August 30, 2014

Dylan Pahman – Natural Law, Public Policy, and the Uncanny Voice of Conscience: An Orthodox Response to David Bentley Hart

Dylan Pahman

Source: Ehtika Politika | In his recent First Things article, “Is, Ought, and Nature’s Laws,” David Bentley Hart puts forth a formidable and subtle critique of the use, “by certain self-described Thomists,” of the natural law tradition in public discourse. While Hart does not deny “a harmony between cosmic and moral order,” he takes issue when “the natural law theorist insists that the moral meaning of nature should be perfectly evident to any properly reasoning mind, regardless of religious belief or cultural formation.” He thus contends that (1) such natural lawyers, despite best intentions, ultimately fall prey to David Hume’s critique that one cannot derive an “ought” from an “is”; that (2) natural law reasoning depends upon a person’s prior acceptance of certain metaphysical commitments (e.g. a teleological world and a harmony between the cosmic and moral orders); that (3) universal … [Read more...]

Samuel Gregg: Christians in a Post-Welfare State World


How much of the activism of the Progressive wing of American Christianity (including some Orthodox participants unfortunately) in the current budget battles is nothing more than grabbing its piece of the federal pie before the welfare state collapses? Progressives like Jim Wallis and others routinely use the moral imperatives of the gospel to justify their Progressive moral vision. They conflate the imperatives into Progressive ideology to persuade the unsuspecting that the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Progressive ideology are one and the same. They are, at heart, statists who refuse to examine the soul stultifying and character destroying dependencies that statism fosters. Welfare states are dying because this albatross of good intentions is not economically viable. Welfare states can only exist on borrowed money. Once the bills come due, as they have for America and all the countries of Western Europe, change is inevitable and necessary. "Christian" Progressives understand this … [Read more...]