Tag Archives | The Enlightenment

Little Green Men

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. Little Green Men Down in the polls by ten points, Donald Trump has clearly decided to run on a “law and order” platform, billing himself as the antidote to chaos. It’s not a bad strategy, given the riots in the early weeks of the “Black Lives Matter” […]

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It Depends On Where You Stop the Story

An Atheist Reads the Bible, Part 6 At the end of the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible—we saw two big developments: the creation of a religious dictatorship under the rule of Moses, and the development of the idea of a covenant in which God promises the Hebrews victory over their enemies in exchange […]

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The New Science of Progress, and the Old One

News Roundup Editor’s Note: I’m continuing for one more installment of my “News Roundup” format in a last push to catch up with everything that’s been happening while I was completing my book on Atlas Shrugged. I’ve also realized that impeachment news could easily swamp everything else that’s going on in the world, so I […]

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The God That Failed First

On Friday, I sent out an overview of Sohrab Ahmari’s attack on conservative “liberalism”–a word he is using in its correct sense, unfortunately. That piece is now up at The Bulwark. But there is another aspect of that story that I wanted to delve into a little more deeply, which is the brief but dramatic […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 14

Episode 14 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, about the legacy of the Enlightenment. The conversation includes: exactly how good the state of the world is, “thick” versus “thin” philosophy, the […]

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A Little More Enlightenment

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. A Little More Enlightenment I recently re-posted my series of articles from last year on the legacy of the Enlightenment, including my review of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now. One year after the publication of that book, Steven Pinker looks back, in an article in Quillette, and responds […]

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Social Media Was a Mistake

Top Stories of the Year: #1 I’ve been counting down the top stories of the year, looking back at the big events of 2018 and reviewing my coverage of them. At the top of the list this year is what we have discovered about the impact of digital media on our public debate—particularly the second […]

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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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