We’re not Puritans anymore

David Brooks, writing about Penn State in the NYT:  In centuries past, people built moral systems that acknowledged this weakness. These systems emphasized our sinfulness. They reminded people of the evil within themselves. Life was seen as an inner struggle against the selfish forces inside. These vocabularies made people aware of how their weaknesses manifested... Continue Reading →

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Led into temptation by their very goodness

Ross Douthat, writing about Penn State in the NYT: Bad and mediocre people are tempted to sin by their own habitual weaknesses. The earlier lies or thefts or adulteries make the next one that much easier to contemplate. Having already cut so many corners, the thinking goes, what’s one more here or there? Why even... Continue Reading →

Guilt of infinite extensibility

Wilfred McClay, writing in a First Things article, "The Moral Economy of Guilt": "There is another factor at work too, one that may be called the infinite extensibility of guilt. This...is a surprising by-product of modernity's proudest product: its ever growing capacity to comprehend and control the physical world. In a world in which the... Continue Reading →

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