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Tag Archives: Voltaire
Maybe. In a fascinating summary, at NewGeography.com, of global demographic research, Joel Kotkin points the finger at Enlightenment secularism for the ballooning budget deficits and low birth rates in industrialized countries: The increasingly perilous shape of public finance in almost all … Continue reading
Twitter Blasphemy: 18,000 Facebookers Call for the Death of Feminist Hamza Kashgari for Insulting the Prophet Muhammad
As of this morning, 18,000 is the number of Facebookers calling for the death of Hamza Kashgari for Twitter blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. The number was 8,000 on Thursday, 13,000 on Friday, and 16,000 on Saturday. Does anyone know … Continue reading
This new reality series seems hopeful: ___ I’ve long thought, and still think, that American Muslims represent Islam’s future (which I take to be the religion’s gradual but definite liberalization and rapprochement with western Enlightenment modernism). I’m betting that a century from now the … Continue reading
In a blog post at RD Magazine titled, “Atheism is Doomed,” Paul Wallace draws a curious equivalence between fundamentalism and atheism for which he provides no evidence: [T]he sound and fury of contemporary religious fundamentalism is the last desperation of a dying worldview. It … Continue reading
Kansas City Bishop Robert W. Finn Knew of the Child Pornography Photographs Taken by Father Shawn Ratigan
Father Robert W. Finn is bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph archdiocese. He is also, according to today’s New York Times, an outspoken theological conservative. And he’s a protector of at least one child abuser. That child abuser’s name is Father Shawn Ratigan. Here’s the … Continue reading
The birth pangs of a new Egypt: a Hitler-like religious fanatic (living in London!) argues with an Enlightenment influenced liberal over the future of Egypt: Hat tip: Concerned Christian.
Should we call our time the era of the prodigal sons and daughters? Chris Hedges, from page 44 of his book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Nation Books, 2009): We are a culture … Continue reading
One of the books I’ve been reading this summer is Zeev Sternhell’s The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition (Yale 2010), and this morning the opening paragraph of chapter 6 (pg. 274) really jumped out at me: The antirationalist form of modernity, as we have … Continue reading
Reason, to my mind, is a human universal (though some do it far better than others). In other words, barring intellectual disability or brain injury, human beings have a universal capacity for reasoning with others: we can deduct, induct, experiment, … Continue reading
About 2000 Muslim women in France wear the full body burqa, and the French Parliament is slated to vote on its ban Tuesday. The idea of a burqa ban is popular in France (in polls, about 80% of French citizens tend to … Continue reading
Henry James has an intriguing, but not widely known, tale of a person coming under the spell of a religious mania. James titled it: The Last of the Valerii The short story is set in Rome, and the narrator is the godfather of an … Continue reading
What is the Enlightenment’s Distinctive Feature? And What Contemporary Movement is the Enlightenment’s Most Representative Heir?
Zeev Sternhell, in his recent book, The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition (Yale 2009), offers reason as the Anglo-French Enlightenment’s distinctive feature, and the ingredient that made for its historic break with the past (41): Criticism of the existing political order, but also criticism … Continue reading
Below are some rather impious lines from La Moisade, a 17th century French satirical poem (author unknown). It opens with this sass of Mosaic legislation: A teaching so irrelevant Shall not my doubts destroy? With empty sophism thou shalt not My reason … Continue reading
In 1775, in the year just prior to the American Revolution, Samuel Johnson famously quipped that: Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And this morning, thinking about this truism, I asked myself this question: What is it about patriotism that … Continue reading
But don’t call his violence Islamofascism. This reported today by AP: A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog said Tuesday he was assaulted while giving a lecture at a university. Lars Vilks told The Associated Press a … Continue reading
. At least that is the implied claim of the Pakistani-born Muslim I took a picture of above (as he was passing out free copies of the Quran). The picture was taken this weekend during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books … Continue reading