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  Topic: Sandefur: Michael Shermer’s The Mind, For Comments< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Reed A. Cartwright

Posts: 21
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2008,11:17   

Since we are getting complaints about Tim's post and because he doesn't like comments, I've started this thread so that people can discuss his review.

I expect that this thread will involve more comments about Tim's economic philosophy than the actual post.


Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2008,11:40   

Hrm.    Mr. Sandefeur's main complaint seems to be that Shermer's book isn't   "A good science based defense of libertarianism...".

Not having read the book,  my question is,  is it supposed to be such a defense?  The Amazon description wouldn't lead me to expect such a politicized stance.

Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)


Posts: 299
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2008,21:49   

I suspect that, were I to read Shermer's book, I would agree with much of Sandefur's review, as I have found some of Shermer's writing lacking in the same ways he does. I have no interest in addressing Sandefur's economic or political philosophies, but there is a point that I would like to see addressed by others.

Sandefur's disallowing of comments to his posts grates me to no end. That is what the Discovery Institute does. What has always impressed me about "our side" is its willingness to engage with, well, let's just say skeptics, and how it requires a truly bad act to be banned from PT or ATBC. Sandefur has the right to disallow comments if he wishes, but it strikes me as an act of someone belonging to what Michael Shermer calls "the unlikeliest cult," that of the followers of Ayn Rand. By disallowing comments, Sandefur establishes himself as an unquestionable authority, unwavering in his stance as he, and perhaps a select few others, pronounce The Truth. This is a tactic practiced by a diversity of opinion-holders, from Maoists to Baptists to Randists to most talk-show hosts in America, and I object to it being practiced at The Panda's Thumb. I am not a POMO scientific relativist, like Dembski et al., and he can ignore all comments if he wishes, but I think that Sandefur should allow people to talk about what he says, where he says it.

Full disclosure: I have never commented on PT, but I have found the comments sections on many posts enormously valuable.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4987
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 19 2008,22:18   

I can't say that I agree. Some PT contributors do not have the time or inclination for tending comments, and Tim has quite a number of threads of comments that were digressive rather than substantive telling him his time is better spent elsewhere. Tim is providing his opinion, not "the Truth". Myself, I usually choose to have open comments somewhere, but I respect PT contributors having a choice on that.

I'll note that we have this forum for just such situations, and comments work fine here.

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker


Posts: 299
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 20 2008,22:46   

And so I say, "Gotcha," and "Good point." I hadn't considered the "tending" that would be required. While I think that ATBC is not equivalent to comments right on the PT thread, I concede that yours, Wesley, is the proper position. I withdraw my comparison of Sandefur's practices with those of the DI.

  4 replies since Feb. 19 2008,11:17 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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