Volume > Issue > A Response to David Stolinsky

A Response to David Stolinsky

DON'T SWALLOW SNAKE OIL

By James G. Hanink | May 1997
James G. Hanink is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Dr. Stolinsky’s “house calls” are always welcome. But it’s a mixed bag he’s carrying.

Make no mistake, he’s right about the patient being sick. There’s a moral silliness in the land about the use of force, and it’s compounded with a “double-standarditis.” Some folks have an acute case of it, and the bug’s contagious.

Take a closer look, though, at the medicines our friend’s toting in that bag of his. The best of them are generic. The worst are snake oil. Swallowed together, they might cure some problems, but they’ll exacerbate others. The truth is, well, we

need stronger medicine.

What’s behind my caveat? OK, cards on the table. First, I’m an aspiring pacifist, so I don’t like pacifist-bashing. Second, Stolinsky’s stingy in citing Exodus. (Besides, St. Thomas does a better job getting at what’s at issue there.) Maybe that’s why the good doctor goes wrong with many of his domestic and foreign prescriptions.

Enjoyed reading this?

READ MORE! REGISTER TODAY

SUBSCRIBE

You May Also Enjoy

On the Menace of Individualism in the American Experience of Religious Life

Robert N. Bellah, in his widely acclaimed Habits of the Heart, has said that Americans…

The Living Dead

We are living in the midst of a spiritual crisis of unprecedented proportions. The de­mise…

Charity Case

California Supreme Court rules Catholic Charities not Catholic