News Bits

by Luke Muehlhauser on November 13, 2010 in News

Awesome: “The Crises of Capitalism“, animated. More cool animated talks here.

I like people who apologize in public to others. Pigliucci apologizes to Coyne.

Dumb things Americans believe.

Henryk Gorecki has died. I got your “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” right here.

I added 5 more debates to the debates page, including one between Stephen Law and Alvin Plantinga on the evolutionary argument against naturalism.

Ronald Dworkin: Americans against themselves. Related: What the fuck has Obama done so far?

Massimo & Julia interview Joshua Knobe.

I hadn’t seen this before. Councilman Joel Burns to bullied gay teens: “It gets better.”

Which countries have made the most progress on the Millenium Development Goals?

Congressman says God will save us from global warming. Well, then. Problem solved.

We Speak No Americano. Really great music video thing.

Can Science Shape Human Values? NPR talks to Simon Blackburn, Lawrence Krauss, Steven Pinker, and Sam Harris.

Trying to outlaw Sharia law, and forgetting that the 10 commandments were written in the Middle East instead of the United States, Oklahoma bans foreign laws, and accidentally bans the 10 commandments.

Penn Jillette defends freedom of religion on Fox News.

John Shook surveys a huge variety of naturalistic worldviews.

Luke Barnes is writing a good series of posts on Public Speaking for Scientists.

News that matters:

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Reginald Selkirk November 13, 2010 at 5:46 am

Catholic bishops: More exorcists needed

The practice is much more accepted by Catholics in parts of Europe and elsewhere overseas.

Shame on them.

In 1999, the church updated the Rite of Exorcism, cautioning that “all must be done to avoid the perception that exorcism is magic or superstition.”

Right. When practicing magic, it is fundamental that you not let on that you are practicing magic.

This is not a fringe group. This is the largest Christian* denomination on the planet.

* I am aware that some Protestants insist that Catholics are not Christian. They are both wrong and stupid.

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Reginald Selkirk November 13, 2010 at 6:25 am

Awesome: “The Crises of Capitalism“, animated.

The animation was cool. The message was a bit hollow. I’m not especially interested in a “Marxist perspective.” Capitalism certainly has its weaknesses, but Marxism even more so. Most modern economies are mixed; capitalism with state regulation and safety nets.

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JWahler November 13, 2010 at 7:23 am

Oh baby, that taxonomy from Shook is fantastic…would love to see that turned into a book. Great find Luke.

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Baal November 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

Not only is “We no speak Americano” cool for the hand stuff, it’s also funny that in the background there is a picture of a little girl pointing a gun at the head of the Sacred Heart picture.

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Hermes November 13, 2010 at 8:51 am

Reginald Selkirk, seconded.

Marxism/Communism is an experiment that has been run and the results are in. There’s no reason to re-run it again. Even the quasi-Communists know this, from China through to the small isolated individual kibbutz communities.

The biggest weakness that I see with capitalism at the moment is the lack of accountability/feedback for short-term goal seekers. Two examples of this;

* Stock holders (and everyone in the chain through to the companies) that demand high short term returns that damage the companies in the long term.

* Management that benefits from providing short term goals. This happens in stock and non-stock companies, but not as much in the latter.

Managers that screw over a company aren’t punished but are instead rewarded and often move on to another company to repeat their ‘success’ before the repercussions are noticed in the companies they leave. Later on, stock holders (and others in the chain) who push short term goals are lucky if they don’t end up owning parts of those damaged short-term oriented companies. Even if this does not happen, the devalued companies eventually drive up costs for the market at large because they have a fractured and less efficient workforce. These losses cause increases in operating costs that results in either lower pay or higher costs to customers and the economy suffers indirectly. Only part of that inefficiency is sopped up by process improvements.

As a former citizen of a Communist (East Block) country noted to me about the transition from Communism to free-market Capitalism; When we were able to buy from any other company, we stopped buying from each other and the whole system collapsed. If we keep driving up costs in companies through short-term thinking, competing with long-term companies will become impossible. The only way around that is to either punish the short-term thinkers or allow them to transfer the mounting losses to someone else without being punished.

If I had a set of methods to fix these problems that couldn’t be easily gamed, I’d advocate them. Marxism/Communism isn’t a fix, though.

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Luke Muehlhauser November 13, 2010 at 8:59 am

Reginald,

My usual line is something like this:

“Communism failed, but that doesn’t mean Marx’s critiques of capitalism were incorrect. We just haven’t found anything better yet. The northern European welfare state works pretty damn well, but I don’t think we’ve reached “the end of history.” There are other systems to be theorized into existence and tried – participatory economics, for example. So let’s try them. Capitalism still has intrinsic problems we should be trying to transcend rather than cover over.”

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Zeb November 13, 2010 at 9:57 am

I agree with Luke. Marxist criticisms can be very insightful, but as Hermes said, their solutions have been tested and failed. Which is not too surprising. It’s a lot easier to analyze the past than to predict the future. Marx was a genius but not a wizard.

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Bebok November 13, 2010 at 10:15 am

Reginald and Hermes,

I think one thing that should be noted is that Marxism is not the only alternative to capitalism humanity has worked out so far, there are various kinds of anarchist systems, for instance.
Other thing is that there was a really vast gap between the theory and practice of those Marxist governments. Or perhaps it’s the incoherence of Marxism.
I’m not sure what you mean by communism here. One standard definition is the system where workers have control over the means of production. In that sense Soviet Union and its satellite countries were no more communist than the US, workers had zero control over the production there. To be honest, none of those Marxist governments called their system „communist” as far as I know, they only said they were on the long and bumpy way to communism.
It is not very meaningful to say that communism failed, I think. I’d say it was just Bolshevism.

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Hermes November 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

Bebok, I see no reason to take anarchist ideas seriously. The watered down version of anarchy — libertarianism — is problematic enough as it is. I do have a soft spot for partial libertarian ideas, though; allowing people to have social and financial freedom is generally a good idea.

