Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Sat Jul 21 2001 - 17:21:58 MDT

[Part 2 of 2; I tried sending this about four times, so I'm chopping it.]
On Friday, July 20, 2001 12:47 AM Miriam English wrote:
> - it is not really a major point worth pursuing over days and days of
> email -- how hard can it be to understand that elevating capitalism to
> religion status is dangerous?

This is beside the point. I agree with the point that religion is wrong and
faith is wrong. They're bad epistemology. I'm sure many people on this
list agree with that too.

That said, NOT everyone who think free markets are better than the
alternatives -- whether they support them or not -- is religious about it.
One can, after all, look at the logic and the facts and come to that
conclusion. Or is that forbidden?

To automatically assume anyone who is for laissez faire capitalism or who
takes any other principled stance is religious is faulty in the extreme. It
disregards why someone would hold a position and just says any such position
must be religious.

Also, it's not an escape to remain agnostic here. That does not mean your
thinking is not religious. One can have just as much faith in that position
as any other.

> I did respond where:
> - I felt people were honestly trying to make logical arguments

I was and these were cavelierly avoided by you. I would present my
counterargument and instead of answering it, you moved on to arguing about
another case. I would then present my counterargument for that case and you
would do the same. Is it strange how you started with healthcare and
finally arrived at some conspiracy view of baby formula distribution in
Africa? (I'm not dismissing your claim. I just very little way of
verifying it, which is why I've stuck to areas where I have done a little

> - the misrepresentation of what I said made me take the bait :-(

Misrepresentation? I thought the misrepresentation was to base your
position about free markets failing on cases where they had not actually
been free. If someone took one aspirin and then jumped off a cliff and
died, would you use this as evidence that the aspirin did him in?

> >To me this sounds a lot like when I debate with Creationists. They will
> >tell me evolution is disproven by some case A. When I show them that
> >are wrong about A, they ignore this and bring up case B. When I show
> >that they are wrong about B, they ignore this and bring up case C. And
> >on. I think you get where I'm going.
> This is just plain wrong, and a little insulting.

It's insulting to be dismissed and ignored and also to be labeled religious
from the start. The whole presumption of the subject header in this thread
has been that anyone who argues free markets work better than anything else
can't possibly be rational. To start out by calling your opponents
religious, to me, is to begin with an insult. It's no different than
calling someone a racist in this context.

It's hardly appropriate to cry that you are now insulted. (And my point was
not so much to insult you as to get your attention.:)

> I have tried to sound a note of caution -- that free market capitalism,
> efficient though it is, and probably the best economic model to date, is a

> flawed model. Being blinded to those flaws by faith is just asking for

Where do I do that? Please do show me! I want to be enlightened.:)

> You are defending something which is only under attack if it dogma.
> If it is a reasoned point of view then there is nothing to defend from
> I have said.

Then why have you not answered my reasoned position on these various issues?
You've only ignored my counterarguments and repeated that you are not
against capitalism. In fact, the thing about your not being against
capitalism reminds of Marc Antony's funeral oration in Shakespeare's "Julius
Caesar." "And Brutus is an honorable man."

[End of part 2 of 2]


Daniel Ust
    See me utterly refute pancritical rationalism at:

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