David Westerfield

Theology. Culture. Technology.

Category: Culture (Page 1 of 20)

SocialMedia’ing Ourselves to Death

“The average American teenager who uses a smart phone receives her first phone at age 10 and spends over 4.5 hours a day on it (excluding texting and talking). 78% of teens check their phones at least hourly and 50% report feeling ‘addicted’ to their phones. It would defy common sense to argue that this level of usage, by children whose brains are still developing, is not having at least some impact, or that the maker of such a powerful product has no role to play in helping parents to ensure it is being used optimally. It is also no secret that social media sites and applications for which the iPhone and iPad are a primary gateway are usually designed to be as addictive and time-consuming as possible, as many of their original creators have publicly acknowledged.”

https://thefederalist.com/2018/01/10/apple-facebook-arent-going-save-us-smartphone-addiction/

Christian Personalism – Anthony Bradley

This is an important lecture from Anthony Bradley on Christian Personalism, especially in light of the election and Christian engagement with the same.

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What the Enlightenment Hath Wrought

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t ever taken a selfie. Still do with the kids occasionally. However, something about this just feels wrong. So much of the endgame of what the enlightenment has wrought (though much good was brought about to be sure) can be summed up in this one picture; that we would memorialize as important something so vain and trivial. As the center-point of what defines objective reality shifted from the external to the inner-self, the subjective, how could this not be the end? A society centered on making itself great and known to a watching world. As we’ve soaked in celebrity culture, and now possess mediums to broadcast ourselves, how could we not become our own celebrities with our own fans? And how much, in such a short time, has social media enabled all of us to put this narcissistic tendency in full throttle? And now we memorialize such overt self-centeredness? What an age we live in.

Selfie

The Dawn of Automated Living

Automation, automation, and then some more… automation:

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Despair, Exhausted Consumerist-Revolution Style

Paul Krugman wrote an article today that hits on something many have observed for quite some time: the spreading wave of despair and darkness over average Americans’ lives, in this case, particularly middle-aged whites. This is not a new revelation, but it is something mainstream economists and commentators like Krugman are starting to catch wind of in their thought, at least in the academic/statistical realm. On a side note, while eschewing any exacerbation of this problem by the left and then subsequently blaming the “volatility of right-wing politics,” he still makes some good points, without offering any solutions. Regardless, to point, Krugman writes this:

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Greg Koukl: The Myth of Moral Neutrality

http://www.str.org/articles/the-myth-of-moral-neutrality#.Vae9uYUo7bg

“One of the most entrenched assumptions of relativism is that there is such a thing as morally neutral ground, a place of complete impartiality where no judgments nor any forcing or personal views are allowed. Each takes a neutral posture towards the moral convictions of others. This is the essence of tolerance, the argument goes.”

“What are values clarification exercises meant to teach? That there are difficult ethical circumstances in which the lines are not clear and the solutions are ambiguous? We already know that. No, these exercises go further. They imply that because some circumstances are ethically ambiguous, there are no ethical certainties at all.

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The Protestant Deformation and American Foreign Policy – An Essay by James Kurth

The following is an essay from 2001 by political scientist James Kurth on the “Protestant Deformation” or what could be described as the radical secularization of Protestantism. As he notes, we’re now entering the final stages of this deformation, a long and twisty road that has led us to a radical individualism that threatens a new form of totalitarianism upon the free world: the totalitarianism of the self. Enjoy.

http://web.archive.org/web/20120119184608/http://phillysoc.org/Kurth%20Speech.htm
H/T http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-protestant-deformation/

Analysts of American foreign policy have debated for decades about the relative influence of different factors in the shaping of American foreign policy. National interests, domestic politics, economic interests, and liberal ideology have each been seen as the major explanation for the peculiarities of the American conduct of foreign affairs. But although numerous scholars have advocated the importance of realism, idealism, capitalism, or liberalism, almost no one has thought that Protestantism – the dominant religion in the United States – is worth consideration. Certainly for the twentieth century, it seemed abundantly clear that one could (and should) write the history of American foreign policy with no reference to Protestantism whatsoever.

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Prayer for Peace – Spurgeon

And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pay unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. (Jeremiah 29:7)

The principle involved in this text would suggest to all of us who are the Lord’s strangers and foreigners that we should be desirous to promote the peace and prosperity of the people among whom we dwell. Specially should our nation and our city be blest by our constant intercession. An earnest prayer for your country and other countries is well becoming in the mouth of every believer. Eagerly let us pray for the great boon of peace, both at home and abroad. If strife should cause bloodshed in out streets, or if foreign battle should slay our brave soldiers, we should all bewail the calamity; let us therefore pray for peace and diligently promote those principles by which the classes at home and the races abroad may be bound together in bonds of amity.

The Error of Full on Ayn Randian Libertarianism on Display

Donald Trump and Ann Coulter’s stunning comments clearly display what is wrong with a purely Ayn Randian libertarian worldview and philosophy, wrapped in a veneer of Christian language (in Coulter’s case). It’s simply the flip side of the coin of Marxism. One side of the coin believes in the all-powerful State and collectivism as the sufficient means for human flourishing, while the other believes in the all-powerful individual to “pull up his bootstraps,” a radical individualism at the expense of those most in need, physically and spiritually.

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Wisdom By Joseph Pulitzer: The Republic and the Press

“Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. The power to mould the future of the Republic will be in the hands of the journalists of future generations.” – Joseph Pulitzer

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