Dr. Ben Carson and the Responsible Self

Conservatives were electrified the other week by Dr. Ben Carson's appearance at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Partly it was because he was taking it to The Man.  But partly we were all thrilling to Dr. Carson because he is a living breathing poster boy for the idea of personal responsibility. Put simply, we conservatives thrilled to Ben Carson because we are the People of the Responsible Self.  Let me explain.  Or rather, let sociologist Robert Bellah explain. In "Evolution of Religion" Bellah argues that the "conception of a responsible self" got started over two millennia ago when religion promised "man for the first time that he [could] understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it." Notice the Big Idea.  If a man "can understand the fundamental structure of reality," rather than just get knocked around by gods and demons, it stands to reason he could do something about it, and it's a very short step to...(Read Full Article)

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