The Human Person

The first pillar of a decent society is respect for the human person, which recognizes that all individual human beings have dignity simply because of the kind of being they are: animals whose rational faculties allow them to know, love, reason, and communicate. It also recognizes that human beings are persons, members of the human family who flourish in a community that respects their fundamental rights and who long to discover transcendent truths about the nature of reality.

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These desires—freedom, virtue, and safety—were the underlying impulses of the libertarian, traditionalist, and national security elements of the “fusionist” conservative movement during the Cold War era. And, it seems to me that when you look at it this way, you will recognize that these yearnings persist on the Right to this day.
Perhaps the greatest lesson Plenty Coups has to offer us is this: prudence and courage in the face of an unknown future make sense if they are grounded on God’s greater love for us and the promise of his abiding care. Hope impels us to hand on our religious and cultural inheritance even as many reject it. It encourages us to build new institutions as old ones fall apart.
The scope of the crisis of masculinity is unchartered territory for America and the broader West. Yet many of the most exaggerated masculine traits have an ancient ancestry and can be traced back to one of the greatest works of the Western canon.
By co-creating with God, we imitate his goodness, participate in his governance, and bring more of creation into the divine unity.
Many students may not appreciate the importance of applying themselves rather than using AI, but we must encourage those who do. We should fortify promising students with the assurance that excellence in education is worth pursuing but requires taking a hard road.
At the moment, large language models are nothing like us, however easy it is for us to anthropomorphize their outputs. But as AIs develop, it will become increasingly necessary to ask: How much do we want them to become like us? Answering that question will certainly require human wisdom.
In his impressive 2020 book, Carl Trueman rightly exhorts readers to solidify their commitments to God and moral truth in a world of “expressive individualism.” But by reading human nature through the Marxist-Hegelian lens of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, he undermines the true individualism at the heart of the ethics that he wants to defend.
Nicholas Spencer’s new book is an important resource for anyone who wishes to understand the scientific and religious entanglements that have shaped, and continue to frame, our views of God, humanity, and the cosmos.
For Newman, the discovery of any reasonable political settlement would first require what both the Letter to the Duke of Norfolk and the Oxford Movement had hoped to do: prepare the public imagination for an apostolic church, an institution in which obedience without mental slavery was married to liberty without self-will.
If our immediate surroundings and concrete responsibilities constitute the arena in which we are most uniquely competent, then reserving our attention for those objects is not quietism, but the pinnacle of activism.
Treating data centers, just like fleshly human bodies, as irrelevant or inconvenient, and claiming the world wide web, not the material world, as sovereign over our “true” selves, makes this kind of thinking into a form of techno-theology.
The original rationale for summer camp is more valid than ever. Young people are struggling with mental health, addiction to technology, disconnection from the body, isolation, and many other painful realities. Summer camps cannot fix these problems. But for many adolescents, the experience of traditional summer camps might help them see that life is about more than accomplishment, and that is a start.
What the sexual revolution began by upsetting gender roles and obscuring the necessary link between marriage and procreation, the reproductive revolution continues, shattering our conceptions of motherhood and fatherhood and severing the bond between parents and children.
A Web of Our Own Making overflows with disquieting observations about the ways digital technology is reshaping human nature. Antón Barba-Kay puts into haunting words the anxiety, exhaustion, and emptiness that most of us feel but cannot put into words because we are too busy scrolling and ogling.
In Modern Virtue: Mary Wollstonecraft and a Tradition of Dissent, Emily Dumler-Winckler looks beyond the moderns to show Wollstonecraft’s kinship with ancient and medieval thinkers, especially Aristotle and Aquinas. It’s in the rich Christian tradition especially that Wollstonecraft finds the dynamic resources to treat her “modern” subjects (abolition and women’s education, in particular).
We align with people who are pro-reality, who respect core community values such as truth and honesty, and who see the human being as a whole: body and soul. There is no metaphysical “gendered soul” separate from the body. Teaching body dissociation to kids (“born in the wrong body”) has led to a tidal wave of self-hatred, body dysmorphia, depression, anxiety, and self-harm.
Playing a strictly defensive game of knocking down attempts to legalize physician-assisted killing—especially as the United States secularizes and becomes more like Canada—seems like an untenable strategy for protecting the most vulnerable from this deadly violence. Locking in dignity and radical equality of all human beings will require more. In short, it is time to go on offense.
While the medieval world was enchanted, the modern world in which we dwell is disenchanted. A disenchanted age is not necessarily characterized by complete repudiation of the supernatural. Rather, it is characterized by a fundamental shift in the function of the supernatural. At the heart of this disenchantment for Charles Taylor is not the traditional science-versus-religion narrative. Instead, he sees the key as being a transformation in the way in which the self is understood.
We will never offer our beloved sisters the ghoulish pseudo-compassion of the abortionist’s knife. We will offer, instead, the healing balm of genuine compassion, compassion born of love, compassion that offers, not a quick and easy, but deadly, “solution,” but rather an open-ended, open-hearted, self-sacrificial commitment.
Farr Curlin and Christopher Tollefsen’s The Way of Medicine shows how doctors who are committed to the Way can practice medicine in a manner that restores them to this vocation of healing, even in our pluralistic age.
Advocates must remain clear about the moral stakes of abortion. But the non-violent ethic of life will reinforce the witness of conscience that drives objections to killing innocent human beings. By refusing to retaliate with violence or indignant rhetoric, pro-lifers will enhance their moral witness.
Aquinas’s argument is not that killing an offender is always lawful, much less that it is mandatory. It is lawful upon a condition, namely, that it is necessary to protect the common good from a threat. Absent that condition, Aquinas does not argue or even suggest that killing a malefactor, including one who has committed murder, is lawful.
It’s very rewarding to practice excellent women’s health that is collaborative, integrated, holistic, and listens to their bodies. Children are not STDs. Fertility is something to be collaborated with rather than suppressed.
We already know that ChatGPT’s coding is biased. But even ChatGPT recognizes that logic is logic, and it is willing to admit the contradiction in the pro-choice position. If only our human interlocutors would be so honest.

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