Political Theology Today A forum for interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue

All posts tagged Freedom

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Book Preview – Theological Reflection and the Pursuit of Ideals: Theology, Human Flourishing and Freedom

[David Jasper, University of Glasgow, and Dale Wright, Occidental College, preview their edited collection, Theological Reflection and the Pursuit of Ideals: Theology, Human Flourishing and Freedom, published this month with Ashgate] Theological Humanism has its roots in an interdisciplinary vision that views human life across and beyond the boundaries that […]

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Lenin and the Partisanship of Freedom

Freedom is openly partisan: this is the apparently paradoxical key to Lenin’s argument concerning freedom. Contrary to one of the more popular recent assessments of Lenin on freedom,[1] the crucial issue is not the distinction between actual and formal freedom, but on what happens with freedom after the revolution. In […]

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“The Clarity of Conscience,” a Sermon by Andrei Zuevsky

I should add, from a Christian point of view, liberty is neither a virtue nor an ideal. History is ripe with examples of how liberty may turn to tragedy for individuals as well as for whole peoples and civilizations. Nonetheless, there is, it seems, a stubborn fact: in the soul of one who is not free there can neither be reason, nor beauty, nor love. One could say that a man doesn’t really exist as a man without these, and can’t even begin to comprehend the divine. Shortly before his death Christ told his disciples: “Unless I go the cross, the Holy Spirit will not come to you.” And do you know why? Because as long as there is some higher authority, be it even God personified, from whom men simply take words as facts, as some kind of a command, then they are not acting according to their own free will. And community with the Holy Spirit is reserved for free souls. Without freedom, love is impossible.

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