Category Archives: Moral Philosophy and Ethics

Conservatism and Religion: The Inseparable Tie Broken?

I read a very intriguing article yesterday in the National Review Online by Eliott Kaufman, with the title of “Are Conservatives Really Just Liberals?”  By the title you might think the author is about to criticize conservatives in Congress or in the Federal bureaucracy who aren’t acting like conservatives.  However the article actually poses a serious question about definition, and even further, about how conservatives and liberals (of a certain kind) ought to define themselves. But the article also draws… Continue Reading ››

What Do We Do with “Experts”? Human Nature is the Key to the Answer

I happened to catch a couple of minutes of the Rush Limbaugh program, in which he was playing some snippets from an interview of Kurt Anderson and Charlie Rose on PBS, on the subject of Anderson’s new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire.  The theme of the books seems to center on how conservative talk radio has mislead so many people in the United States, but I want to focus on a sub-theme, mentioned in the interview, in which Anderson… Continue Reading ››

Bigger government means less tolerance

Many Americans of all political stripes consider the heated level of political rhetoric to be harmful to our country, and the recognition that we’re very divided is not generally seen as a good thing.  Yet I think we often fail to see the reason why there is seemingly more division.  We blame the 24 hour news cycle, increased partisanship by those evil Republicans/Democrats (take your pick), or loss of cultural civility.  Certainly all of those factors weigh into what is… Continue Reading ››

Yes, political economy can even come up in spiritual mentoring discussions!

Dick Armey, the former majority leader of the House of Representatives during the 90s, used to say something to the effect of “Republicans are always afraid you won’t understand the issue; Democrats are always afraid you will”  Democrats seemingly could care less about reams of data, but live and die by the anecdote–they just need one real face with a stirring heart story to put in front of the camera.  While this is not universally true, it is true that… Continue Reading ››

Sharia Law Protests: The Truth About Sharia

It has been reported that today (June 19m 2017) has been set aside for protests around the nation against Sharia law, the legal system used in most Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent.  The principles for Sharia are derived from both the Quran and Hadith, the alleged sayings of Muhammed and have been more or less systematized into various schools of legal thought (five to be precise), all having significant overlap.  There are a number of groups today… Continue Reading ››

Predicting socialist policies lead to disaster is like shooting fish in a barrel

In a response to a recent post on the need for us to pray for the poor people of Venezuela, one poster suggested the problems weren’t socialism, but over-dependence on one export–oil.  And since the price of oil has dropped so dramatically, that has caused the problems.  While that is a superficial reason, one has to look at deeper reasons as to why they were overly dependent upon oil, and we also must examine why the oil industry in Venezuela was… Continue Reading ››

Democracy: Embrace or Re-think?

I recently finished a book by Jason Brennan entitled Against Democracy (Princeton University Press, 2015) that I found intriguing.  It might not sound glamorous but I think the topic is timely in light of our American love of democracy in its various forms, whether direct or representative.  I don’t want to leave the impression that Brennan is some sort of either anarchist on the one hand or totalitarian or monarchist on the other.  Rather what he does is pose a… Continue Reading ››

Puerto Rico Bankruptcy–is bankruptcy ever a good thing?

Puerto Rico is trying to use a bankruptcy provision approved last year to ameliorate its $123B debt.   Now this is important for many reasons but I just want to focus on one.  This bankruptcy, and the potential of stiffing the bondholders, will be beneficial in the long run.  Why?  I mean, we all think people should pay their debts, don’t we?  So why shouldn’t Puerto Rico? I think the concept of Odious Debt applies here.  Politicians will often promise… Continue Reading ››

Speech: Its Value and Its Limits

Several incidents have occurred recently at American colleges and universities that raise the question of where freedom of speech is headed today.  Now let’s be clear.  Not all speech is morally acceptable if we are serious about our Biblical commitments.  Private Christian universities have good reason sometimes to create conditions for edifying and pure expression of faculty and students.  In addition private schools also have the legal right to restrict the opposite kind of expression–I daresay, even the obligation.  However… Continue Reading ››

The Next Step Toward the Brave New World

Wesley Smith wrote a short news item on “The Corner” in National Review Online, and linking a longer article in First Things, in which he mentions that in New Zealand and India, a few rivers have now been granted formal rights, allowing them, through their lawyers, to sue on behalf of themselves.  They were legally declared persons under law.  (See http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446347/rivers-given-rights.  I saw this coming almost 40 years ago, in a couple of articles in law reviews as well as… Continue Reading ››