But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Sunday, 08 December 2019 23:00

Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Mad

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To keep the government from doing bad things, James Madison and the other supporters of the Constitution proposed relying not so much on written prohibitions as on checks and balances.  Other governments had used checks and balances between the social classes.  The Framers proposed...

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Sunday, 01 December 2019 15:00

Away With the Manger

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imageQuery:

Everyone in my family except me is an atheist.  At Christmastime, they deck the house out in Christmas stuff and play Christmas carols round-the-clock -- but at the same time, they make a point of mocking Jesus and His followers!  Back in high school, my decision to become a...

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Sunday, 24 November 2019 15:00

The Multiverse Argument

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imagePhysicists know that if certain physical constants did not happen to lie within an extremely narrow range, the universe would be inhospitable to biological life.  Consider for example those heavens of which the psalmist speaks so eloquently.  If the gravitational constant were...

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Sunday, 17 November 2019 10:27

Why Doesn’t God Make Decisions Easier?

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imageQuery:

Professor, I have a question about general theology.  How does God's sovereignty work?  Please allow me to use my situation as an example:  I have spent the past few months struggling with loss since I broke up with an immature boyfriend who would never commit to...

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Sunday, 10 November 2019 15:00

The God of the Gaps

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imageThe God of the Gaps

Atheist to theist:  “You believe in a God only because you haven’t yet discovered a naturalistic explanation for the existence and properties of the universe.”

The Murderer of the Gaps

Atheist to forensic pathologist:  “You believe in a...

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imageQuery:

I personally find teleological arguments about sex compelling – the sort of arguments that identify the purposes of the sexual powers (procreation and the union of the procreative partners), and then draw the inference that we should behave in ways that cooperate with these...

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Sunday, 27 October 2019 16:00

Washington Post Reports Hitler's Death, 1945

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image

Authors: jbudziszewski...

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Saturday, 26 October 2019 16:00

The Astonishing Popularity of Bad Rules of Life

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imagePeople are attracted to some awfully bad rules of life.  Maybe you’ve noticed.

Since we are a rational species, and most people aren’t idiots, how do bad rules of life become so popular?

Case in point:  The phenomenally successful Nike advertising slogan, "Just do it."

A...

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Sunday, 20 October 2019 16:00

Two Can Play That Game

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imageMost young Christians are unfamiliar with their own intellectual traditions.  They are disconcerted when persons of an unserious disposition taunt them with questions like “If God exists, then why is there evil in the world?” or “If God made everything, then who made...

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Sunday, 13 October 2019 11:49

Reading

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imageHow much do we read?  I suppose the answer depend on what one means by reading.  Much of what we call by that name is barely the same activity.  We say we have no time for real reading.  But we seem to have plenty of time for snack prose.

Unlike the older forms of prose,...

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Wednesday, 09 October 2019 16:00

Limerick

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imageOn a cold summer day in the morning

Edward’s teacher gave Ed a grave warning.

“Read humbly, my boy,

“Learning’s not just a toy,

“For you can’t learn from what you are scorning.”

 

Authors: jbudziszewski...

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Sunday, 06 October 2019 16:00

Spontaneous Homicide

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imageFrom time to time someone argues that abortion couldn’t be against the natural law, because sometimes during the course of gestation spontaneous abortions occur.

Here is the difference.  In one case, the unborn child dies because something goes dreadfully wrong during the natural...

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Sunday, 29 September 2019 16:00

History’s Highest Function

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image“This I regard as history’s highest function,” says the Roman historian Tacitus, “to let no worthy action be uncommemorated, and to hold out the reprobation of posterity as a terror to evil words and deeds.”

Curious.  Today we tend to think that the...

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Sunday, 22 September 2019 16:00

Math and Morality

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imageFor it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits.  --  Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

How is morality like and unlike mathematics?

Alike:  In both math and morality, there are right and wrong...

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019 16:00

Thanks for Telling Me

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image

 

From a young scholar:

I keep your How to Be Full and Exact post open on my smartphone.  Now that I've settled into my first academic job, I should really work on practicing more of your suggestions!

 

Reply:

You would find it hard to believe how absurdly pleased that makes this humble...

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Sunday, 15 September 2019 16:00

Old Reliable

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imageReliably supporting a cause is not the same thing as being consistent.  Case in point:  Old reliable Richard Dawkins, who has been writing for years about how meaningless everything is, but who can’t keep his own claims straight.

Dawkins writes, “The universe that we...

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Sunday, 08 September 2019 16:00

I’m With Stupid

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imageI am not one of those (actually there are very few) who believe that natural selection does not explain anything.  Yet this godlike properties attributed to this mechanism are more than a little bit difficult to credit.

Geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously wrote, "Nothing in biology...

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Sunday, 01 September 2019 16:00

Where Do Rights Come From?

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imageQuery:

What exactly would you say are our rights, and where would you say they come from?

Reply:

That’s a great pair of questions.  I’m not sure how helpful it would be to offer just a list of our rights, partly because there would never be an end to it, and partly because...

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Sunday, 25 August 2019 16:00

How to Ruin Lives

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imageFor several months each year I live in a high-government dependency, high-drug addiction, high-family disorder region of Appalachia.

Yes, there are jobs.  At present the unemployment rate here is only a little higher than what economists call full employment.  Just like everyplace,...

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Sunday, 18 August 2019 16:00

Disclosure

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imageThe only excuse for broadcasting how one thinks about the upcoming election is that plenty of other people are probably having the same difficulties.  If this sort of disclosure bears no interest for you, try again next week.

The last presidential election was the first in which I did not...

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Sunday, 11 August 2019 16:00

What’s Up with Conscience?

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imageQuery:

I don’t get it about protection of conscience for medical workers.  Why would anyone think doctors should be allowed to refuse to give medical care to people with whose beliefs they disagree?

Reply:

No one thinks doctors should be allowed to do that:  That’s...

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Sunday, 04 August 2019 13:43

Politics in the Pulpit

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imageQuery from a pastor:

When most American Christians think of politics, they think of promoting their favored candidates for office.  I think of politics in the broader, more ancient sense, as promoting the common good.  In this sense, I, as a pastor, can talk all day about politics...

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imageQuery:

I am writing a thesis on the politics of virtues, and I know you have written about this.  But where?

Reply:

The politics of virtues is a way of thinking about government and politics that gives first place to considerations of moral character.  As thoughtful people have...

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Sunday, 28 July 2019 16:00

Only Truth Is Merciful

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imageSays one internet news outlet, “Since his election in 2013, conservatives have sharply criticized Francis, saying he has left many faithful confused by pronouncements that the Church should be more welcoming to homosexuals and divorced Catholics.”

Such reportage is typical. ...

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Thursday, 25 July 2019 16:00

Natural Law for Lawyers

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image 

For years I’ve been teaching a group of law students called the Blackstone Fellows about the classical natural law tradition.  I think this is one of the most important things I do every year, and it is certainly one of the most satisfying.  These young people are interns with...

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