The libertarians on the extreme end — not quite anarchists but close enough — seem to ignore the problems with what they propose. Like the communists the libertarians ignore psychology and general market efficiencies. It is beneficial to make sure that people don’t abuse their freedoms to dupe the unsuspecting through fraud or deceptive practices. Monitoring and policing markets actually helps in the long run because it makes sure that people don’t cut corners or feel compelled to do so while they compete in the market. Short term thinking is a hole in that monitoring that neither anarchist or their cousins the libertarians can deal with naturally.

As for communism, I meant the term broadly going from state enforced methods of production through to the mutually established and locally controlled kibbutz systems. At each point of implementation communist systems failed and are now maintained only through the inclusion of personal gain as a motivation. That’s why I said that the experiment has been performed and we don’t need to do it again, not just because of a single failure that wasn’t communist enough. Communism just wasn’t a good idea and shows that sterile and isolated abstractions can cause real world damage.

That said, the quasi-capitalist/socialist representative democracies seem to be the best systems implemented so far. Socialist? Yep. Most people in the USA seem to think they aren’t in such a system right now. A simple example; Tea Baggers protesting socialism while collecting on what they call “their Medicare” and demanding social and institutional goods from governments. Truly clueless. Modest socialism isn’t anti-capitalist, but it is a form of socialism. As Reginald mentioned, it’s a safety net. In moderation socialism is a service that adds stability to a country. The political calculations are based on how much socialism makes sense, and (frequently unrelated) how much unfettered capitalism makes sense.

By all means, criticize capitalism. I noted a few serious problems myself. While I don’t offer solutions to those problems or some problems you may identify, that’s what we need. Solutions to problems. Swinging to vastly different systems because of those problems alone isn’t going to do it. Other systems will not be a quick fix, nor should we jump to any quick fix. That’s what is a problem now; short term thinking.

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Steven November 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

Very interesting links and discussions. Unfortunately, the more I read about these Republicans that got elected into office, the more it just makes me feel hopelessly pessimistic about the state of political affairs here in America. Global Warming wont occur because God said so? Oh please…And Oklahoma’s law just reminds me about how irrational people get when discussing things they aren’t familiar with…I kept forgetting why I had lost much interest in politics.

More interesting, however, is the link about inequality in America. The thing we must remember, however, is that because the U.S. has much greater wealth income (I suppose GDP would be the right word?) than a Banana Republic, the situation isn’t nearly as bad as we think, but then again, if things continue this way, we would end up in very bad shape. And as Hermes pointed out, those who run terrible business practices have been aided, mostly because of our irrational fear of helping the poor,lest we be called socialist.

Lastly, I feel that the Kibbutz showed mixed results as to the potential of Communism (I disregard the USSR because they claimed to be “Socialist” but in nature, their government was more focused on tyranny than on actually creating programs to help everyone), as they pretty much failed economically but succeeded socially. All in all, there may be something in working together rather than ruthlessly competing. You know, I might as well include that I am approaching this from an anarchist point of view, and agree with Luke that Parecon shows promise. As it stands, our short term goals should be as Hermes said, to fix up capitalism and focus on alleviating inequality with mixed economies, but I feel that our greater aim should be to (and bear with me) move towards anarchism, for we have no real reason to believe that the government serves a particular purpose that can’t be served by people caring for each other. Granted, our world isn’t ready for anarchism yet, as a majority of people still believe that the government is a vital institution for society, but I am optimistic that if we can change these attitudes, increase access to education, among other changes, ultimately, an anarchist, Parecon society is conceivable. That’s my view on it.

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juhou November 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Interesting side note on the Marxism discussion is that the Scandinavian welfare systems are based upon socialdemocratic ideals that are derived from Marxism. The social democratic party of Finland for example used to think of itself, and still probably does, as a democratic marxist party with ultimate goal towards democratic socialism. The Finnish welfare state (my home country) was developed by peoples democratic (communist) and social democratic parties working together. They modelled it from Swedish social democratic party.

And now a days the ideals for more extreme forms of marxism in Finland have been tranferred to Green movement. So, marxism is still alive and well.

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Wrath November 13, 2010 at 12:14 pm

So you have not heard about the purported upcoming “debate” between Dawkins and WLC.

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Bebok November 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Hermes,

I see no reason to think that what is perversely called „libertarianism” in the U.S. has anything to do with anarchism. What I had in mind was traditional, left, anti-capitalist anarchism. The only thing they two have in common is they both don’t like the state, but while left-anarchists don’t like it because they regard it as one of many forms of unnecessary hierarchy and opression, it seems that American „libertarians” just want to replace state oppression with the private one.
I also see no reason to call totalitarianism with centrally-planned economics a communism of any kind. I didn’t want to say that the problem was that this failure „wasn’t communist enough”, I wanted to say the problem was it wasn’t communist at all.
As for the social democracies in Europe, I don’t think they would last too long without closed borders and sweatshops and all this misery in the Third World.
On the other hand, we don’t have to speculate about anarchist alternatives too much, we can analyse some historical experiments like those in Spain or in Ukraine. Surely, they didn’t last too long, but the reason wasn’t that worker cooperatives and direct democracy didn’t work.

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Tito November 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

A suggestion for the next News Bits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhIsdykpML4

Lyrics in the video description section.

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Bebok November 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Henryk Gorecki has died. I got your “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” right here.

Funny I’m native Silesian and I didn’t understand a word. I’ve only had this problem with black metal so far.

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juhou November 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

I am also kind of sympathetic to socialist anarchism, less so to American libertarianism, but due to studying economics I have my doubts about the economic aspects of that kind of system. One problem proposed early on for communism was the problem of economic planning, which I think has never been solved. The other problems being motivation of workers, efficiency and so on.

Bebok, I think you have way too simplistic view on European social democracies. There are a lot of factors involved in their success. The sweatshops, etc are a specific problems related to opening borders not closing them. Actually if you think about economic theory (that has been right so far) opening borders and enriching the third world would make everybody better off in the future. This conclusion is based upon Ricardian models that also influenced Karl Marx (although Marx attacks Ricardo heavily). Also some new trade theorists, for which Paul Krugman won his nobel price, actually promote building infant industries by closing borders, so it just might be that sweatshops, closed borders, etc are not a bad thing.

