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Michael John Novak, Jr., 1933-2017 »

Our very dear friend and Founding Member of the Board of Advisors of the Independent Institute, Michael Novak, passed away at the age of 83, on February 17th. A man of immense generosity, integrity, joyfulness, and good will, Michael was one of the most important scholars, theologians, prolific authors, and public intellectuals of the...
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Bono: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid” »

Our Research Fellow George Ayittey met the Irish rock star Bono in July 2007 during a TED conference. Professor Ayittey was speaking and in knowing that Bono would be in the audience, he explains that “I made a special effort to rip into the foreign aid establishment.... Later, Bono said he liked my speech...
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Philosopher Alvin Plantinga Receives Prestigious Rescher Prize »

The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has recently received the prestigious Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy, awarded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Departments of Philosophy, History, and Philosophy of Science, and the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science. Plantinga is widely known for his work in the philosophy of...
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Secular Theocracy: The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny, Part 2 »

We live in a secularized world of nation states in which traditional religion, especially Christianity, is unwelcome. Rooted in the “Enlightenment,” this view supports a secularized and authoritarian public square enforced by government and that progress requires forcing religion ever backward into remote corners of society. In short, America has become a secular theocracy...
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Secular Theocracy: The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny, Part 1 »

We live in an increasingly secularized world of massive and pervasive nation states in which traditional religion, especially Christianity, is ruled unwelcome and even a real danger on the basis of a purported history of intolerance and “religious violence.” This is found in most all “public” domains, including the institutions of education, business, government,...
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Nanny State Attacks Jewish, Muslim Manhood »

This week, a “God blogger” published a Wall Street Journal column highlighting the “circumcision wars” in California. The “intactivists” opposed to circumcision are up against Jews and Muslims (among others) in San Francisco. I’m betting with the latter groups. I think circumcision is barbaric and demeaning to men but it doesn’t rise to the...
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Truth, Goodness, and Beauty »

In a very good, new article in the Times of London, “Philosophers are finding fresh meanings in truth, beauty and goodness,” philosopher John Cottingham (University of Reading) discusses the fact that the absurdities of what has dominated philosophy and the bulk of intellectual and political culture for at least two hundred years are increasingly...
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C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism, Part 2 »

Continued from Part 1: Part 3 Moral Relativism and Utilitarianism Of central importance in Lewis’s discussion of natural law is his critique of the moral relativism of utilitarianism (“the end justifies the means”) as a theory of ethics and guide to behavior. Lewis claimed that the precepts of moral ethics cannot just be innovated...
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This Week in The Lighthouse: Obamacare, Renewable Energy, Ground Zero Mosque, Counterinsurgency Strategy »

Time for a pop quiz. What does Alvaro Vargas Llosa think about efforts to block the so-called Ground Zero mosque? What does Ivan Eland think U.S. foreign-policy leaders can learn from the military’s counterinsurgency operations? What does Dominick Armentano think about the prospects of the state lawsuits against Obamacare? What does S. Fred Singer...
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C. S. Lewis on Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism, Part 1 »

For decades, some Christians, both “conservative” and “liberal,” have unfortunately embraced an ill-conceived “progressive” (i.e., authoritarian) vision to wield intrusive government powers as an unquestionable and even sanctified calling for both domestic and international matters, abandoning the Christian, natural-law tradition in moral ethics and economics. In contrast, the Oxford/Cambridge scholar and best-selling author C....
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