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Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 65 total)
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  • in reply to: How do you guys keep going? #19511


    “Criticism is futile because it puts a man on the defensive, and usually makes him strive to justify himself. Criticism is dangerous, because it wound’s a man’s pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses his resentment.”

    While that statement seems true enough, it is not clear to me why one would wish to avoid it. Without criticism what is a man left to reflect upon except his sense of self importance. It is true that certain methods of argument or discussion will lead to resentment and an extreme blockage of ones ears. The adversarial nature of differing opinions may lead to those feelings regardless of tact. A thoughtful and polite exchange of ideas can lead to reversal of ones opinions but more often than not the two parties walk away believing, erroneously, that they have made the other begin to “see the light”. A more combative discourse seldom leaves one with a happy feeling of accomplishment but the “win” may be achieved at a future date.

    “Remember the other man may be totally wrong, but he doesn’t think so. Don’t condemn him, any fool can do that. Try to understand him.”

    Again, that statement is true enough. People with loosely held beliefs or opinions can be easily swayed with a good dose of rhetoric and demagoguery but we deal with people, like us, who have firmly held convictions and require introspection to change. So, it is true that we tune out and strengthen our resolve to justify our beliefs when harshly criticized. It is due to this criticism that we push deeper and find fault or validity in our ideas at all. It is in my nature to want to be right and while I might loose a particular argument, it is the most heated exchanges that force me to test what I believe and provoke further study. If I turn out to be wrong at least I will know it. If I turn out to be right, I will be better prepared to challenge my interlocutor the next time around.

    I suspect, in the realm of ideas, the course of exchange is less relevant than the need to be correct.
    When you and your friend discussed fractional banking, whether or not the exchange was acrimonious was of less importance than the extent of your knowledge coming into question.

    I believe that criticism of any kind can lead one to have a greater understanding of their own beliefs and become self aware enough to decide whether or not it is all bugaboo. However, the world is full of inauthentic people and no amount of understanding, wisdom or criticism will dissuade them from their interminable haughtiness. I am not a religious man but I can’t help noting that in Revelation the lord doth not say come hither non believers that I may reason with you.

    In Liberty Classroom, I am truly the novice here. So I welcome anybody’s criticism otherwise I will just assume I am right and will have learned nothing.

    in reply to: Mises' regards on perfection #19173

    “The language of living and acting men can form comparatives and superlatives in comparing degrees. But absoluteness is not a degree; it is a limiting notion. The absolute is indeterminable, unthinkable and ineffable. It is a chimerical conception. There are no such things as perfect happiness, perfect men, eternal bliss. Every attempt to describe the conditions of a land of Cockaigne, or the life off the Angels, results in paradoxes. Where there are conditions, there are limitations and not perfection; there are endeavors to conquer obstacles, there are frustration and discontent.”

    With no real expertise, my take on this is that he is pointing out the contradiction. The living are subject to change and therefore not absolute or complete. The dead can not change and is therefore limited.

    in reply to: Favorite book advocating liberty and free markets? #20104

    Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government by DiLorenzo, Thomas J.

    You can download this book for free at mises.org. So you can take a look at and decide for yourself.
    I think this fits for someone with little or no idea of the libertarian or austrian perspective. The book is not overly complicated and while fairly short at about 200 pages it reads like a book half that long. The chapters are short, engaging and don’t really need to be read in order, so this book will work well in the bathroom (where people are most open to new ideas). It has a few typos but they turn out to be hilarious.

    You probably wont reference your dissertation with this book but it covers a lot of ground in a manner accessible to almost anyone.

    in reply to: "Social Security Was Responsible For Decreasing Poverty" #20111

    So starting from the the Great Depression and WWII poverty rates declined drastically, solely or in large part due to social security benefits for the elderly ( a fine place in history to start reviewing data). Following this drastic drop we see the poverty rate remain steady in the 11 to 15 percent range from 65 til today. Would your professor expect to see a new precipitous decline in the poverty rate now that the baby boomers are entering retirement, with retirees making up the largest segment of the population in history. I doubt he would find that to be much of a question but why? He is willing to accept that transfer payments were enough to cause the change then but not today. Does he believe the adjusted amounts were so much more back then? Why has the poverty rate remained relatively stable since 65′ when entitlements and transfer payments to the poor took off. I guess if I was as obtuse as your professor I could claim the increase in scope of the welfare state in the sixties counteracted the benefits social security had on diminishing the poverty rate.

