5 of 5
5
Michael Shermer - Science, Skepticism and Libertarianism
Posted: 26 July 2009 01:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6134
Joined  2006-12-20
VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 04:23 AM

To believe in libertarian free will and be a skeptic is an oxymoron.

Stephen

Don’t you mean “....and be a Humanist…”!  That’s what I would have meant!

No.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2009-07-07
VYAZMA - 24 July 2009 11:20 AM

In doing a cost benefit analysis of taxes paid by different nationalities, we would also have to figure in Energy expended, or man/hours worked in order to achieve a given income. This could vary widely from country to country.

Indeed. I work for a UK company and get 5 weeks holiday a year. My brother works for a US company and gets 2 or 3 weeks holiday. I know that in France the difference is even greater. Some people might not accept a higher tax level in exchange for an extra month in holiday, but you have to at least factor in that difference when comparing America with France.

Plus, Samantha, it’s a bit of a stretch to say that confusing the tax threshold in several countries by a factor of two makes no difference at all to your point.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2009-07-07
tcm92678 - 25 July 2009 06:03 AM

For those who claim that these species are endangered because of human interference, isn’t human interference an essential part of nature’s plan itself?

What on earth do you mean by ‘nature’s plan’? Nature doesn’t have a plan - you seem to be confusing the comforting metaphor of ‘mother nature’ with a real-life God-figure who has everything figured out for the planet. If it’s ‘arrogant’ to interfere with nature, does that mean you refuse to take modern medicines when you get sick?

Arrogant would be thinking we can just wipe out hundreds of species a day - which is what is happening now. Not just arrogant, but stupid too, as it affects us. The people who say that extinction is natural are usually the first to get upset about the idea of their own species’ extinction.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  38
Joined  2009-06-03
StephenLawrence - 26 July 2009 01:49 AM
VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 04:23 AM

To believe in libertarian free will and be a skeptic is an oxymoron.

Stephen

Don’t you mean “....and be a Humanist…”!  That’s what I would have meant!

No.

Stephen

Of course you can make that kind of assumptions when you just replace every term with your own interpretation. But I do not think that counts as a relevant argument. I have been a libertarian for years now and I have not ever discussed with anyone something so ridiculous as “libertarian free will”.

It’s anti skeptical to claim there is just one way to look at things and that’s my way. It’s everything I stand against as a skeptic.

[ Edited: 27 July 2009 06:45 AM by Eero T. Eloranta ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6134
Joined  2006-12-20
Eero T. Eloranta - 27 July 2009 06:29 AM
StephenLawrence - 26 July 2009 01:49 AM
VYAZMA - 25 July 2009 04:23 AM

To believe in libertarian free will and be a skeptic is an oxymoron.

Stephen

Don’t you mean “....and be a Humanist…”!  That’s what I would have meant!

No.

Stephen

Of course you can make that kind of assumptions when you just replace every term with your own interpretation. But I do not think that counts as a relevant argument. I have been a libertarian for years now and I have not ever discussed with anyone something so ridiculous as “libertarian free will”.

It’s anti skeptical to claim there is just one way to look at things and that’s my way. It’s everything I stand against as a skeptic.

But you do not justify your libertarian views on people deserving what happens to them as a result of the choices they make.

In the podcast, I’m pretty sure Michael Shermer was.

Stephen

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  189
Joined  2009-01-01

The whole concept that some people (and apparently not others) somehow “deserve” to either be harmed by others and/or to have some misfortune enacted upon them by fate/nature/god/human action is totally stupid (for lack of any better word).  This compares to some idiotic preacher saying that AIDS is God’s judgement against homosexuals while ignoring the same such suffering in others inclusive of innocent children and infants.  I guess he’d have to say those infants were “cursed”, in which case I’d have to tell him that I’m looking for a God other than his.

On a side note, how do proponents of predestiny rationalize infant and child mortality?  Are such things not a test of our collective “choices” which is certainly guaged somehow within our own psyche if not actually judged by any god.  Perhaps I simply overestimate people and conscience varies more widely than I fear, or did I mean to say intelligence?

Oh, back to Libertarianism… do they really propose to in most cases “let the chips fall where they may”?

