Category Archives: Moral Philosophy and Ethics

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 ››

Is the Patient Dead? Or Is he Frankenstein’s Monster?

Ted Poe, R-NC, and a House member of the Freedom Caucus, has quit the group, uttering these words among others:  “saying no is easy, governing is hard.”  This was in reference to the Caucus’s opposition to the American Health Care Act, which was pulled by Paul Ryan before a vote.  Poe says he wants to be more effective as a senator by finding common ground with Democrats as well as other Republicans.  I am certain that my view on Poe’s… Continue Reading ››

The Examined Life–With Some Help

Why do people still read Plato?  Aristotle?  The Bible?  Augustine?  Thomas Aquinas?  John Locke?  Immanuel Kant (well, maybe not so much)?  What unifies them?  It isn’t religion.  Plato and Aristotle were most certainly not Christians.  Augustine and Aquinas would have disagreed on the extent of man’s capacity to know and to will the good.  The Bible seems so different from the more philosophical treatises of those mentioned along with it above. The common element is that they all addressed the… Continue Reading ››

Immigration: A Partial Response

My colleague Bert Wheeler wrote a recent piece on Bereans addressing more than one issue related to President Trump.  The one that caught my attention was immigration policy.  Bert expressed his concern (rightly) about Trump’s policies on that front.  I assume from his use of the word “concerns” meant that he might or did have disagreements with Trump’s immigration policies.  And he followed that with this sentence: “But the root of the concerns are based in the shift away from… Continue Reading ››

Ethics and Economics: A New Frontier in the Twenty-First Century

This blog is generally about current policies or issues in the news or that are still current to a degree in the realm of political economy, politics, and economics.  I have been reading a really interesting book by Jonathan Wight, entitled Ethics in Economics: An Introduction to Moral Frameworks (Stanford University Press, 2015).  Wight addresses in detail one of the hottest issues among economic thinkers–it has been pretty hot among political philosophers for centuries and was once current among those… Continue Reading ››

The Election and the Sovereignty of God: Can We Find Unity in That?

I have made some scattered comments in recent months in relation to this past election cycle and the candidates for president.  I think I made it clear that neither was anywhere close to an ideal.  Especially was this true for Christians looking honestly at each candidate.  I am sure we can all point to severe ethical deficiencies in both and also in candidates for other offices.  But now the election is over.  God has in His sovereignty allowed (or caused)… Continue Reading ››

Political Virtue: It’s Time to Begin a Movement

No matter who you plan to vote for I am seeing some things that really disturb me.  One recent development is the new Wikileaks (not Wikipedia) trove of John Podesta showing communications between Democratic operatives and poll agencies in which the Democrats requested ways to manipulate polls by oversampling certain groups and under-sampling others.  A manual was even written on how to do this oversampling.  Then of course some publications use the over-sampled poll and show Hillary Clinton ahead by… Continue Reading ››