emotivism (subjective emotion)

Why Satanism Is Now on the Center Stage in the Culture War

The religious right has often been looked down upon by many Americans involved in the political scene. For them, it shouldn’t exist. According to the secular liberal tradition, the public square is supposed to be value-neutral. Any religious intrusion into political matters is to be discouraged. The secular left is especially fearful of mixing politics [...]

The Oldest Religion

In a recent essay in this magazine, I failed to adequately define terms early in the piece and subsequently created confusion for some readers. This article will seek to rectify that problem and explore new dimensions in the original thesis. When a major airline suffers a plane crash, one of the first things investigators look [...]

“Quid Est Veritas?”

“For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice. Pilate saith to him: What is truth? (Quid est veritas?)” (John 18:37-38). That iconic question of Pontius Pilate rings out through the voices of many [...]

German Bishops Employ Lutheran Subjectivism for Marriage Agenda

The German bishops’ conference is hardly alone in exploiting, for “pastoral” reasons, the implications of Amoris Laetitia’s (AL) betrayal of objective moral truth. At the same time, the larger context of its recent decisions to admit select Lutherans, and select divorced and “remarried” Catholics, to Holy Communion seems to point also to a source of [...]

Church Critics Have Long Abandoned the Real World

“The Catholic apologist,” says Arnold Lunn, in Now I See, an account of his intellectual and personal conversion to the faith, “bases his argument on the appeal to external facts.” The apologist's opponents, then (1938) as now, “agree only in their appeal from objective truth to subjective prejudice, from external facts to personal intuition.” Yet we [...]

How to Overcome Nonfactual Emotional “Arguments”

In his essay “Why No Civility is Possible Today,” Fr. James V. Schall, S.J. writes that, “A common good can be worked out among those citizens who may prudentially disagree on this or that point of policy.” It is necessary for citizens to come together and debate because there is almost never one single way [...]

Why Cultural Renewal Requires a Restoration of Meaning

One of the most common attitudes I encounter with today’s college students is a kind of blasé non-judgmentalism—or, worse, a passively nihilistic relativism. They are reluctant to label any behavior or belief bad, even if, in the most extreme thought experiments, it involves killing innocents. This attitude seems to get worse every year; it’s as [...]

Is Catechesis Possible in a Narcissistic Age?

Millennials—who most researchers and commentators identify as that generation born from the early 1980s to 2000—may grow weary of hearing their parents and grandparents say, “Young people today seem more self-centered than in my day,” but their forebears are right. Their narcissism, in comparison to past generations, has been empirically verified in the work of [...]

Feeling Good vs. Doing Good

How do you explain the fact that so many people support disastrous public policies? According to polls, a majority of young people want Bernie Sanders to be the next president. Yet socialist policies of the type advocated by Sanders reliably lead to basket-case economies such as in Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea. Likewise, the welcoming [...]

The Origins of Modern Materialism

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia famously describes and praises the quality of mercy. I probably recall this monologue readily because I had to commit it to memory for recitation when I was a freshman in high school. Forty nine years after my entry into high school and three-hundred-ninety-four years after the death of Shakespeare, [...]

The Ongoing Dictatorship of Relativism

On March 22, 2013, Pope Francis addressed the Diplomatic Corps with a warning against the “tyranny of relativism.” He then explained his selection of the name Francis as in part stemming from St. Francis’ battle for peace, a peace which Pope Francis underscored was impossible without Truth. The necessary struggle for truth not only remains [...]

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