One cannot simply coerce social change by commanding substantive ends in positive law. Rather, human law can facilitate social change by rewarding or punishing certain actions and thereby also communicating the value of that action. Law does not so much dictate values as habituate them by encouraging their practice.
Month: September 2021
Reason without faith inevitably eats itself and the human persons it claims to serve.
The virtue of civility finds expression in the readiness to accept differences in those cases in which no common ground may be found. I can valorize my national particularity without the need either to demolish yours or to agree with your reasons for valorizing yours.
The issue of abortion cannot be reduced to the narrow question of the status of the child in the womb. The answers rest upon broader assumptions about what it means to be human. If we are to believe those who defend a right to abortion, it is nothing less than the power to end the life of her unborn child that guarantees a woman her humanity—that is, the autonomy befitting her status as man’s equal. That is a denial of what really makes us human: our natural dependence upon, and obligations towards, one another.
Catholic tradition has never considered the relationship between the principle of universal destination of goods and the right to private property as one between a “primary” and a “secondary” right. The former does not formulate a right at all, but only a fundamental principle from which the right to private property receives its ultimate justification.
What is lacking in modern medical training is a community of fellow trainees collectively committed to a rich, morally robust view of medicine and the physician’s place in it. This is what the Hippocratic Forum seeks to provide.
The great paradox of late-stage feminism is that it attempts to establish women on equal footing with men by robbing them of their life-giving nature. It’s time to reject this damaging and dangerous lie. Fertility is not a limitation. It is a gift.
We should be very wary of changing our minds about a teaching or practice that has been taught clearly, continuously, and authoritatively on the basis of scripture throughout the history and breadth of the Church. The following ten considerations can help us think carefully when friends inside or outside the Church ask us to reconsider what the Bible teaches.
My students and I—orthodox Jews at Yeshiva University—found something more profound than mere gore in Dante’s textual bequest to posterity. His hell provided us something that we could never find in his Purgatory or Paradise. For us, the Inferno’s true contribution was not its penal landscape of scorched sands and steaming pitch. On the contrary, what stirred us most was his evident concern for our humanity.
The economics of the kingdom of God is gift. This is the difficulty with applying contemporary economics to the Church. None of us are consumers. We have received that which we did not deserve. We are not purchasing a darned thing. Salvation is bestowed in the Church as grace, as a gift, that is offered to all men and women.
If we understand that truth is inherently tentative and provisional and acknowledge that we must cultivate intellectual humility, we could mitigate many of the worst repercussions of social media on politics.
That motherhood and childhood begin in pregnancy is highly embarrassing to liberal anthropology. The physical and genealogical dependence of children on their parents attacks the thesis that we are isolated individuals rather than members of families that precede and survive us.
Our schools of business should be places where the whole academic community, which includes administrators, faculty, and the students themselves, can work together towards educating tomorrow’s business leaders, cultivating the very best in them. We should not allow the cheating subculture’s self-righteous and narcissistic agenda to undermine the higher quest for excellence.
After almost fifty years of abortion jurisprudence, the US Supreme Court has an opportunity to overrule the arbitrary viability standard, to expand states’ ability to regulate pre-viability abortions, and to narrow down Doe’s unconscionable definition of health. International and foreign law on abortion can provide legal support for such a ruling.
There may indeed be a case for distinguishing the “female voice” and the “male voice” in literature. But don’t let anyone sell you on the false essentialism of a necessary “identity” of a writer with his or her principal subject, whether it be an identity of sex, or race, or culture.
Religious freedom is not a get-out-of-jail-free card that lets us evade whatever laws we dislike. Nowhere does the Bible hint that we have the individual authority to examine all laws, determine which are good and which are not, and select, à la carte, which are binding and which are not.
The determination to make one’s own way in life is what marks out the difference between those who make the best of what they have and seek to improve things for themselves and others, and those who instead diminish themselves by blaming the Baby Boomers for what they don’t like about their lives.