The philosopher Don Cupitt highlights that in the parables, “Jesus sharply criticizes and even ridicules ordinary people’s ideas of justice and equity.” Part of this radicalism, the Catholic Church teaches, is that “Jesus identifies with the poor of every kind and makes active love towards them the condition for entering the kingdom.” Another part is the irreverence which he displayed toward the claims over morality made by religious authorities, which has been characterized in the joke on the Good Samaritan parable: “You know why the priest didn’t cross the road to the wounded traveler? He could see that he had already been robbed.”
Yet more on The Confessions, now on books 10–13.
What is memory and how does it relate to time and being? Augustine thinks that memory is a storehouse, but it contains not just the sensations we put in it, but also (à la Plato’s theory of recollection) all legitimate knowledge. It’s our route to God, to real Being. Mark, Wes, and Dylan also discuss time, language, knowledge, the existence of evil, and more.
Don’t wait for part two: Get the Citizen Edition now.
We were joined by econ grad student Seth Benzell to discuss “The Use of Knowledge in Society” by F.A. Hayek and On Ethics and Economics by Amartya Sen. What’s wrong with central economic planning? Need economics assume that we’re all predictably selfish?
Go listen to Seth Benzell’s introduction for a straight-up summary of the two essays and how they relate.
In his final novel, Island, Aldous Huxley created a vision of utopia where the Pacific island of Pala is an “oasis of happiness and freedom,” free from the trappings of capitalism, consumerism, and technology. Some say that the Island is an example of humanity at its sanest and most admirable. Yet it ends, predictably, in sorrow, “the work of a hundred years destroyed in a single night.” So, what was Huxley’s point in creating then destroying a vision of paradise?
“The time will come when the sun will shine only upon free men who know no other master but their reason; when tyrants and slaves, priests and their stupid or hypocritical instruments will exist only in works of history and on the stage; and when we shall think of them only to pity their victims and their dupes.” –Condorcet
On The Confessions (400 CE), books 1–9. The question is not “What is virtue?” because knowing what virtue is isn’t enough. The problem, for Aurelius Augustinus, aka St. Augustine of Hippo, is doing what you know to be right.
Plus your weekly Not School update with Nathan Hanks.
Don’t wait for part two; get the Citizen edition.
The winners of the drawing announced during our Eva Brann episode to win her book are Harry Todd, Mel Gonzaelez, Jason Wallace, Kurt Thomas, and Jeff Korentayer. Thanks to all of you for being PEL Citizens! All listeners can still pick up Eva’s book or anything else from Paul Dry Books for a nice discount.
Have you hooked up with the PEL Citizens’ feed yet? Listened to the new recordings on C.S. Peirce, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and Percy Walker’s The Moviegoer? Get in on Not School groups covering Aeschylus’s Oresteia, John Searle, Isaac Asimov, Franz Fanon, and Peirce’s “How to Make Our Ideas Clear.”