The Official End of Shame

In the aftermath of the Lewinski scandal way back in the ’90’s, you heard a lot of people talking about “the end of shame.” Up until Bill Clinton, pretty much any politician caught in the same situation would’ve resigned in disgrace, and quickly, too. But that’s because up until Bill Clinton, most politicians had at…

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The Unlearned Lesson from South Carolina

The developments in South Carolina over the last few days have produced enough object lessons to fill a lengthy sermon series. Hate and fear; love and forgiveness; tolerance and intolerance — the victims’ families will be well taken care of because Oprah will stop at nothing to get the movie rights. But in spite of all…

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Thoughts on Tourture

With the release of the CIA torture report, I thought I would write a little about my thoughts on torture, but then I remembered that I already did. Below is the entirety of a post from 2009, another time when a lot of people were thinking about the moral implications of “enhanced interrogation”: There’s been…

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Moral Absolutes Have to Come from Somewhere

From the Stand to Reason blog, a quick explanation of how the existence of moral absolutes points to the existence of God. Also, something about bowling.

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Upskirt Photos, Law, and Natural Law

(Hello, everyone who was brought here by a Google search for “upskirt photos!” Hope you’re not too disappointed!) The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently ruled that it was not illegal to covertly point your phone camera up the skirts of women you see in public and take pictures of their swimsuit area. So, the Massachusetts legislature…

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This Just In: We are Not Monsters

In movies and TV shows, whenever civil society breaks down — because of zombies, meteor strike, irate Godzilla, or some such — people immediately devolve into utterly selfish, vicious animals. Glee clubs spontaneously transform into motorcycle gangs, and young professionals start bashing girl scouts in the head to steal the half-chewed do-si-dos out of their…

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“Government Isn’t Synonymous with Civil Society”

Jonah Goldberg points out how society breaks down when we abandon our shared traditions and morals: …the cause is a breakdown in shared norms, customs, language, and the other often invisible and intangible but no less real sinews that bind a community together. Family breakdown, the decline in good blue-collar jobs, the decline of organized…

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Babies Don’t Know Jack About Morality

The Atlantic on studies that purport to show that babies are born with an understanding of morality: Human babies, before they learn how to speak and even hold up their own bodies, are capable of not only telling the difference between right and wrong, but of making morally fraught decisions, a finding that shocked scientists…

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What was Up with All the Smiting?

Justin Taylor has a couple of videos of a talk given by Peter Williams on answering the very difficult questions about the morality of the Old Testament. Heavy stuff, indeed, but a topic Christians have to be prepared to address. Also, Tom and Jerry make an appearance. Here’s one of the videos: Check out Justin’s…

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Richard Dawkins: Not the Guy You Want Setting Moral Standards

Hey, you know how one of the arguments of atheists, when you say that goodness and morality come from God, is that people can be good people without being religious? Well, this: “I am very conscious that you can’t condemn people of an earlier era by the standards of ours. Just as we don’t look…

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Pathological Altruism

College professor Barbara Oakley has written a paper that gives a solid, academic form to an idea that I think a lot of people had but never verbalized. She describes what she calls “pathological altruism.” James Taranto sums it up on WSJ.com: Oakley defines pathological altruism as “altruism in which attempts to promote the welfare…

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Mark Sanford and Why Character Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Mark Sanford won his way back into Congress, marking the culmination of the strangest–and quickest–redemptions of a public figure since Marv Albert put on women’s underwear and went on a biting spree. Some commentators are drawing from this the conclusion that society has deteriorated to the point where we just don’t care about the morals of…

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Is Patton Oswalt Right?

(Here’s one of those posts where I earn the name of the blog.) In the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, Patton Oswalt wrote this:  This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is,…

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The Morality of Free Markets

I don’t know how much of an expert Rupert Murdoch is on morality, but he’s right about this: the free market is the most moral system:

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The Gosnell Blackout

Mark Steyn: But some of us have argued a consistent position on this case for over two years now: Relatively few people wish to commit mass murder on the scale of Gosnell – that’s the good news. The bad news is that the vast ranks of newspaper publishers, TV executives, editors, news producers, radio assignment…

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If Greed is Good, Maybe it’s not Greed

Jeff Carter in support of what used to be called “achievement” but is now called “greed”: The assault on greed in the past several years has been astounding. It’s morphed into an assault on capitalism. But, the people behind the assault hated capitalism and are just using “greed” to try and destroy a capitalistic system.  Greed…

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"God is not our life coach"

On NRO, David French writes about the abandonment of principles in the church, and how it has led us to the pickle we find ourselves in today: For the Christian, marriage should be a covenant relationship, between a man and woman, that is designed to last for life — with the only scriptural grounds for…

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Reconciling God’s Love with God’s Wrath

Wrath is an aspect of God’s nature that every Christian should understand, but we tend to shy away from. Justin Taylor looks at the Old Testament fire-and-brimstone God from a New Testament perspective, asking “How could God command genocide in the Old Testament?“ It is commonplace in our culture to ask whether this or that…

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The 4 Ways Money Can Be Spent and the Indiana Jones Scale of Morality

Milton Friedman had a legendary explanation of the four ways that money can be spent. Here’s the great man elaborating on the concept: It’s an elegant explanation of why it’s dumb to try to funnel everything through a central government and expect good results to come out the other side. But Friedman’s explanation focuses on…

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The Homosexuality Debate is Not a Debate

Justin Taylor has a post where he asks how Christians should respond to the gauntlet that faces them whenever they try to argue against homosexuality and for traditional sexual morality. He includes a lot of interesting links, including this one from Trevin Wax called “How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate Would Go,” in which he…

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