Western culture

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

The New Evangelization and the Nones

On Monday this week I had the joy to attend the Erasmus Lecture in New York sponsored annually by First Things magazine. It has a rich history, starting in 1988 when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger inaugurated the tradition. This year the Lecture was given by Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, creator of the Catholicism Series, founder of Word […]

Disputa (Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament - Detail) by Raphael

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

The great philosopher Aristotle said “The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.” These modern times bear out this wisdom. When influential thinkers of the past such as William of Occam, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel and several others took deviations from the truth in their philosophies, it […]

Disputa (Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament - Detail) by Raphael

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

The great philosopher Aristotle said “The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.” These modern times bear out this wisdom. When influential thinkers of the past such as William of Occam, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel and several others took deviations from the truth in their philosophies, it […]

Marx, Atheistic Materialism and Class Struggle

If ever someone challenges the truthfulness of the concept that “ideas have consequences” it would be good to remind them of our next philosopher in this examination of the causes of our modern “God is Dead” morality. Besides Karl Marx, no other writer has written anything that has caused so much bloodshed in the history of ideas. As a result […]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

A Philosophy Built on Sand

Rousseau, along with Descartes, Hobbes, and as we will see, many others, are philosophers and intellectuals that each constructed their philosophy and worldview based on their own subjective imaginations, their view of reality, not reality itself. While many of them had great insights, and in some ways bordered on genius, the fact of the matter remains that theirs is a […]

Desires are not Rights

“May you live in interesting times.” There is some debate about whether this quote is an ancient Chinese curse or something more recent, yet the fact of the matter is: we live in interesting times. Around the world we hear of the recent violent events in Paris and Mali, combined with the greatest mass migration of a group of people […]

René-Descartes by Frans Hals

Origins of today’s “God is Dead” Morality: Descartes and the Father of Lies

In North America, October 31 is celebrated as an opportunity for children and adults to dress up in strange, often elaborate and occasionally gruesome costumes. What was once the Feast of All Hallow’s Eve has been transformed and secularized into what is now called Halloween. In the United States, over two billion dollars are spent on candy that will be distributed […]

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Origins of today’s “God is Dead” Morality: Machiavelli

Finally, it is over, and about time too! Canadians last week elected a new Prime Minister after a historically long eleven week campaign, or seventy-eight days to be exact. This campaign, initiated by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, was twice as long as the usual thirty-seven-day campaign. Unfortunately for him it was probably too long as he and his […]

You, Your Conscience and Pinocchio

Every once in a while a news story crosses my path that makes me wonder who exactly is writing this series. Just as I’m reaching the time to discuss a particular topic something happens that coincides perfectly with it, illustrating wonderfully what it is that is being explained. This happens in the classroom as well, so it is not a […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

The Philosophy of Sex

Perhaps the only absolute statement you can make in our society which will not receive any disagreement is that human beings are sexual beings. No matter what a person’s political or philosophical point of view they are most likely to agree to the statement that human beings are sexual. In fact in some areas of society, especially among educators, academics, […]