In my view, Ron Paul is no Libertarian, his message indicates he’s a Conservative and a Constitutionalist, both of which are full of “rules”.  That the Libertarian party actually chose him to fly their banner shows that their own idealism went out the window and amounts to at least as much compromise as that found within our mainstream parties.  It didn’t work.

 Signature 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  38
Joined  2009-06-03

Dear Gray1

Libertarianism is not an ideology that is “against the rules”. In a fact the whole concept lies on strict law and order. The whole idea is based on a society ruled by law and justice as opposed to a neo con or a socialistic model. They are authoritarian and based on a rule of power.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  17
Joined  2009-06-24

What on earth do you mean by ‘nature’s plan’? Nature doesn’t have a plan - you seem to be confusing the comforting metaphor of ‘mother nature’ with a real-life God-figure who has everything figured out for the planet. If it’s ‘arrogant’ to interfere with nature, does that mean you refuse to take modern medicines when you get sick?

Arrogant would be thinking we can just wipe out hundreds of species a day - which is what is happening now. Not just arrogant, but stupid too, as it affects us. The people who say that extinction is natural are usually the first to get upset about the idea of their own species’ extinction.


I agree, that nature doesn’t have a plan and that everything is a random occurrence.  I am not at all a believer of an intervening, almighty-god, who has a personal relationship with each individual.  Next, I would like to ask how taking medicine interferes with nature.  The act of taking in vitamin C from fruits(oranges) for example, is a nature’s way of preventing scurvy. 

Next, the extinction of species, is in fact, a natural phenomenon.  The earth is about 3.2billion yrs. old; humans have been around for about 200,000 yrs.  Extinction of species have taken effect long before the arrival of mankind here on earth.  So, if we take humans out of the equation, extinction still occurs.  The bottom line is that extinction is a natural process and we must face reality and accept it.  By the way, I do accept this and I am not upset about realizing that one day, human beings may become extinct.

 Signature 

Homeostasis, balance, and equilibrium ............

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 July 2009 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  189
Joined  2009-01-01
Eero T. Eloranta - 27 July 2009 02:34 PM

Dear Gray1

Libertarianism is not an ideology that is “against the rules”. In a fact the whole concept lies on strict law and order. The whole idea is based on a society ruled by law and justice as opposed to a neo con or a socialistic model. They are authoritarian and based on a rule of power.

Could we have some clairification on the “authoritarian and rule of power” part?  Perhaps even just the “rule of power” since we know too much about “authoritarian” which doesn’t exactly convey a connotation of warmth, freedom and fuzziness like “Libertarian” does.  Come to think of it, “rule of power” doesn’t either.  In fact this is all beginning to sound more like National Socialism which also sounds rather innocuous until we realize it’s also known as Nazism.  I thought Libertarians were just basically just a bunch of fun loving would-be pot smokers.  How could I be so wrong?

 Signature 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 July 2009 12:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
Jr. Member
Avatar
RankRank
Total Posts:  38
Joined  2009-06-03
gray1 - 27 July 2009 08:01 PM
Eero T. Eloranta - 27 July 2009 02:34 PM

Dear Gray1

Libertarianism is not an ideology that is “against the rules”. In a fact the whole concept lies on strict law and order. The whole idea is based on a society ruled by law and justice as opposed to a neo con or a socialistic model. They are authoritarian and based on a rule of power.

Could we have some clairification on the “authoritarian and rule of power” part?  Perhaps even just the “rule of power” since we know too much about “authoritarian” which doesn’t exactly convey a connotation of warmth, freedom and fuzziness like “Libertarian” does.  Come to think of it, “rule of power” doesn’t either.  In fact this is all beginning to sound more like National Socialism which also sounds rather innocuous until we realize it’s also known as Nazism.  I thought Libertarians were just basically just a bunch of fun loving would-be pot smokers.  How could I be so wrong?

I’m not sure what you mean. With authoritarianism and rule of power I was of course referring to neo cons and socialists.

I would not associate any political ideology with drug abuse.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 July 2009 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2009-07-07
tcm92678 - 27 July 2009 03:18 PM

Next, the extinction of species, is in fact, a natural phenomenon.  The earth is about 3.2billion yrs. old; humans have been around for about 200,000 yrs.  Extinction of species have taken effect long before the arrival of mankind here on earth. 

