pjhair wrote: ↑
6 months ago
I don't follow Shapiro closely but the instances where I have seen him use his quote about facts, he was on point. For example, he is correct when he says that a person’s biological gender isn't contingent on his/her feelings. A 45 years old man suddenly can't claim that he is a 12 years old girl and should be treated as such.
Feelings may be fundamental in many instances but so are facts. In fact, I would argue that even in instances where feelings seem fundamental, they operate under the framework of beliefs that rest on some facts. For example, one of the facts that the argument proffered by pro-choice folk’s rests on is that people have right to decide what to do with their own body. This fact is not a result of someone’s feelings. It's part of our moral framework. Similarly, the argument offered by pro-life people rests on other facts such as sanctity of life. I don’t really see how can anyone make a coherent argument about anything without referring to some facts. It’s not always obvious though what facts are people basing their arguments on, even to people framing the argument. But a deeper analysis can reveal the underlying facts.
Take the example of the baker who refused to make cake for a gay wedding due to his religious beliefs. Wash his refusal purely based on feelings? What about those who trenchantly criticized the baker and called him homophobe? Was their strong reaction just based on feelings? Superficially, it may appear so. However, I believe that’s not the full picture. Yes, the baker refused to bake the cake due to his feelings towards gay marriage. However, those feelings were shaped by the fact that his God prohibits him. Now this fact itself may be incorrect. But to the baker it’s correct hence he is influenced by it. Similarly, the opposition to baker’s refusal by his critics is based on feelings. But those feelings are shaped by their belief in equality of all humans irrespective of their sexual orientation.
Now I am not saying that feelings are always based on facts. For example, a baker may really be a homophobe and refused to bake the cake for gay weddings. However, I was strictly talking about feelings that are taken into account in policy issues. They are not irrational.
Added in 1 hour 28 minutes 50 seconds:
I will like to add one thing to my post above. Some may object that I am treating moral values as facts. The reason I am doing so is because I do consider morality to be objective. But that's a different discussion entirely.
It's just very difficult to argue with you. Your posts are very well-written, very focused, and very thoughtful. Even when I find myself disagreeing with you, as I do here, I don't see an obvious plan for counterattack. You force me to try harder and to think harder. Thank you. I wish that we had twenty posters like you.
I'll try anyway.
I'll start off by saying where I agree. A legitimate argument in a social or policy discussion needs to have some grounding in facts, rather than fiction. Global warming policy discussions, for example, depend on several factors. These are whether or not temperatures will rise if CO2 emissions are not curtailed (they will), by how much (hard to say, but likely a few degrees), and the opportunity costs of action versus inaction (hard to estimate). These are facts with uncertainty, but close enough for the point to stand, and ideally the discussion should stand on these grounds rather than points about "CO2 being an inert, transparent gas" that I've seen in a few places.
However, feelings matter as well and they also set our morality. In the case of the baker, he is almost certainly not respecting 100% of the Bible, nobody does, he is making a selection, and there's inevitably some emotional input into this. I think that the most convincing way to understand that feelings are fundamental is to study the behavior of people with impaired emotion. Even if their rational faculties are intact, they end up making poor and often immoral decisions, as the human brain relies on emotion for decision making. I recommend Descartes Error
by Antonio Damasio, a neurologist and philosopher, where he goes over some case studies of people who had brain damage.
Circling back to the baker, it's a great example as it's impossible for everybody to win. If he has to bake the cake, then his religious freedom is infringed upon. If he can boycott the gay wedding, then he is engaging in discrimination based on sexual orientation. Both are illegal, so there's no way for everybody to win, and the win will ultimately come down, or has ultimately come down, to the subjective choices of judges, who will rule based on ideology.
A similar example would be that of Jehova's Witnesses, who refuse blood transfusion. So given religious freedom, they should be able to tell a doctor to not give a blood transfusion to their sick child. On the other hand, that imperils the child's right to life. There's no way for everybody to win.
Added in 13 minutes 21 seconds:
JLBB wrote: ↑
6 months ago
There’s likely something to be learned from nazi economics, but overall there’s nothing extraordinary enough about them to bother for those other than history buffs. Marginal increases in wages, drastic increases in working hours, limiting cheap imports and shortages of various goods, mandatory conscription, war, and GDP increases propped up by military spending are in no world some sort of miracle of economics. To suggest some great lesson here is laughable.
In my response to Nameless, it was definitely responsible to think specifically in terms of the economy before the war because that is what That Guy consistently heralds as some great marvel of economics, the specificity matters because that’s what was being discussed and if you ignore that you cease being able to communicate honestly, but whether before or after the war it was never some sort of great marvel like he pretends anyway. On top of that trying to compare an economic system in a very specific context from the 30s and 40s like That Guy does to the modern day in any sense is for the most part fucking ridiculous.
The US economy in 2019 is on thin ice but looks a hundred times better than that of Nazi Germany’s ever did. Modern Australia’s, Denmark’s etc etc and countless others offer more relevant information to economics in 2019.
I wasn’t paying much attention to the Pas situation when she came back as I had my mind on other things but was especially upset she left so quickly especially as I wanted to PM her. I didn’t see specifically anything That Guy said towards her at the time.
You’re also right that “naughty” was a terrible and reductive way of referring to a lot of what he says. They are often horrific and should be viewed seriously because of that but at the same time I think you often have a reductive way of refuting his arguments. He sounded like an embarrassing pseudo intellectual when talking about music for example but I don’t think you were accurately addressing what he was actually saying either. They certainly weren’t the dumbest thing you’d find on the internet and much of it was accurate, however as per usual he has a tendency to rewrite history in some regards.
First, thanks for the response, but ...I just really don't appreciate you suggesting or implying, in this post and I think previous ones too, that I was failing to address good points and that this is some sort of flaw. I have the right to ignore low-quality posts, and if a post makes one good point and twenty bad ones, I should not be expected to dig into the noise to find the good point.
As an example, you yourself did not respond to the 5th post from the bottom of page 50, here:
I suppose that one could accuse you of running away from some good points, or whatever. I wouldn't be able to do so with a straight face, to be honest. I genuinely think that you simply skimmed or saw this post, and you did not deem responding to it to be a priority. You had better things that you could do, and you had enough emotional acuity to actually go do those better things.
I am sure, without having checked, that you have not responded to every point that I've ever written to you. I am also somewhat confident that I've never critiqued you for it, and if I have, I was being an asshole for doing so. You have your own life to live, I'd rather appreciate the interesting points that you do contribute, than resent you for not spending all of your time and investing all of your energy here.