A collection of interesting essays, blogs and articles that have caught my attention throughout the week.

  1. Virtue and the Bonds of Love

    Brian Bellard|The Virtue Blog

An excellent article on how attachment or enduring relationships are essential to moral development and virtue.

2. Hard to Believe

Robert Errit |The New Atlantis

A thought provoking essay that tackles a very urgent dilemma in the age of information where we as lay people must often choose between competing  technical and expert ideas. How do I as a non-expert go about seeking reliable knowledge when experts in those fields themselves disagree? How do I know what I ought to believe?

3. Struggle to Find Your True Self

Robin Phillips | Salvomag/unpragmatic thoughts

Robin challenges the modern assumption that finding and being your true self involves the path of least resistance and giving into your desires.

“There is a notion in our culture that “being true to yourself” involves doing what comes naturally, as if virtues that arise after a process of struggle are somehow contrived and artificial. According to this widespread assumption, the best we can do is be like Elsa in the Disney film Frozen: stop trying to be the good girl everyone expects you to be, since the path to true redemption lies in learning to “let it go” and be yourself—to realize the authentic person you are inside”

4. Blinded by Scientism.

Edward Feser| Public Discourse.com

Feser argues brilliantly against scientism – the idea that science is the only reliable method for obtaining knowledge and therefore only scientific knowledge is objective and true.

“The claim that scientism is true is not itself a scientific claim, not something that can be established using scientific methods. Indeed, that science is even a rational form of inquiry (let alone the only rational form of inquiry) is not something that can be established scientifically. For scientific inquiry itself rests on a number of philosophical assumptions: that there is an objective world external to the minds of scientists; that this world is governed by causal regularities; that the human intellect can uncover and accurately describe these regularities; and so forth. Since science presupposes these things, it cannot attempt to justify them without arguing in a circle. And if it cannot even establish that it is a reliable form of inquiry, it can hardly establish that it is the only reliable form”

5. The Spiritual Disciplines: Gratitude

Brett & Kate McKay |The Art of Manliness

An insightful article on the discipline of gratitude. The writers answer questions on what is gratitude; why does it matter; and how does one begin the practice of gratitude and integrate it into their lives.

“While basic gratitude is a set of fleeting and fluctuating feelings, the spiritual discipline of gratitude is an action. It is not just experienced, but expressed. The spiritual discipline of gratitude is practiced not just because it feels good, but because it’s the right thing to do — not just for one’s own good, but for the good of one’s family, community, and society. The discipline of gratitude is in fact not a feeling at all, but a moral virtue.”