Articles by Richard Bastien
August 30, 2019
If opposition to abortion is rooted in natural law instead of religious belief, one should be able to show that such opposition existed in societies devoid of Christian influence. The evidence is overwhelming, writes Richard Bastien.
In the fifth century before the Christian era, the Greek physician Hippocrates encased the condemnation of abortion into the Hippocratic Oath which, until it was abandoned by most medical schools in the 1970s, compelled all doctors to take every means at their disposal to protect the life of the unborn child What this concept entails is that certain human acts are intrinsically good or bad and that every normal human person is endowed with a moral conscience enabling him or her to distinguish between right and wrong And it is equally irrational to call on medical doctors to kill an unborn child, the purpose of medicine being to preserve and protect human life, not to end it
August 2, 2019
The idea of sustained co-existence around a common moral and civic core, Richard Bastien argues, has been dangerously reduced to ideological rejection of unified understanding and the triumphalism of increasingly exclusivist tribal identities.
the shaping of politics around the particular interests of various racial, religious, sexual, ethnic or cultural groups First, it can refer to the fact that a society is made up of linguistically and religiously distinctive groups that, despite their differences, share in a common cultural heritage ...
June 1, 2016
The dead ends of post-Enlightenment philosophies, Richard Bastien argues, are truly openings for rediscovering the symbiotic relationship between faith and reason
All this may seem quite strange in a time when both the media and academia would have us believe that there is absolutely no relationship between faith and reason, or between philosophy and theology, and that, indeed, the two are incompatible Yet it is a world where not only faith but also reason an...
August 1, 2015
secularists who oppose conscience rights and religious freedoms also seek to impose a moralism that denies faith and defies reason, argues Convivium's Richard Bastien
Secularists arguing that freedom of conscience or religion is a source of unwarranted social discrimination are, in effect, making a bold but unacknowledged assumption: that the right of same-sex couples or pregnant women to be served trumps the right of the service provider to refuse such services ...
June 1, 2015
William Gairdner's The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree is a must-read, argues Convivium book review editor Richard Bastien, for anyone interested in making sense of things as citizens and as ethical beings.
In this latest book, Gairdner seeks to clarify the underlying differences between liberals and conservatives, the words liberal and conservative being used not in the usual political sense but rather to describe a cultural and moral divide that has been growing and deepening below the surface of ord...
April 1, 2015
Convivium book review editor Richard Bastien surveys the works of the great G.K. and concludes that true sanity lies in Chestertonian cheerfulness
He insisted on the fact that man is naturally homo religiosus: "The instinct of the human soul perceives that a fool may be permitted to praise himself, but that a wise man ought to praise God To those who claim that the doctrine of original sin derives from a pessimistic view of human nature, Chest...
December 1, 2014
Edward Feser’s effective response to wrong-headed scientism
There is much more to Feser's book than its impressive refutation of scientism, and readers who seek to understand how scholastic metaphysics deals with issues such as theism, the reality of universals, the power of natural reason and the normativity of natural law will find its reading quite reward...
October 1, 2014
The ancient Greeks had something to tell us about the failure to have children. Alas, 21st century sophists think they were just kidding
From the point of view of natural law, NFP is in accord with nature, while contraception prevents nature from following its course The question thus arises: How did our whole culture switch from the classical Greek-Judeo-Christian view of sex to the recreational view within a matter of a few decades...
June 1, 2014
Richard Bastien reviews Robert R. Reilly’s Making Gay Okay and Brad S. Gregory’s The Unintended Reformation
In support of this thesis, he sets out the long-term consequences of the Reformation in six areas: the relationship among science, religion and metaphysics; the basis for truth claims about "life questions" related to human values and meaning; the institutional locus of political power; moral discou...
December 1, 2013
A Christian and an atheist debate faith and fantasy. Fur flies, but friendship deepens
What then of the evidence provided by the testimony of the Apostles and the cultural heritage of Christian civilization, which was literally built by the Church? Are we to count as nothing the medieval universities from which grew our modern universities; the development of scientific research withi...
August 1, 2013
Christians invented progress, writes Richard Bastien, but it took modern progessives to separate reason from faith and substitute ideology
The former is a philosophical problem, one that has to do with the question: what is? An sit? The latter is a specifically religious problem, one that has to do with the question: who is He? Quid sit? The notion that there is no God runs in the face of common sense, which tells us that there has to ...
April 1, 2013
If truth equals reality, then relativism is the wrong answer, Richard Bastien argues
For example, Hans Kelsen, a prominent Austrian jurist who played a major role in the development of 20th century Western jurisprudence and public law, argued that because of the multiplicity of religious and moral beliefs, the only appropriate attitude in building the legal framework of a modern soc...
November 1, 2012
Social conservatism finished? Only in the pipe dreams of those seeking progressive Heaven.
In this essay, I propose, first, to assess some of the assumptions underlying Tandt's position; second, to show how the progressive liberal view seeks to replace the Judeo-Christian tradition that underlies a good part of Canada's history and institutions; and third, to point to some of the problems...