    Statistical support for your professors claim is abundant and if I consider a bad answer to be better than no answer then I agree with him. I am always amazed by how little regard the people who tout the scientific method actually have for it.

    I hope one of our brighter members can come up with an adequate answer for you. After reading the thousands of posts you have left on this site your abrupt departure was a bit discombobulating. I don’t know how you ever had the time to contribute as much as you did. It is great to hear from you again and I hope you will find time to contribute more to the forum in the future.

    in reply to: apriorism vs empiricism #19168

    Here it is, gerard.casey@ucd.ie

    in reply to: apriorism vs empiricism #19167

    Hi PatSzar,

    Are you being specific to human action or taking empiricism vs. apriorism in a more general sense?
    Professor Casey has asked for a quick email to let him know if someone has posted a question. I don’t remember where it is posted I will see if i can find it for you.

    Personally, I believe the distinction between a priori knowledge and empirical knowledge is somewhat questionable given that the idea that one can even have empirical knowledge starts from and as you intimated the problem of variables, often ends in a priori reasoning. I think it is fair to say they both have merit but to prove one is superior to the other (general sense) is beyond the scope of my intellect.

    Analytic a priori statements are based on definitions and not necessarily reality. Take the statement: Shmoos are delicious, and eager to be eaten. To say that is not based on reality is saying the definition is false. The argument it self seems to be a non sequitur.

    If you are looking for specific answers, it might help professor Casey if you give him some examples so he can know exactly what you’re looking for. Sorry I couldn’t be of any help but I look forward to his answer.

    in reply to: Debt and Deficits #20099

    Hello Haley11,

    Your question on debts and deficits would fall under professor Herbener’s purview. If you look into the history of our government raising the debt ceiling, you will find the 6 trillion increase is fact. The true debt however is anyone’s guess. Given everything that is left out of the equation, there are estimates between 40 and 120 trillion in unfunded liabilities. I would also find shrinking deficits as suspect. The government is covering it’s shortfalls with IOU’s and confusing its Orwellian sheep with similar terms like deficit and debt.
    The shrinking deficit is basically being paid for with future taxes, not the sort of thing I would hang my hat on.

    On the Clinton surplus, I am reminded of a Richard Epstein quote ” Increase revenue does not go to discharge debts, it goes to new debts”. I don’t know how to do links yet but if you look up surplus hoax on mises.org you will find some interesting reading.

    Like you, I also wasted my time pointing my finger at one party or another, all that will get you is arthritis. If I am correct you are more right leaning and you will come to find you have nothing in common with those at the top of the republican party. They are all far to the left.

    in reply to: Greetings from Beijing! #19959

    I did not mistake you, I made that comment for me as much as you. It becomes ever so tiresome to speak to those who will not hear. People who decry the government only to self-righteously defend it when pressed. People who want to help people no matter who gets hurt in the process. Then instead of explaining things in a useful manner I get boisterous, agitated and ultimately otiose. For me it can become difficult to maintain the fight even though it’s worth fighting. Your writing is clear and easy to understand, in a way I fear I will never be. However I found your description of Casey’s lilting Irish accent as mellifluous, ironic. That word sounds less like a compliment than a diagnosis at the free clinic.(for clarity that was for humor not snobbery)

    in reply to: Struggling Students #17892

    It seems to me that language is the key to learning. Every field is as accessible as another if you learn the language. When you reach a new term or symbol write it down and look it up. Your memory will come with usage, talk to a friend or coworker about the things you learn even if they can’t offer you much in return, just saying it will help commit it to memory. Start a youtube channel and find people in the comments section to argue with about economics. The thrill of the argument should help you focus on particular elements to study so that you are prepared for the next argument and so on.

