Morality

Consequentialism & the Atomic Bomb in World War II

By |2019-08-05T21:23:26-05:00August 5th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Foreign Affairs, History, Morality, Politics, War|

Consequentialism falls short because it blurs the distinction between murder and killing in war, the latter of which—while not always adhering to Gospel truth—is a grim necessity in the defense of the state. The misapplication of consequentialism to the atomic missions does a severe disservice to history. I. One need not be an aficionado [...]

Reason in the Making: Artistic Vision in Albert Camus’ “The Guest”

By |2019-08-08T12:54:16-05:00August 1st, 2019|Categories: Culture, Literature, Morality, Philosophy|

Albert Camus was a gifted writer, and though he approaches the edge of beauty, he fails to make the leap. In doing so, he condemns his stories, ironically, to the role of featureless individuals, accidents of energies. Artistic vision, Flannery O’Connor insists, takes place in a space where, “The writer’s moral sense must coincide [...]

“Thoughts That Wound From Behind”: Great Books & the Power of Allusion

By |2019-07-30T22:14:33-05:00July 30th, 2019|Categories: Alfred Tennyson, Dante, Great Books, Literature, Morality, Poetry|

One value of reading truly great works of literature, works that have stood the test of time for decades or even centuries, is the opportunity such reading affords for exploring the tradition that has since built up around them. Any such truly great work—the Iliad, the Aeneid, Paradise Lost, Shakespeare’s Hamlet—will have accrued innumerable [...]

The Intellectual Revolution That Made the Modern World

By |2019-07-19T17:20:55-05:00July 19th, 2019|Categories: Adam Smith, Books, Economics, History, Morality, Philosophy|

The Enlightenment may well be the end of an old story rather than the beginning of a new one. The philosophy of insatiable appetites changed the Christian-Aristotelian moral order into the modern world, but now that the change is just about complete, what purpose does its catalyst serve? Power, Pleasure, and Profit: Insatiable Appetites [...]

Plutarch’s “Lives”: A Tale of Spiritual & Moral Instruction

By |2019-07-18T08:36:02-05:00July 12th, 2019|Categories: Great Books, History, Morality, Paul Krause, Plutarch, Rome, Senior Contributors|

Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” is a profoundly spiritual and moral work, and one which calls each and every one of us to become great men and not to remain in the shadow of the great men of history who may, in fact, have been petty instead of great. Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, better known as Plutarch, [...]

Dickens’ “Great Expectations”: Pip’s Confessions

By |2019-07-02T11:56:04-05:00July 1st, 2019|Categories: Charles Dickens, Christianity, Literature, Morality, Paul Krause, Senior Contributors|

“Great Expectations” is a novel of self-introspection—especially as the story relates to our narrator and protagonist, Pip. The question of who Pip is and what he shall become is the fundamental theme that drives the story forward. “My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of [...]

The Moral Project of Nietzsche’s “Beyond Good and Evil”

By |2019-06-26T17:21:21-05:00June 26th, 2019|Categories: Education, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Morality, Philosophy|

Friedrich Nietzsche has long been smeared as a ghastly nihilist who repudiated all conceptions of morality. Critics point to the title of his famous work, Beyond Good and Evil, which appears to call for the repudiation of morality, as well as contain his vociferous condemnations of eternal moral standards. With his proclamation that “God [...]

What Happens When We Don’t Talk About Virtue?

By |2019-04-10T17:06:47-05:00April 9th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Morality, Virtue|

Although man is corrupt by nature, he is capable of acquiring virtues. He is born with a number of dangerous instincts, but he is capable of tempering and sometimes even stifling those instincts so that they do not flower into evil… The traditional virtues have all but disappeared from today’s language. Hardly anyone seriously [...]

“Hell or High Water”: Robin Hood in West Texas

By |2019-03-30T10:24:08-05:00March 29th, 2019|Categories: American West, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Morality|

What interests me about Hell or High Water are the moral dilemmas. In addition to its being a smart heist movie and an up-to-date Western, it is also a Robin Hood story. The main characters might be robbing banks illegally but they’re stealing from the bankers who first robbed their family legally. The 2016 [...]

Momentary Morality & Extended Ethics

By |2019-03-18T22:32:13-05:00March 18th, 2019|Categories: E.B., Ethics, Eva Brann, In Honor of Eva Brann at 90 Series, Liberal Learning, Morality, St. John's College, Virtue|

Morality requires command-issuing universal law; ethics, on the other hand, demands natural and acquired personal qualities. One human being may indeed live with two moralities, one public, one private, and this duplicity is not always hypocritical; it may simply make life livable and prevent it from becoming worse. You have been reading and talking about [...]

John Locke on “The Reasonableness of Christianity”

By |2019-03-15T20:59:46-05:00March 14th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, John Locke, Morality, Philosophy, Reason, Religion, Theology|

A primary theme that runs throughout The Reasonableness of Christianity is John Locke’s belief that men who attempt to understand natural law and morality through their faculty of reason alone often fail at their task. But why is it that reason alone, also according to Locke, can explain Revelation? The question this essay poses might seem somewhat [...]

Becoming Saints in a Time of Scandal and Crisis

By |2019-02-16T23:10:26-05:00February 16th, 2019|Categories: Abortion, Catholicism, Christendom, Christianity, Morality|

In responding to the present crisis and scandal in the Church, I believe it is possible to experience both righteous anger and godly sorrow and yet maintain a healthy detachment. We move away from healthy detachment when we embrace an emotional or spiritual state that depletes our inner resources and prohibits us from becoming saints... [...]

Freedom’s Flaw in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

By |2019-02-09T14:24:15-05:00February 8th, 2019|Categories: Character, Culture, Freedom, Morality, Responsibility, Television, Tragedy, Virtue|

Mrs. Maisel must decide, like all other men and women who follow a path that separates them from their family, home, gods, and city, whether the allure of a life in the spotlight and the total freedom it promises is preferable to, or reconcilable with, the many good things she risks turning away from… [...]

What Anti-Semites and Pro-Abortionists Have in Common

By |2019-01-15T11:46:04-05:00January 17th, 2019|Categories: Abortion, Ethics, Government, Joseph Pearce, Morality, Rights, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Western Civilization|

It is not about right and left but about right and wrong, and those who see politics in terms of right and wrong, and not in terms of right and left, will see parallels between the contempt of the anti-Semite towards the dignity of the human person and the contempt of the pro-abortionist towards [...]