Cravings and So-called Desires

The substance of the addiction is thus a way to imitate a certain semblance of well-being and thriving. The problem is, of course, that sustainable sources of thriving are absent, and they must therefore be imitated by artificial substitution. Sustainable sources of thriving are still absent.

The Politics of Sexuality, Part 3: Homosexual Weddings, and Marriage

A marriage, on the other hand, is made by a daily effort to live out the vows until death. In the words of my father, the vows I make to my spouse are not so much like laws that I keep or break; they are commitments that keep or break me. The vows may be taken seriously or not, broken or not, but there is no way of withholding them from homosexuals. You cannot copyright the vows which a homosexual couple is perfectly free to make. The government cannot forbid them to do so, nor can any church.

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”