Alternative Facts Are Older Than Facts

Categories: Philosophy and Society.

aka Western Philosophy Caused Alternative Facts We are told that so-called “alternative facts” are a new threat to us as a society; to how we view and understand the world and how we make decisions about the world (policies etc). But I think the idea of an “alternative” fact is far older and, worse, rooted in the very basic ideas most of us who’ve grown up with Christianity and Western philosophy believe to be true. I blame Plato for alternative facts. Okay, I don’t just blame Plato for alternative facts, I blame Western normative philosophy. But, as the saying goes, Read More

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarians, Part 4

Categories: Philosophy, Politics, Religion, and Society.

This is part four in my series on the internet meme, “Jon Stewart’s 19 Tough Questions for Libertarians”. Please see part one here, part two here, and part three here. Today we deal with questions 10-19. You give money to the IRS because you think they’re gonna hire a bunch of people, that if your house catches on fire, will come there with water. This is obviously a very simplistic description of “your tax dollars at work” but it makes the point that many of us try to make when arguing with libertarians: are you really comfortable in a world Read More

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarianism, Part 3

Categories: Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, and Religion.

In this post we look at questions 4-9. For the first part see here. For the second see here. Do we live in a society or don’t we? Are we a collective? Everybody’s success is predicated on the hard work of all of us; nobody gets there on their own. Why should it be that the people who lose are hung out to dry? For a group that doesn’t believe in evolution, it’s awfully Darwinian. Read More

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarianism, part 2

Categories: Philosophy, Politics, Religion, and Society.

So, for part two, we deal with questions 2-3. You can see the previous post here. One of the things that enhances freedoms are roads. Infrastructure enhances freedom. A social safety net enhances freedom. So obviously this is not a question, but a statement. But it gets to an important point, depending of course on how we define freedom. Read More

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarianism, Part 1

Categories: 2012, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, and Society.

About this time last year, Jon Stewart interviewed Andrew Napolitano, a prominent US “libertarian” on The Daily Show. At some point, some libertarians put Stewart’s interview questions into a meme sometimes called “Jon Stewart’s 19 tough questions for libertarians”. My understanding of this is that Napolitano did not acquit himself well enough in their eyes. This doesn’t exactly surprise me, as Stewart is fairly well prepared for people he does not see eye to eye with, and I think a lot of his interviewees – having apparently never watched The Daily Show – come somewhat unprepared for actual questions. They think Read More