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Thread: The reception of Molyneaux's Art of the Argument

  1. #1

    Default The reception of Molyneaux's Art of the Argument

    I haven't read any books by Molyneaux. On a few occasions I've sat through as much as I could stomach of one of his youtube soliloquies. But I came across this article on how Molyneaux's book, The Art of the Argument: Western Civilization's Last Stand, is being received by people who actually know stuff about argumentation. Since I know one or two folks here continue to parrot Molyneaux, I thought I'd share it.

    Molyneux loves to write click-bait titles, if you haven’t already guessed that from the thousands of videos that he’s littered on YouTube. In fact, titles are his very best writing. In the old days, he made audio podcasts with 90 or more minutes of unfocused rambling and then give it a title that sounded great but was barely related to the contents.

    Perhaps he was hoping that he could make a few more bucks from his uncritical followers but then something unexpected and magical happened…

    But titling this new volume The Art of the Argument turned out to be a bit of mistake. Perhaps Molyneux was simply hoping that he could make a few more bucks from his uncritical followers but then something unexpected and magical happened. You see, since abandoning all of his earlier principles to become a darling of the alt-right/white nationalist/men’s rights crowd, he’s become a bit of a YouTube personality. And he gave his book a title that would boldly place it smack dab in a tradition of writing on logic and rhetoric—scholarly works, often with similar titles—that stretches back for centuries.

    And that’s when the fun began. Because of Molyneux’s notoriety and the book’s title, actual professors and educated students of logic stumbled in and either bought the Kindle edition, got it free on Kindle unlimited, or read Part One with Amazon’s “Read it now” feature.

    Understandably, they were stunned or befuddled or both.
    Read the rest here:
    http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-m...ly-humiliated/



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  3. #2

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    As an instructor of logic for over 20 years. at many universities around the world, I have seen just about every logic and critical thinking text around. When I came across this book, I was concerned (because it is self-published, and the author does not have the requisite experience/track record one would expect from the author of such a text). But, I figured I’d give it a chance (as a good logician should). I am sorry to say that this book is one of the least edifying texts on these topics that I have had the displeasure to read. It is loaded with basic misunderstandings and confusions, and yet it is written in an over-confident and often strident tone. If you’re in the market for a logic/critical thinking text, do not waste your time on this one. There are plenty of freely available resources written by qualified people to be found on the internet these days.
    Yep. This seems like a pretty good description.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  4. #3

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    I've never understood the infatuation with Molyneux.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    It is loaded with basic misunderstandings and conclusions, and yet it is written in an over-confident and often strident tone.
    Perfect description of Molly himself.
    ΟΥ ΓΑΡ ЄCΤΙΝ ЄξΟΥCΙΑ ЄΙ ΜΗ ΥΠΟ ΘЄΟΥ

    "Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping graven images" - Ironman77

    "ideas have the potential of being more powerful than any army....The concept of personal sovereignty was pulled screaming from the ether into this reality by the force of men believing in a self evident truth, that men are meant to be free." - The Northbreather

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  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptUSA View Post
    Yep. This seems like a pretty good description.
    You are so full of $#@!, you didn't read his book, you are just regurgitating bull$#@! from the establishment..

    Because of Molyneux’s notoriety and the book’s title, actual professors and educated students of logic stumbled in and either bought the Kindle edition, got it free on Kindle unlimited, or read Part One with Amazon’s “Read it now” feature.

    Understandably, they were stunned or befuddled or both.
    Of course they were, these people have been propagandized retarded..
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Citizen View Post
    I've never understood the infatuation with Molyneux.
    What is there not to like? He puts out the most well researched videos on important topics and current events, he believes in small government/anarchy, he understands economics very well and he is a non-interventionist.

    What I don't understand is the people who say they don't like him. I haven't heard one good reason. Oh, you don't like the way he talks? Who cares? I complain about that stupid guy Jules likes to post with a fake Irish accent, but that is because the material is very poor.. If they put out good material, I could probably get over the fake Irish accent.. But Molyneux doesn't have a fake accent. You don't like his views on hitting children? Who cares? There are a million issues out there, if that's the only issue you have with him what is the big deal?
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rebel Poet View Post
    It is loaded with basic misunderstandings and conclusions, and yet it is written in an over-confident and often strident tone.
    Perfect description of Molly himself.
    Indeed
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    What is there not to like? He puts out the most well researched videos on important topics and current events, he believes in small government/anarchy, he understands economics very well and he is a non-interventionist.

