A Crisis of Liberalism?
There is much to admire in Patrick Deneen’s book Why Liberalism Failed, which combines impressive learning in the history of political theory and genuine attention to the complex realities of contemporary life. But the book is also deeply flawed, and in the end its critique lacks the prudence, realism, and generosity of spirit that wiser cultural critics have demonstrated in their own deep efforts to confront the problems of modernity.
Jewish Conservatism: A Manifesto
The question Norman Podhoretz asked in his 2009 book—Why Are Jews Liberals?—seems only more consequential after President Obama’s two terms in office.
The Spirit of Jewish Conservatism
Both in America and in Israel, the liberal faith of too many Jews has imperiled the Jewish future. Needed is a serious, thoughtful, and authentically Jewish alternative.
In the Shadow of Progress
We live in an age of unprecedented human mastery — over birth and death, body and mind, nature and human nature. In every realm of life, science and technology have brought remarkable advances and improvements: we are healthier, wealthier, and more comfortable than ever before. But our gratitude for the benefits of progress increasingly mixes with concern about the meaning and consequences of our newfound powers.
For the Love of the Game
The Super Bowl is over. March Madness is fast approaching, with NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs close behind. Spring training for the new baseball season has begun. Year after year, season by season, sports fans across the country shift their attentions, polish their loyalties, and renew their hopes: maybe this year, just this once, it […]
The Ends of Science
Whenever I meet with scientists, I’m always struck by their optimism — and their discontent. Mostly they are optimists, excited by the latest findings: the newly isolated gene variant that may help explain schizophrenia, the new telescopic images that reveal the violent births of distant galaxies, the geochemical discoveries that may change our understanding of […]
Annihilation from Within: The Ultimate Threat to Nations by Fred Charles Iklé (Columbia, 142 pp., $24.50) Fear and trembling about the dark side of modern technology have been with us for centuries–from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World to J. Robert Oppenheimer’s atomic remorse. Technology is power, and power is dangerous. The […]
In Whose Image Shall We Die?
The problem of living well with death is central to many of the quandaries of bioethics, from assisted suicide to organ transplants to embryo research. In confronting these very modern medical dilemmas, we need to recover some ancient wisdom about mortality. By considering some of our culture’s paradigmatic images of the good death—the remembered death […]
Stem the Tide
This week, the Senate will take up legislation already passed by the House (H.R. 810) to authorize federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells harvested by destroying human embryos left over in fertility clinics. Since August 2001, under a policy established by President Bush, federally funded research has been limited to embryonic stem cell […]
Stem Cells Without Moral Corruption
For the past few years many of the world’s leading scientists have promoted so-called therapeutic cloning as the most promising way to produce clinically useful, genetically tailored, biologically versatile stem cells. That is why claims by a team of South Korean researchers — one in 2004 that the first cloned human embryo had been produced, […]