Thursday, March 31, 2022
Hart’s post-Christian pantheism
You Are Gods: On Nature and Supernature is now out. So is my review, “David Bentley Hart’s Post-Christian Pantheism,” which you can read at Public Discourse. As you will see, the title of my essay is not invective, but pretty much just a straightforward description of what’s in the book.
Posted by Edward Feser at 6:39 PM 124 comments:
Sunday, March 27, 2022
Unjust war and false masculinity
“Russia's War and the Message of Fatima”; philosopher John Lamont’s “Putin’s Attack on Ukraine”; and theologian Pater Edmund Waldstein’s “The War in Ukraine in the Light of Just War Principles.” There is a reason why I emphasize that the injustice is grave, as I have in my earlier commentary on the war. Few among those who have expressed sympathy with the Russian side in the conflict have claimed that the invasion meets just war criteria (unsurprisingly, since it manifestly does not). They have tended instead to emphasize Putin’s purported virtues and the vices of Zelensky and his Western supporters – as if these somehow balance out the destruction of cities and the deaths of thousands of human beings.
Posted by Edward Feser at 11:27 PM 137 comments:
Monday, March 21, 2022
Conspiracy theories, spontaneous order, and the hermeneutics of suspicion
Nobody denies that conspiracies occur. They happen every time two or more people collude in order to secure some malign end. When people criticize “conspiracy theories,” it is a particular kind of conspiracy that they find implausible. I’ve written several times before about some of the marks of conspiracy theories of this dubious kind. They tend to be grounded in “narrative thinking” rather than a rigorous and dispassionate consideration of the merits and deficiencies of all alternative possible explanations. They tend to violate Ockham’s razor, posit conspiracies that are too vast and complicated to be psychologically and sociologically feasible, and reflect naiveté about the way modern bureaucracies function. The vastness of the posited conspiracy often has implications for the reliability of news media and other sources of information that make the theory epistemically self-defeating and unfalsifiable. (For simplicity’s sake, from here on out I’ll use the expression “conspiracy theories” to refer, specifically, to theories having vices like these – acknowledging, again, that there are conspiracies of a more plausible kind, and thus conspiracy theories of a more plausible kind.)
Posted by Edward Feser at 6:27 PM 51 comments:
Monday, March 14, 2022
Chomsky’s “propaganda model” of mass media
Posted by Edward Feser at 3:45 PM 65 comments:
Friday, March 4, 2022
Just war theory and the Russo-Ukrainian war
At one and the same time:
- the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
- all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
- there must be serious prospects of success;
- the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
End quote. I submit that Russia’s invasion clearly fails to meet the first, second, and fourth criteria, and NATO military action against Russia would clearly fail to meet the second, third, and fourth criteria.
Posted by Edward Feser at 3:00 PM 210 comments:
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