John Schwenkler

I am Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Florida State University.

By this author

Hitchens on Religion: "Somehow if I could drive it out of the world, I wouldn't."

Matthew Boudway points me to a clip from the documentary film Collision, where Christopher Hitchens debates the Presbyterian pastor Douglas Wilson. In it, Hitchens acknowledges the difficulty of the so-called "fine-tuning argument" from the atheist perspective, and then notes an important point of disagreement between himself and Richard Dawkins: if Hitchens were able to rid the world of belief in God entirely, he says, he wouldn't want to do it. He can't really say why, though.

Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

The public square has a gaping hole this morning, as the brilliant Christopher Hitchens has died.

"Military Metaphysics"

Today is (was?) the 50th anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Presidential farewell address, in which he coined the famous phrase "military-industrial complex" in warning of the "economic, political, even spiritual" consequences of the "total influence" of America's rapidly growing military establishment and arms industry.

Failing America

Writes Joe Klein, on today's news concerning the black-white achievement gap in reading, where 12% of black fourth-grade boys and 38% of white fourth-grade boys are designated as proficient:

Oh, my - ctd.

I called attention the other day to a couple of startlingly - though by no means atypically - offensive posts by the conservative blogger Jim Hoft, whose blog "Gateway Pundit" has been hosted at First Things for quite some time now. Now comes this comment from Joe Carter, FT's Web editor, explaining that Hoft's blog is about to leave FT's Web site.

Oh, my

The big, bloggy news today concerns a supporter of Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for Kentucky's Senate seat, who reacted badly when a female MoveOn.org volunteer went in for a harmless prank. (For the record, I too am a Paul supporter.) Writes the Louisville Courier-Journal (boldface emphasis mine):

"A corruption of the Church"

Via Ross Douthat, I see that Jody Bottum has a truly courageous piece in the new issue of First Things calling for Cardinal Sodano (whose see-no-evil antics were blogged about earlier here and here) to step down from his position as dean of the College of Cardinals over his role in covering up case

Democrats and the Pro-Life Movement

Ross Douthat has written an honest, charitable post that is the most thoughtful contribution I've so far seen a conservative commentator make to the debate over Bart Stupak's stance on health care reform.