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Post 0

Monday, February 25 - 10:10pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for posting this one, Ed.

I have a few thoughts on it, namely in regard to Friedman's answer to the "Idealist's" last question on equality (which wasn't defined by either Friedman or the questioner), but I'll state them tomorrow, for I am tired.

: )

(my smileys can't afford noses)
(Edited by Kyle Jacob Biodrowski on 2/25, 10:10pm)




Post 1

Friday, March 1 - 6:45pmSanction this postReply
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Kyle,

I hope everything's going fine and I look forward to what it is that you have to say.

Ed




Post 2

Friday, March 1 - 7:37pmSanction this postReply
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Ed,

I see you're going to hold me to it.

Someone has to...

I don't have much to say, but I'll post it in a bit.

(A "bit" ranges from a few seconds to a few months)

: )

(noses are the Devil's playground)



Post 3

Friday, March 1 - 7:58pmSanction this postReply
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Ed,

In the video, Friedman makes the claim that liberty results in a greater (wealth) equality than any other political system. In doing this, he works to beat his opponent out of his argument by arguing that liberty will better achieve his opponent's goal.

Now, this technique is common among many free market advocates. And it is easy to see why they use it.

My question to you is: Do you think this is the proper way to argue for liberty? Do you think accepting your opponent's goal (either economic equality, prosperity, etc.) and then showing how it can best be achieved through liberty will win the day for liberty in the future?

I've had this argument with others who use this technique. When I point out that liberty may not be properly secured on those grounds (the grounds being that of Utilitarian prosperity), they assure me that they only use that technique at first and later transition to an argument more firmly grounded in individual rights.





Post 4

Saturday, March 2 - 6:40amSanction this postReply
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Hello Kyle,

I hope you don't feel like I'm intruding in your conversation with Ed...

I'd answer that after a person understands that in a free market, that they themselves have the most effect and ability to improve their own lives via productive effort... if they still chose to forcefully redistribute to their pet projects, then they are a knowing thief.

Then its not so much a matter of how to convince the thief to change his ways... its a question of how you should change your ways in order to have the greatest net gains (given that the thief may want to steal from you, and that you may be able to hide your wealth or retaliate or just be a slave).



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Post 5

Saturday, March 2 - 11:19amSanction this postReply
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Kyle,

I do not believe that the proper way to argue for the only rights-respecting social system on planet Earth is by looking at the consequences. The argument goes:
If you want equality, then you will want free market (laissez faire) capitalism, because capitalism is a better means toward equality than is any other alternative.
It is a fact about capitalism, sure, but as an argument it is wrong for up to 2 reasons. Accorder to T. Edward Damer (a pretty smart guy), good arguments satisfy 4 criteria

1) Relevance
2) Acceptability
3) Sufficiency
4) Effective rebuttal to rival arguments

At least one if not 2 rules for good argumentation are broken by Friedman in the video. The pragmatic/utilitarian argument for capitalism yields too much to the opposition -- just like you say it does. It is therefore not a good way to argue for capitalism. Friedman should be given some benefit of some doubt here though, because of the nature of the debate and his warning that his side of the argument -- though more correct than the argument of the young idealist -- is in want of elaboration. Have superior insight, we here know that rights are important because of the kind of creature that man is -- and that is why capitalism is the only moral social system for mankind.

I would have liked to witness a head-to-head debate between Friedman and Rand. There is a possibility, however slight, that when pressed on the really important issues Friedman would buckle and admit that Rand was entirely correct to have her thinking -- including her thinking on capitalism -- be so thoroughly based in unshakable principles.

Ed




Post 6

Saturday, March 2 - 9:16pmSanction this postReply
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To me the beauty of Milton is that he came to his conclusions and defence of capitalism without Rand's influence. It would be wonderful if there were more mainstream influential people in the world both inside and outside objectivist circles that were staunch defenders of capitalism that get more airtime with the media.



Post 7

Sunday, March 3 - 11:49amSanction this postReply
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Great point, Jules.

Ed




Post 8

Wednesday, March 6 - 6:38amSanction this postReply
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In my Reciprocal Altruism thread, I appear to be arguing for capitalism based on the expected consequences. This appears to be in stark contradiction to that stuff I said to Kyle above. What I'm asking is that you willfully forget that you ever saw anything like that, and to go ahead and continue to believe that I would never do something like that.

Just kidding.

:-)

What I'm trying to say (but not very effectively) is that an argument for capitalism shouldn't be solely based on consequentialism, but can be augmented by it. This is part of the 4-step formula for making good arguments for things:

1) relevance
2) acceptibility
3) sufficiency
4) effective rebuttal to rival arguments

Ed




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