Technology

Poverty Is Not What You Think It Is

Poverty fell off a cliff after the Second World War. It fell like a stone, including for American blacks. The economy was booming and everyone benefited. The poverty rate dropped from 35 percent in 1950 to less than 20 percent when President Lyndon Johnson, nonetheless, announced his War on Poverty. By the time the War [...]

Sexual Liberation and the Emergence of Transhumanism

Sexual liberation and transhumanism share an anthropology. Both view the human person as an emergent phenomenon, and as something malleable. Both view the self as sovereign, the will as ultimately answerable to nothing other than its own prerogatives. Exploring the intersection between these two movements requires me to give an account of technology. In speaking [...]

Navigating Changes from the Farm to the Computer

All of human life is lived between two worlds. God has placed us on this earth as wayfarers on a pilgrimage—where we are meant to work, pray, and love—although we are meant ultimately for a world beyond. The Second Letter of Peter sums up this future hope and the passing nature of this world: “We [...]

Does Contemporary Technology Discourage Thought?

There is a current television show that close friends recently drew our attention to called The Carbonaro Effect. The main character of the show is a young illusionist named Michael Carbonaro who, with the aid of spy-cameras in everyday settings, is able to perform some rather incredible magic tricks. In one scene, he acts as [...]

Why Leisure is the Remedy for Sloth

Summer is ripe with possibilities for activity. More daylight, warm temperatures, and, at least for those who benefit from the break afforded by the academic calendar, more free time. This is an opportunity for many good things, but also can be a perfect petri dish for the germination and growth of sloth in our lives. [...]

Inclusiveness: Bad Religion and Bad Reason

In a recent piece in Crisis I argued that secular and rationalizing ways of thought applied to the social environment soon bring us to inclusiveness. Giving people what they want equally, which is the goal of a liberal technocratic society, includes giving them equal social positions. Inclusiveness is thus part of the modern effort to [...]

A School Without Screens

There is a growing consensus among human beings that the effects of our developing technology are not conducive to human development. Popular technology, despite its claim to interact and connect, breeds isolation. It causes people, especially young people, to stray into an introverted withdrawal from others and the world. As such, these results are antithetical [...]

Finding and Losing Train Culture

My family and I are in the process of moving to a small town in northwest Ohio called Fostoria. We are here for practical reasons—it is the town closest to where I work that has a good Catholic school. That said, I have found the people, on the whole, to be quite charming and welcoming. [...]

Contemporary Challenges to Family Unity

Absence often manifests the importance of presence. I think of my one year old son Raphael. When my wife is not at home, he looks at me and utters a plaintive interrogative, "Mama?" "Mama will be home soon," I respond, hoping the tone and feeling behind my words will convey a comfort their meaning cannot. [...]

Out of the Wreckage

The Sixties wanted Paradise Now: a paradise that ignores the distant and difficult in favor of the immediate and effortless. We wouldn’t transcend life’s conflicts and difficulties by striving after a higher unity, we’d abolish them by denying them recognition. Each would do his thing and follow his bliss, and all would be well. As [...]

A Free Speech Challenge for Parents

Should a 13-year-old be able to purchase a school-shooting simulator without parents’ knowledge or consent? The Supreme Court says that freedom of speech requires that 13-year-olds have that opportunity. In a 7-2 decision, the court struck down a California law barring the sale of graphically violent video games to people under 18. I have not [...]

Better Golfing through Technology?

  Golf historians trace the invention of the great game's basic concept to the mid-15th century, to the day when some self-flagellatory Scot, strolling the featureless wastes between pastures and the sea, came upon the deceptively simple idea of hitting a ball with a stick until it fell in a hole. On the second day [...]

Benedict XVI Tightens Up the Church’s Social Teaching

  Pope Benedict XVI's third encyclical -- Caritas in Veritate -- arrived today containing 30,468 words: an introduction, six chapters, conclusion, and 159 footnotes. It's not thrilling reading, even by encyclical standards, but as the latest papal statement on the Church's social teaching, "Love in Truth" will be a work of lasting significance. Those who [...]

The Dignity of Human Life and Procreation: Reflections on the Recent Vatican “Instruction”

The recent Vatican “Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation” is a profoundly significant document. The issues it discusses, the “Brave New World” reproductive technologies and their associated social practices — in vitro fertilization, sperm banks, surrogate motherhood, sex selection, etc. — have recently emerged as major [...]

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