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Entries Tagged as 'Religion'

Judging “Authentic” Islam

February 20th, 2015 · 37 Comments

Graeme Wood’s Atlantic cover story “What ISIS Really Wants” has attracted plenty of  attention and controversy, spurring several interesting responses as well as quite a few less illuminating ones.  Here’s the core claim many readers want to contest, or even condemn as a kind of smear against Islam: The reality is that the Islamic State […]

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Tags: Religion · Sociology

Blasphemy and Public Reason

October 19th, 2012 · 11 Comments

I’ve noticed something interesting about Western press reports on the protests over the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube trailer. Typically, but perhaps surprisingly when you think about it, the protesters quoted in these articles do not simply, as one might expect, say that insults to Islam or its prophet are an outrage against the one true […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

All Ethics Are Secular Ethics

April 23rd, 2012 · 27 Comments

In an exchange at Slate with Will Saletan, Ross Douthat writes: [T]he more purely secular liberalism has become, the more it has spent down its Christian inheritance—the more its ideals seem to hang from what Christopher Hitchens’ Calvinist sparring partner Douglas Wilson has called intellectual “skyhooks,” suspended halfway between our earth and the heaven on […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

Undercover Atheists?

March 26th, 2012 · 18 Comments

Writing at The American Prospect a few weeks back, Patrick Caldwell expressed puzzlement at the view, seemingly widespread on the right, that the hegemonic forces of secularism are somehow forcing believers out of the public square: When I first read Santorum’s comments though, I was mostly struck by how off base his statement is from […]

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Tags: Religion · Sociology

Straussian Social Conservatism and the “Dangers of Contraception”

February 24th, 2012 · 45 Comments

The philosopher Leo Strauss was perhaps best known for the view that great philosophical works—especially those produced in times when persecution for heretical views was commonplace—often concealed an “esoteric” message, intended only for an elite of truly “philosophical” readers, that was different from, and often quite at odds with, the surface meaning of the text.  […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion · Sociology

He’s My Favorite Fictional Character!

September 19th, 2011 · 30 Comments

As a young boy, I was an avid reader of a series of biographical picture books called ValueTales, which illustrated such virtues as confidence, kindness, and imagination through lightly fictionalized accounts of the lives of historical worthies ranging from Confucius to Louis Pasteur and Harriet Tubman. At the same time, I was enamored of ancient […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Religion

Religion, Morality, and Character

December 20th, 2010 · 20 Comments

This is a bazillion years ago in Internet time, but a quick note on a line from Sarah Palin’s recent book that occasioned some controversy a few weeks back, to the effect that “morality itself cannot be sustained without the support of religious beliefs.” It may, of course, be true in some very narrow sense […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · Religion

War is Peace, Equality is Discrimination

November 22nd, 2010 · 10 Comments

One of the more noxious and predictable genres of social conservative screed takes the form of whining that the only discrimination we really need to worry about is the failure to make special accommodation for the sensibilities of bigots. Perhaps the ideal form of this particular whine was served up at the American Spectator yesterday: […]

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Tags: Religion · Sexual Politics

Could An Omnipotent Being Prove It?

October 4th, 2010 · 54 Comments

Ned Resnikoff ponders the question. It seems to me that the answer is clearly “no,” but for a reason Ned doesn’t actually offer: It would require a good deal less than omnipotence to make a human perceptual system experience any demonstration of omnipotence you might care to suggest. So we might imagine God zipping you […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Religion

The Curious Incident at the American Spectator

April 13th, 2010 · 31 Comments

If you’ve ever wondered what a lobotomy in print form looks like, search no further than this tedious, rambling piece in The American Spectator by Daniel Oliver. The author strokes his chin, at great length, over the question of why, in all The New York Times‘ recent reporting on sexual abuse by priests, “the word […]

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Tags: Religion · Science · Sexual Politics