One-Off: In Defense of Bullshit

One-Off: In Defense of Bullshit

Leon Wieseltier takes aim at FiveThirtyEight.

His distinction between analysis and advocacy is a little innocent. (Like the insistence of the man who went from the Times to ESPN that he is an “outsider.”) Is numeracy really what American public discourse most urgently lacks?

Mr. Wieseltier had a prime opportunity to approach the reoccurring theme of internet ‘debating.’ I enter argument, I throw some insults out there, and then I go to the proverbial “” before debating anew. If only indirectly Wieseltier comes close to making that point but at the last second ducks away to offer up some platitudes about inequality. Are we really lacking proper ‘numeracy,’ what a awfully pretentious word, Mr. Wieseltier? I do not know too many people who believe that inequality is absent from America. I do, however, see quite a few people–from all sides–defending themselves with the ‘need-not-be-said’ type of arguments. e.g. I vote for X, and it need-not-be-said that according to this argument concocted from these obscure and misguided numerals I am right. I know there is inequality, and it need-not-be-said that according this argument concocted from these obscure numerals I am right. And those are the worst type of arguments. They are not debates, the ‘debate’ is two people talking past each other.

Nevertheless, it makes for good, light reading. And anyone who mentions Isaiah Berlin deserves a bone.

An Interesting Dismantling of Naturalistic Atheism

William Lane Craig explaining, indirectly, all the reasons why Richard Dawkins doesn’t want to debate WLC. He is very effective.

I am a firm believer that there are very effective atheistic arguments out there, but I think this movie explains why it takes a particularly selective look at philosophy to connect a naturalistic viewpoint with out-and-out atheism.

You can see some of this tension as Stock admits that he’s some sort of undefinable agnostic-atheist composite.

Today I Noticed

Today I noticed the true value of what I have been taught. No one needs the bravery to challenge the world’s ideas. No one needs the panche to challenge other people’s views. We all have that. What we do not have is the vitality to contest our own. Those assumptions, above all else, are sacred. Some bloggers need to understand this.