Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center
Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.
It is true: the recent wave of atheists seem to be at the same time more ignorant and presumptuous than their predecessors. This partly due to the shallowness of what passes for "scientific" education.
The pervasive, moralistic anger in our public life is an obvious sign of a weak human fabric and of progressive detachment from reality, in which the person becomes
a ghostlike figure, perpetually in search of “something solid against which it can prove its own existence.” New Anger, Wood concludes, “is the desperately intense effort of these ghosts to feel real.”
For good examples of dogmatic, unquestioning, utterly moralistic and irrational anger, you can always rely on the editorial page of the Boston Globe. The possibility that people who disagree with them may have motives other than bigotry and ignorance never, ever arises. No fundamental questions (What are "rights?" Where do they come from? What is marriage?) are ever asked.
This piece in the Spectator makes a good point: that suddenly Western secular liberals are no longer sure that they are the yardstick for the rest of the world. And this has raised questions on who they are.
The NYTimes story on hispanic catholics in LA is interesting. The conclusion, though, is questionable: whether this is a false dawn or a true rebirth will be not be determined by how much the Church will focus on social justice per se. It will be determined by how much it will focus on Christ, and by the kind of education this people will receive. Unfortunately, the priests interviewed in the article seem to have other concerns.
What's about people that they are obsessed about who generated them?
I'm certain he has no idea how big a role he has played in my life despite his absence -- or because of his absence. If I can't be too attached to him as my father, I'll still always be attached to the feeling I now have of having a father.
Peggy Noonan makes a good point: The Barak Obama phenomenon may be another symptom of the deep confusion of our age. (He does not represent any particular social trend; he does not espouse any particularly original ideas; he does not advance any particular new political agenda. But we are desperate for somebody new and nice and different, and he is able to give the impression that he may be "it.")
Speaking of college curricula, the first part of this essay by Peter Berkowitz is worth reading because it describes extremely well the current situation. The second part is unconvincing, because the ideas of John Stuart Mill are precisely what originated today's content-less education: teachers should not take sides but only present multiple points of view, promoting "skeptical eclepticism" etc. But SKEPTICAL ECLEPTICISM is precisely the shared philosophy of modern college education, and the reason for its collapse! How can an intelligent man like Berkowitz miss such an obvious connection?
It is a fact that authoritarian right-wing dictators will kill people in the thousands, whereas left-wing regimes will kill them in the millions and utterly destroy their countries. The reason is not some difference in morality between the two: it is that left-wingers are by definition ideological, while right-wingers are usually just reactionary (with exceptions: see Hitler or Khomeini, who were non-Marxist revolutionaries.)