Acton Institute Powerblog

Promoting free societies characterized by liberty & religious principles

A Stark Contrast

Kishore has helpfully pointed out the discussions going on elsewhere about Rodney Stark’s piece and the related NYT David Brook’s op-ed. He derides some of the commenters for their lack of economic understanding, but I’d like to applaud one commenter’s post. Continue Reading...

Capitalism and Christianity, Part II

Jordan Ballor’s recent post on “Christian Reason and the Spirit of Capitalism” hit onto something big. In today’s New York Times, op-ed columnist David Brooks weighs in with a piece entitled “The Holy Capitalists”. Continue Reading...

Anything UN Can Do, ICANN Do Better

I wrote previously about the result of the recent world information summit that resulted in ICANN’s continuing governance over Internet domain registration worldwide. Fast Company Now provides us a link to the letter from Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Continue Reading...

The Daily Dose

A section compiled by Matt Donnelly at Science & Theology News calls the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance’s recent formation a continuation of “the recent and laudable trend of faith-based organizations making a serious attempt to grapple with the religious basis for environmental stewardship.” The section also provides links to their coverage of a number of other aspects of “the intersection of religious belief and environmental protection.” Continue Reading...

Freedom to Give

The Salvation Army Bell Ringers are now audibly calling us to seasonal charitable giving. But the pleas from multiple organizations for our benevolence—from both unprecedented terrorist attacks and natural disasters to the ever-present needs of our less fortunate neighbors—have been virtually ongoing since 9/11. Continue Reading...

Instant Classics

This made me think of this. If the British phone company were really smart, they’d just negotiate a price to use the Book-A-Minute Classics. The versions are a bit different, though. Continue Reading...

Don’t Wait for Government

This month’s Esquire magazine is the annual “Genius” issue (with Bill Clinton as the coverboy, which might seem strange until you realize that the word “genius” is related to the words “genii” and “jinn,” which in mythology were often negative spiritual beings, “commonly believed to be responsible for diseases and for the manias of some lunatics”). Continue Reading...

Faith in Science

To expand the “scientist” as “priest” metaphor a bit, you may find it interesting to read what Herman Bavinck has to say on the fundamental place of “faith” with respect to all kinds of knowledge, including not only religious but also scientific: Believing in general is a very common way in which people gain knowledge and certainty. Continue Reading...

The Fair-Trade Fallacy

Let me quickly respond to this week’s Acton Commentary: While I agree in broad strokes with Dr. Larrivee’s analysis of the questionable assumptions of the fair trade movement, with respect to coffee in particular, I don’t agree that the problem is “low productivity in the countries in which farmers live.” I have previously argued that the source of the issue is in fact too much coffee, so that the market is saturated and cannot sustain high prices given the declining worldwide demand. Continue Reading...