public debate

The Sexual Revolution Turns Ugly

How many intellectuals have come to the revolutionary party via the path of moral indignation, only to connive ultimately at terror and autocracy? ∼ Raymond Aron The Sexual Revolution is now out of control. Initially promising freedom, like all revolutions, it has entered something like its Reign of Terror phase and is devouring its own children. As with [...]

A Lament on the Declining Quality of Public Discourse

In view of the two recent presidential debates I find these words of Plato remarkable: They think they are having not a quarrel but a conversation, because they are unable to examine what has been said by dividing it up according to its forms. Hence, they pursue mere verbal contradictions of what has been said [...]

Catholics Who Drop F-Bombs with Aplomb

At the end of last year, a noted Catholic book publisher offered me a contract to write a book based on four columns I wrote three years ago. The stories were about three children who died young after suffering greatly but also bringing many to the faith through their suffering, their example and their prayers. [...]

The New Leaven of the Pharisees: Judging Another’s Love

At first glance, it may not seem that the nature of public discourse—particularly on faith and morals—has changed all that much since the days of Jesus’ engagement and entanglement with so many different groups during his public ministry. Don’t we still have all the usual suspects today? Over there we have the religious zealots; over [...]

Time to Abandon Comfort And Defend Essentials

The issues that now put Catholics in opposition to secular public thought are too basic to ignore. The Church accepts God as our reference point, and views freedom to develop our relation to Him and act by reference to it as basic to our good and our dignity. In contrast, secular society has made our [...]

Logic: What’s Missing from Public Discourse

What often passes for public discourse in contemporary society is really just a simulacrum, an imitation, of real “discourse” in the sense of a “reasoned exchange of ideas.”  One realizes before long how much we are suffering from the current lack of that key ingredient within all older forms of liberal arts education: namely, logic. [...]

Arguing Over Argument in the Internet Age

The Internet means that today anyone can discuss any topic at any time with anyone who is interested in it. When the possibility first appeared it seemed to open up a brave new world. Whatever your interest you could always find people who wanted to discuss it. The innovation also seemed to have political consequences [...]

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