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juhou November 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Sorry about the incoherence in my post. Shouldn’t present two different theories in one paragraph :)

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Steven November 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm

juhou:

I feel you. As I understand it, workers will be rewarded according to labor under Parecon, but what differentiates it from Capitalism is that there will be a much greater focus on eradicating the poverty of those who work hard and on favoring workplaces that don’t actively do something detrimental to humanity (say, pollute rivers). So in that way, I don’t think the problem of motivation and efficiency are much of a problem. And even under regular socialism, I don’t think motivation is a serious issue, as if everyone works hard, their needs will be satisfied. If they don’t, then their needs will go ignored. Nothing about socialism says that unproductive “workers” need benefit.

I have no sympathy for “American libertarians”. Just look at their presidential nominee, Bob Barr, and you can instantly see by his voting record that the guy is a social conservative trying to impose Christian tradition into the societal fabric. He even opposes Same-Sex Marriages. It’s just a terrible terrible excuse for actual libertarianism (which I am much more sympathetic to).

I do agree with the second part that Capitalism can and does end up benefiting Third World Countries in the long-run and agree with Mr. Krugman that sweatshops are much better than unemployment (from a purely economic viewpoint). But what I question is whether or not Capitalism is too slow in bringing about its benefits (even when taking into consideration Comparative Advantage) and the impact sweatshops. At the end of the day, I can live with Capitalism as, no doubt, more often than not it works and it does wonders in poor countries (even helping to alleviate famine in some African countries) but I just feel that with the rise of Multinational Corporations that don’t seem to care about the poor inhabitants, and the Race to the Bottom, whether or not we should at the very least give some consideration to some economic alternatives.

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Keith J. November 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm

I just have to say I freakin’ love it when I see there is a new “News Bits”. I know all the links are going to be interesting. I browse the net a lot but it is awesome when nuggets are all in one place.

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Bebok November 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

juhou,

To have a rough idea how anarchist planning may look like, see here. For common anarchist answers to „lack of incentive” objection and „lack of efficiency” objection (as well as to many more objections), see here.
If you think that I think that the wealth of European states is a simple effect of exploiting the Third World, you misunderstood me. I agree there are „lot of factors involved in their success”, though I think sweatshops in the Third World are an important part of the story.
By closed borders I mean for example preventing immigration from poor African and Asian countries or large scale subsidising of farms (and many other branches of industry) in the EU and duty policy preventing importing many cheap products from the poor countries, which enables big business and western governments to sell their highly subsidised products in the Third World, which in turn makes the Third World a good source of practically slave workforce. „Sweatshops are related to opening borders” only in a sense that poor countries open borders and let western subsidised big business in. When some government intervenes to (at least in theory) defend the poor, polititians and business bigwigs usually call it ‘harmful state intervention’, but when a government intervenes to defend the rich, they call it ‘free market’.

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rupert mirdock November 13, 2010 at 7:57 pm

WTF Man??!? I thought you were a Ron Paul supporter of the Austrian school. Looks like while I went from Statist and Obama supporter to Libertarian you switched to being a Statheist. That’s okay, this is still a good website.

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Luke Muehlhauser November 13, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Wrath,

I have not. Is it scheduled?

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Luke Muehlhauser November 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Glad to be of service, Keith J. :)

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Luke Muehlhauser November 13, 2010 at 8:25 pm

rupert mirdock,

Who, me? Yeah, that changed a while back. :)

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Steven November 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Out of curiosity Luke–and since you mentioned Parecon–what are your views on anarchist theory?

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justsearching November 13, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Yup, Luke, the debate took place. It was more of a panel discussion than a debate between just these two, and I didn’t personally see the live video of it so I don’t know what was said.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/william-lane-craig/dialogue-with-dawkins-set-for-saturday-morning-nov-13-2010/10150121049174199

I think a video of the debate is here: http://www.ciudaddelasideas.com/

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Luke Muehlhauser November 13, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Steven,

Alas, not informed enough to have any views at all.

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mojo.rhythm November 13, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Justsearching,

Interesting. If Dawkins ends up bringing out his Boeing 747 argument with Craig in the same room, Richard is more fucked then the dead parrot from the Monty Python sketch.

God I hope Craig ends up talking about his theory that evolution is so improbable that by the time it would have occurred by chance the sun would have become a red giant and devoured the earth. The stone-bludgeoned look of speechless facepalm on Dawkin’s face will be absolutely priceless.

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mojo.rhythm November 13, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Any Spanish atheists in the house?

The Dawkins-Craig (et. al) discussion needs translating.

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juhou November 14, 2010 at 2:07 am

By closed borders I mean for example preventing immigration from poor African and Asian countries or large scale subsidising of farms (and many other branches of industry) in the EU and duty policy preventing importing many cheap products from the poor countries, which enables big business and western governments to sell their highly subsidised products in the Third World, which in turn makes the Third World a good source of practically slave workforce. „Sweatshops are related to opening borders” only in a sense that poor countries open borders and let western subsidised big business in.

Bebok, thanks for the links, I will educate myself on partecon. Although I still concider myself a new keynesian free market capitalist, I actually agree with most of the above. I’ve long thoughed poor countries should not be forced by IMF to open capital markets, and also infant industries, too fast. Western countries have also been successes due to protecting their infant industries. I think sweatshops and FTZ:s (Free Trade Zones) are a good thing but mostly because they benefit workers and countries more than not having them, which is not saying much. EU should open it’s borders and stop subsidies, which pervert the market mechanism. Opening borders in a long term will be good for EU as well as poor third world countries. The same applies to US and the countries it is exploiting, such as Mexico.

Steven, I agree with you that most of libertarianism (anarcho-capitalism) is rubbish. Ron Paul is a good example. I agree with Ron Paul on some social issues, but his economics is terrible with the gold standard, closing borders, etc. Also he seems to be against NAFTA, which I think is wrong. To me the problem with NAFTA is that free movement of labor is not allowed on the same basis as free movement of capital is. The agreement is rigged in the favor of the rich. But if free movement of Labor would be allowed the agreement would be much better.

