Tag: Morality

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On Empathy

 

If I were a drinking man, I’d play a drinking game: Open a dating app, the comments section of a Washington Post article, a feminist blog, or any other place where people of a left-wing persuasion congregate, and take a shot every time someone writes a paean to empathy.

Whatever your neighbor’s teenage daughter may say, empathy is not a virtue. Empathy is a useful and morally neutral psychological phenomenon, one which might underlie certain virtues, but one which is not itself sufficient as the basis for any coherent ethical system.* The world would not ipso facto become a better place if “everyone had more empathy.” On the contrary, it might degenerate into some version of what we see now: quivering masses of emotional gelatin demanding therapeutic self-affirmation in the form of safe spaces and coloring books; a people paralyzed in unending anguish merely because somewhere, someone is suffering. As a moral principle, empathy is self-defeating. Too often, appealing to the “capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference” is akin to saying, “Every action or belief is legitimate from the point of view of the person who experiences it, and therefore every action or belief is legitimate.” Empathy easily descends into excuse-making. (Take the canonical example of an abused girlfriend: Is she really better off for “showing empathy” to her abuser?) Once empathy is removed from the psychological realm and introduced to the ethical one, it negates the very purpose of ethics, which is to establish a series of principles by which actions can be judged.

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One of the more discouraging things about modern life is the tendency of the media to take every little thing to DEFCON 1* without investigation or thought. That is certainly true of things connected to politics, but the tendency has flowed far beyond that realm. Take for example the revelation that the Houston Astros had […]

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“I’m going to have a Secretary of Education that this young trans person interviews on my behalf, and only if this person believes that our Secretary or Secretary of Education nominee is absolutely committed to creating a welcoming environment, a safe environment, and a full educational curriculum for everyone will that person actually be advanced […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unselfing, Marys and Marthas: Winter of Discontent, or Mind of Winter?

 

“One must have a mind of winter… And have been cold a long time… not to think / Of any misery in the sound of the wind,” the January wind. So says Wallace Stevens in his poem, The Snow Man. Misery and discontent aren’t identical, but a series of small miseries — unrelated to wintry weather — means February snuck up on me this year, almost as if January never happened, so misery must do for my “winter of discontent”. To “the listener, who listens in the snow,” hearing the sound of the wind, the poem promises if he becomes “nothing himself” he’ll “behold[] / Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.” People “cold a long time” can go numb, of course, and numbness is a kind of “nothing” obliterating misery. But numbness seems insufficient for a “mind of winter”.

For our own survival, we see winter’s cold as hostile. Our success as biological beings depends on our sensing discomfort, in order to mitigate risk before it’s too late. Concern for our own comfort is a form of self-regard that isn’t optional, if we care to live. Nonetheless, necessary self-regard is still self-regard. A mind of winter leaves self-regard behind. And so, it sees wintry beauty — the snowy, frozen world lit with “the distant glitter / Of the January sun” — simply because it is there to see, irrespective of what it might mean to the self. Winter in itself isn’t hostile, just indifferent: self-regard makes the indifference seem hostile. A mind of winter is “unselfed”.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I don’t usually read things like this, but a friend who doesn’t usually recommend things like this suggested it: I think it’s worthy of discussion. Sexual morality and the collapse of civilization Preview Open

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Empowering the Poor

 

“Creating a separate set of moral standards according to socio-economic status is not an act of mercy. It is a crime against the poor. It is an abdication of our social duty to hold one another accountable. It is shameful that our self-styled elites are so afraid to preach the very secrets to success they so readily practice in their own lives.” — Arthur C. Brooks, Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America

It is a travesty that the Progressives, and some misguided on the Right, have conditioned those who are poor to believe their false doctrine. The poor learn from them that they are hostages of the culture, that they have little to no power to grow and improve themselves, that the white majority (substitute white supremacy) culture is determined to keep them down and impoverish them. I simply can’t reconcile the calls for compassion from the Left, with their arrogance about the ability of others to thrive in this great country. Their beliefs are so devastating to the soul.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Bad Guys? Part 2

 


For most of my life, Johnny Lawrence was a bad guy. The student leader of the Cobra Kai dojo in 1984’s The Karate Kid was my generation’s bully prototype. But that all changed last year when YouTube produced a continuation of the franchise centered on Johnny called Cobra Kai. The show is far from great (I skim through several sections in each episode), but I keep watching because I’ve been impressed with how the writers managed to cast Johnny in an entirely different light.

