Tag Archives | Reason

A Formula for Power

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. The Weird Neo-Puritanism of the Anti-Kavanaugh Crusade The contemporary left, with its nannyish campus sex rules and “rape culture” panic, has been inching itself toward a kind of neo-puritan ethic regarding sex. But during the controversy over Brett Kavanaugh, this new puritanism has been oddly widening to […]

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The Vindication of Reason

Nathanael Blake invites me to “discuss our differences over a bottle of whiskey and a large stack of books.” I’ll say yes to the whiskey, though I’ll have a few additions of my own to make to his list of books. This is his introduction to a case that the Enlightenment ideal of rationality is […]

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The Kavanaugh Hearings Are About Reason Versus Emotion

There is only one fundamental dividing line in the reaction to the televised hearings about accusations against Brett Kavanaugh, and it’s not solely a partisan one. It’s the line between those who judged the hearing based on emotions and those who judged it based on reason. The testimony of Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey-Ford, added nothing […]

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Making the “Miracle”

Several recent books on the Enlightenment have sought to celebrate its legacy but have been strangely cursory in their examination of actual Enlightenment thinkers, their ideas, and their influence, sometimes treating the embrace of reason, individual rights, and political freedom as a “miracle” that seemingly came out of nowhere. If you’re interested in the question […]

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The Church Loses Its War on Human Nature

For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has been at war with human nature. It usually loses, as it must, and over the past few weeks it has been losing more than usual. The “pedophile priest” scandal has gotten widespread publicity in the US since the story was broken by the Boston Globe all the way […]

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Progressives Against Enlightenment

One of my concerns about the Trump era is that it signals a wave of anti-intellectualism on the right, a collapse in concern for basic ideas. It has also triggered something of an anti-intellectual response on the left, because Trump is the bogeyman who justifies blind, frenetic “resistance” in place of thoughtful criticism and reasoned […]

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Laurel and Yanny and Manny and Ayn

Every once in a while a new puzzle or paradox sweeps the Internet. A while ago it was the optical illusion of a dress that was either blue and black or gold and white, depending on who you asked. Now it’s the auditory illusion of Laurel Versus Yanny. This is a sound clip that originated […]

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Five Things You Need to Read Today

Here’s your weekly update, for subscribers only, drawing your attention to five stories that are worth catching. Today, the main theme is the continuing war on facts and reason. 1. Making Fake News Great Again I just sent you an article on reason versus emotion in the gun control debate. (I would also recommend that […]

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Logic and Facts and Guns

Early this week, I wrote an article taking the Parkland kids to task for spreading a lot of bunkum, not just about guns, but about the general state of the world—which I backed up with some facts and figures, and even some charts and graphs. In response, I got a lot of the usual hate […]

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Hollywood Baroque

So I sacrificed my two free passes at the fancy new movie theater in town, and an evening in which the kids were staying at grandma and grandpa’s—which is much more valuable—in order to take my wife out to see Batman v Superman. As we left the theater, she asked me whether it was possible […]

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