Students in California , Colorado , Illinois , Indiana and Wisconsin are eligible for additional prize money. High School Programs manager Matthew Morgen says: "We expect to receive more than 20, essays this year. Last year, two of the three winners were from outside the United States for the first time in the history of the contests.
In Atlas Shrugged , Ayn Rand's masterpiece, the mysterious disappearance of the leading artists, intellectuals and businessmen is accelerating the collapse of the world's culture and economy. The story grapples with the fundamental problems of human existence, and presents radically new answers and Rand's vision of man's highest potential. The deadline for entry is April 28, The Fountainhead essay contest is open to all eleventh and twelfth graders. The Fountainhead is the story of an uncompromising young architect, Howard Roark , his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him.
Let them consider, first of all, how wide and easy a road would thus be opened up toward conjugal infidelity and the general lowering of morality. Not much experience is needed in order to know human weakness, and to understand that men — especially the young, who are so vulnerable on this point — have need of encouragement to be faithful to the moral law, so that they must not be offered some easy means of eluding its observance.
It is also to be feared that the man, growing used to the employment of anticonceptive practices, may finally lose respect for the woman and, no longer caring for her physical and psychological equilibrium, may come to the point of considering her as a mere instrument of selfish enjoyment, and no longer as his respected and beloved companion.
I cannot conceive of what would have to be the mental state of a woman who could desire or accept the position of having a husband who does not derive any selfish enjoyment from sleeping with her. But we must also take note of the first part of that paragraph.
Surely the authors of the encyclical cannot be ignorant of the fact that it is not the young chasers or the teenage sluts who would be the victims of a ban on contraceptives, but the innocent young who risk their lives in the quest for love — the girl who finds herself pregnant and abandoned by her boyfriend, or the boy who is trapped into a premature, unwanted marriage. Another, and truly incredible mockery, leers at us from that same paragraph As a warning against the use of contraceptives, the encyclical states:.
Let it be considered also that a dangerous weapon would thus be placed in the hands of those public authorities who take no heed of moral exigencies. Who will stop rulers from favoring, from even imposing upon their peoples, if they were to consider it necessary, the method of contraception which they judge to be most efficacious? In such a way men, wishing to avoid individual, family or social difficulties encountered in the observance of the divine law, would reach the point of placing at the mercy of the intervention of public authorities the most personal and most reserved sector of conjugal intimacy.
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No public authorities have attempted — and no private groups have urged them to attempt — to force contraception on Catholics. Were it not for the politeness one should preserve toward the papal office, one would call that statement a brazen effrontery. An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential , only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not yet living or the unborn. Abortion is a moral right — which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered.
Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body? The intensity of the importance that the Catholic church attaches to its doctrine on sex may be gauged by the enormity of the indifference to human suffering expressed in the encyclical. Its authors cannot be ignorant of the fact that man has to earn his living by his own effort, and that there is no couple on earth — on any level of income, in any country, civilized or not — who would be able to support the number of children they would produce if they obeyed the encyclical to the letter.
Consider the position of an average American couple. Now consider the position of the majority of mankind, who are barely able to subsist on a level of prehistorical poverty. No strain, no backbreaking effort of the ablest, most conscientious father can enable him properly to feed one child — let alone an open-end progression. The unspeakable misery of stunted, disease-eaten, chronically undernourished children, who die in droves before the age of ten, is a matter of public record.
We are well aware of the serious difficulties experienced by public authorities in this regard, especially in the developing countries. To their legitimate preoccupations we devoted our encyclical letter Populorum Progressio. The only possible solution to this question is one which envisages the social and economic progress both of individuals and of the whole of human society, and which respects and promotes true human values.
Neither can one, without grave injustice, consider Divine Providence to be responsible for what depends, instead, on a lack of wisdom in government, on an insufficient sense of social justice, on selfish monopolization or again on blameworthy indolence in confronting the efforts and the sacrifices necessary to insure the raising of living standards of a people and of all its sons.