The show depicts an older Johnny as he scrapes up enough cash to reopen his old dojo. Just as he begins to have some success, Daniel Larusso – now a successful business owner – becomes a bully to Johnny, using his fame and influence to smash the upstart business before it can take root in the community.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Bad Guys? Part 1

 

The scene is one of the most iconic in film history. The Battle of Atlanta near the middle of Gone With The Wind depicts the carnage of war. As Scarlett O’Hara searches for Dr. Meade among several wounded and dying Confederate soldiers, the camera pulls back to reveal dozens more, then hundreds of bodies, 1,600 in all. It was at this point of watching the film when my daughter asked if Joshua Chamberlain (her namesake) was there.

“No,” I told her. “He was a Union officer. But remember earlier, when they were reading the dispatches from Gettysburg? He was in that battle.”

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Sohrab Ahmari’s latest piece in First Things cause quite a stir and rightfully so. I am a big fan of Ahmari and First Things- though both have disappointed in this episode. I appreciate David French, but he is far from my favorite conservative. David’s cultural tastes are different than mine. He likes the NBA, blockbuster […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Morality and Politics: Do You Try to Make Moral Choices?

 

I am cringing while I write this post, in a way I never have. I don’t trust that we can have a civil conversation about this topic; that I may open old wounds and create havoc. I’ve asked myself over and over whether I can trust all of you to be decent, moral human beings. I think I can trust you; I hope I can because this question has been nagging at me for months, and I need your help to resolve it. Let’s make this an opportunity to do it together, in our search for truth and understanding. That means putting aside the need to win or be right; I don’t think either of those efforts will be successful.

All that said, I have been struggling with my own morality related to politics.

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The week of Easter 2019 was difficult, personally and as a Christian. I lost my mother in law, our last remaining parent. Notre Dame caught fire and burned, doing massive damage. The small Christian community of Sri Lanka suffered terrorist attacks, resulting in hundreds of deaths. Another shooting at a Jewish synagogue in California. I […]

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One topic that is being talked about often among the intellectual dark web is the relationship between religion and morality. Ben Shapiro argues that non-religious morality can only be developed to a limited extent. Sam Harris argues that we can derive our morality without reference to a deity or a Holy book. The discussion of […]

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I heard an interview on NPR today by the fellow/gal who is running for governor of Vermont. Transgender Christine Hallquist said she is looking forward to getting back to a ‘moral compass’ in the Democratic Party. A moral compass? Formally a Republican, she says she identifies with the mainstream old Democratic principles as opposed to […]

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The recent Helsinki Summit between Putin and Trump, on the heels of meeting with NATO, is upsetting the usual people. What isn’t being talked about is the full-on, deliberate import of socialism, and the denigration of capitalism across all parts of society. Claire Berlinski writes in The Daily Beast, “The United States built the modern […]

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“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~John Adams – 2nd President of the United States, 1st Vice President, and assisted in drafting […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Deep Dive on the Declaration of Independence and Its Relevance Today

 

In honor of Independence Day, for this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast I take a deep dive into the Declaration of Independence, discussing:

  • Its unique place in human history and the cause of freedom
  • The link between natural law and natural rights, faith and freedom
  • The Founders’ emphasis on virtue and morality to sustain a free system of limited government
  • Parallels between the charges laid out against King George III in the Declaration and modern America from the administrative state to sanctuary cities
  • The Founders’ views on slavery, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and failing to live up to the values and principles of the Declaration
  • The imperative to defend liberty against tyranny
  • And much more

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

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In case you missed Bill Kristol’s interview with Christopher Caldwell on Populism in Europe and the Future of the European Union, it was sobering. In a calm tone, his thoughtful and measured responses to Kristol’s questions seemed to need deliverance via a bullhorn. Seismic shifts in, well……everything – is anyone paying attention? http://ricochet.com/527807/conversations-with-bill-kristol-christopher-caldwell-on-populism-in-europe-and-the-future-of-the-european-union/ Preview Open

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The so-called “New Atheists” are desperate to demonstrate that one can have morality without God, and in fact that morality is baked in to our genetic code via the process of natural selection. Preview Open

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