Right now I have the same problem with anarchist socialism as I have with libertarianism. Libertarianism when based upon Austrian economics distrusts empirical tests and is not based upon mathemathical modelling. I think it is too hard to say if Austrian economics is even wrong, there is no way to falsify its theories. I have the same problem with anarchist socialism. I would like to see its economics formulated into mathematics and these theories published in peer-reviewed journals. (I tried to find these but only found couple of articles on more marginal journals). I think however that the success of open software (GNU/Linux) implies that anarchist solutions to economic problems might work.

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Hermes November 14, 2010 at 4:01 am

Bebok, I’m not interested in debating unrealistic assertions that aren’t options let alone not attractive; in the same environment, expect the same results regardless of what some subset wants to happen. That’s the mistake that the communists made, and I gave pointers towards what ones failed a couple times now. If you choose to not engage with what I actually wrote then saying I don’t get it isn’t encouraging.

In short, I’m done.

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Reginald Selkirk November 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’m not sure what you mean by communism here.

That must be directed at someone else, I did not use that word. I used the word Marxist, which appeared in the linked piece. Marxism was a curious mixture of social, political and economic theory with no particular grounding in experiment ore reality. Do not confuse it with socialism as found in present-day northern Europe. This is not communism, and it is not Marxism. For example, Marx believed in the inevitability of armed class struggle.

I am fine with understanding that capitalism is not perfect, and with criticisms of it. But I don’t think those criticisms benefit from being grounded in a system which has so utterly failed as Marxism.

Some specific criticisms not mentioned in the linked video, with relevance to the most recent meltdown: the current system does not demand or encourage accountability of the sort which capitalism claims to reward. Two examples: Mortgage companies sold oodles and oodles of bad mortgages, some fraudulent, some to people who couldn’t afford them. They weren’t worried about the mortages going bad because they were immediately resold. The system has allowed them to take profit without accountability. Second: most of the major investment banks have gone public. This means the bankers employed there do not make their money by making quality long-term investments, but by fees and bonuses for making deals with other people’s money. Once again, the accountability is lost.

The central idea behind capitalism is that those providing the capital are taking risks, and deserve to be rewarded for it. In the examples above, and many more, this is not the case. Government regulation can play a role in defining a landscape in which risk and reward are linked properly.

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Kyle Key November 14, 2010 at 10:48 am

@Reginald:
“The central idea behind capitalism is that those providing the capital are taking risks, and deserve to be rewarded for it.”

Yet that ignores how they first gained possession of that capital–an inquiry which will always lead us to some form of exploitation.

“Is owning capital sufficient reason to justify profits?”
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionC2#secc23

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rupert mirdock November 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

@Kyle Key,

“Yet that ignores how they first gained possession of that capital–an inquiry which will always lead us to some form of exploitation.”

All proponents of capitalism/free market agree that if you earned your wealth through fraud or force (as the state does) that that money is not legitimately earned.

Most people do not get their possession of capital through “exploitation”, but through hard work. 7 of the top 10 richest men in the US were all self-made. They worked hard to get where they were, and deserve to keep the fruits of their labor or spend them in which ever way they so wish. I think the term exploitation is misused, and will provide links should you wish to continue this conversation.

“Is owning capital sufficient reason to justify profits?”
All profits are are market signals to investors that you are making a good product. Insofar as you are providing a good product that people desire, and people’s needs or wants are being fulfilled, it’s easy to see how profits are justifiable.

“http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionC2#secc23 ”
It’s sad how people like Chomsky have bastardized the word anarchist to mean socialism and push those who truly see the state as tyrannical away from this term.

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Bill Maher November 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm

God I hope Craig ends up talking about his theory that evolution is so improbable that by the time it would have occurred by chance the sun would have become a red giant and devoured the earth. The stone-bludgeoned look of speechless facepalm on Dawkin’s face will be absolutely priceless. 

If you think this is true then you shouldn’t be allowed in a university. Evolution doesn’t have an end goal and wasn’t trying to work out a safe combination to make man. We are just the products and are a part of the chain of endless adaptation. The gets this garbage from Barrow and Tipler’s the Anthropic Cosmological principle, not any work in biology.

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Reginald Selkirk November 15, 2010 at 6:27 am

Evolution doesn’t have an end goal and wasn’t trying to work out a safe combination to make man.

What does that have to do with mojo.rhythm’s statements? You are way off target.

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Reginald Selkirk November 15, 2010 at 7:06 am
Kyle Key November 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

@rupert:
“All proponents of capitalism/free market agree that if you earned your wealth through fraud or force (as the state does) that that money is not legitimately earned.”
How is a hierarchically managed company significantly different from a private instantiation of the state? Given that I don’t already own land or means of production, how is it that you suppose I’m not forced to sell my labour to some employer while they earn far more on my work than I do?
“7 of the top 10 richest men in the US were all self-made.”
Self-made billionaires? They gained their wealth entirely on their own? No other people helping them in their endeavors? Impossible. I don’t consider someone “self-made” if they have a team, or teams, doing the majority of the work for them while they, as “boss,” take the lion’s share of the earnings. We don’t need bosses. We don’t need landlords. We don’t need people being rewarded for merely happening to own land or means of production that they never should have had private control over to begin with.

“All profits are are market signals to investors that you are making a good product. Insofar as you are providing a good product that people desire, and people’s needs or wants are being fulfilled, it’s easy to see how profits are justifiable.”
The quote above my link wasn’t a separate idea to be responded to, it was the title of the article I linked, but I’ll engage with your comment anyway…
I disagree that it’s “easy to see” how owning capital by itself justifies profits; you didn’t engage with the link I provided in the slightest.
What’s a “good product”? One that sells a lot? Then your statement is circular: “All profits are market signals to investors that you are making a product that’s earning profit.” Many products wouldn’t exist if not for advertising’s manufactured desire, so you can’t say that a good product is one that ‘people want to buy.’ Meanwhile the notion of “good product” (as you’ve presented it so far) clearly isn’t taking into consideration what’s good for health (both workers and consumers, and in some cases, animals), or the sustainable use of the environment.
And your statement that “people’s needs or wants are being fulfilled” might apply only if we ignore the above and focus entirely on consumers instead of workers; the labourers who make up the overwhelming majority of the workforce certainly aren’t having their needs and wants fulfilled by a workplace organization that funnels their labour directly into the pockets of one person, or a small group of people, “on top,” who do(es) far less.

