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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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December 29, 2019


I don't know what he's trying to say. That rationality doesn't exist? That it's simply a state of mind where facts play no part? Can he explain what is rational about supporting policies like taking away people's health care or throwing children in cages to freeze and starve and die of sickness? Or am I being irrational?

Why indeed? And why waste any precious minutes of a finite lifetime trying to decipher the undecipherable? Philosophy professors (not all) are quite capable of coming up with sophistic garbage.

I would add moralism as distinct from your list although I admit it could be included under the umbrella of radicalism. Parenthetically I would say that it is nice to know that I didn’t need to take a single course in philosophy, merely reading did the job, to come to the same extremely obvious conclusions it took a doctorate in that subject to generate. It has always been true that no one gets to tell anyone what their interests might be. And these have seldom been economic reasons exclusively. On the contrary, I would say on the right that moralizing bullshit is a big driver and economic interests sacrificed in the name of those as well as the other interests you listed. Fortunately for me, I have only to know my own interests. Which most definitely does not include allowing ignorant hypocritical moralizing religious fanatics to dictate my interests. I need only make common cause with those who feel as I do. Pretty easy to do in fact.

Here is why. First let me point out that ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of death in mothers in the first trimester. When these are discovered swift treatment in the form of surgery is absolutely required. In Ohio the ignorant moralizing right wing morons decided to criminalize as murder any doctor who did not reimplant in the uterus an ectopic foetus removed to save the mother’s life. No such procedure exists. Which everybody who isn’t an ignorant right wing nutbar immediately pointed out. The defense offered by the nutbars? We are not doctors.

This is manifestly true they are not. But they are murderous assholes.

"people who think their own politics are rational and those of their opponents irrational (that is, more or less everybody) are engaged in a self-congratulatory self-delusion."

I don't think "that is, more or less everybody" refers to "their opponents". "More or less everybody" refers to "people who think their own politics are rational and those of their opponents irrational".

You probably have a point; on the other hand, philosophers should be precise in their language. If what you say is what he meant, then he should have written "More or less everybody thinks their own politics are …"

Of course he has a point. You admit that. There is a fine line between being precise and coming over as pedantic, especially when we all know what the guy meant in the first place. Your readers, by and large, are not philosophers.

Until someone - anyone? - can offer a *precise* definition of "irrationality" I shall continue to believe that I'm right and you're wrong. Or, if you prefer, I know better than you! It's so much more 'comfy'! And anyway, what's wrong in walking about with my arm inserted inside my jacket wearing a tricorn hat and claiming to be Napoleon?

I genuinely read it the other way, Mary.

I thought your neighbors got you to stop doing that.

Looks like I'll have to have another word with them...

No, no, no, 'jsr', they simply cry out, "Vive l'Emperor!" which is, of course, not only right, fitting and proper but also highly rational!

Sorry PM, I've read that sentence several times now and I still can only read it my way. Which is my deficiency but also, ironically, proves the premise of Prof Sartwell's argument. That is, we all already know what we think and nothing or nobody can change our minds!

I asked my better, cleverer, (than me, to avoid confusion) other half to take a look in here and he was happy to oblige. HIs view was initially the same as mine but then he started muttering about semantics, misunderstandings and difficult sentences. He's quite a stickler for precise language himself so he could see where you were coming from...only just though! So I'll chalk that up as a rare win for me.

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