Culture > Q&A

Dangerous waves

"Dangerous waves" Continued...

Issue: "Tilting at turbines," July 17, 2010

You've just published a book about Islam, so you know that some historians trace the decline of Islamic countries to a debate within Islam about 1,000 years ago where the idea of rationality was thrown out. That is one of the most fundamental issues in the world today because the conflict between Islam and the rest of the world will be decided by which Islam triumphs, the rational or the irrational.

Does Christianity have its own intellectual civil war? Christianity has always been traditionally more humanistic in the sense that through the Incarnation Christ shows us not only who God is but who we are.

Is college education overrated? A Harvard sociologist found that in Hitler's concentration camps the cruelest torturers were the most educated. She expected to find that the more educated you were the more refined you were; she found exactly the opposite. The percentage of atheists is almost directly proportionate to how many years of education you have. Charles Malik in Christ in the University points out that the university is by far the most powerful institution in the world today. It's doing most of what the church and the state used to do. That's where the future of the world is going to be decided. If you're not too smart, you can't deceive yourself. College professors can.

Would you say that there's a relationship between classical virtues and the direction of modern culture? Falling in love is the heart of everything. A culture moves where it loves. Every culture has heroes who specialize in certain virtues. A society fashions heroes because it believes in certain virtues. Our society is better at the soft virtues-compassion, mercy-than at the hard virtues-­chastity, honesty.
To hear Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Peter Kreeft, click here.
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Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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