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Archives: Featured

Featured

Capital Punishment

On August 2, 2018, Pope Francis announced an update to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making a prohibition on the death penalty official Catholic teaching. Prior to this change, many scholars believed that the historic teaching of the Church did not declare capital punishment intrinsically immoral, even if the practice is, as a matter of prudence, not required in countries with modern prison systems that can safely isolate dangerous criminals. Other scholars argued that the natural law duty to respect all human life does in fact render any intentional taking of human life morally unacceptable, and that this development of doctrine does not contradict any infallible teaching.

The articles below lay out this debate, with clear summaries of the arguments on both sides.

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Editor’s Picks: June 2018

Don't miss Public Discourse Editor Ryan T. Anderson's picks for the best articles we've published this quarter!

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Editor’s Picks: March 2018

Don't miss Public Discourse Editor Ryan T. Anderson's picks for the best articles we've published this quarter.

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Masterpiece Cakeshop

Should business owners be allowed to discriminate against their customers in light of their religious or moral convictions? With the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in mind, these authors staunchly defend our constitutional right to free exercise of religion.

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Allan Bloom

All is not well in America—or in the University. Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind offers a profound and compelling diagnosis of the common illness infecting them both and of the intimate connection between liberal education and liberty. A best-seller from its release in 1987, Bloom offers an enlightening exposition of the state of education and culture in his decade that is eerily prophetic of our current environment. In commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the book, this symposium assesses and comments on Bloom's three main themes: students, American Nihilism, and the university. 

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Advice for Neil Gorsuch

The confirmation of a new Supreme Court nominee is highly contentious. In light of Judge Neil Gorsuch's arrival to the court, Public Discourse authors offer advice for navigating the challenges of the process and voice their concerns about the judicial environment into which he embarks. 

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Islam and Immigration

Agree or disagree with Donald Trump's approach to Islamic immigration, the United States must come to terms with such immigration's cultural and demographic implications.

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Christmas

What, if anything, has Christmas contributed to Western Civilization that could earn the respect even of the secularist?

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Election 2016

The time has come: the American people must choose a new president.

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Down Syndrome and Abortion

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Although estimates vary, somewhere between 67 and 90 percent of unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted.

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Advice for Donald Trump

If Donald Trump becomes our president, can he become a truly conservative leader? If so, how?

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Sports

A properly ordered life builds strength of mind, soul, and body. This collection offers reflections on the state of sports in our society. 

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Evolution

Can we trust our senses? Are theology and scientific inquiry at odds? How has our world developed into what we experience today? Public Discourse authors thoughtfully consider these questions, among others, about the evolutionary theory of reality. 

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Contrasting Views of Marriage

Scholars Robert George and Jameson Doig posit alternate perspectives on the nature of marriage. Through this exchange, they offer compelling arguments and insights on both sides of the issue and ultimately demonstrate that although they disagree, they are "united in the conviction that it is an issue on which reasonable people of goodwill can and do reach divergent conclusions."   

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Constitutional Illusions

Why do settled principles such as prior restraint or ex post facto laws exist in our jurisprudence? Hadley Arke's Constitutional Illusions and Anchoring Truths: The Touchstone of the Natural Law examines landmark cases in law in order to sketch both the mystery and natural law based necessity of key facets of American Constitutionalism. With Arkes' book as the impetus, Arkes and O'Brien further deliberate about the nature of natural law.