    What I don't understand is the people who say they don't like him.
    I haven't heard one good reason. Oh, you don't like the way he talks? Who cares? I complain about that stupid guy Jules likes to post with a fake Irish accent, but that is because the material is very poor.. If they put out good material, I could probably get over the fake Irish accent.. But Molyneux doesn't have a fake accent. You don't like his views on hitting children? Who cares? There are a million issues out there, if that's the only issue you have with him what is the big deal?
    His early work was okay. Then he got into ever shoddier logic and abandoned the big principles he started out with. Every reasonable anarchist on the webbernets has abandoned him nowadays, AFAIK.
    Quote Originally Posted by Torchbearer
    what works can never be discussed online. there is only one language the government understands, and until the people start speaking it by the magazine full... things will remain the same.
    Hear/buy my music here "government is the enemy of liberty"-RPEphesians 6:12 (KJV)//I sell stuff here go buy nao!

  10. #9

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    About another, earlier book of Molyneux's, "Universally Preferable Behavior":

    http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-m...-story-part-1/

    The Promise And Failure of UPB - The Inside Story (Part 1)

    At War With The Academics

    Stefan Molyneux wrote a book.

    It was supposed to be his crowning achievement, THE definitive answer to “what is moral behavior?” The world’s first top-to-bottom system of philosophy, something philosophers have been unable to even attempt for the last 6,000 years.

    More important, it was suppose to establish Molyneux in the pantheon of thinkers he had studied in college. A position he might have established years earlier, if academia had not blindly rejected him.

    But all didn’t go according to plan. In fact, of all Molyneux enterprises, it might be said that UPB has had the least impact. Today, with his followers typically unable to explain what UPB is , even Molyneux is not able to respond in writing to inquiries on the subject. Recently, when someone asked for clarification on his forum, he gave the curt reply, “I have never seen a UPB discussion work out well on a Board, the concepts are too slippery for this format, and everyone always just ends up frustrated. I invite the OP to call into the Sunday show, 4pm EST, to ask these questions directly…

    So what happened? How did the book that was intended to be the most clarifying writing on ethics in thousands of years become the book Molyneux himself can no longer write about with any clarity?

    This is the story.

    Molyneux self-published his masterwork, Universally Preferable Behavior: A Rational Proof of Secular Ethics, in October 2007. However, he had already been openly discussing the principles for two years.

    Few things were more important to him than UPB, quite likely because—for the first time—it was all his own idea. You see, Molyneux established his reputation as a great explainer of ideas. Up to this point, Molyneux either preached the ideas of others or co-opted them. The closest he got to originality was his concept of a DRO (Dispute Resolution Organization), which was actually a somewhat refined version of the already existing PDA (Private Defense Agency) concept.

    But this was all his. And it was big.

    The Parting Of The Ways

    From the beginning, Molyneux has always hungered to change the world with his words. His first attempts were, à la Rand, in fiction. However, he was unsuccessful in finding a publisher to accept his novels, which, like his books on philosophy, he eventually self-published.

    In the “Libertarian Bulletin, the Newsletter of the Ontario Libertarian Party Spring 2003,” Molyneux announced the release of his fiction novel “Revolutions.”

    “‘Revolutions’ came about in 1991, because I felt angry, and helpless. I had just graduated from University, into the depths of a recession, and I couldn’t find a job in my field or any other. I ended up doing odd jobs weeding gardens and moving office furniture on odd occasions. I had been a Libertarian for a few years, and really felt the need to do something for the movement. I wrote a Manifesto, ran an advertisement, and started organizing meetings. Fellow discontents and I would go to Pizza Hut and fix the world over a pitcher of Pepsi.

    I enjoyed that, but as I tried to bring the movement to the world, I felt my anger beginning to slide into helplessness. There was the small group of people who I agreed with and then there was the rest of the world, a world that seemed to me to be sliding into disaster in utter ignorance.

    So very early on, Molyneux’s vision of his “calling” was established. Most of the world was ignorant and he was going to educate them.

    But how?

    When it came to his own education, there were problems. Molyneux eventually achieved an MA in history but he was not accepted as a PhD candidate. It appeared to be a bitter parting of the ways between himself and the academic career he sought—perhaps one he has never fully gotten over.

    We get our first glimpse of that disappointment in the podcast #1019 (originally released as premium podcast #79), “We Are Full of Treasure” (Timecodes are included in my podcast transcriptions):

    44:50—“And I had to get over a lot of that, too, $#@! knows. I mean, look, I tried for $#@!ing 20 years to get published, you know, I got no, no interest in me in graduate school, had my company ripped out from under me and sold, undervalued, I had a lot resentment, family betrayals, violence and all this. I had a lot of resentment.”

    Clearly, the resentment of being unpublished and unaccepted in the academic world he once cherished has never left him.

    Molyneux once offered his interpretation why his original thinking was rejected by academia in podcast #1039, “Intellectual Entrapment”:

    29:26—“Every article that you ever write in academics, every paper, carries within it a number of assumptions—it has to be—you can’t prove everything from the ground up, right? And within academia, certain assumptions are taken for granted, right? There’s an efficiency principle in academia as well, right?”

