Ep.84 Praise of Folly with Todd Lewis(Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast)

Todd Lewis has me on his show, the Praise of Folly Podcast, to talk about issues with anarcho-capitalism, consequentialism, and utilitarianism. Todd also has a very compelling case for theism. Very interesting conversation.

Praise of Folly YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9mnprK8vtFuHkHyl_ffCw

In Praise of Folly Blog: https://praiseoffolly.wordpress.com/




Filed under Epistemology, Ethics, Foundations, Philosophy

7 Responses to Ep.84 Praise of Folly with Todd Lewis(Anarcho-Yakitalism Podcast)

  1. Pingback: Nick Hazelton & Todd Lewis – egoutilitarianism

  2. Geoffrey Hazelton

    Very well done, this was very interesting! And also it was quite deep so one suggestion would be to briefly define your philosophy terms as you go. I repeatedly had to refer to Wikipedia in order to keep up.

    I really thought the discussion on Theism was interesting. I would like to hear more on “cause and effect” on who created God. I would question being agnostic if the reason is an aversion to Christian dogma. The Greek philosophers as well as all great minds through the ages believed in the duality of the body and an indwelling spirit. In Christianity they call this spirit part Jesus but don’t get hung up on that. Keep reading Plato re: Socrates and the Roman Stoics. They recognized there is an ultimate truth and and ultimate beauty and this “good” is to be sought through philosophy.

    • Nick

      I think we could’ve defined our terms better and have gone slower.

      I think Todd and I will continue to discuss the topic of theism in the near future.
      One thing these philosophers did not have, was the scientific method. Philosophy is great, but it should be met with reality. We can come up with some very interesting ideas using only our “reasoning” skills. Scientific evidence is very important however, we must be built on solid foundations. These people believed in some backwards ideas about how the universe works, I would keep that in mind while studying ancient philosophers. There is a balance to be struck between empiricism and rationalism in my opinion. I am not familiar with anybody’s argument for a duality of the body and spirit, but I see no evidence strong enough to stand on surely to say that humans are more material beings.

  3. Intriguing debate Nick! I really enjoyed listening to it. I like having my beliefs challenged as well because it encourages me to re-examine what I believe and why. This is a necessary presupposition in the pursuit of truth. Here are some points that came to mind as I was listening.

    1) Self ownership must be true because if you do not own yourself, who owns you? Ownership in this case refers to taking responsibility for one’s actions, not the way in which one owns a chair or a knife. I don’t think self-ownership can be legitimately applied to animals or plants. This would create numerous contradictions as Todd elaborated.

    2) A thief cannot own the things he steals because he has not legitimately acquired them through homesteading, 1st user appropriation, or by it being gifted to him.

    3) Morality does not apply to animals. It is a human construct that only applies to human action. Can an animal “steal” from another animal? Can an animal “murder” another animal? Can an animal engage in an “immoral” act? I don’t think so. This would dilute these terms into meaninglessness. By these considerations every person who eats meat can be caged for being associated with murder. This is not logical or reasonable. If a person engages in torturing baby kittens for sadistic pleasure, that person may be considered not acting satisfactorily but he cannot be considered immoral and subject to punishments of true crimes with a victim.

    4) I agree with your idea of pregnancy and child rearing being an acquired obligation between two people who have engaged in consensual sex.

    5) Killing any child because you believe they will murder many people in the future is not logically consistent because nobody can predict the future. The future is both unknown and unknowable i.e. killing baby Hitler.

    6) I do not believe the “greatest good for the greatest number of people” is an argument that holds water. It entirely discounts the individual and justifies every single wretched “government” action in history. This is a most dangerous way to think. If it is harmful for the individual it is by definition harmful for the group.

    “Take care of the means and the end will take care of itself.” Gandhi

    7) Voluntaryism is a descriptive philosophy rather than a prescriptive philosophy. It describes the basic framework of universal morality and what is considered fundamentally moral or immoral. It does not dictate the specifics of how a person should lead his/her life to achieve their goals. People therefore are free to pursue their goals so long as they are not infringing on the natural negative rights of another human being.

    8) His first mover argument does not form a compelling case for an omnipotent omniscient deity. All it demonstrates to me is cause and effect along an enormous length of time. This does not have to presume a self-aware superhuman deity at the helm of all existence. That is unnecessarily personifying events occurring in Nature.

    • Nick

      I’m glad you enjoyed this conversation, Danilo. I have been looking forward to hearing your feedback.
      I will give some brief responses to your points here.

      1)Perhaps nobody owns you? It seems to me that your point is based in the assumption that ownership of a “self” is necessary. Why must it be necessary?
      I will say that by the definition of ownership that I am going off of, I do think I own myself. And I do believe it is wise to recognize self-ownership as well and to respect property boundaries, especially of other’s self’s.

      2) I don’t understand why homesteading, 1st user appropriation, or receiving as a gift are more ethically legitimate ways of gaining property than theft. Why are we limited to those strategies?

      3) I’m interested in hearing more about how morality is a human construct, it seems to me that this idea lends itself to make morality less legitimate. I agree that it is a human construct and that it need not be applied to animals, but also that it need not be applied to humans either. It seems we disagree, I’m curious to hear why you think morality should be applied to humans.

      4) I have no further input there. 🙂

      5)Well, theoretically, if we had a time machine and went back to kill Hitler, we would know the future. And if you are a determinist, and I am, it seems theoretically possible to someday have gained the ability to understand every variable happening to be able to predict the future. But since it isn’t possible now and as a stoic, I would agree. Let’s not mess with how fate has played out.

      6) If harming the individual is harmful to the group, then harming individuals is not actually fostering the greatest good for the greatest amount of people, is it?
      Claiming this mantra justifies EVERY wretched “government” in history is a bold claim. Would you care to back this up with any evidence or reasoning?
      I am an ego-utilitarian or an egoutist, I do not actually hold to the idea that the action that brings the greatest good for the greatest number of people is necessarily the best action to take. My philosophy is much more complicated than that. I would be willing to explain it further, but not at this very moment, as I have a time crunch shortly. I wanted to give a response, since I have been sitting on this comment for a while.

      7) This comment makes me wonder what your definition of morality, ethics, and rights are. Could you elaborate for me?

      8) I am not convinced by this argument either. I have spent time since this show thinking about it, and I don’t think it is as compelling as I thought before.

  4. Nick

    I’m very interested in hearing any concerns orcriticisms with the arguments Todd laid out. I found them convincing myself. I have a very different way of justifying anarcho-capitalism than most ancaps, and I share many of the same concerns with the deontological backing of anarcho-capitalism that Todd has.

  5. Jeremy Henggeler

    I see Todd is still beating scarecrows of his own creation to death, and he still thinks that quoting certain people means that it applies to all.

    Walking fallacy machine….

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