Self-Evident Eloquence

In an 1852 speech celebrating the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Frederick Douglass finds himself in the awkward position of having to persuade his fellow countrymen to accept the manifest consequences of the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding document, and so to abolish slavery. How does one demonstrate the self-evident? “Where all isContinue reading “Self-Evident Eloquence”

Asking God and Intellect to Rule

“One who asks law to rule,” Aristotle observes, “seems to be asking god and intellect alone to rule, while one who asks man adds the beast.” By god, Aristotle means the supreme intellect, whose superiority consists partly in not relying on a limited supply of brain cells, and partly in being free of the passionsContinue reading “Asking God and Intellect to Rule”

Seeing the Beauty of Courage

A characteristic feature of virtue is its beauty. The habitual capacity to grasp what is good, to relish it, and to act upon it, is an invisible quality that inspires admiration and love, when we perceive it in others. When we find it in ourselves, it offers peace of soul. One apparent exception to thisContinue reading “Seeing the Beauty of Courage”

Hang on Tight!

The ignorant man clings to the dust until he becomes dust; the wise and prudent man clings to heaven until he reaches heaven. The place where you hang on, you will belong to it. Saint Charbel Makhlouf (source) One should not follow those who advise us to think human thoughts, since we are human, andContinue reading “Hang on Tight!”