    30:20—“And this of course is one reason why academics tends to reproduce the same goddamn thing over and over again, because everyone takes stuff for granted and anybody who questions it has a massive burden of proof. But everybody who parrots the party line is going to get his stuff across—it’s much more efficient, right? You just accept it.

    And so the principle of efficiency is, if you want to be creative, you either have to strike off in a completely new direction which is massively uphill and you’ll face enormous opposition. Or, you just build on the bull$#@! that everybody already believes and it’s, you know, hugely efficient because you’re appealing to people’s prejudices, right?

    [changes voice to emulate academic] ‘Oh, government’s needed for, to supply certain goods and services that can’t be covered by the free market because of market failure, but as it regards to the problem of commons—and everybody is like yeah, yeah, don’t even need to say it right? Don’t. Even. Need. To. Say. It.’

    And so what will happen is—if you take this approach—you start to question the ethics of those who work for these corrupt organizations. What’s going to happen is, that when you start to submit papers, nobody’s going to accept the implicit premises in your argument—they’re going to ask you to spell them out. All right, so you’re not going to be given any free passes in terms of your assumptions. This is a mean and effective way of keeping anybody out of academics whose ideas you don’t like. Is you just have to say, ‘well—I mean you say the government is necessary in this area because of the problem of the commons, but I don’t think you’ve established that beyond a shadow of a doubt?’

    Right, and, of course if they like you, they’ll let that go and say ‘well, of course, that’s accepted by everyone.’ But if they don’t like you, they’ll say ‘well, you haven’t made that case.’ Right? And then when you try to make that case they’ll say ‘Oh, well, that’s a whole different article and this is too long and you haven’t made that case.’ So, you’re stuff will get bounced, right? Your stuff will get rejected. And then you’ll be tempted to submit stuff anonymously and this that and the other. But there will be this problem—word will get around. Right? I mean, there’s no such thing as anonymous in academic circles when you get right down to it.

    I mean how did everyone wind up with the same goddamn opinions if stuff was truly anonymous? Well, of course there’s a huge weeding-out process in the beginning as well, right?”

    This passage is fascinating. Molyneux’s argument is that he was rejected in two ways. His ideas were rejected by academia because they were too original and he was personally rejected by academia because they didn’t like him. Small wonder he still speaks of it with great emotion some 20 years later.

    In the war with academia, UPB would be the ultimate weapon. Not only would Molyneux’s ideas be accepted—he would outdo them all.

    The Birth of UPB

    Two years earlier, before the publication of UPB, it was almost impossible for Molyneux to overstate the important role that rational ethics should play in the libertarian movement. Molyneux has long believed that it is absolutely essential for libertarians—atheist AnCaps, especially—to establish an independent proven system of ethics. Among the religious, whatever God they worship is the ultimate moral authority. Cannot atheists produce their own Ultimate Moral Authority?

    In an article published at Lew Rockwell on December 12, 2005, Molyneux wrote:

    “Until moral rules can be subjected to the same rigour and logic as any other propositions, we will forever be stymied by subjectivism, political prejudices and the argument from effect. Why is this approach so important? Why bother with the grueling task of building a logical framework for the examination of moral rules – and the even more grueling task of communicating that framework to others? Well, as I have argued in previous articles, the freedom movement has made remarkably little progress throughout history….In my view, the reason for this is simple: libertarians have never won the argument from morality.”

    In that article (Proving Libertarian Morality: Reclaiming the High Ground), Molyneux laid out the argument that there must be a way—without gods, but through reason, logic, and science—to develop “preferred behavior” for humanity and begins to suggest a methodology for doing so.

    Molyneux refined his idea of “Universally Preferred Behavior” (UPB) throughout 2006. During a December 2006 conversation on the FDR board, a forum member named Danny Shahar (posting under the name DonnyWithAnA), introduced himself to the FDR board with some skepticism about UPB: “To be clear,” Shahar stated, “I’m a libertarian myself, and nothing would please me more than being able to prove morality. I just don’t think it can be done.”

    During that initial conversation, Shahar pointed out the semantic problem with the word “Preferred” as opposed to “Preferable.” (Universally Preferred Behavior is behavior that everyone around the world agrees is “good.”—a nearly impossible feat to accomplish or measure. Universally Preferable Behavior refers to moral statements that can logically be shown to be preferable in any situation.) During that conversation, Molyneux stated he himself had actually recognized the problem and had formally changed the name to “Preferable” a month earlier.

