Each Life Matters

Three word slogans where the words are chosen to fit the mood of the time can have great mobilising potential. In the United Kingdom 'Take Back Control' and 'Get Brexit Done' had the power to win a referendum and an election respectively. 'Peace, Bread, Land,' and 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity' played their part in stupendous revolutionary... Continue Reading →

Jane Austen & the Spirit of Chivalry

Or: The Box Hill Dialogues Although the idea of privilege is rather over used at times it is a thing and it does have significance. It is, moreover, a universal phenomenon. There is no human society of which we know where privilege did not exist, if only that which accrues to the strong over the weak,... Continue Reading →

Dominion Through Permanent Revolution

Tom Holland, the historian and amateur-but-elite cricketer, races his way through about 2498 years of human history in the course of not much more than 500 pages for his latest book Dominion. The object of the exercise is to trace the impact which a particular collection of ideas and beliefs has had in the rise and... Continue Reading →

Against Disembodied Ideas

If the institutions of democracy and capitalism are to work properly, they must coexist with certain premodern cultural habits that ensure their proper functioning. Law, contract, and economic rationality provide a necessary but not sufficient basis for both the stability and prosperity of post-industrial societies; they must as well be leavened with reciprocity, moral obligation,... Continue Reading →

Modesty As A Male Virtue

Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16) There is an idea that the word 'modesty' only applies to women and specifically to their clothing choices. Associated with that is a further idea that... Continue Reading →

Good Friday, The Longest Day

In the 1962 film The Longest Day about the Normandy Landings there is an, for the era, harrowing scene showing the disastrous airborne assault on Sainte-Mère Église. American paratroopers were killed in large numbers by well prepared German defenders. Later in the picture John Wayne, playing a commanding officer, arrives in the village which has become the... Continue Reading →

Shangri La-sur-Loire

The chances are that you are reading this because you want to know what the odd title means. I will come to that presently but first I want to talk about cults. The word has acquired a sinister connotation in modern English but its Latin original cultus means  "care, labour; cultivation, culture; worship, reverence."  It retains something... Continue Reading →

Are Atheists More Moral Than Christians?

It is sometimes argued that since Christians do good and avoid evil out of, respectively, a desire for heaven and a fear of hell whereas atheists do good because it is good and avoid evil because it is evil therefore atheists are more moral than Christians. This is one of these arguments which is tremendously... Continue Reading →

Reason & Its Rivals

When faced with an unexplained phenomenon it may seem apparent that the best response is to investigate it. We can then assemble the data we have collected through our investigation, evaluate it and construct an hypothesis which explains the phenomenon with reference to all relevant facts. The obviousness of this approach, however, is a cultural... Continue Reading →

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