Tag: Morality

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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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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/ Caldwell states […]

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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. Now, I’m not against the thesis that there’s an evolutionary component to morality or that natural selection isn’t a factor, but the […]

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As Hollywood gathered Sunday night to adore itself, it was time for some housekeeping issues to be brought to the forefront. The Harvey Weinstein scandal was the loose thread that unraveled a corrupt culture that systematically objectified women and demanded sexual favors for advancement. Now that they were all together, it was time for some […]

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Morality pure and simple accepts the law of the whole which it finds reigning, so far as to acknowledge and obey it, but it may obey it with the heaviest and coldest heart, and never cease to feel it as a yoke. But for religion, in its strong and fully developed manifestations, the service of […]

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Sympathizing: Must Loving Fishtown Equal Hating Belmont?

 

We have plenty of folks on Ricochet who inhabit Belmont, more or less, but identify with Fishtown. It seems the easiest way to signal this sympathy is to be a self-hating Belmontonian. But what if you don’t hate everything about Belmont? Is it possible to sympathize with Fishtown even then? I would say yes. Though I would not, at this point, expect to be believed.

I recently reviewed Dreamland, a reporter’s magnum opus on the opiate addiction epidemic. My interest in its devastation isn’t academic. After all, I, too, have known chronic pain, death-wish despair, and repeated exposure to opioids through injury and surgery. Nor am I the only one in my family to have had these problems. Yet we’ve been spared from narcotics addiction, and the buffer of Belmont customs is at least partly to thank for this. Growing up, I hadn’t thought of myself as “Belmont.” My parents’ one sacrifice to dwarf all others was buying us a precarious perch in a Belmont neighborhood so we could attend its famed Belmont schools. It meant money was always tight. We dressed in the kind of secondhand clothes that made other kids point and laugh. In Belmont, we were at the bottom of the food chain, and that, plus my family’s right-leaning distaste for Belmont smugness, left us thinking of ourselves as outsiders, crypto-Fishtowners. It took leaving Belmont to find out how Belmont we’d become.

Being Belmont isn’t such a bad thing. There’s much more to Belmont than smugly looking down on the rubes. We rely on Belmont to support much of the finest flower of Western civilization – the arts, the sciences. As Charles Murray noted, Belmont neglects to preach the morals it still practices, while Fishtown struggles to practice what it preaches. But practice is not nothing, especially for youngsters who get to grow up surrounded by the practice. In my teens, I began attending about the Belmontiest church you could imagine – folks way richer than us, socialites on the “in” when I was “out,” with everybody reluctant to preach what they practiced. But among the things they practiced was traditional worship music (it’s why I went) and, as Lutherans like to say, music is its own sermon. You can get a pretty good Christian formation in one of those churches by ignoring what’s spoken and taking to heart what’s sung. And oh, the music!

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The moral realm can be defined as that area where we determine not only what is but what human action ought to be. It is also notable for being perhaps the only part of human life in which we are able to weigh the options and use our free will to make a decision. Aesthetics are more […]

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The Torah describes a developing and evolving world from the beginning of Genesis until the era of the Exodus from Egypt, all connected to the types and meanings of human relationships. The text seems to be telling us that a certain kind of human marriage and family were prerequisites for the Exodus, the events at […]

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Odds and the Moral Obligation

 

Merely disagreeing with the way another person plans to vote isn’t tantamount to questioning that other person’s morality. Insisting that “It’s morally imperative to vote my way” or “Those voting differently from me are _____” where _____ is some sort of moral flaw (preening, cowardice, squeamishness, etc) isn’t just disagreeing with how others plan to vote, though.

I look at the question, “Do the odds in my state of my vote flipping the election to the victor give me a moral obligation to choose between the two leads?” as a prudential question that depends on a judgment call about those odds. Knowing the lottery-like nature of those odds, typically even in swing states, I can understand anyone answering, “No.” I can also understand those in swing states answering yes. Or anyone answering yes for himself, if entering the lottery for the victor, even with the smallest odds imaginable, is important to him. Where to set bounds like “so close to zero it may as well be” is always a judgment call in decision making, not something that can be established by mathematical proof.

Simple Life

 

wedding ringsI am a monogamous married man.  I am not a romantic person, but I do love my wife dearly.  I enjoy a simple life with her.

I do not have an ex.  No ex-wife, no ex-in-laws, no alimony, no child support, no lawyer.  My wife is the mother of my children, which also simplifies their lives.  Our kids never had to keep a personal scheduler to know which home to go to after school.  They never had to do that blended family thing.

I don’t have any former friends who are now friends of an ex.  I never changed church because it was too uncomfortable to attend the church of my ex.

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In the game We Happy Few, currently in development, Joy is a pill issued by government that makes everyone happy regardless of their circumstances. Downers — citizens who refuse to take the pill — are punished for their obstinance.  But suppose Downers were left alone. Suppose that it was a free choice to chemically induce […]

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I didn’t know what to call this post. I just read that there was another police shooting today in Kansas City. It’s not a headline. Both are disturbing. We cannot allow this to become the norm – not by a long shot. Is it going to take a full blown walk on Washington – a […]

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Do you ever think about what you consider to be moral or immoral acts? If we talk about rape or murder, I don’t think we’d argue about their immorality. But on a recent post I made, someone suggested that the way we sometimes treat each other on Ricochet could fall into the category of “immoral.” […]

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Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence”—and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a US government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News. This is about the 22 Top […]

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Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob (Gen. 25:25-6) The Torah is telling us something very important here. Esau is defined by his appearance – because […]

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A young lady asked me today what I’ve been doing on Ricochet with these posts about stand up comedy. She wanted to know who is this Mr. Anthony Jeselnik, praise of whom I have been damning & damning & am about to thrice damn. This was in public, so I had to be careful. I retold the […]

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