You miss the point. Man has caused extinction to rocket to a rate that isn’t ‘natural’, or sustainable, and that also threatens us.

If you want to argue that anything man does or causes is by definition ‘natural’ then you’re rendering the term somewhat meaningless. What would NOT come under your definition of ‘natural’ in this sense? Similarly, what do you mean by ‘interfering with nature’? This phrase also becomes meaningless if you define anything we do as ‘part of nature’. It’s ‘natural’ for people to get cancer. That doesn’t mean it is not something we try to prevent. You could say that ‘it is natural for us to stop cancer’. Well then why isn’t it natural for us to try to stop extinction? If your argument then falls down to ‘natural is what we’ve done in the past’, then you could say it’s natural for us to keep slaves.

Personally, I leave apart this concept of natural when I’m discussing what is wise, moral or advisable. The ‘it’s natural/unnatural’ argument is the kind of thing I expect from fundamentalist Christians trying to argue against homosexuality.

[ Edited: 28 July 2009 04:41 AM by Andrew Ryan ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 July 2009 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  189
Joined  2009-01-01
Eero T. Eloranta - 28 July 2009 12:21 AM
gray1 - 27 July 2009 08:01 PM
Eero T. Eloranta - 27 July 2009 02:34 PM

I’m not sure what you mean. With authoritarianism and rule of power I was of course referring to neo cons and socialists.

I would not associate any political ideology with drug abuse.

All political parties seek power, that is their whole purpose.

Ok, my mistake, Libertarians are too warm and fuzzy.  I like that, but unfortunately they have no power to change anything.  I suggest they continue along local lines until a block can be built up within the Congress. 
My problem with neocons and socialists is that they are both basically new world order adherents of “the whole world must be just like us” even if it takes bombs and guns to make it happen.

The U.S. recently seems bent upon wild cycles of throwing power back and forth between those two ideologies which is sure to shake things totally apart in short order.  How did we go all the way from Bush to Obama in one election cycle? Such is madness pure and simple.

The drug use thing is apparently just a side benefit the Libertarians offer, but I’d be very happy to see a major change in the “war on drugs” which we’re losing so badly from anyone.

 Signature 

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. - Seneca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 August 2009 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2008-11-21

Shermer says

“Life isn’t fair”

The statement is an “is”, but not an “ought”.  To conflate the two is a fallacy.  Just because it is an empirical fact that “life isn’t fair” doesn’t mean that we not ought to try to make it as fair as possible for as many people as possible.

“Life isn’t fair” is always a popular and happy phrase for people who have done well in life’s lottery, attributing it all to one’s own effort, and are contemptuous of those who have not done so well in life’s lottery.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 November 2009 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
Jr. Member
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2009-11-26

Sorry I so late to this one. I found that Mr Shermer goes to far in his libertarianism, capitalism and free market reliance. As with much in life a little of some things is good but too much is bad.

My thought process was through an example.

- In a wealthy nation (UK for me, US for others) we should have a “right to clean water”
- We know that if we leave it to the free market two things will happen. Not everyone will get clean water as they will not be able to afford it. The free market does not guarantee supply. Secondly, not all the water will be clean as, in a search for profits, businesses will take shortcuts and not produce clean water. Mass poisoning follows and the “free market” demand will stop buying their water.
- This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that some markets MUST be regulated. If they are regulated, who is the regulator? The question often leads to 2 outcomes - government or self-regulation. In the UK water is a bit of both.
- Finally, if in society we find that there are lots of regulations needed in lots of important markets (it should be easy to come up with examples based on the one above), then is it more “efficient” and “effective” to self regulate or to centrally regulate. The answer is government not industry. Not just because of “economies of scale” in regulation but also because we have finally linked a “citizens rights to clean water” with a “representative body regulating”. There is no link in the libertarian purist mind and this is always where they fail.

My belief is that free markets are highly efficient and productive, but it is pure fantasy to expect free markets to satisfy the demands of citizens in the social contract with society and the state. You need government to regulate and you need good men to be in government. Then you don’t have a problem.

Profile
 
 
   
5 of 5
5