Welcome to my weekly digest for December 9, 2022. For new subscribers, this contains a roundup of my recent writings and podcasts, as well as links to the best articles from around the web this week. You can control what emails you get from me by
Is there any way to interact with the Christian Nationalism symposium authors?
I found John Ehrett's contribution fairly interesting and well-put, except for this glaring misapprehension:
"I’m skeptical that any particular social configuration other than the family can be identified as distinctively "natural' ..."
Which seems to undercut his argument to some extent.
Regarding MacIntyre and Dreher, maybe the moral of the story is, "Don't base the title of your book and a key part of your thesis on a quote from someone who's still alive that you haven't spoken with and that won't endorse your ideas." Though to be clear, I like Dreher in general, though I don't like all of his choices. My guess is that MacIntyre dislikes Dreher more than he likes being consistent with things he wrote 40 years ago, so that's what happened here.
On another note, is MacIntyre worth reading for someone who doesn't intend to spend much time debating morality with atheists on the Internet? I suppose the main thing I care about is thinking through more ways to teach my children about morality and virtue.
I've always had the feeling that when moral philosophers are trying to make arguments that will appeal to both Christians and the non-religious, it's sort of like scientists making arguments about astronomy that are designed to appeal to people who believe in both a round and a flat Earth. I can see why it's necessary for a few specific purposes -- apologetics, politics -- but otherwise it feels like a waste of time.
Pascal wrote: "It is certain that the mortality or immortality of the soul must make an entire difference to morality. And yet the philosophers construct their ethics independently of this; they discuss to pass an hour." That's how I really feel.