    Well…not exactly. Up to that point (and in that thread) Molyneux actually used the words interchangeably. He announced the formal name a month after that conversation with Shahar in his Lew Rockwell article Universal Morality: A Proposition on January 26, 2007. That article was deleted on Rockwell after this post, but can still be found on Molyneux’s blog.

    It seems like a trivial thing to note but it was the beginning of a series of errors that Shahar found with Molyneux’s work on UPB that began with correcting Molyneux on a single word and ended less than a year-and-a-half later with Molyneux declaring all of academia, with respect to philosophy, invalid.

    But we’ll come back to that later.

    For now, consider how the stage had been set for the publication of UPB. Molyneux, who admittedly had failed as a novelist, academic, and businessman had managed to come up with the answer. The answer that would save the libertarian community. The answer that he began seeking years earlier as he sat with his friends at Pizza Hut.

    The answer that would save the world from its own ignorance.

    How important was it?

    The podcast “We Are Full of Treasure” (#1019, formerly FDR Premium 79), recorded before the publication of UPB, reveals much about Molyneux, his view of his place in the world, and the importance of UPB. The podcast is a conference call between Molyneux and two of his closest followers and is focused on the problem one of them brings to the table. The follower had attempted to join a bike ride with people he didn’t know very well. (by their own admission, Molyneux’s followers are often unable to associate with anyone outside of FDR). It was a dissatisfying adventure because he was mostly ignored by the other riders and was disappointed they didn’t have more curiosity about him.

    Molyneux tries to teach his follower about salesmanship—the vital importance of projecting a happy personality—and confesses that is the main technique he uses to win people over to his philosophy.

    The following is a lengthy excerpt, but—more important than Molyneux’s “projected personality” sales technique—you see an extraordinary picture emerge of Molyneux’s perceived self-importance and his belief that, through UPB, he has discovered the secret of true happiness that mankind has been searching for.

    (In the podcast, the “treasure” of course, is UPB.)

    1:03:32—…You are full of treasure…you have this incredible knowledge…

    …you’re one of the 5,000 people on the world that have a proof for ethics. You are full of treasure, which people desperately need. That’s just a fact. The world runs on ethics. Everybody desperately needs ethics. And ethics for the most people is manipulative bull$#@!, right? You’ve got the cure for cancer!

    1:11:34—Everybody wants to be happy, and when they see somebody who’s happy they’re like—gotta get me some of that. Whether they like it or not. That’s the irresistible gravity well of FDR. I know that the gravity well for human beings is happiness. And so I’ve just been relentlessly $#@!ing happy—and honestly so—from the beginning. And I know that no matter how much people hate what I’m talking about, they are irresistibly drawn back because it’s what they want.

    1:16:01—I realized, when I got the DRO thing, I knew that was some pretty good $#@!. When I got Universally Preferable Behavior, I knew that was some pretty good $#@!. That’s treasure—that’s gold, right? Because of that—because I was sure it was really, really great stuff, people wanted to know about it.

    1:18:03—There is nothing that I could conceivably imagine putting my intellectual energies toward that would be better or more important than this. And I don’t mean this even subjectively. Right? Cause like if you’re a great jazz pianist and you love to play jazz, that’s the best thing for you. I don’t think this is the best for me—I think it’s the best thing.

    So, I’m not full of treasure like I’m good at jazz, I’m full of treasure, like, for everyone! Because everybody wants to be happy and I think we’ve got the way to do it.

    1:19:01—See, we don’t just believe that we’ve got treasure because we will it, or because we’ve got big teeth and firm handshakes, or whatever, right? We’ve proven it—from the ground $#@!ing up!

    [follower] We just have to be willing to speak up and talk about it.!

    Well, to accept the empirical reality of what we as a community as developed, which is the very first, top-to-bottom, proven system of philosophy.

    [follower] Right! Right! I mean it’s huge!

    It’s huge!

    [follower] I mean, the last time that was even tried was 6,000 years ago!

    IT’S HUGE. It’s huge. It’s huge. It’s huge. And it blows everything out of the water. And we’re not saying anything to people that they don’t already accept and that’s why it gets people so screwed up, right?

    And, I genuinely believe—like, I know I put lots of caveats out there and so on, but that’s just so I can get people to read my stuff, right?

    Here you go—so I can get the people who want to find nit-pick and fault—I want to get those people, too, right?

    1:20:55—It is the proof that human beings have been waiting for thousands of years. I believe it is the proof. And it’s held up pretty hard to some pretty hard knocks.

    1:23:21—This is a real singularity point of incredible glory in my opinion, right? And if you’re not full of that possibility and power, then you need to meditate on that to fill yourself up with it and if you can’t do that here—and I don’t think there’s any other place to do it—but if it turns out you want to be a jazz musician and that gives you that sense of power and glory then that’s what you should do.

