How a target of students’ ire came to write a book about humanity’s transcendent goodness.
To accept this belief that human beings are evil or violent or selfish or overly tribal is a kind of moral and intellectual laziness,” [Nicholas Christakis] told me. It also excuses that destructiveness. “The way to repair our torn social fabric is to say: Wait a minute, that’s not quite right.”
He mentioned theodicy, which endeavors to vindicate God’s existence despite so much suffering. “Blueprint [Christakis’s new book],” he said, is sociodicy: It tries “to vindicate society despites its failures.”
(Frank Bruni, “A ‘Disgusting’ Yale Professor Moves On,” NYTimes, 3-19-19)
(“After the din died down,” Yale awarded Christakis the Sterling Professorship, the school’s highest faculty honor.)
(c) 2019 JMN.