If, today, a struggling, desperate man, somewhere in Peru or China or Egypt or Nigeria, accepted the commandments of the present encyclical and strove to be moral, but saw his horde of children dying of hunger around him, the only practical advice the encyclical would give him is: Wait for the establishment of a collectivist world state. Philosophically, however, the reference to the earlier encyclical, Populorum Progressio , is extremely significant: it is as if Pope Paul VI were pointing to the bridge between the two documents and to their common base.
The global state advocated in Populorum Progressio is a nightmare utopia where all are enslaved to the physical needs of all; its inhabitants are selfless robots, programmed by the tenets of altruism, without personal ambition, without mind, pride, or self-esteem. Happy men are free men.
Tuesday, January 15th, 5:30 p.m.
So kill their joy in living. Make them feel that the mere fact of a personal desire is evil. Unhappy men will come to you. Nature allows no vacuum. Deprived of ambition, yet sentenced to endless toil; deprived of rewards, yet ordered to produce; deprived of sexual enjoyment, yet commanded to procreate; deprived of the right to live, yet forbidden to die — condemned to this state of living death, the graduates of the encyclical Humanae Vitae will be ready to move into the world of Populorum Progressio ; they will have no other place to go.
I would not laugh at him now. It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that in the subconscious hierarchy of motives of the men who wrote these two encyclicals, the second, Humanae Vitae , was merely the spiritual means to the first, Populorum Progressio , which was the material end.
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The motives, I believe, were the reverse: Populorum Progressio was merely the material means to Humanae Vitae , which was the spiritual end. It is not intended to work. It is not intended to [achieve human chastity or sexual virtue]; it is intended to induce guilt. Men who accept as an ideal an irrational goal which they cannot achieve, never lift their heads thereafter — and never discover that their bowed heads were the only goal to be achieved.
Today, I say it, with clearer evidence, about the encyclical Humanae Vitae. This is the fundamental issue which neither side of the present conflict is willing fully to identify. The conservatives or traditionalists of the Catholic church seem to know, no matter what rationalizations they propound, that such is the meaning and intention of their doctrine.
The liberals seem to be more innocent, at least in this issue, and struggle not to have to face it. But they are the supporters of global statism and, in opposing Humanae Vitae , they are merely fighting the right battle for the wrong reasons. If they win, their social views will still lead them to the same ultimate results. The rebellion of the victims, the Catholic laymen, has a touch of healthy self-assertiveness; however, if they defy the encyclical and continue to practice birth control, but regard it as a matter of their own weakness and guilt, the encyclical will have won: this is precisely what it was intended to accomplish.
The American bishops of the Catholic church, allegedly struggling to find a compromise, issued a pastoral letter declaring that contraception is an objective evil , but individuals are not necessarily guilty or sinful if they practice it — which amounts to a total abdication from the realm of morality and can lead men only to a deeper sense of guilt. Such is the tragic futility of attempting to fight the existential consequences of a philosophical issue, without facing and challenging the philosophy that produced them.
This issue is not confined to the Catholic church, and it is deeper than the problem of contraception; it is a moral crisis approaching a climax.
The essence of that view depends on the answer to two interrelated questions: Is man man the individual an end in himself? Neither an individual nor an entire civilization can exist indefinitely with an unresolved conflict of that kind. Our age is paying the penalty for it. Winning essays must demonstrate an outstanding grasp of the philosophic meaning of The Fountainhead. There is no formal application due other than the essay, which must be written in English. The essay should be a minimum of and a maximum of words, and should be double spaced throughout.
A detailed cover letter that includes the applicants name, address, email if applicable , school, grade level, and the topic selected and only one topic is eligible is required. Finally, if the essay is part of a class assignment, the applicant should include the name of the teacher who assigned it.
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These awards are paid to the winners in cash, and there are not restrictions on how the winner spends the money! The essay must be postmarked no later than May 28,