    1:41:27—I’m not asking you to will anything, I’m just asking you to accept a reality that what we’ve got is proven, syllogistically, experientially, scientifically, empirically..It’s proven..

    [follower] I DO accept that…

    No, you don’t! Because if you did accept it, then you would accept that you are full of the most amazing knowledge on the planet at the moment.

    If you really got that, if you really got that, the way that you interact with people would just change completely. And, I don’t know what that would look like. Right? But if you just…accepted that as something that’s not willed but understood and proven, see what it’s like.

    Just accept that and wake up every morning and put it on… “We are full of the most amazing knowledge in the world, at the moment, perhaps ever—I’m going to try to remember that for the next week”—and that’s all that you need to do.

    And there it stood. On the eve of the publication of UPB, Molyneux knew he had done nothing less than replace God as the final authority on morality. Where philosophers had failed for thousands of years, he would succeed. Out of nowhere, a small band of believers led by a Canadian philosopher stood ready to lead humanity, finally, to happiness.

    And it all fell apart when Molyneux made a $50 bet with Danny Shahar.
    The hilarity continues in part 2: http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-m...-story-part-2/
    Last edited by r3volution 3.0; 09-29-2017 at 07:48 PM.
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavenlyboy34 View Post
    His early work was okay. Then he got into ever shoddier logic and abandoned the big principles he started out with. Every reasonable anarchist on the webbernets has abandoned him nowadays, AFAIK.
    I disagree with everything in the second and third sentence.

    You can disagree with Molyneux on a few points and still find a lot of value in listening to him, I know I do. I believe in astrology, I like to do psychadelics and herb. Molyneux thinks that is all really bad and completely insane. That's fine, I know where he is coming from, he has his arguments, I can't prove him wrong I just disagree with where he is coming from on those issues. Not to mention 9/11 truth.. I still find plenty of value in what he does anyway.

    Anybody who abandoned him either over a minor disagreement or what they perceived to be a huge issue without trying to understand his position is not reasonable imo. That doesn't mean they need to listen to all his podcasts, but if they can't find anything worthwhile on his channel it's because they aren't looking.
    Last edited by dannno; 09-29-2017 at 08:28 PM.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    About another, earlier book of Molyneux's, "Universally Preferable Behavior":

    http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-m...-story-part-1/

    The hilarity continues in part 2: http://www.fdrliberated.com/stefan-m...-story-part-2/


    What is your specific issue with UPB? It is a logically sound platform to start from.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  13. #12
    Temporary Ban North Korea



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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    What is your specific issue with UPB? It is a logically sound platform to start from.
    You lost all credibility when you criticise someone using a link on "Rational"wiki.

  14. #13

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    My monthly donation is on Sunday.

    Quiz: Test Your "Income" Tax IQ!


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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    What is your specific issue with UPB?
    Well, the entire project ("proving" ethics) is impossible in principle. Categorical imperatives ("you should do x") cannot be true or false; there is no fact from which any categorical imperative could conceivably be deduced. Only hypothetical imperatives ("if you want to achieve Y, you should do X") can be true or false; they can be deduced from facts. In other words, you can't derive an "ought" from an "is."

    For a specific example, he tries to Hoppe's argumentation ethics to prove some categorical imperative (don't recall what it is). The problem is that Hoppe's argumentation ethics doesn't work, at all. The basic idea is the performative contradiction: i.e. a statement which must be false in virtue of being made. "I am dead" is the classic performative contradiction; it must be false in virtue of being spoken (dead men can't speak). Hoppe (and Molyneux, in some fashion) try to apply this perfectly sensible concept to ethical statements, and that doesn't work. There is no ethical statement that would have to be false in virtue of being stated. In other words, an ethical statement's truth cannot be a necessary condition for a physical event (someone speaking) to occur. For instance, Hoppe tried to show that a statement such as "I don't own my body" is a performative contradiction, by claiming that one cannot make the statement if one doesn't own one's body; but this is plainly wrong. One cannot make the statement "I don't own my body" unless one controls one's body (or at least one's mouth, etc), but control is not ownership. As soon you try to use performative contradiction to prove an ethical statement, whatever it is, you fail.

    It is a logically sound platform to start from.
    What is, specifically?
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  16. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by r3volution 3.0 View Post
    Well, the entire project ("proving" ethics) is impossible in principle. Categorical imperatives ("you should do x") cannot be true or false; there is no fact from which any categorical imperative could conceivably be deduced. Only hypothetical imperatives ("if you want to achieve Y, you should do X") can be true or false; they can be deduced from facts. In other words, you can't derive an "ought" from an "is."