“It’s sad how people like Chomsky have bastardized the word anarchist to mean socialism and push those who truly see the state as tyrannical away from this term.”
Chomsky isn’t even mentioned in the section I linked to, so I don’t know where this comment is coming from.

A point to engage with from the article:

“The capitalist, argued Berkman, “gives you a job; that is permission to work in the factory or mill which was not built by him but by other workers like yourself. And for that permission you help to support him for the rest of your life or as long as you work for him.”
So non-labour income exists not because of the owners of capital and land “contribute” to production but because they, as a class, own the means of life and workers have to sell their labour and liberty to them to gain access.
“We cry shame on the feudal baron who forbade the peasant to turn a clod of earth unless he surrendered to his lord a fourth of his crop. We called those the barbarous times, But if the forms have changed, the relations have remained the same, and the worker is forced, under the name of free contract, to accept feudal obligations.” [Kropotkin, The Conquest of Bread, pp. 31-2]

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Kyle Key November 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Apologies for the double post.
Concerning the original post, and re: whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar(dot)com.
Here’s the (I want to say ‘anarchist,’ but not just limited to that term) response site (very similar URL; the only difference, that I didn’t notice at first, is the word “in”):
http://whatinthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

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ruper mirdock November 15, 2010 at 11:58 pm

@Kyle Key,

“How is a hierarchically managed company significantly different from a private instantiation of the state?”

One is based on voluntarism; the other coercion.

“Given that I don’t already own land or means of production, how is it that you suppose I’m not forced to sell my labour to some employer while they earn far more on my work than I do?”

You are not forced. You do not have to choose to work. It is simply more beneficial if you do.

“Self-made billionaires? They gained their wealth entirely on their own? No other people helping them in their endeavors? Impossible. I don’t consider someone “self-made” if they have a team, or teams, doing the majority of the work for them while they, as “boss,” take the lion’s share of the earnings. We don’t need bosses. We don’t need landlords. We don’t need people being rewarded for merely happening to own land or means of production that they never should have had private control over to begin with.”

Yes, as a species it is generally more beneficial to cooperate with others. By self-made I mean started from scratch and worked their way to the top. I don’t understand how if you worked hard and earned money that that does not justify having private control over what you did with that money. Unless you are arguing that people who didn’t work for that money should be able to choose how to spend it, in which case your complaints against the “capitalist” are rendered moot since on principle you don’t believe that hard work=choosing what you spend with your money, anyways. The only difference there being is that the capitalist earned his legitimacy as capitalist, and the collective never earned legitimacy to any earnings.

“What’s a “good product”? One that sells a lot? Then your statement is circular: “All profits are market signals to investors that you are making a product that’s earning profit.”

Actually I said, “All profits are are market signals to investors that you are making a good product. ”

“Many products wouldn’t exist if not for advertising’s manufactured desire, so you can’t say that a good product is one that ‘people want to buy.’ Meanwhile the notion of “good product” (as you’ve presented it so far) clearly isn’t taking into consideration what’s good for health (both workers and consumers, and in some cases, animals), or the sustainable use of the environment.
And your statement that “people’s needs or wants are being fulfilled” might apply only if we ignore the above and focus entirely on consumers instead of workers; the labourers who make up the overwhelming majority of the workforce certainly aren’t having their needs and wants fulfilled by a workplace organization that funnels their labour directly into the pockets of one person, or a small group of people, “on top,” who do(es) far less.”

And how do they get money to advertise? By selling a good product.

If there is a demand for products that are healthy and environmentally friendly, then there will be a supplier who provides it knowing he can make a profit.

If you want profits to not go to a small group of people, then you are ultimately being duped by socialists since your earnings will all go to a very small group of people who earn every cent of their money illegitimately and by doing nothing (unlike the capitalist) under that system.

Labourers are having their wants and needs served by the capitalist, otherwise they would not work. If the capitalist does not provide the laborer with adequate supply of money to satisfy the laborers wants and needs, then the laborer will quit. If the capitalist does provide the laborer with his wants and needs, the laborer will continue working.

Marx fails because he only recognizes labor as having value, and not supply and demand (among many other reasons).

“The capitalist, argued Berkman, “gives you a job; that is permission to work in the factory or mill which was not built by him but by other workers like yourself. And for that permission you help to support him for the rest of your life or as long as you work for him.” There is no permission. The factory or mill was once built by him, he worked, then he got to be in charge, and hire other workers, who could one day be capitalists. Permission is a state-imposed idea. You don’t need permission to work, you either choose to work or you don’t. You could just as easily argue that the capitalist needs permission to have workers. Or as long as you work for him would be key. The capitalist helps you to support yourself in exchange for you supporting him. It is a mutual exchange, just as supply is to demand. But Marxism and Socialism are not predicated on mutual exchanges, but on force and violence. Sorry bro.

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Kyle Key November 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

“You are not forced. You do not have to choose to work. It is simply more beneficial if you do.”
Brilliant: ‘But you’re not forced! Don’t you see? You could also just starve to death, homeless!’ Sell your labour to someone so that they can take most of your work, or die. No coercion there–it’s crystal to me. Thanks!
“But no one forces you to work for them!” (Once again, this is only the title of the link that immediately follows, please don’t respond to the title, I’m not going to engage it.)
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionB4#secb43

“…worked their way to the top.”
One of the great myths of Capitalism: just work “hard” and you too can be the boss! Ignore the obvious fact that no matter how much you work, you may never advance as only a minute percentage of people can become bosses, or that no matter how much you’re willing to work, you won’t be given the opportunity by the vast majority of employers. But sure, assume plenty of job opportunities and advancement potential at all of these jobs: where is your argument that we need bosses? That we need hierarchical management? Labourers can manage themselves just fine without a master there to take most of their work. Your business model is the antithesis of true democracy (and a form of taxation without representation, given that my boss takes most of my work, yet I have no say in how it’s used in supporting the business); that people are increasingly realizing that they don’t want to support these mini-dictatorships is rather unsurprising.

