Well, I’m thinking about this debate on corporal punishment

The controversy around criminalizing spanking reminded me of steven Pinker’s book, better angels, I perused a few years ago. He welcomed that we live in a less violent world because of science and reason. Still, while I hold a lot of stock in science and reason, I also hold a lot of stock in intuition and emotions and wildness (Chesterton wrote that the chief aim of Christian charity is to let good things run wild). I would caution that a world without physical violence can still be a nightmare (anyone read brave new world?) There are good, loving parents who sometimes spank their kids and there are terrible, selfish parents who never do. I think our stifling litigious society misdirects a lot of things- ignoring the biggest issues and taking all the air out of life around trivial things. Pinker also wrote that the world has too much morality. If he means we have too much cold, self congratulatory judgement, then I agree. I think the world doesn’t have enough of the sort of morality that forces you to ask more of yourself, though. What people need is true freedom, and you can only have true freedom with a moral vision. What really matters is how people treat outsiders.


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