    For a specific example, he tries to Hoppe's argumentation ethics to prove some categorical imperative (don't recall what it is). The problem is that Hoppe's argumentation ethics doesn't work, at all. The basic idea is the performative contradiction: i.e. a statement which must be false in virtue of being made. "I am dead" is the classic performative contradiction; it must be false in virtue of being spoken (dead men can't speak). Hoppe (and Molyneux, in some fashion) try to apply this perfectly sensible concept to ethical statements, and that doesn't work. There is no ethical statement that would have to be false in virtue of being stated. In other words, an ethical statement's truth cannot be a necessary condition for a physical event (someone speaking) to occur. For instance, Hoppe tried to show that a statement such as "I don't own my body" is a performative contradiction, by claiming that one cannot make the statement if one doesn't own one's body; but this is plainly wrong. One cannot make the statement "I don't own my body" unless one controls one's body (or at least one's mouth, etc), but control is not ownership. As soon you try to use performative contradiction to prove an ethical statement, whatever it is, you fail.



    What is, specifically?
    Control is the ultimate ownership.. nobody can force you to say anything against your will, and if they did then I guess they would own you. I don't see any issue with that.

    But UPB is more of a platform rather than some ultimate philosophical truth, although I think there is at least some philosophical truth to UPB.. and you didn't do anything to debunk it.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    Control is the ultimate ownership..
    No, control is not ownership. If it were, there would be no such thing as theft.

    i.e. the thief who takes control of your car would thereby own it

    nobody can force you to say anything against your will, and if they did then I guess they would own you. I don't see any issue with that.
    I don't think you understand the problem with argumentation ethics that I explained.

    My physical ability to move my vocal cords and speak does not depend on the proposition "I own my body" being true.

    Similarly, my physical ability drive a certain car doesn't depend on the proposition "I own this car" being true.

    But UPB is more of a platform rather than some ultimate philosophical truth
    Which says what?

    although I think there is at least some philosophical truth to UPB..
    Which would be what?

    and you didn't do anything to debunk it.
    Actually I did, see above.
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  18. #17

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    Going through the review of the latest masterpiece, which apparently begins with the following lines:

    The Argument is everything. The Argument is civilization; The Argument is peace; The Argument is love; The Argument is truth and beauty; The Argument is, in fact, life itself.
    Sort of like how the Universally Preferable Behavior was "the proof that human beings have been waiting for thousands of years," right? Right?

    He properly distinguishes deductive from inductive arguments, provides the standard example of the former ((1) “All men are mortal” (2) “Socrates is a man” (3) “Therefore Socrates is mortal”), and then delivers this cringeworthy explanation: “Given that premises one and two are valid, the conclusion – three – is inescapable.”

    Ouch!

    Molyneux has just confused truth and validity! Statements are true or false. They are never valid or invalid. Deductive arguments are valid or invalid; they are never true or false. Validity is a function of deductive structure, not content (the information in premises and conclusion). Getting students to grasp this difference is every logic instructor’s first challenge. If a deductive argument has a valid structure and true premises, moreover, it is called sound. Following a foray into premature attacks on relativism and socialism – premature because the groundwork for such arguments has not yet been laid – Molyneux botches soundness as well: “If I say (1) All men are immortal, (2) Socrates is a man, (3) Therefore Socrates is immortal; then the structure remains logically sound.” This is actually a good example of an unsound argument, because it has a valid structure but a false premise.

    In other words, Molyneux does not appear to grasp the difference between validity and soundness. This is in a section entitled “The Difference between ‘Logical’ and ‘True.’”
    https://lostgenerationphilosopher.wo...viewed-on-lgp/



    That's like a guy writing a book on grammar and not knowing the difference between nouns and verbs.

    Preposterous
    "The program of liberalism, ...if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property..."

    -Ludwig von Mises

    "Patriotism, not nationalism, should inspire the citizen. The ethnic nationalist who wants a linguistically and culturally uniform nation is akin to the racist who is intolerant toward those who look (and behave) differently. The patriot is a "diversitarian"; he is pleased, indeed proud of the variety within the borders of his country; he looks for loyalty from all citizens. And he looks up and down, not left and right."

    -Erik Maria Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

    "All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

    -H. L. Mencken

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Citizen View Post
    I've never understood the infatuation with Molyneux.
    I find the infatuation strongest on those with the obsessive contempt for the man. What I've never understood is the negative emotional infatuation some have for Molyneux, especially those who pretend to promote liberty but get so emotional over him expressing his views.

    He makes reasoned arguments and analogies. I am no fan of his style simply because I just don't like sitting through what for me is a long drawn out monologue soliloguy style. But that is just a personal preference, not because I despise the man. Others like listening to that style. If so, good for them if they get enjoyment or learning out of it. I don't always agree with him, but offers commentary that is better reasoned than most on contemporary talk radio or tv [although that's not a particularly high standard], and overall favors liberty and small government and is a veritable anarchist compared to most contemporary politicians or celebrities.

