Cover of Plato
"Thus Lilla takes Obama to task for a misguided psychology or what we might call a mistaken philosophical anthropology. As Lilla continues,
The wisdom of [Obama's] approach depends on whether the underlying assumption about human nature is right. But is it? Not, at least, according to virtually every Western philosopher and theologian from antiquity to the 18th-century. From Plato to St. Augustine to Thomas Hobbes, the shared assumption was that human beings are fundamentally passionate creatures and that reason alone is too weak to contain our drives.
"The proper response to this is not to lapse into the rationalist whine about people being governed by their passions and keep hoping they'll be be "rational" like us (we're not). Rather, the point is to harness, direct, and channel the passions. Indeed, if you just paint the passions as "irrational," you've already lost. Thus Lilla concludes:
"The lesson to be drawn is that the art of politics must be the art of engaging the passions, first by exciting them, then by moderating and directing them to a worthy end, one that reason may reveal but cannot achieve."All of the above was extracted from here.
Lately I've been thinking about holistic apologetics, which I would define as appealing to the whole person -- mind and heart. There's something overly dry and rational about a lot of the apologetics being done today, and this article reminds us of the need to appeal to the heart as well as the head. I think Pascal does this well.
Are we firing on all cylinders? Don't think so.
And that's the way the Ball bounces.