Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Like me, for example?

Steven Weinberg is a great scientist, and one has to grant that his profession of atheism has a certain existential seriousness which is lacking in many of his contemporaries. As such he is quite representative of the prejudices of the age: a) the reduction of reason: if we learnt to "worship nothing" we would stop being human, and b) that religion is just the things we make up to explain our place in the universe. However, it is also possible that something might HAPPEN.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Inverse proportion

The connection between Christianity and Western rationality is going to be proved experimentally.

On the way out?

In November California will vote on marriage. Based on the comments to this column, the consensus seems to be that marriage is some sort of secular sacrament, a state recognition of our romantic committments. Nobody seems to realize that, on this basis, it becomes a perfectly useless institution, and what people are really pushing for is its abolition. On the other hand, this reduced notion of marriage has not come about with the gay movement, but the other way around. The idea of gay marriage has been made possible by a dominant mentality that was shaped many decades ago and enshrined in the no-fault divorce laws of the 1970's.


Nobody really understands the mind.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Regensburg, part II

Read the Pope's magnificent address to the French intellectuals.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Amir Taheri has read the foreign-policy platforms of the two parties. The summary is that McCain may be simplistic but Obama is naive (or ideological?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fluent but impatient

While talking about foreign policy, Fouad Ajami grasps something of how Obama is very representative of a certain contemporary type. It would be interesting to trace it back to the notion of education that is prevalent in our "top" universities. Essentially, people are taught only "science" (empirically-oriented knowledge directed at problem solving), but no "philosophy" (grappling in a systematic fashion with questions of truth and meaning)

Pow! Wham!

Camille Paglia is often fun to read.

Basic instinct

A conversion.

Monday, September 08, 2008


A column by David Frum. It is interesting that, in order to push the Republican party out of its ideological empasse, he quotes as a moral authority John Paul II (Frum himself is Jewish).

Friday, September 05, 2008

The greatest disorder

What one sees in many stories about persecution is that Christianity is hated because simply by affirming the value of the person it is the greatest threat to the powers that be.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The elite again

Hanna Rosin comments on some statistics that show that
An intact happy marriage that produces well-behaved children, it turns out, is becoming a luxury of the elites.
The conclusion seems to be that (at some level) being affluent helps people getting their act together (apparently "well-behaved" means "using contraception"). A functional family as a bourgeois privilege: one more item in a catalog of possessions. Richer people can afford it, the poor cannot.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Ross Douthat and Yuval Levin are scandalized by the media's hysterical reaction to the Palin nomination. But the reason is very simple: nothing scares the liberal elite like the idea that after losing the working classes culturally, they may also lose them electorally. In this sense, Palin is truly the anti-Obama, in a way McCain could never be -- because she explodes the contradiction that the interest of the common people should be best defended by an intellectual class that deep down despises those same people's values and ideals. For this reason Peggy Noonan is right when she says that
"they are going to have to kill her, and kill her quick."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

He loves Hemingway

An essay on the life of Sen. McCain. He clearly comes through as a true representative of the U.S. "stoic" tradition. Like all forms of romanticism (i.e. an esthetic substitute for Christianity) it's ambiguous: it can be a step on the way out or it can bring one back. But at least is something...

Monday, September 01, 2008


The New Yorker has an essay on religion and the elections. It is fair to say that there is nothing new (which unfortunately means that the discussion remains quite shallow).