    For the life of me I cannot fathom why anyone, especially someone who professes to support liberty, would have any rational criticism of that absent some ulterior underlying emotional issue.
    Last edited by AZJoe; 09-30-2017 at 02:44 AM.
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Dr. Ron Paul.
    "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone." - Sophie Magdalena Scholl
    "War is the health of the State." - Randolph Bourne
    "Freedom is the answer. ... Now, what's the question?" - Ernie Hancock.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    What I don't understand is the people who say they don't like him. I haven't heard one good reason.
    He has Sagging R Mouth.

    Some might say "Oh, get over it. Just don't look at him", but that is impossible. It comes at you relentlessly, like a ghoulish horde of the undead.
    Last edited by Jamesiv1; 09-30-2017 at 03:01 AM.
    1. Don't lie.
    2. Don't cheat.
    3. Don't steal.
    4. Don't kill.
    5. Don't commit adultery.
    6. Don't covet what your neighbor has, especially his wife.
    7. Honor your father and mother.
    8. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
    9. Don’t use your Higher Power's name in vain, or anyone else's.
    10. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

    "For the love of money is the root of all evil..." -- I Timothy 6:10, KJV

  21. #20

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    The author to the "review" is completely anonymous. The "review" author's entire website is nothing but a online psychotic emotional stalking obsession with Molyneux. Very bizarre. Why SF or anyone would promote it is also bizarre.

    The "review" is anything but a rational argument. Rather the so called "review" nothing but a rag tag neurotic and sensational conglomeration of ad hominem insults of Molyneux, insults of anyone that would listen to him, ludicrous armchair psychoanalysis of Maolyneux, fantastical mind-reading tom impute motives and desires to Moleynus, and bald conclusion statements strung together The bulk of the so called book "review" has absolutely nothing to do with the content of the book.

    For instance from the so called "review" [comments in brackets]:

    Molyneux’s temporary band of rabid fans … [Brilliance!!]

    Self-publishing is great for … church cookbooks. Or 55-year-old insurance salesmen …
    For years, he desperately yearned for a legitimate publisher to show an interest in him. …
    Stefan never tires of telling everyone just how broad his appeal is. …

    Make no mistake, Molyneux is aching to follow in the footsteps of Ayn Rand … as he has bitterly complained, no publisher saw his brilliance; … He was also rejected by academia. … Molyneux’s writing career was dead as a door-nail. [Let’s make up some mind reading and throw in some tainted history to show the author is such a big loser with no significance – so why again does anonymous reviewer devote an entire website to obsessing over Molyneux?]

    And so he was forced to turn away from lovers of fiction or philosophy to embrace an entirely new audience—the gullible. [OMG. What insightful intellectual discourse by his “reviewer”; “Nya Nya – you guys are gullible nya nya”] …

    publicly criticizing it any further actually makes you feel a little bad inside, perhaps the same way you’d feel after bullying the mentally challenged. [Oh what brilliant analysis.]

    Gordon [gave his prior book a bad review] which wounded Molyneux more than most people realize …

    Few understand how the charge of having “facile intelligence” insulted and infuriated Molyneux. Stefan wants his followers to believe that his mind has been rigorously developed through years of concentrated scholarship, exacting logical analysis and, yes, hard labor. … [a little mind reading and psychoanalysis by Mr. “reviewer”]

    A facile mind can take a few facts, a few inventions, and a glib delivery to create the illusion of erudition. [That kind of sounds just like this so called “review”] It’s the skill of snake-oil salesmen, hustlers, and religious hucksters. It’s the exact opposite of what Molyneux presents himself as and, of course, exactly what he is. … [Thow in another health dosing of pure ad hominem -- My what reasoned analysis by Mr. “reviewer.”]

    Molyneux loves to write click-bait titles … titles are his very best writing. In the old days, he made audio podcasts with 90 or more minutes of unfocused rambling and then give it a title that sounded great …

    Perhaps Molyneux was simply hoping that he could make a few more bucks from his uncritical followers but then something unexpected and magical happened. … since abandoning all of his earlier principles to become a darling of the alt-right/white nationalist/men’s rights crowd, he’s become a bit of a YouTube personality. And he gave his book a title [OMG he gave his book a title. Who could have imagined. What kind of title dear “reviewer”] that would boldly place it smack dab in a tradition of writing on logic and rhetoric—scholarly works, often with similar titles—that stretches back for centuries.

    [Wow, who would have thought such a simple title as “Art of Argument” would be so significant , and also so great a reason to criticize a book. Who knew that such a simple title is so important a reason to hate a book. Thanks dear “reviewer” for explaining that so logically and rationally for us]

    And that’s when the fun began. Because of Molyneux’s notoriety and the book’s title, actual professors and educated students of logic stumbled in and either bought the Kindle edition, got it free on Kindle unlimited, or read Part One with Amazon’s “Read it now” feature. [Because “stumbling” is the only way a professor or logic student can find a book. It must be so. The “Reviewer” proclaims it.]

