Posts Tagged ‘Virtue’

The Philosophy Teacher’s Dilemma

The words “aging” and “maturing,” when applied to wine, mean the same thing. Such is not the case with human beings. It is possible for them to age without maturing. Growing older does not mean growing wiser. Sigmund Freud viewed immaturity as the inability to postpone gratification. This is a reasonable and useful rule of thumb.

The immature person wants the rewards without going through the trouble of earning them. The philosophy teacher’s...

Two Kinds of Happiness: How a New Study Confirms Old Truths

I’m always intrigued when I happen upon a clinical study that implicates important philosophical truths.[1]

The science:

Principal investigators Professor Barbara L. Fredrickson[2] and Dr. Stephen Cole[3] set out to test how feelings of happiness (good psychological health) impact the human immune system (bodily health). Their guiding referent was the hypothesis of a previous investigation in which a group of psychologically unhappy participants—all suffering from chronic stress or poor psychological health—uniformly...

How Responsibility Enlarges Freedom

There are well-known experiences we all share that have names that are not at all well-known and can rarely be shared. For example, who has heard of “Zymurgy’s First Law of Evolving System Dynamics”?

Yet it refers to something that we have all experienced. Its more prosaic description reads as follows: Once you open a can of worms, the only way to recan them is to use a larger can. This principle is...

Are We Really Working for a Culture of Life?

Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Evangelium vitae, urges us to be on the side of the Culture of Life. We know that pride can blind. The Pharisees, no doubt, believed they were on the right side of the Lord, but they were victims of self-deception. Abortion and euthanasia advocates assert that they have taken the higher moral ground because they are motivated by compassion, mercy, courage, and love.

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Looking at the Bottom Line on Marriage

There are those who attack traditional marriage and say this sacred institution should no longer be defined in terms of the procreation of the human race and the mutual love and support of a man and a woman. Such advocates of “redefining” marriage fail to understand that we do so at great risk.

There are plenty of moral arguments that deal with the need to defend traditional marriage. However, many refuse to recognize the...

Thanks, I Owe You One

I am writing this article for Memorial Day and all that it represents. It is a time set aside for reflecting on the debt we owe to those who came before us and fought, struggled, and died in defending the values and privileges we often take for granted. On this day of remembrance we should also honor our parents and grandparents who cooperated in giving us life.

Finally, I would like to express...

A Cloudy Future for Catholic Boy Scouts

I am the wife of an Eagle Scout and the mother of three Eagle Scouts. I spent many years as a Cub Scout leader, my husband did a stint as a Scout Master, and one of my sons served as an assistant Scout Master. Our family has been heavily invested in the Boy Scouts of America. Perhaps this explains why I feel so heartbroken over the Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly homosexual boys...

Sparta Revisited

The ancient city-state of Sparta has been the subject of widely divergent evaluations. Jean-Jacques Rousseau took it as a model for his highly influential book, The Social Contract. He praised Sparta as a “republic of demi-gods rather than of men.” According to Rousseau, Spartans were people of “natural simplicity,” whereas civilized men “have been corrupted in proportion as the arts and sciences have improved.”

To be Spartan was to exhibit valor and discipline to a...