Kresta in the Afternoon – July 22, 2019 – Hour 1

+  Catholic Leadership in the "Next America"

  • Description: We've talked before about the decline of Christianity in American culture; a recent survey by the Barna Group lists several cities in the once heavily Catholic New England as the most "post-Christian" cities in America. Archbishop Charles Chaput also addressed this in his 2010 article, “Catholics and the Next America.” The NAPA institute was formed to help Catholic leaders face the challenges posed by this Next America. We'll talk with John Meyer about their work and the NAPA Conference that begins this week.
  • Segment Guests:
    • John Meyer
      John Meyer is Executive Director of the NAPA Institute. Learn more at
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+  The Foundations of Morality (2 segments)

  • Description: Each of us knows that certain things are wrong—not because we believe they are wrong, but because they really are wrong. What is the root of morality? Is there a hope for the new "moral science" being pursued by figures such as Sam Harris? We'll talk with Paul Nedelisky.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Paul Nedelisky
      Paul Nedelisky is a Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He's the author of Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality.
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    • Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality

      In this illuminating book, James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky trace the origins and development of the centuries-long, passionate, but ultimately failed quest to discover a scientific foundation for morality. The “new moral science” led by such figures as E. O. Wilson, Patricia Churchland, Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, and Joshua Greene is only the newest manifestation of that quest. Though claims for its accomplishments are often wildly exaggerated, this new iteration has been no more successful than its predecessors. But rather than giving up in the face of this failure, the new moral science has taken a surprising turn. Whereas earlier efforts sought to demonstrate what is right and wrong, the new moral scientists have concluded, ironically, that right and wrong don’t actually exist. Their (perhaps unwitting) moral nihilism turns the science of morality into a social engineering project. If there is nothing moral for science to discover, the science of morality becomes, at best, a feeble program to achieve arbitrary societal goals. Concise and rigorously argued, Science and the Good is a definitive critique of a would-be science that has gained extraordinary influence in public discourse today and an exposé of that project’s darker turn. (learn more)

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