    Understandably, they were stunned or befuddled or both. [Yes, I the omniscient “reviewer” have polled them all, and can tell you their emotions and thoughts, although I still have told you one think about the actual book’s content.”]

    Like Gordon, they suddenly realized they were dealing with an author who literally had no background in his self-proclaimed area of “expertise.” [“Again I the omniscient reviewer have read all ther readers minds.”]

    A philosopher who makes up his own terms … and invents his own definitions for existing terms [oh the crime. But please don’t expect any examples from the “reviewer”. Nothing but unsupported accusations and conclusions in this “review”]. That would be because his arrogant and, yes, facile mind presumes he’ll get it right. [More of the “reviewer’s” magical mind reading.]

    [And now I will finish my “review” by quoting verbatim someone else’s review form Amazon, and then just caution you that all the positive reviews are fake, and any of the negative reviews are legitimate.]


    My what a thorough, logical review, where the only actual content from the book the “reviewer” even remotely touched, was the title. – That’s it!
    This book could totally suck, or it could totally rock. However this particular reviewer has not given any insight into the content whatsoever, other than state the book’s title.
    Last edited by AZJoe; 09-30-2017 at 03:18 AM.
    "Let it not be said that we did nothing." - Dr. Ron Paul.
    "Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone." - Sophie Magdalena Scholl
    "War is the health of the State." - Randolph Bourne
    "Freedom is the answer. ... Now, what's the question?" - Ernie Hancock.

  22. #21

    Default

    It comes down to responsibility, joe. Liberty-Responsibility. Two words that should never be spoken or written absent insertion of the other in fundamental principle.

    Personally, you'll likely never see me mention the guy's name. He's a burden more than an asset.

    As always, however, people are free to get together and form a voluntary society. Libertarianism permits for it so long as you've renounced force.

    Go for it. Otherwise it's just a bunch of noise.

    Check back in and let us know how it goes.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZJoe View Post
    I find the infatuation strongest on those with the obsessive contempt for the man. What I've never understood is the negative emotional infatuation some have for Molyneux, especially those who pretend to promote liberty but get so emotional over him expressing his views.

    He makes reasoned arguments and analogies. I am no fan of his style simply because I just don't like sitting through what for me is a long drawn out monologue soliloguy style. But that is just a personal preference, not because I despise the man. Others like listening to that style. If so, good for them if they get enjoyment or learning out of it. I don't always agree with him, but offers commentary that is better reasoned than most on contemporary talk radio or tv [although that's not a particularly high standard], and overall favors liberty and small government and is a veritable anarchist compared to most contemporary politicians or celebrities.

    For the life of me I cannot fathom why anyone, especially someone who professes to support liberty, would have any rational criticism of that absent some ulterior underlying emotional issue.
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 09-30-2017 at 03:32 AM.

  23. #22

  24. #23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZJoe View Post
    I find the infatuation strongest on those with the obsessive contempt for the man. What I've never understood is the negative emotional infatuation some have for Molyneux, especially those who pretend to promote liberty but get so emotional over him expressing his views.

    He makes reasoned arguments and analogies. I am no fan of his style simply because I just don't like sitting through what for me is a long drawn out monologue soliloguy style. But that is just a personal preference, not because I despise the man. Others like listening to that style. If so, good for them if they get enjoyment or learning out of it. I don't always agree with him, but offers commentary that is better reasoned than most on contemporary talk radio or tv [although that's not a particularly high standard], and overall favors liberty and small government and is a veritable anarchist compared to most contemporary politicians or celebrities.

    For the life of me I cannot fathom why anyone, especially someone who professes to support liberty, would have any rational criticism of that absent some ulterior underlying emotional issue.
    THIS..

    And Rev has yet to debunk UPB.. he makes a bunch of statements that don't have anything to do with UPB. Disprove it by showing you understand it, then show where the flaws are. All of his debunkings are off things that are unrelated to the argument.
    Last edited by dannno; 09-30-2017 at 03:40 AM.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  25. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    THIS..

    All of his debunkings are off things that are unrelated to the argument.
    It's simple.

    Libertine is not libertarian.

    You lose.

    lol.

    Pass the blunt.
    Last edited by Natural Citizen; 09-30-2017 at 03:49 AM.

  26. #25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Natural Citizen View Post
    It's simple.

    Libertine is not libertarian.

    You lose.

    lol.

    Pass the blunt.
    Molyneux is not a libertine.. he is a highly K-selected individual.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."






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