a moral perspective can oppose socialism while affirming legitimate state functions.
Public transit and walkable neighborhoods are necessary for the creation of a country where families and communities can flourish.
Higher education exposes ingratiating talk as the counterfeit of teaching; rote learning as the counterfeit of thought; mere opinion as the counterfeit of judgment; enthusiasm as the counterfeit of principle.
The Supreme Court of Iowa’s decision to redefine marriage abandons reason and replaces it with feelings as the standard of public consensus.
The Constitution’s no-establishment rule does protect the liberty of religious conscience, but not in the way, or ways, that we usually think.
Recent calls for the widespread use of cognitive enhancements are based on a narrow, mechanistic view of what it means to be human.
Encouraging peaceful, reformist Muslims requires freedom of speech and religion. Yet U.S. policies in Egypt and elsewhere support governments which actively work against Muslim reformist efforts.
The state is required to protect persons not just from physical harm but from being forced to violate their limited but definite freedom of conscience.
The “rightful place” of science is not as obvious as the President thinks.
A new approach is needed to support students in the hostile hook-up culture on college campuses.
William Saletan’s proposals for abortion compromise would do little to relieve the plight of women or save the unborn.
Far from settling the marriage debate, ‘getting the state out of marriage’ will reduce liberty, leave cultural questions simmering, and harm our nation’s children.
Homeownership has long been part of the American Dream, but current government plans to keep more people in their homes reflect the influence of failed economic policies from the past and may encourage more risky decision making in the future.
While many social conservatives have focused attention on Obama’s liberal social commitments, few have considered what effects an expanded welfare state will have on religious belief—or how these religious effects will in turn impact civic virtue, personal responsibility, altruism, or solidarity. If the European experience with the welfare state and religion is any indication, the Obama revolution could well lead the United States down the secular path already trod by Europe.
Religious liberty and religious authority are frequently seen in tension, but they need not conflict. In fact, a proper understanding of both shows that they are equally necessary for full human flourishing.
A recent compromise on the same-sex ‘marriage’ debate granted too much to revisionists and too little to traditionalists. A better compromise will respect the societal importance of marriage while also providing for the real needs of domestic partners.
With political realities preventing Obama from satisfying his left-wing base on economic and foreign policy questions, look for Obama to give the left the barn on social issues. And expect him to do so in significant measure through the courts.
The play “Madah-Sartre,” both funny and poignant, provides a glimpse into the contradictions, logical impoverishment, and inhumanity of Islamist ideology, while also offering a dose of basic human decency to parties in a conflict which is more often characterized by violence than civil debate.
The recent passage of the PROTECT Our Children Act makes 2009 a critical year in governmental efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation.
David Ogden has impressive legal credentials, but his long career as a pornography-industry attorney casts doubt on his ability to enforce laws meant to protect children.
Recent technological developments in the production and dissemination of pornography, coupled with recent scientific investigations on pornography’s impact, force all thoughtful citizens to reconsider the social costs of pornography.
The nomination of David Ogden reminds us of the problems caused by pornography, both at home and abroad.
If opposition to abortion is not necessarily tied to a religious worldview, pro-life advocates may see victory in the culture wars.
Every fall, kids arrive on college campuses and learn that their basic moral intuitions on sexual matters don’t square with the reigning ideas. Thanks to debased campus culture and overreaching on the part of administrators and professors, students are beginning to respond systematically—and they’re having an impact. Here’s how.
At its fullest, the American model of religious liberty is not a freedom from religion or a freedom of religion; it is a freedom for religion.
Professor Michael New writes that, contrary to claims by the Guttmacher Institute, parental involvement laws do have a significant effect in reducing abortions.
President Bush created a council that represented the range of viewpoints held by reasonable and responsible Americans on the most urgent and divisive bioethics questions facing the country. Will President Obama do the same?
In remarks delivered yesterday at the Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life, Robert P. George reflected on the history of the pro-life movement and offered advice for its future.
America’s public diplomacy should be focused on fostering ideas in our interest that matter in key foreign audiences, not just on pro-America image marketing.
The Algerian novel The Last Summer of Reason provides a powerful and strangely beautiful reminder of the danger of letting violent ideological fundamentalism fester. We would do well to heed this reminder now, not later.
If governments do not take moral hazard seriously, their response to the present recession may sow the seeds of a future economic crisis.
Freedom of conscience is an important, though limited, right. In some cases a state may prevent someone from acting on her conscientious judgments. But in other cases—such as those in which a pro-life doctor is required to perform an abortion—the violation of conscience is intrinsically unjust.
Despite the financial crisis, markets deserve a spirited public defense that acknowledges both their virtues and limits.
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Rumors of God’s death may have been greatly exaggerated, but the prevalence of a materialistic philosophy that cannot give an adequate account of human freedom and moral responsibility has put in jeopardy many of the core ideas at the base of our civilization. Without metaphysics we are left simply with physics, and physics is about power, leverage, and force.
Although many Jews have been misled into thinking otherwise, Judaism is not compatible with political support for abortion.
Reflecting on the experiences behind #MeToo teaches us that something is deeply broken at the heart of the sexual revolution.
The beautiful, happy 2018 Gerber Baby, Lucas, is lucky to be alive. Most children diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero are now killed before birth.
For C.S. Lewis, the body and the erotic procreative relationship between men and women are not mere nature, to be manipulated and embellished. They are not mere matter, to be shaped in any way that we please. They are, rather, an indicator of a larger order, something that offers us a clue to that larger order and that has to be understood in the light of it.
Any serious critique of abortion must acknowledge what many abortion advocates do not: freedom does not require women to become like men.