“Unless you are arguing that people who didn’t work for that money should be able to choose how to spend it…”
No, I’m arguing that other people did work for “that money.” The capital that your person who “worked to the top” made was received primarily from the work of others–that is exactly why these others should be able to choose how to spend it. Your exemplary bosses didn’t earn their capital in a vacuum, yet they spend it and use it with little to no input from the people from whom it was taken.

I’m ignoring some of your middle paragraphs as you ignored my request for a definition of a “good product,” as you put it. I’ve already made my points based on assumptions of what this could mean, so if you’re not going to provide a working definition, I’ll continue thinking of the phrase in my terms.

“Labourers are having their wants and needs served by the capitalist, otherwise they would not work.”
This paragraph’s line of thinking is equivalent to the first’s, i.e. “you’re not forced; it’s all voluntary; etc.,” so the link I provided before applies.

“Marx fails because he only recognizes labor as having value, and not supply and demand (among many other reasons).”
Maybe. To be honest, I don’t care since I’m not a Marxist and have not quoted or provided references to his work. All strains of anarchism that I’m aware of do operate under supply and demand, though perhaps not the backward supply and demand of Capitalism wherein the process becomes, “Let’s make something (that doesn’t help satisfy most people’s basic needs the vast majority of the time) first, then hope it sells and/or create artificial demand for it afterward.”

“Permission is a state-imposed idea.”
Perhaps you could provide me with some reading material, as I find this notion of a stateless Capitalism, wherein the workers continue to abide their masters, fanciful. Why would I allow someone to lord over me and my coworkers, when we want to collectivise the business, given that state-sanctioned cops can no longer stop us from doing so (as they no longer exist)? The only solution I can envision on your part is a privatized police group, which gets us right back to coercion. I’m honestly interested in this idea, and I’ve seen it espoused before, but I’d like to read more on it.

“It is a mutual exchange…”
I agree, it’s the mutual exchange of the prostitute and the pimp; it works fantastically if we ignore that “mutual” doesn’t imply anything close to “fair” or “equal.” One works, and one takes (by force) most of the money for working far less.

“But Marxism and Socialism are not predicated on mutual exchanges, but on force and violence. Sorry bro.”
Once again, I agree, but fail to see your point since I neither labelled myself a Marxist nor a Socialist. I agree with Bakunin’s oft-quoted, concise statement of the matter: “Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; …socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”
I’d be your bro if you wanted to work with me rather than rule over me.

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rupert mirdock November 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

you paint a picture of capitalism that just isn’t true with the people I’ve worked with in the marketplace.
“Brilliant: ‘But you’re not forced! Don’t you see? You could also just starve to death, homeless!’”
If you’re saying that without the capitalist you would starve, is that not an argument in favor of the capitalist??
“Sell your labour to someone so that they can take most of your work, or die. No coercion there–it’s crystal to me. Thanks!
“But no one forces you to work for them!” (Once again, this is only the title of the link that immediately follows, please don’t respond to the title, I’m not going to engage it.)”

Let’s say you’re on an island and no one is around you. Are you being coerced into working because if you don’t work to get a meal you won’t get one? NO! It’s just human nature that we don’t have working machines that just make our lives easy, we actually have to work for things (capitalism allows new technology so that people can do less and less hard work).

As far as working, obviously working is a choice, often a privelege, otherwise groups such as women wouldn’t have fought so hard for it for so long (except in the case of today where women have to work to pay off taxes but that is another topic). Women didn’t have to work or starve. They fought for the choice to work that you and that article so despise.

“One of the great myths of Capitalism: just work “hard” and you too can be the boss!”
Can you explain to me how the capitalist became a boss if he didn’t engage in force or fraud then?? By the way, 7 of the 10 richest men did do just that as I have mentioned before.
“Ignore the obvious fact that no matter how much you work, you may never advance as only a minute percentage of people can become bosses, or that no matter how much you’re willing to work, you won’t be given the opportunity by the vast majority of employers.”
Once again, as I had said, 7 out of 10 of the top richest men started from nothing and became “bosses” (which is not nearly as cruel a depiction as you or Hollywood movies paint it out to be). Anyways, even if this were true, what’s important is that your needs and wants are being met, not that you move up necessarily (the capitalist is helping your life advance, otherwise you would not work but I don’t want to get into that).

” But sure, assume plenty of job opportunities and advancement potential at all of these jobs: where is your argument that we need bosses?”
We need some form of working together. Capitalism is simply the best but in a free market it by no means has to be the only one. I don’t have a problem with worker self-managements as long as they’re voluntary.
“That we need hierarchical management? Labourers can manage themselves just fine without a master there to take most of their work. ”
See above statement.
“Your business model is the antithesis of true democracy (and a form of taxation without representation, given that my boss takes most of my work, yet I have no say in how it’s used in supporting the business); that people are increasingly realizing that they don’t want to support these mini-dictatorships is rather unsurprising.”
Realize I’m not a fan of democracy or taxation. If your boss takes most of your work, then you and your co-workers should quit. It is more beneficial for your boss to not do so, so that he can stay in business. And once again, you have no right to money that is not rightfully yours, which is why I’m not a fan of democracy or taxation. What kind of system would you advocate if not capitalism socialism nor marxism?? To call capitalist markets mini-dictatorships is a joke to people who live under even democracies. No one comes with a gun to your house to rob you in capitalism. In many families, kids and wives don’t have to work (so no work or starve). Unless we’re living in total autonomy, there is going to have to be cooperation among the species. You’re going to have to work with other people somehow… capitalism just happens to be the best system that allows for the maximum amount of choice.

“No, I’m arguing that other people did work for “that money.” The capital that your person who “worked to the top” made was received primarily from the work of others–that is exactly why these others should be able to choose how to spend it. Your exemplary bosses didn’t earn their capital in a vacuum, yet they spend it and use it with little to no input from the people from whom it was taken.”

The person who worked to the top worked himself and his workers do likewise and so on and so forth.

“Marx fails because he only recognizes labor as having value, and not supply and demand (among many other reasons).”
“Maybe. To be honest, I don’t care since I’m not a Marxist and have not quoted or provided references to his work. All strains of anarchism that I’m aware of do operate under supply and demand, though perhaps not the backward supply and demand of Capitalism wherein the process becomes, “Let’s make something (that doesn’t help satisfy most people’s basic needs the vast majority of the time) first, then hope it sells and/or create artificial demand for it afterward.”