    Bob Murphy’s Lessons for the young economist is a breezy and fun read with a very simple to understand glossary. If you are passionate about economics keep at it, you don’t even need to be good at it to be successful (just watch bloomberg or most of the Nobel winners). It is not easy to learn on your own but it is so much more gratifying when you do. Good luck.

    in reply to: Truth about Future Propositions #19149

    I would have been more clear had I wrote “Ben has yet to miss work” and In this case wouldn’t have required much on my part to have done so. At some point how exacting does one have to be? I tend to think in its context it would be taken historically for the same reason the conclusion is likely and not absolute. It seems difficult to account for all possible interpretations, for instance “Ben has yet to miss work” I could say” I have never missed work even when I didn’t show up, what does that have to do with Ben being at the mall tomorrow” I know that is cheeky but at what point is the other party responsible for comprehension. That is not to say I think I can be hopelessly vague, I think of a book club where everyone has a different interpretation of what the author meant. In such a case, instead of coming to a consensus perhaps they should admit the author wasn’t very good.

    Does probability about future events play any useful role in logic?
    Thinking ahead:

    1) so and so is running as the democrat in the 2016 election
    2) so on and so forth is running as the republican in the 2016 election
    3) Libertarian X is running in the 2016 election
    4)Libertarian X will not win the 2016 election, So what.

    Do not take this as a defeatist attitude but for 4 to be false the most unlikely circumstance would have to occur. When then, would the improbable be enough to invalidate certain claims about a future event?

    You mention Haack, I have watched a lecture of hers on scientism a while ago. She pointed out flaws with Karl Popper then said he was on to something but did not expand on this notion, which is about where I am with his method. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    In watching the intelligent design evolution debates the scientists trot out this god of the gaps fallacy with the underlying premiss that science will eventually fill those gaps. That would seem to me a future proposition and in light of sciences inability to prove itself, one of rather dubious probability beyond a seemingly endless array of assumptions.

    in reply to: Truth about Future Propositions #19146

    I am not 100% on this but I think it is considered indeterminate

    If you permit me to guess here,

    1 I will go to the mall tomorrow.
    2 I will not go to the mall tomorrow.

    1 is true if 2 is false or 2 is true if 1 is false.
    I do not think it is possible to be certain about a future event but maybe the following would be acceptable,

    1 Ben works at the mall everyday.
    2Ben never misses work.
    3 Ben is likely to go to the mall tomorrow.
    if 1 and 2 are true then 3 is true. Ben could get sick and miss work tomorrow but because 3 is not definitive it is still true.

    Any thoughts? Do I have this right?

    in reply to: Greetings from Beijing! #19957

    Matt, for what it’s worth, thank you for the introduction and I rather look forward to reading your future posts.

    If you can find value in libertarianism why keep it to yourself? What good does it do us as some ideal held privately, so with each passing slight on mankind we can quietly say to ourselves “if only”. We have an opportunity to help others understand that there is another way. Is it the ultimate paragon for society, who knows? I have no Marxian delusions of utopia, not due to fallibility within libertarian ideology but because we are and should never be anything but individuals. If more people become aware of the possibilities, maybe we can put this to the test.

    As much as Tom Woods got me interested in Austrian Economics and many other related topics it was Dr. Casey’s logic preview that ultimately caused me to sign up. Something about that guy, just a real cool cucumber.

    I would be interested to know your opinions on the demeanor of the people over there and how they interact with their government.

    On behalf of myself and I am unanimous on this, welcome to liberty classroom.

    in reply to: Lesson Videos in Firefox #19970

    John, I am having the same problem. I have yet to run into this problem with the constitution course and a few sporadic videos still play normally. I can only assume that is done to further my bafflement. On the videos that wont play, if I click the download video link I am able to watch them on a quick time screen without having to or being able to download them to my computer, while the videos that play normally can be downloaded. Again, must be done for the sake of my bafflement.

    Thanks for the info on being able to watch everything on IE, but I assume you, like me prefer not to use IE.

    in reply to: Dissecting opponent's logic process #19152

    I don’t follow? What part of your post supports or denies your claim? Your opponent claims bacon is delicious, states that bacon gets it’s flavor from fat and then surmises that the fat alone must be better then bacon as a whole. I would assume he does not eat bacon fat in lieu of actual bacon but believes he has shown logic to be capable of absurdity. His inference seems true but his premise is false. Bacon gets some of its flavor from fat. Bacon fat is one reason that bacon is delicious. Logic!

    I’m no expert here

    in reply to: forum timestamps #19865

    I think this is it. If he doesn’t slow down you will need to put him on the payroll.

Viewing 15 posts - 46 through 60 (of 65 total)