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Tag: Freedom

Law and Order Catholicism Inside the Settler Colony

Using the example of nineteenth-century “Americanist” archbishop John Ireland, and his boarding school initiatives in Minnesota, this essay demonstrates how the US Catholic Church came to behave as an American institution by seeking common ground with liberal ideals of freedom, while simultaneously embracing state policing and punishment against populations marginalized from the body politic.

“When shall we be free?” Conceptualizing Freedom in Orthodox Christianity

The primacy of the inner type of freedom can produce a withdrawal from the world or an attitude of passivity towards its frustrating circumstances, particularly when the believer searches for real freedom exclusively inside the self irrespective of the conditions that exist in the broader socio-political environment.

Preferential Option for the Poor Once More

“Seek ye first the political kingdom of God and all these things shall be given unto you.”

The Politics of Walking on Water—Matthew 14:22-33 (Amy Allen)

In the interaction between God’s establishment of circumstances and our free response to them, we see something of the way that God enables us to be more human.

The Politics of Agency—Acts 16:16-34 (Amy Allen)

In the account of the slave with the spirit of divination, Paul, Silas, the Philippian jailer, and his family we encounter dynamics of agency and constraint, of freedom and slavery. There are a number of surprising instances of human action within this narrative which nonetheless speaks powerfully of the power and activity of God.

A Response to the Responses, Pt. II: Nudging, Paternalism, and Human Agency

. . . A “nudge”—a term brought to public attention by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler—generally refers, in the policy world, to a small modification to an already existing “choice architecture,” some context in which we make decisions; the modification is meant to promote certain decisions over others, in a context where some such promotion is inescapable.

A response to the responses; or, A note of clarification about nudges, paternalism, and agency

We were happy to have received these provocative responses to our original piece, and appreciate the chance to extend the conversation. We hope that in what follows we adequately answer some of the concerns raised by professors Vallier, Boer, and Baker and Watson about our original essay, and advance discussion on two levels.

Reasonable Libertarian Worries About Nudging: A Response to Charles Mathewes and Christina McRorie (by Kevin Vallier)

In a recent article defending a “nudge” approach to public policy, where behavioral economics is employed to provide mild modifications of individual preferences and behaviors in ways that serve said individuals’ good, Charles Mathewes and Christina McRorie take Richard Williams to task for his “libertarian” criticisms of the nudge approach. I’m rather sure that the libertarianism they attribute to Williams is neither necessary for his argument or a remotely accurate portrayal of libertarianism as a political philosophy.

It Matters Who Is Doing the Nudging:  A Response to Charles Mathewes and Christina McRorie (by Hunter Baker and Micah Watson)

We would like to begin with agreement on something fundamental. The team of Mathewes and McRorie are surely correct about the persistence of nudging in our lives. We are nudged by the cereal company that pays to have its product on the top shelf. The little tables at the end of aisles in Barnes and Noble are miniature subdivisions with real estate sold to publishers. Those tiny neighborhoods of books are nudges.