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Column: Deprogram | Salvo 46

AI Apprehension

Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Over? Or Is a Fashionable Panic Afoot? by Denyse O'Leary

. . . AI will make a big difference, Marks reckons, but not by producing brains with metal shells. Rather, he laments, Google knows where he is every second of the day, and where we are, too. No authoritarian regime in history, not even 1984 in fiction, had such potential power. . . . ►►►

Department: Parting Shot | Salvo 45

Mommy Nearest

The Priority of Motherhood by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Our culture needs to encourage and support women who put their children's needs ahead of their own, at least for a time. "The truth is," Komisar writes, "we can do everything in life, but not at the same time. We cannot raise healthy children if we are not there for them emotionally and physically." Society used to value motherhood instinctively. How could motherhood not be important? As C. S. Lewis said, "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." . . . ►►►

Column: Family Briefing | Salvo 46

Disenchanted

What's Wrong with Women Today? It's Complicated by Nicole M. King

. . . All of these factors—decreased social cohesion, loss of faith, and different, more complicated roles for women—are, I suggest, combining to make women miserable. We are doing more, doing too much even, and doing it alone—without the help of each other, and without seeking the aid of God. . . . ►►►

Department: Home Front | Salvo 34

Girl Watching

Raising Daughters in Troubled Times by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Another phenomenon of living in a cyber world is what columnist Clive Thompson calls "microcelebrity." Teenage girls getting ready for a party "make sure they're dressed for their close-up," he wrote in Wired magazine. They know there will be photos and that those photos will be posted online. The danger, says Sax, is that girls who get caught up in what he calls the "cyberbubble" will find it hard "to know where they came from, where they are, and where they want to go." Overly concerned about the image they present to the world, they won't feel at home with who they are. In fact, Sax worries that the result of early sexualization and excessive use of social media is that girls may not know who they really are. . . . ►►►

Department: Collateral Damage | Salvo 32

Sexual Insanity

From Wilhelm Reich to the Vagina Lobby in Two Easy Steps by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Eight years after the Pill received FDA approval in 1960, Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae. It predicted four ramifications of widespread contraceptive use: an overall decline in moral standards, a rise in infidelity, a decline in male respect for women, and the coercive exertion of reproductive control by governments. Reactions to the encyclical ranged from polite disregard to outright contempt. But time has proved Paul VI dead right on all counts. "Forty-plus years after Humanae Vitae," writes Mary Eberstadt, "there are more than enough ironies, both secular and religious, to make one swear there's a humorist in heaven"—at least, she noted soberly, for those who take their humor dark. . . . ►►►

Department: Collateral Damage | Salvo 44

Silicon Debauchery

More Evidence the Hookup Culture Is Human Malware by Nancy R. Pearcey

. . . A society's view of sex reflects its deeper commitments—its prevailing ethos or worldview. The sexual liberation ethic stems from an underlying idea that the world is a product of blind, material forces. As a recent New Yorker article put it, "the loyalty oath of modernity" is that "nature is without conscious design . . . the emergence of Homo sapiens was without meaning or telos" (purpose). And if the human body is said to have no meaning or purpose, neither does sex. On one hand, that means we are free to make up our own rules. On the other hand, it means that under all the hype about being bold and experimental is a fundamental despair—the belief that sex is insignificant in a literal sense: signifying nothing. . . . ►►►

Department: Reconnaissance | Salvo 32

To Those Who Wait

You Can't Have It All by Mark Oshinskie

. . . Perhaps most fundamentally, the willingness to postpone conception until one's late thirties is based on the culturally encouraged but mistaken notion that women and men are equal in all ways, including biologically. Laws and cultural messages can foster notions of gender equality, but biology does not conform to these notions. Though it seems paradoxical to say it—perhaps because they were so widely touted as boons to women—synthetic birth control and abortion have placed women at a great disadvantage relative to men. . . . ►►►

Department: Archives | Salvo 32

Capital Losses

Nietzsche on Losing English Morality by Cameron Wybrow

. . . Nietzsche perceives that such a situation cannot last. He says "morality is not yet a problem," implying that when the English finally reach the level of self-consciousness that the Germans have achieved (or at least that Nietzsche has achieved), morality will be a problem; they will realize the groundlessness of their habits. Nietzsche was prophetic here; for eventually, certainly after 1945, the English-speaking world did begin to abandon, bit by bit, its secularized Christian morality. It had been living on old moral capital, but now that capital was spent and the religious tradition was no longer there to replenish it. Thus, the secular humanism of today, compared with earlier secular humanism, is virtually rudderless, because most people not only no longer think like Christians, but also no longer feel like Christians. . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 41

Improbably So

Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

. . . This response may have some rhetorical force, but it makes a fundamental mistake. To expose the error, let me give you another illustration. Imagine your best friend has been murdered and the lead suspect is on trial. In fact, DNA evidence puts the suspect at the scene with the murder weapon in hand. As a result, the defense attorney turns to the jury and says, "The DNA evidence makes it highly unlikely that my client is innocent. But unlikely things happen all the time. For example, for you to exist, your mom and dad had to meet, fall in love, and have sex at just the right time. . . . Would any jury accept this response? I think we would have to say no. But why wouldn't they accept it? It is because there is a better explanation; namely, that the suspect really is the killer. . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 38

Doctors Delusional

Transgender Disorder & Really Bad Psychiatry by Boris Vatel

. . . Lacking diagnostic means that produce quantitative evidence of a person's condition, such as blood tests, or unambiguous visual data, such as what one sees on a microscope slide or an MRI image, the field of psychiatry relies on a complex set of mental constructs for its notions of normality and pathology. However, inherent to that set of mental constructs is the notion that there is such a thing as verifiable, objective reality. To suggest that there is no such thing as objective reality, or that reality is less important than what one wishes it were, renders the entire concept of psychiatric disorder invalid. In fact, the only way to accept the transgender phenomenon as psychiatrically normal is to say that, as a measure of reality, physical evidence is subordinate to what a person believes about or wishes for himself. And on that logic, we have no basis for calling anyone delusional. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (see Allied Front). MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 43

Quo Vadis, U?

When Christian Universities Lose Faith by Daniel Adler

. . . Just what is a Christian university? The question is as complex as it is pressing, in no small part because of the increased sec-ularization of higher education. As historians James Turner and Jon Roberts argue in The Sacred and the Secular University (Princeton University Press, 2000), Protestant universities founded on religious principles in the early days of America had, by the late twentieth century, largely abandoned these convictions. This change occurred in the span of about 200 years, a relatively short window of time. Institutions once dedicated to the faith now serve as contemporary temples of secularism. . . . ►►►

Salvo 46

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