Archive for the ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ Category

Reason.tv released this short video on marijuana legalization.

My question for pro-legalization liberals:

Can you reconcile legalization with food regulation? My contention is that centrists (of both parties) favor regulations that advance their desired world, without reference to the logical consistencies and assumptions underling their imagined preferences.

That is, their policy preferences are arbitrary bullshit.

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Can you renounce your state citizenship? (more…)

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Good Question

This weekend a good friend of mine came to town.  She’s been one of my best friends for years, but she wasn’t coming exclusively to visit me.  While we don’t always (or even rarely) see eye-to-eye on social issues, there’s one we can agree on.  It’s pretty indefensible to keep homosexuals from having legally binding marriages.

And that’s how I ended up hanging out with these women, and marching through D.C. on a remarkably beautiful sunny Sunday. (My friend is on the far left, literally and figuratively.)

After reflecting on it, I’m ambivalent about the event.  I went to support my homosexual friends and family, because I support their fight for freedom.  I resent that anyone believes that they have the authority to tell anyone else how, or with whom, to live their life. (more…)

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As a philosophy major, I’m prone to indulge silly questions from time to time.  From the previously mentioned, and excellent Bourgeois Virtues, I got my mind tangled up with this question:  Is the redistributive state inherently amoral, as it violates Kant’s second categorical imperative to never treat people as means?  Quoting Feser’s On Nozick:

Respecting another’s self-ownership . . . [reflects] one’s recognition that that other person does not exist for you. . . . the socialist or liberal egalitarian . . . rather than the Nozickian libertarian . . . is . . . more plausibly accused of ‘selfishness.’

If you’re interested in a brief synopsis of the book, check this out.

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Last night over drinks with a friend, we talked a little about the way people think, and the way thoughts and actions betray deeper truths about a person’s worldview.

We often talk about the liberal/conservative divide, or the republican/democrat divide, but those distinctions are only shorthand for much deeper intellectual gulfs.  What’s actually important are a persons view on concepts like trust, service, fellowship, achievement or egalitarianism.  How you view these concepts, and others like them, (coupled with a healthy dose of naked opportunism) will mostly control your political posture.

For example, think of the most extreme anti-Bush/anti-war protesters during the last administration.  The 9-11 Truthers (I refuse to provide links, and drive any traffic their way.  Instead, enjoy this video from The Onion).  Oooooh the Truthers.  Nuttier than squirrel droppings.  Their closest equivalent are the Birthers.  Oh the Birthers.

What both groups have in common, at the most fundamental level, is that for them, it is totally within the realm of possibility for people to act in the most evil, insane, depraved ways possible.  It’s more than plausible, it’s a certainty.  That unwavering conviction in the power and solicitude of evil terrifies me.  In their minds such actions have justifications.  That means in the future, they could justify similar actions to themselves.  The intellectual framework is in place, the actions can easily follow.  There’s that phrase “be the change you want to see in the world”; well both of these groups can see a world that I want no part of, filled with people affirmatively choosing the most damaging, evil choice conceivable.  We should all think that is reprehensible.

It depresses me when liberals claim to be both the party of the people, and make statements about how people generally ‘can’t be trusted’, or ‘will just chase money’ or other hogwash.

You can only make money two ways, earning and stealing.  We try our best to make theft, fraud and their related activities illegal, and we continue to always police for new ingenious ways of taking yours, and making it mine.

The other way to make money is by giving someone some good, product, or service that they want, that they use to enhance their life in some way.  Such voluntary activity is not only beneficial to overall social utility or efficiency, but it has an amazing moral benefit.  Such service creates and nurtures social bonds, encourages creativity and accountability, and encourages people to cooperate in thousands of little ways every day.

I defend markets and voluntary exchange because I think these are the values our society should be encouraging, not with words, but with actions.  The western liberal tradition isn’t about economics, it’s about the moral rights of the individual.  Economics merely provides a broadly empirical way to analyze the march of progress.

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What do you call someone who ignores scientific evidence and history, in favor of their own idealistic, misguided, backward rationale, despite it’s obvious detriments to humanity?

If you’re talking biology, they’re called creationists.

If you’re talking economics, they’re called statists.

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For Radley Balko.  The Whole Foods boycott is moronic.  Why is it the same people who claim to want an open, civil debate are the same ones offended by a simple policy proposal, backed by empirical data?

2) The reason the boycott is moronic is that you’re punishing a company that does everything the left thinks a company should do in just about every other area (save for a few, noted below) solely because its CEO expressed opinions about health care that you don’t like. And I don’t mind that you disagree with Mackey’s opinions. But if they offend you, you’re way too damned sensitive. He didn’t say, “I think all Americans should have access to health care . . . except for black people.” That would be offensive. He put forth some proposals that he thinks would make the health care system more efficient. You can disagree with those proposals. But if you’re offended by them, you really have a low tolerance for offense.

Radley’s blog is a great daily read.

Read all of Mackey’s original proposal here.

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