Yeah, because food doesn’t satisfy people’s wants and needs or anything like that…

But let’s pretend that I make something stupid that doesn’t provide any basic needs, like a furby. And a kid buys that furby. As dumb as I once thought it was, that furby will feed my family. THAT is the big picture that anti-capitalists always miss. Everyone is a mouth to feed.

“It is a mutual exchange…”
“I agree, it’s the mutual exchange of the prostitute and the pimp; it works fantastically if we ignore that “mutual” doesn’t imply anything close to “fair” or “equal.” One works, and one takes (by force) most of the money for working far less.” Seeing as a pimp’s relationship to his prostitute is violent this would not be capitalism. Pimps are a product of the black market anyways. They would have no job if prostitution were made legal. This comparison utterly fails.
“Once again, I agree, but fail to see your point since I neither labelled myself a Marxist nor a Socialist.” Then what are you?
” I agree with Bakunin’s oft-quoted, concise statement of the matter: “Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; …socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”
I don’t think that liberty and socialism are compatible. Socialism demands that you associate with certain people, whether you want to associate with them, or whether or not you want to associate with people at all. Capitalism allows for both freedom of association and freedom to not associate.
“I’d be your bro if you wanted to work with me rather than rule over me.” Capitalism is based on cooperation and people working together, not ruling (I recommend Friedman’s lecture on the power of the pencil to see more on how capitalism encourages cooperation). This is what differentiates it from the state.

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Hermes November 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

There’s not much point to squabble over what has already been demonstrated, or to be a sympathetic advocate for what can not be demonstrated.

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Hermes November 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

FWIW, Matt Dillahunty (president of the Atheist Community of Austin, host of The Atheist Experience TV show) and Father Hans Jacobse (head of the American Orthodox Institute and Antiochian Orthodox Priest) debated The Source of Human Morality at the University of Maryland Baltimore Campus (UMBC).

Part 1 of 9 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkMAJai5D3c

Parts 1-3 are up. The other parts are due to be posted “shortly”. Look for a play list once all 9 parts are up.


“Matt Dillahunty is the president of the Atheist Community of Austin, and host of the popular public access television and internet show “The Atheist Experience.” He was raised as a fundamentalist Baptist, and was on track to become a minister until he started asking questions about the reasons for his belief. He rejected religion, and now serves as a public voice for rationality and secular morality.

Father Hans Jacobse is an Antiochian Orthodox Priest, who administers the website Orthodoxy Today and heads the American Orthodox Institute. Fr. Hans is convinced that Orthodox Christianity has an important part to play in American moral renewal. He views the current world as a battle between competing moral visions of the secular and the sacred, and hopes that Christianity can restore the moral tradition of the gospels. “

Sponsored by;

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship at UMBC

UMBC Secular Student Alliance

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Hermes November 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Hans Jacobse immediately makes a mistake immediately by making a false necessary connection between philosophical materialism and atheism. He also slides in the ‘fundamentalist’ tag while he himself has a title of being an orthodox priest. Pot, meet kettle.

This should be fun.

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Kyle Key November 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm

“If you’re saying that without the capitalist you would starve, is that not an argument in favor of the capitalist??”
And with that, I have to throw in the towel. If you are that incapable of looking at systematic solutions, there’s no point in continuing. Every point you raise has been addressed in various sections of that FAQ, but being utterly stuck in the status quo makes it impossible to have a conversation. You got an extremely basic aspect of political theory wrong with the assertion that liberty and socialism are incompatible:
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionI1

Your argument in the above quote is equivalent to a former slavemaster telling his newly released slaves that their being dependent upon him as sharecroppers now is a point in favour of the prevailing system. So no, it’s not an argument in favour of Capitalism, but merely an expression of what happens within the current system. If every business was a worker owned, operated and managed cooperative, I wouldn’t be dependent on a capitalist. But yes, I have to bow out–you’re free to continue believing that Capitalism isn’t going anywhere, despite the ever increasing

@Hermes:
Where would philosophy or science be if we all shared that attitude? “We know these things to be true and let us never question them again.” That’s dogma. That’s everything I’ve seen you argue against in the months that I read this website before beginning to comment. But since it seems that you’re asserting that anarchism “can not be demonstrated”:
http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionA5
There are many examples of anarchism in practice, including relatively large, modern communities in Greece and Mexico. The fact that Capitalists, Fascists and authoritarian Communists succeeded in destroying all of the earlier attempts does nothing to dissuade me from anarchism; in fact, it only reinforces the point that all three cannot survive without initiating and continuing coercion and exploitation.

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Kyle Key November 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Apologies, the last line of my post to rupert should read: “despite the ever increasing income gap, economic crises, and the failure of all previous exploitative economic systems. Assuming that Capitalism will be the final, end-all of societal organization strategies reminds me immediately of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave–naivety, plain.”

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Luke Muehlhauser November 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Hermes,

Thanks.

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Hermes November 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Luke, it looks like another interesting tid-bit is in the offering (emphasis added);

Catherine said…

Also, the less-advertised (but more fun, in my opinion) half of this evening was a panel discussion featuring Matt, John Shook, a UMBC psych professor, and Greg Paul (author of the studies on secular nations having better quality of life statistics). We’ve got 95% of that on video, and will be uploaded soon.

11/17/2010 6:08 PM

Source: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2010/11/source-of-human-morality-debate-videos.html

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Zeb November 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Thanks Hermes. I have been hoping to hear some eastern Christian perspectives these kinds of debates.

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rupert mirdock November 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

@Kyle Key,

You paint a depiction of capitalism that is chicken little that is unrealistic and a utopian socialist system (which you previously said you weren’t an advocate of) neither of which hold any truth in reality but only based on bubbles by college professors who have never worked in the private sector (such as those who go into politics).

Your comparison to slaveowners is not only blatantly false it is insulting to those who were slaves and to those whose ancestors were slaves.

