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Department: Opening Salvo | Salvo 43

Wreckers in the Dark

Social Ills & Opposition to Safe Harbor Lights by James M. Kushiner

. . . Wreckers sometimes refused to aid a floundering ship and even went so far as to place false lights to guide ships into danger. Sometimes they killed wreck survivors. Moderns will shake their heads at the wreckers' violence and opposition to the increased safety brought by lighthouses. Yet many people today oppose measures to make life's seas safer for children because they benefit from child endangerment. Consider how many occupations are tied to the shipwreck of the modern family . . . ►►►

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: Camouflage | Salvo 43

Revolution 101

How the 'New Civics' Is Fomenting Civil Unrest by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Applying course content to community-based activities, service-learning projects give students experiential opportunities in "real world contexts." That all sounds good, you think. Sure, reality will probably chip away some of your daughter's youthful idealism, but hey, in an era of protests and campus anarchy, what's not to like about community service and civic responsibility? Unfortunately, there may be a lot not to like about it. And once her coursework gets underway, you'll probably need some help making sense of what is going on with it. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 42

The Darwin Tales

It's Time to Remit Darwinian Storytelling to the Annals of History by Terrell Clemmons

. . . . . . For if there truly is no way of determining what is "fit" other than by seeing what survives, then Darwin was arguing in a self-confirming circle: the survival of the survivors. In rhetorical terms, this is what's called a tautology—a statement that is true by definition, due to the construction of the language by which it is expressed. In effect, Darwin's proposed mechanism—natural selection—rested on the observation that "Survivors survive." To which any clear-thinking middle-school student might say, "Well, duh." . . . . . . ►►►

Department: Logistics | Salvo 41

Deep-Seated Rights

What They Are & Why You Have Them by Steve Jones

. . . The consequence of this failure to understand what the word [rights] meant, said Maritain, would be that the Declaration would be treated as something open to interpretation. States would be free to reinterpret, limit, and eventually rescind rights recognized and detailed in the thirty articles of the Declaration. Despite its auspicious beginnings at the drafting stage, the document quickly showed itself to lack any real teeth. Maritain's concerns were not hyperbole or hysteria. His warning that the Declaration would fail to protect the rights of individuals has been played out time and again on the international stage. . . . ►►►

Column: Deprogram | Salvo 33

Proving Grounded

Multiverse Supporters Put the Brakes on Falsifiability by Denyse O'Leary

. . . Here is a prediction: To the extent that science is dominated by naturalist atheists, falsifiability will not survive as a criterion. That's because it depends on the idea that there is something out there that can falsify things—call it "god" or whatever you want. Instead, whatever speculation supports the multiverse or some similar shibboleth will count for far more than any failure of evidence. And the naturalist atheists' next war will, of course, be against the very idea of evidence. What evidence counts for will depend on who is presenting it and what causes it is thought to support. . . . ►►►

Department: Camouflage | Salvo 41

Whirled Views

A Framework for Mapping Reality & Engaging Ideological Confusion by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Salvo readers should be familiar with the concept of agenda—driven science, and to those who listen with an ear to discern it, it's clear that Sagan, Rose, and Tyson are using science as they understand it to advance an agenda—to influence the way people think, with the aim of changing their behavior. This is the stuff of propaganda, and like most propaganda, Cosmos served up a slickly produced package of truths, half-truths, and subtle lies, skillfully laced with running undercurrents of moralistic appeals to emotion. How does one respond to wholesale agendas like this without coming off as an abject contrarian? Try the worldview reset. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 41

Eye Openers

Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

. . . The factors that lead to faith are diverse, and every former atheist has walked a unique path to God. When Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked how many ways there are to God, he replied, "As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one." Of course, the future pope was not endorsing the view that "all religions are equal" but rather that there seems to be a unique combination of factors, or steps, that moves each convert towards belief in God. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

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. . . . ►►►

Salvo 43

Visit the blog of Salvo author Robin Phillips

Salvo 43

The Current Issue—Winter 2017

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  • Cornering Your Market: Why Premium Sex Is Your Best Bet for Relational Success by Terrell Clemmons
  • Eye Openers: Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson
  • These Irish Eyes Don't Blink: Phelim McAleer & Ann McElhinney: Journalists Worthy of the Name by Terrell Clemmons
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