Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today on Kresta - July 14, 2009

Talking about the "things that matter most" on July 14

3:00 – Kresta Comments

3:20 – TIME Magazine: Marriage is Meant to Produce Children

In the past 40 years, the face of the American family has changed profoundly. We need only look to a number of high-profile political and celebrity divorce and affair stories in the last month or so. This week TIME Magazine published a cover story entitled “Is There Hope for the American Marriage?” The article actually argues that a two-parent, male-female union is best for children, and that the purpose of marriage is procreation! Jennifer Roback Morse is here to analyze.

4:00 – Is Stupid Making Us Google?
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?: What the Internet is doing to our brains” is a magazine article by technology writer Nicholas Carr highly critical of the Internet's effect on cognition. It was published last year in The Atlantic magazine as a six-page cover story. Carr's main argument is that the Internet might have detrimental effects on cognition that diminish the capacity for concentration and contemplation. James Bowman has a different take, and has published “Is Stupid Making Us Google?” We talk with him about which came first – the stupid or the google?

4:20 – Seeing Through Cynicism: A Reconsideration of the Power of Suspicion
We live in a cynical age. Cynicism is in the air we breathe; it is a cultural norm; it is the default setting and lens through which many of us view the world. Why is cynicism so pervasive? What does it promise? How does it work? And what does it deliver? Dick Keyes probes the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of cynicism in its modern and postmodern manifestations. In analyzing our cynicism toward individuals, institutions and God, he gives cynicism the scrutiny it deserves, arguing for its merits as a tool for discernment while pointing out its limitations.

5:00 – Religious Practice and Family Stability
Couples who are more religious tend to exhibit greater marital commitment than couples who are less religious. There is less likelihood of domestic violence among couples who attend church regularly than among those who do not. Communities with higher concentrations of various religious denominations tend to have a lower incidence of divorce. These are just a few of the findings of a recent Heritage Foundation study on Religious Practice and Family Stability. Jennifer Marshall, Heritage’s Director of Domestic Policy Studies is with us.

5:20 – Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction
Natural law is a fact about human beings, and a theory that humbles itself before this fact. Yet it is something else as well-a sign of contradiction, something that exasperates, offends, and enrages. The transient cause of such rage is the suicidal proclivity of our time to deny the obvious, but a more enduring cause is the Fall of Man. Our hearts are riddled with desires that oppose their deepest longings, and we demand to have happiness on terms that make happiness impossible. Philosopher J. Budziszewski threads a path between these various abysses. Among his questions are how the knowledge of good is related to the knowledge of God, how things that seem to run against the grain of human nature can become 'second nature,' and whether natural law can be reconciled with Darwinian evolution. Turning to politics, he takes up such topics as who counts as a human person, whether human dignity is compatible with capital punishment, what courts have made of the United States Constitution, and how an ersatz state religion can be built in the name of toleration. We look at natural law and its implications for both scholars and the general public.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read his book but does he address the fact that gene expression is determined by environmental influences. Epigenetics is the study of a software code within the hardware of the DNA that reacts to the environment in such a way as to influence the DNA to manufacture cell types, proteins, and us.
    Natural law must include the study of natural consequences to the vulnerability of being human. For instance, trauma will cause the natural effect of post traumatic stress. In other words PTSD is the normal response to an abnormal situation.
    So I believe it is important to understand that what the Church views as "gravely disordered" is the normal reaction to an abnormal situation.
    Generally, the abnormal situation can be seen as a loss of love. Now understanding that human beings attach to one another in the limbic system of the brain which we share in common with other mammals and then those signals activate mirror neurons in the prefrontal area of the brain associated with social development and sense of self within the environment we begin to develop patterns of belief about self and others that are determined by instinctive responses to feeling loved or not. Language, tone of voice, body posture and facial expression are all instantly letting us know from the hardwiring of our experience if we are loved or not. This is natural law also.
    There is too much more to say--like textbooks beginning to reveal the natural response of the developing brain to whether a mother is loving or not while in the womb.