Capitalism has made all of us much more richer, not poorer, unlike slavery (or socialism-which is synonymous with slavery). (By the way, not that’s it too relevant-but somewhat relevant – Lysander Spooner was an anarchist-libertarian and one of the biggest proponents for abolition-both of the state and of slavery, but you don’t hear about him in the history books because he’s not a big government guy)

Capitalism has lifted the standard of living so that even the poorest of the poor are richer than the richest of the rich in socialist countries and than the richest of the rich were in previous centuries. Many middle class people live like the kings and queens of Europe did centuries ago. So it is simply false that people can’t work their way up the ladder. The best example was during the Industrial Revolution when everyone’s standard of living including the poor increased.

And here I go to address your final claims:

http://www.infoshop.org/page/AnarchistFAQSectionI1 – This is merely semantics. Just because once libertarian socialism may have belonged to a certain group doesn’t mean squat. Now libertarians are the antithesis of socialism, and liberals are socialists, whereas the founders who the modern day libertarians base their policy on, are considered classical liberals. Simply because there was once a term called libertarian socialism does not mean that libertarianism and socialism are compatible or that freedom and socialism are compatible (they aren’t).

“If every business was a worker owned, operated and managed cooperative, I wouldn’t be dependent on a capitalist. But yes, I have to bow out–you’re free to continue believing that Capitalism isn’t going anywhere, despite the ever increasing income gap, economic crises, and the failure of all previous exploitative economic systems. Assuming that Capitalism will be the final, end-all of societal organization strategies reminds me immediately of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave–naivety, plain.”

-The income gap is not an issue for me, but the free market addresses it better because even though a gap still exists, the poor get poorer as the rich get richer, unlike corporatism where the rich get richer and poor get poorer (as we see today), or everyone being equally miserable (socialism/communism). I’ll never be as good looking as Brad Pitt, or as good at Basketball as Michael Jordan, why should I be concerned that I’ll never be as wealthy as Bill Gates? I don’t believe the wage gap is a good argument for anything other than riling up people, enacting class warfare, and getting people to force violence on others. It is a propaganda tool used by the ruling class and nothing more.
-Anyone who is naive enough to still think that capitalism was the cause of our financial crises, especially this most current one, has not done their research.
-Define exploitation. This term has been so misused and abused it seems almost meaningless by now.
-As the debts of the worlds pile up (as they are currently), they will self-destruct. When they get high enough in debt, no country will be able to bail out any country because they’ll all be bankrupt. This is the current fate of places such as Greece where the debt is accumulating; I believe Spain as well; mad protests are occurring where God forbid people are finding out they have to work 2 extra years in France; etc., etc. In the US, if you taxed every single individual at 100% of their income you still could not pay off the debt, as well as we’re finding that the “social security” money is taking out more than it pays in this year. The end result of this is a crumbling of the state and ultimately anarchy-a society without a state. Hopefully, it will be planned out and prepared for, rather than occur all at once overnight. Then what will people use as a model to cooperate with each other and enforce laws and do all the things that are necessary to do but don’t really need a government to do? That system is capitalism, the free market, the places where the maximum amount of voluntary exchanges take place. Where people trade their services for other people’s services and engage in win-win interactions as opposed to zero-sum interactions. Capitalism provides a model for us when socialism and corporatism ultimately fail.
-Capitalism encompasses different systems. Churches and private charities are both examples of free markets, but they are not for profit (although churches are for prophet). I have no problem with worker self-managements. I think capitalism and worker self-managements can co-exist in a peaceful society.

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MauricXe November 19, 2010 at 12:34 am

The “debate” between Dawkins and Craig is finally in English:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6tIee8FwX8&feature=player_embedded

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mojo.rhythm November 20, 2010 at 2:38 am

MauricXe,

I got the impression that Craig was trying waaaaayyyy too hard to turn that into a Lincoln Douglas debate when the format clearly didn’t favor it.

It was extremely foul play what he did in his opening statement. In the last thirty seconds he shotgunned like six different arguments; not even making the case for them, just naming them, and then called the atheist side out for not addressing and responding to them. I mean come ON!

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Hermes November 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

The OCF — the group that posted the videos on YouTube from the debate at UMBC — has removed all comments from their YouTube videos.

This does not surprise. It shows that they are unable to allow spectators to judge the comments people make on their own merits. The only reason for doing this that makes sense is that they do not have a reasonable response to the comments being made that weren’t in support of their speaker. That is; if they responded to the criticisms, even they would not completely believe what their own response or they did not trust the spectators to understand that their response was the better one.

More comments on the Atheist Experience blog: http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2010/11/source-of-human-morality-debate-videos.html

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Zeb November 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

The OCF — the group that posted the videos on YouTube from the debate at UMBC — has removed all comments from their YouTube videos.

It was an embarrassingly bad performance by both speakers, but the priest was shockingly, insultingly poor. I was surprised that Matt wasn’t more clear and direct in making a definitive point, but I was ashamed that anyone would stand in front of an audience and waste their time the way that priest did. In fact I could only stand to watch the first 4 segments. By the way, did it seem to you that they were referencing comments that were not included in the posted segments?

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Hermes November 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I think Matt was restrained. Given his comments on the Atheist Experience blog, it seems that he was holding back because he has direct experience with specific sects of Christianity but not Orthodoxy.

IMNSHO, I don’t think that Hans Jacobse was a typical Orthodox and probably considers himself to be an Orthodox version of W.L. Craig with an emphasis on elevating imagination and art while sniping at naturalism and science. Well, even if naturalism is incomplete and science is flawed, that doesn’t help him with a positive case for his own concerns.

The moderator said that his plan was to let the audience decide, and it seems that Jacobse did not fair well on his own merits.

Re: Ignoring questions and answering what was not asked.

In many segments, this happened quite a bit. If you search the Atheist Experience blog and look for my comment starting with the phrase “I apologize about babbling academic nonsense.”, you can see one example. Other people have noted that Jacobse did not address the question at all and made up something on the spot. The two points of view complement each other.

I would hope that if this debate were re-done in a year that both Matt and Hans Jacobse would approach these issues differently. I think that Matt would probably give a different presentation, though Hans rarely (some say never) addressed comments put to him. As such, while I think Matt won I would expect that the gap would be larger the second time around.

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