rational discourse

When Catholics Fight Back

SB 360, also known as Senate Bill 360, a proposal requiring priests in California to break the sacramental seal of confession, was placed on hold by its sponsor, State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), on 9 June, right before a hearing on the bill. For months before the vote, activists in California, across the nation, [...]

A Different Kind of Pro-Life Argument

Misology is a neologism, coined by Plato, to name the hatred of argument, and not in the sense of a quarrel or domestic squabble. Misology names the hatred of logos; it is the hatred of reason and rational discourse. It is a commonplace in our culture today that we are deadlocked when it comes to the [...]

Slowly Boiled Friendship?

There is a man named David Hart who runs what I once called “a smelly little blog” called Slowly Boiled Frog that lays waste to Christians who take public and aggressive stands against the gay agenda. He has come after me more than twenty times in recent years. This is how David introduced me to [...]

Throwing Stones: Everyone’s Favorite Fallacy

Classical education required students, before anything else, to learn the basic building blocks of thought. In the ancient trivium, students learned grammar, logic, and rhetoric, or how language, argument, and persuasion work. As emphasis on these arts has decreased, so has our society’s capacity to think. And where thought decreases, emotion increases, so that we [...]

A Crisis of Reason? Whatever!

For the last five decades and more, youth culture has been a driving force in our society. As young people gained increasing amounts of discretionary spending power, purveyors of products and entertainment became increasingly interested in “what the kids like these days,” to the point that much of our popular culture—music, movies, television, web content—is [...]

The Babble of Babel

“Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile … We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.” – Screwtape Perhaps it was providence (or editorial insight) that led to two particular articles being published in Crisis Magazine on the same day. On the [...]

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 [...]

Ruthless Ideology and the End of Debate

Some days ago, Josh Barro of the New York Times tweeted the following message: “Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly.” It’s quite a statement for a public figure to make—for anyone to make—but especially one supposedly devoted to [...]

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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