Tag: Utilitarianism

Why Beauty Matters with Roger Scruton »

In an excellent article in the American Spectator, British philosopher and author Roger Scruton discusses his superb new documentary, Why Beauty Matters, that has recently been shown on the BBC. Scruton incisively examines the importance of beauty in the arts and our lives, including fine arts, music, and architecture. In the process, he illuminates...
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Census Inverted: No Representation Without Taxation? »

Census forms are due April 12, and soon Census workers will be seen pounding the streets, looking for the unaccounted-for. This year’s promotional campaign by the Census Bureau, urging compliance so that each of us can get our “fair share” of government money, turns the traditional purpose of a census on its head: from...
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C.S. Lewis on the Welfare State: Dangers of Obamacare »

With the enormous expansion of the welfare state with the passage of Obamacare, C.S. Lewis’s insightful essay on the dangers, dehumanization, and immorality of welfare/therapeutic statism, “Is Progress Possible? Willing Slaves of the Welfare State” (from his book, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics) is especially timely and noteworthy. Here are...
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Ratchet Effect »

FIRST Truman went to war against Korea without Congress, and I didn’t speak up because the communists had to be stopped. THEN Clinton passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and I didn’t speak up because innocent people don’t need habeas corpus. THEN Bush passed the USA PATRIOT Act, and I...
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Maybe It Should be Renamed the Darwin Peace Prize »

Each year, the Darwin awards are bestowed—generally posthumously—upon those who “improve” the gene pool by removing themselves from it through acts of incredible stupidity. Recent Nobel Peace Prize awards increasingly appear to share the criteria that its recipients contribute to “improving” the gene pool by removing large numbers of people from it. Unfortunately, in...
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Would the World Be Better Without Religion? »

A Facebook friend of mine posted his response to a poll: “Would the world be better without religion?” two days ago, generating, to date, 3,627 comments—by far the most I’ve ever seen for any single Facebook posting, and remarkable for one with 481 “Friends.” While I haven’t read all of the comments, the general...
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New Paper: Human Rights and Economic Liberalization »

Carden, Art and Robert A. Lawson. 2009. Human Rights and Economic Liberalization, under review at Business and Politics. This paper has made the rounds at a handful of conferences and is finally available. Thanks to everyone who has offered comments and suggestions. The abstract: Using several case studies and data from the Economic Freedom...
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Biological Determinism, as with Marxist Determinism, is Folly »

James Montanye’s recent posting on reciprocal rights theory and altruism provides the standard evolutionary biological (evo-devo) view, but as such fails to explain pure altruism or “radical altruism” and is inadequate to defend any consistent system of political economy and morality, including natural law and natural rights, individual liberty and the rule of law....
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Inglourious Basterds: “An Eye-for-an-eye” Makes the Whole World Blind »

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “Inglourious Basterds and the Problem of Revenge,” Jordana Horn incisively examines the theme of Quentin Tarantino’s new, fictional, revenge film, Inglourious Basterds, in which German soldiers and others in World War II are targeted by an elite Jewish-American commando unit to be killed, scalped, tortured,...
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Remake of The Prisoner to Air on AMC »

After forty years, AMC is remaking a six-hour version of The Prisoner, the late Patrick McGoohan’s clever, libertarian, metaphysical, TV mini-series. With the ominous rise of statism and collectivism now in the United States and elsewhere, this program could not be more timely in addressing such issues as privacy and government surveillance, propaganda and...
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