What drives history over the long haul is culture

Quote of the Day for Friday, January 6th, 2012 – Epiphany. George Weigel, in an On The Square article over at FirstThings.com last Wednesday, entitled The Weakness of Tyranny: With the benefit of 30 years of hindsight, it now seems clear that the imposition of martial law in Poland in December 1981 was not an act of strength but one of weakness, by a regime so incapable of commanding the allegiance of those in whose name it claimed to rule that it could only compel obedience by violence. It took some time for this to become clear in Poland, a count...

The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology

Quote of the Day for Friday, September 30th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from an On The Square article today over at First Things, on the inherently epistemologically-limiting nature of intellectual methodology, and the dangers of ignoring that fact: The great danger that bedevils any powerful heuristic or interpretive discipline is the tendency to mistake method for ontology, and so to mistake a partial perspective on particular truths for a comprehensive vision of truth as such. In the modern world, this is an especially pronounced danger in the sciences...

Through obedience, we become who we really are

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, April 26th, 2011: David Mills, from an On the Square post over at First Things, from an interesting, if somewhat bizarrely sensationalist, reflection on the moral significance of being true to the self: No one objects to being told to live like Jesus. But to live the way St. Paul says to live, or the way the Catechism of the Catholic Church says to live, that we dislike. Being chaste, or giving alms, or stifling our desire for profit, or going to confession, or watching our language, or suffering a fool gladly, that rankles...

We can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, February 1st, 2011: I’m not sure quite how to attribute this… I’m quoting Joe Carter over at the First Thoughts blog today, who is quoting Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling published Monday striking down the ObamaCare law on account of the individual mandate, which is quoting then-candidate Barack Obama from 2008, essentially mocking the notion of a mandate… You can figure it out: On this point, it should be emphasized that while the individual mandate was clearly “necessary and essential” to the Act as drafted, it is...

Modernity is simply the time of realized nihilism

Quote of the Day for Friday, January 28th, 2011: David Bentley Hart, from the just released February 2011 volume of First Things, discussing Martin Heidegger’s reading of the centrality of nihilism in Western civilization’s cultural history and its philosophical tradition, in an article that appears to be available to non-subscribers on the website: Modernity, for Heidegger, is simply the time of realized nihilism, the age in which the will to power has become the ground of all our values; as a consequence it is all but impossible for humanity to dwell ...

An attack on the poor, who have been most helped by capitalism

Quote of the Day for Thursday, January 27th, 2011: Robert T. Miller, in February’s First Things, criticizing the continuing latent Marxism in the political economy of Alasdair MacIntyre’s thought, in an article entitled Waiting for St. Vladimir: Capitalism efficiently delivers goods and services, but it is not a perfect system—far from it. To be sure, capitalism has costs of various kinds. It is a key insight of modern economics, however, that all solutions to a given problem have costs, and we delude ourselves if we think we can find a perfect (in the ...

People cannot claim a right to kill you simply because they will not recognize you as a person

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 26th, 2011: Joe Carter, writing an “On the Square” column over at FirstThings.com, on Being a Person: But should all human beings be considered persons? Historically, the answer has been a resounding “no.” Slaves, women, infants, Jews, and “foreigners” all share a common history of being denied legal or moral standing as persons, despite being recognized as humans. The judgment of recent generations, however, has without exception concluded that denying personhood to these members of the human family is a great m...

The only treasure that the Church really has to offer

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, January 4th. 2011: Rev. Thomas G. Guarino, of Seton Hall University, in an article at FirstThings.com entitled The Priesthood and Justice, reflecting on the U.S. bishops’ handling of priests accused of sexual misconduct, in the wake of the dismissal from the priesthood of a 73 year-old monsignor in the Archdiocese of New York at the end of last year: Various actions taken against accused priests suggest that current policies are straining the theology of the priesthood. This may have the short-term advantage of preventing l...

Our whole society shares this stupidity

Quote of the Day for January 3rd, 2011: John Sommerville, from an article in the October 1991 issue of First Things, entitled: Why the News Makes Us Dumb:  The News can’t be fixed. There is something about daily publication, all by itself, that distorts reality. That is why the addiction to News that so many of us share has brought on a kind of stupidity. Our whole society shares this stupidity, and so we have a hard time recognizing it. Catching up on some blog reading I missed last week, I noticed that Joe Carter had penned a piece at Fi...

Only If Liberty Is Beautiful… Can It Really Be Worth the Courageous Risk of Life

Quote of the Day for Monday, December 6th, 2010: With the Thanksgiving holiday still lingering in the air, I found this excellent article on the continuing value of America’s Puritan forebears over at the always worthwhile First Principles Journal site. Written by Peter Augustine Lawler, it is entitled: Praising the Puritans: Because the Puritan conception of political freedom wasn’t based on the apolitical, selfish, rights-obsessed, and duty negligent Lockean individual, it both not only demanded virtuous civic participation but also connected politica...

Public Health Leaders Should Be Carefully Scrutinized

Quote of the Day for Sunday, November 5th, 2010: Matthew Hanley over at The Catholic Thing on Thursday, commenting on the public reaction to Pope Benedict’s recent statement on condom use in the Peter Seewald book, in a post entitled Misrepresenting Benedict’s Bravery: The New York Times tells us the pope’s words, in the newly published book Light of the World, were received with “glee from clerics and health workers in Africa, where the AIDS problem is worst.” The pope as anachronistic obstacle to global health has long been a fashionable narrative. B...

Where the Streets Have No Shame

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, Dec 1st, 2010: Elizabeth Scalia, posting an “On The Square” piece yesterday at First Things called Rationing Bono & Other Gaia-Saving Ideas, asking why the planet’s room mothers and former Vice-Presidents, who jet off to fancy places to hold “Save the Earth from the Earthlings” summit meetings on a regular basis, never seem to suggest solving the crisis of our impending planetary doom by outlawing things like sporting events, and rock concerts – like the current obscenely indulgent U2 tour, for example: As we read the...