In Prism's Book Bag: What We Can't Not Know

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What We Can't Not Know is J. Budziszewski's widely acclaimed analysis of the lost world of common truths. In an age when the things that everyone knows are treated as unknown, and the principles of decency are attacked as indecent, J. Budziszewski offers us a refreshing assessment of what we all know about right and wrong. Exposing the emptiness of contemporary moral fashions, Budziszewski unapologetically explores the rules of human conduct which originate in natural law, those rules that we "can't not know."

Budziszewski's purpose is to "bolster the confidence of plain people in the rational foundations of their common moral sense." There are certain moral truths-"as real as arithmetic"-that are part of the equipment of a rational mind. He describes the basic principles of morality known to all men, explains why those principles are under attack, and demonstrates that we do in fact know what we think we know.

Addressing "the persuaded, the half-persuaded, and the wish-I-were-persuaded," Budziszewski shows Protestants, Catholics, and Jews the unanimity of their traditions on the common truths. And what about the un-persuaded, those who deny the reality of a moral law? They are on the other side of a dispute over the basic norms for human life. Civility, Budziszewski insists, does not require denying the unprecedented gulf between the two sides. What's needed are both charity and clarity, which Budziszewski provides in abundance.

To read an interview with the author, conducted by Dick Staub, go to

To order the book at a savings, go to

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1 Response

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