David Warren on western civilization and the place of pleasure

ECM and I have a disagreement about David Warren. I don’t think he’s analytical and evidential enough, and ECM thinks that he’s an excellent writer of essays. Please read this short essay on the proper role of pleasure, and then leave a comment explaining which of us you agree with.


The building and rebuilding forces of our society — essentially church and family — are by now almost everywhere under organized legal, legislative, and propaganda assault from the sterile vanguard of the atheist Left. The poison mist of “political correctness” swirls over our psychic landscape, and the great joyous and unifying truths which animated Western Christendom continue to be supplanted, both practically and symbolically, by the envious Big Lies of the political “activists.”

(Hope that didn’t sound too wishy-washy.)

It’s very wishy-washy – filled with mystical language and untestable assertions! How am I supposed to use all this flippant flowery flibbertigibbet to bash my atheist enemies into goo, and then steal their gold? It’s no use at all!

Anyway, Warren diagnoses the problem as being a lack of moral and spiritual education, which has been replaced by hedonism, and he illustrates his point using the example of gluttony.

But nature, in herself, cannot save us. We are not mere animals needing only nature’s call. That part of our nature which rises to the fully human requires some degree of emotional, moral, intellectual, and yes, spiritual education — which begins at home, with a mom and dad.

Let us consider this morning the perfect example for après-Christmas: “gluttony.”

I suspect you will all agree with me that David Warren’s head is filled with metaphors and feathers. So, take a look at the essay yourself and tell me what you think.

7 thoughts on “David Warren on western civilization and the place of pleasure”

  1. He shoots himself in the foot by appealing to extrabiblical Catholic philosophers instead of the Bible, a more pure source of wisdom. For example, the Bible offers only limited condemnations of gluttonous eating, and there’s no such thing as gluttonous sex. He’s trying to win souls with hollow philosophy.


    1. If you are saying that if something isn’t from a literal reading of the Bible, it doesn’t matter, isn’t important, and has no value, then those are all ridiculous, spurious, ‘arguments’.


  2. David Warren FTW.

    I think I could make a good case that “gluttonous”, or worse, exploitative sex (even when mutually exploitative) is well-described in the Bible. Start with Gen 3:16b, which describes the post-lapsarian perpetual warfare between the sexes pretty darn well.


    1. I don’t really know what you mean by “exploitative sex,” but no one here is arguing that sex is never wrong. I’m just arguing that sex for pleasure is not wrong, despite what Warren says.


  3. I confess… I’m partial to David Warren as a writer. I think he is very good at what he does, which is write a column suitable for a secular newspaper to publish under the rubric of “religion”. He is not, in the formal sense, an apologist, he is a popular writer with a Christian perspective. Sometimes that is more effective than “in your face” apologetics, as such literary luminaries as C. S. Lewis and John Grisham understand quite well.

    I read Warren for what he is, not for what he is not.


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