What do I think of Edward Feser’s book published by Ignatius Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Edward Feser is one of my favorite writers and this time he has taken up his pen to deal with Critical Race Theory. This might be surprising for a philosopher to write about, but at the same time, a philosopher is quite good at pointing out all the problems in logic that proponents of CRT use. While Feser does write from a Catholic perspective on responding to racism and CRT from that position, Protestants and Orthodox will greatly benefit from this work as well.
Feser starts with defining his terms and making a defense of the value and uniqueness of every human being out there regardless of their race. He looks at the stance that the church has taken historically on issues in relation to race as well. This then builds up easily into looking at slavery which he does next.
In this section, he talks about the way the church handled slavery in the past and how they saw it as an evil. Does this mean that all Catholics everywhere lived this way? No. Does this mean the Church has always been innocent in everything? No. If there was a weakness overall here, I would like to have seen him critique writers like Hector Avalos who has pointed out statements that one could think lend to the idea of the church having problems with racist attitudes in the past.
From here, he critiques Critical Race Theory, CRT for short, and looks especially at writers like DiAngelo and Kendi. If you worry that you will not understand because you are not a philosopher and do not speak in these academic terms, don’t worry about that. Feser writes just for a layman here and when he talks about a logical fallacy, he not only explains what the fallacy is, but he also tells why it is a fallacy. This book is definitely friendly to the person who is a layman in the area.
He also looks at the sociological critiques of CRT and here he relies, rightly and heavily, on writers like Thomas Sowell. For instance, the huge overwhelming majority of human beings in prison in America are men. Since this is a disparity, does this mean that the justice department is sexist against men? Not at all. It just means more men commit these kinds of crimes.
He says that colonialism is wrong, but also that on the other hand, when many people came to colonize, they also brought with them technological advances that even after the colonials were gone, those who were left behind benefitted. He also shows that even when a people have been a minority in a population, they have often had a sizable influence on that population because they take their culture with them often. Germans, for example, wherever they go, they tend to make the best beer. In this, he also looks at immigration pointing out that a country should welcome immigrants, but also do so reasonably in a way they can provide for them and there is no evil in a country having a border and defending it.
Definitely worth pointing out is the damage fatherlessness has had. The black community has been hit hardest by this with the Asian community getting hit least of all. Fatherlessness damages a society which in turn damages an economy and all of this traces back to the sexual revolution, but obviously, one cannot speak against that!
Finally, he points out the damage that has been done by CRT. If anything, emphasizing race more actually makes race more of an issue and tends to lead to more racism. Morgan Freeman one time said one of the best treatments of racism would be to stop talking about it. I entirely concur.
Also, this book is short so you can read it easily, and you should. Go out and get this whether you are Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox. You’ll be glad you did.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)