Monday, October 30, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No wonder

In case you didn't know, the two academic disciplines most closely associated with atheism are biology and psicology.

Culture wars

Amy Sullivan is onto something in pointing out that many non-Republican people in mainstream America are "culturally" unconfortable with the Democratic party. The comments are also quite representative of what she is talking about: lots of aggressive secular liberals who think one can rely on "science" to live free from the bonds of religious superstition. What kind of schools produced people that are at the same time so ignorant and so presumptuous?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Reason and Faith at Harvard

A Harvard curriculum committee recommended that every student be required, as part of his or her general education, to take one course in an area that the committee styled "Reason and Faith." The Harvard Crimson, the university's paper, doesn't like the idea.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Dead on

The Onion brilliantly summarizes the situation in Iraq and North Korea.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Searching for unity

Alasdair MacIntyre wants to "de-fragment" American Catholic universities. The least convincing part of his argument is when he says that what is lacking is the will to change. What is really lacking is the awareness that faith is the "integrative and unifying" factor that can give unity to our understanding of reality (see "Why the Church," Ch. 10). But this must first of all happens as an experience.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The question is: who is inspiring whom? Because certainly somebody feels inspired...

Baby boomlet

At least France is reproducing.


Somebody discovered that in order to learn you have to look at the subject matter and not at yourself.

Monday, October 16, 2006


More sufferings for Iraqi Christians. On the sadly familiar theme of violence in the name of Islam, a story from Bangladesh. In the end, it is all about power.

Equality and justice

On dalits embracing Christianity in India.


On Christian converts from Islam in Italy.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Apriori denial

Speaking of R. Dawkins, The New Republic has a good piece against reductionism.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Theoretical denial of the question

"The Religious Sense," Chapter 6, p. 59, in the words of Richard Dawkins:

But it seems to me the big "why" questions are, why are we here? And what is our purpose in life?

It's not a question that deserves an answer.

Well, I think most people would say those questions are central to the way we think about our lives. Those are the big existential questions, but they are also questions that go beyond science.

If you mean, what is the purpose of the existence of the universe, then I'm saying that is quite simply begging the question. If you happen to be religious, you think that's a meaningful question. But the mere fact that you can phrase it as an English sentence doesn't mean it deserves an answer. Those of us who don't believe in a god will say that is as illegitimate as the question, why are unicorns hollow? It just shouldn't be put. It's not a proper question to put. It doesn't deserve an answer.

Friday, October 13, 2006


This book review makes a good point: if Europe is in danger, it is primarily because of a threat from inside.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Professional Catholic

Rod Dreher has left the Catholic Church. His testimony is fairly tragic. It shows how Christianity can be reduced to an ideology on the conservative as much as on the liberal side, with devastating effects.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Lingering infection

The tragic fate of Russia.

Civilizational crisis

At least, when human societies face a breakdown, our youngsters do not go around raping and killing innocent rhinoceroses.

Traditional religion

Someone taking a stand against power.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Great couple

This ten-year old interview with the Genovese's is still worth reading.

Secular megachurches

How to get rich by exploiting people's loneliness in order to create a cyber-mob.

From scratch

This piece by Joseph Bottum is too long but does capture some important aspects of recent US church history.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Two worlds

Spiegel has a report from Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Keep the flame burning

A story in the NYTimes on the predicament of young evangelicals facing the onslaught of a nihilistic culture. It is hard when so much is predicated on individual will-power and enthusiasm. But, where is the Church?

Good luck

An update on the desperate attempts to rebuild college curricula in a context where there is no "university" because there is no unifying hypothesis.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

No salvation from the UN

Few things magnify moral failures more than bureaucracies. More generally,certain idealistic people should learn from St. Augustine that usually states are just "larger scale robberies".

Dry humor

Some Brahms anecdotes.

Still there

The Zoroastrians are hanging in there. But how does The Guardian dare say that there were "forced mass conversions" after the Islamic invasions of Persia? Didn't they read their own editorials about the Pope's speech?


Not much going on with the masons.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Original sin to the rescue

It turns out the Iranians hired the Russians to build a nuclear reactor based on the Chernobyl design "on one of the most active earthquake zones on earth." Ah, and they also got scammed in the process.

That finally explains why Putin always seemed so unconcerned about the Iranian nuclear program.