Anniversaries, Happy and Otherwise

Today is the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I haven’t got a goddamn thing new to say about them – but check out my previous comments here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Today is also the seventh anniversary of this blog, pursuant whereto I present the latest batch of Austro-Athenian Imperial Statistics. (For previous blog stats see here.) Thanks, Brandon!

Orange Beach

Orange Beach

In addition, today is the seventh anniversary of the Molinari Institute, so it seems appropriate to announce (even though the detailed schedule won’t be posted online for another few days) that Charles Johnson and I will both be speaking on Molinarian topics at the Alabama Philosophical Society meetings in Orange Beach, 2-3 October.

Here are the abstracts:

Charles Johnson (Molinari Institute): “Can Anyone Ever Consent to the State?”
I defend a strong incompatibility claim that anything which could count as a state is conceptually incompatible with any possible consent of the governed. Not only do states necessarily operate without the unanimous consent of all the governed, but in fact, as territorial monopolies on the use of force, states preclude any subject from consenting – even those who want it, and actively try to give consent to government. If government authority is legitimate, it must derive from an account of legitimate command and subordination; any principled requirement for consent and political equality entails anarchism.

Roderick T. Long (Auburn University): “Left-Libertarianism, Class Conflict, and Historical Theories of Distributive Justice”
A frequent objection to the “historical” (in Nozick’s sense) approach to distributive justice is that it serves to legitimate existing massive inequalities of wealth. I argue that, on the contrary, the historical approach, thanks to its fit with the libertarian theory of class conflict, represents a far more effective tool for challenging these inequalities than do relatively end-oriented approaches such as utilitarianism and Rawlsianism.

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12 Responses to Anniversaries, Happy and Otherwise

  1. Dan September 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Your talk looks truly fascinating – you don’t happen to have a version of it written up anywhere, do you (even in an unfinished state)?

  2. Briggs September 11, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    FYI: Google Analytics is much more user friendly and organizes the data in a more useful way. Ooh yea, and its free!

  3. Tracy Saboe September 13, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    Didn’t know where else to put this, bit your old blog isn’t forwarding here anymore.


    • Roderick September 14, 2009 at 8:52 am #

      It does for me, at the moment anyway.

  4. Richard Garner September 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Both papers look excellent and I hope they come online sometime.

    And, yes, Trcy is correct – I didn’t get redirected either.

  5. Anon73 September 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I read some of your thoughts on trinitarianism and why you reject it. I wonder though, if the doctrine of the trinity is false, then what is the meaning of the greek text where it says “Go forth …. baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”? Or other similar passages (like Jesus’ baptism) that seem to directly mention the trinity?

    [Matt. 3:16–17]
    [Matt. 28:19]

    • Roderick September 14, 2009 at 9:35 am #

      I assume you mean “reject it as an interpretation of the New Testament.” (Since if I thought it was the correct interpretation of the New Testament, I would still reject it as a description of reality.)

      Well, certainly there are plenty of New Testament passages that refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The question is whether these are to be interpreted as invoking the trinitarian idea that these are three persons in one substance, or, less technically, that each of these refers to God under a different aspect. I think it is more likely that the “Son” refers in the first instance to Jesus (who did not claim to be God, as I interpret the New Testament) and then more broadly to all human beings to the extent that they realise their nature as the image and likeness of God — and that the “Holy Spirit” refers to the divine nature that Gods and humans share.

      For a defense of some of these interpretive claims, see my post Why Jesus Is Not God.

      (For some further remarks on Christian theology see: God So Loved the World That He Did What?, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry Jesus, Confessions of the Antichrist. Infernal Revenue, Theism and Atheism Reconciled, The Unspeakable Logos, Defensor Fidei, Interpreting Eden, Reflections on Reflection, The Paradox of Religious Conservatism, and To Serve Man.)

      • Aster September 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

        We at Wolfram and Hart wish you a pleasant dining experience. Please accept our congratulations for your impeccable table manners as well as for your excellent choice from our modern menu.

      • MBH September 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

        Similarly, Alan Watts makes the case that the sense in which Jesus was god is the sense in which we are all are god.

        • Roderick September 15, 2009 at 4:44 pm #

          Does it follow that we are all Alan Watts?

        • MBH September 15, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

          Haha! A psychiatrist asked him that at a seminar — “if we’re both god, then are we the same person?”. His response: “Remember: three persons; one god (laughter).”

          Seriously though, it is a difficulty. Sometimes I think that Wittgenstein was saying that Watts’ type of propositions must be passed over in silence. (The world is my world, Solipsism = Realism, etc.) ‘I am god’ is nonsense, but can function as an elucidation so long as the speaker is aware of the nonsense as it’s spoken. The case could be made that Watts was aware of that.

          I remember a lecture you gave a while back that was similar. On being truth. You talked about how, in some sense, it may be true that you or your existence is truth, but it “just sounds awkward to say that.” : )


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