Authenticity Under Threat: Existentialism and the Church’s Potential Complacency – Part 4

If ... the function of organized religion turns out to be nothing more than to house justification, and canonize, the routines of mass society; if organized religion abdicates its mission to disturb individuals in the depths of their consciences, and seeks instead simply to “make converts” that will smilingly adjust to the status quo, then it deserves the most serious and uncompromising criticism.

Authenticity Under Threat, Part 2: Alienation or Being Lost in Mass Society

As we saw from Part 1 in this series of posts (which I encourage you to read before going on), our current systems of knowledge and power are not so much concerned with the authentic identity of concrete persons (you and I). Those systems are primarily concerned with objects of study including such commonplace perspectives … Continue reading Authenticity Under Threat, Part 2: Alienation or Being Lost in Mass Society

Authenticity Under Threat: an Existential Response Part 1

Existentialism offers neither attractions nor peril to people who are perfectly convinced that they are headed in the right direction, that they possess the means to attain a reasonably perfect happiness, and that they have a divine mandate to remove anyone who seems inclined to interfere with this aim.  Existentialism calls into question the validity, indeed the very possibility, of such an aim.

Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition

If you have been paying attention, you will notice that there have been two particular examples of fragmentation that have coincided with each other, a fragmentation of the conservative movement, and a fragmenting of evangelical Christianity. In the heart of conservatism, there is a disagreement between the centrists who have complex sensitivities and more radical … Continue reading Evangelicalism and Conservatism: From Doctrine Back to Disposition

Writing in the Active and Passive Voice

I am a fan of good writing. Good writing communicates ideas to the minds of your readers. When people read your writing, they don’t just interpret its meaning through the words you chose. They also interpret it through your writing’s tone. This tone, just like your tone of voice when you’re speaking, is largely shaped … Continue reading Writing in the Active and Passive Voice

Hannah Arendt: Politics – Authenticity, Mass Society and the Private Realm

Arendt invokes the realm of privacy, which is the realm of persons who are significant others to the individual.  These significant others are the context for the emergence of an individual. In other words, the realm of privacy includes our social sphere where each of those significant others has a reciprocal relationship with each other.  Not only do these significant others constitute our identity as individuals, but each individual also has some responsibility to act as a significant other to the other members.  I would call this “community”.

Limitations on Rights: a Bicentennial Reminder from Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”

Among the books of the nineteenth century that have something important to say to us now Hegel’s  Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820) deserves a prominent place. It’s not the obvious contender for a popular read in the 21st century. He doesn’t make it easy for himself if getting readers was the aim as his … Continue reading Limitations on Rights: a Bicentennial Reminder from Hegel’s “Elements of the Philosophy of Right”

The Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux

Abundant and loving Creator, present in a sacred, given River Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux: a river, a rock that holds us here  Born on one side of the river, on one side of history Born unaware: the River holds tragedy’s tears. Christian capitalists conserving cherished concepts Christian self-interest defecates idolatrous violence  Desecrated cubicles leading to … Continue reading The Assiniboine, the Stone Sioux

Game Theory, COVID and the Good Life

https://youtu.be/p6NNo3HIRrU What I would like to consider today is what COVID has taught us about human flourishing. What should we learn from the experience of COVID, and how ought we do things differently next time? I want to expand on Malcolm Gladwell’s idea in his talk for Google Zeitgeist in June of 2020. And recently … Continue reading Game Theory, COVID and the Good Life

Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness

In Christian languages, happiness gets a less honorable reputation than joy and well-being. But life would hardly be worth living if there weren’t moments of happiness along the way. A universal framework for well-being is far from universal. Here are four models to help clarify your own understanding of happiness and a bit of the … Continue reading Different Cultures, Different Kinds of Happiness

A Corporate Agenda Part 4: 1958

Technocratic rationality, then, needs to be recognized as a feature of mass society and as a systemic threat to our freedom, and its oligarchic substitution of a human artifice for a real-world with unmarked graves; the original sin of assuming that man is the measure of all things, makes its appearance there. It makes its appearance in the controlling of society to restore the economy - an oligarchic and technocratic rationale so obvious that it is surprising there isn’t more protest.

The Corporate Agenda Part 3: The Failure of Technocratic Rationality in Peacebuilding

...quietly observing what the conflict is doing to you before you can ponder the opposite, what you might do to it. Rather than be active, you have to slow down and see what moves in and around you. ‘A lot of it is about listening,’ says Herbert, ‘listening to people, but also listening to yourself to find your balance.’

Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time

The demand to be authentic is so commonplace that it has lost its meaning. ‘Today, there is little premium placed on being authentic,’ writes the American philosopher Gordon Marino in his moving meditation The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age (2018). The increasing prevalence of social media constructions of ourselves, … Continue reading Performative Authenticity: Mass Society in Real Time