- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Concept of evil

“What those who despise President George W. Bush — and there are many, judging by the reaction to the last election — don’t get is that any philosophy or political vision that lacks the concept of evil will not fly with a great many folks in America.

“Liberals tend to explain evil in the world as the product of bad luck, disease and other impersonal forces … assault, battery, robbery, burglary, theft, laziness, recklessness and the like — these are all due to sad circumstances in the lives of the offenders. … It’s always in the stars, not in ourselves, that the fault lies.

“… This is why when President Bush had the gall to use the phrase ‘axis of evil,’ and when Ronald Reagan earlier referred to the Soviet Union as ‘the evil empire,’ liberals smugly dismissed it all as shallow moralizing unworthy of sophisticated folks everywhere. …

“I am convinced that one of the main reasons [President Bush] won the election is that many Americans simply could not abide some of Kerry’s supporters, academics and other intellectuals who scoff at the belief that there are morally right and wrong actions that people engage in throughout the world. —

“They supported Bush, who at least appears to acknowledge an elementary fact about human life: some folks act badly and are responsible for their actions, while others act decently and should be recognized. Not until liberals produce a philosophical-political vision that makes room for this position will they stop being at odds with the bulk of Americans.”

Tibor R. Machan in “For Liberals, No One’s Evil” in the October/November issue of Free Inquiry

Dramatic conception

“… In the United States, we do not have much in the way of public discussions of reproductive technology, in part because we do not seriously regulate it. — Rarely do these discussions bubble over into the public. For that, we can now turn to the new NBC drama ‘Inconceivable,’ which tries to bring the issues of modern-day conception into the American living room.

“NBC’s decision to set an overdetermined, soap-operatic, pretty seamy, never-quite-funny drama in a fertility clinic is itself a barometer of the national mood on the subject. Fertility-related medical visits now number in the millions each year. Truly, fertility medicine is the perfect vehicle for Hollywood drama: ordinary enough now to feel universal, but still emotionally charged and, often, genuinely dramatic”

Liza Mundy, writing on “All Too Conceivable,” Sept. 29 in Slate at www.slate.com

Reality protesters

“The unspoken assumption behind [the Sept. 25 anti-war] protests was that, merely by existing, the protesters had acquired a right not only to speak up on the issues of the day, but also to be listened to even though they have only slogans and no serious geopolitical or strategic arguments to offer. …

“It is not by coincidence that these sound like the words of some air-headed celebrity. For the demonstrators expect us to listen to them not as serious people, but as celebrities are listened to — that is, simply because the rest of us are interested in how they identify themselves politically as we might be in how they dress or whom they are dating. The protesters see themselves in the same way that the contestants on reality TV shows do: namely, as candidates for minor celebrity status. In fact, appearing on TV is itself a validation of their right to be noticed and taken an interest in.”

James Bowman, writing on “Complete Unknowns,” Sept. 30 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.com

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