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  • The most curious social convention of the great age in which we live is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected. Its evil effects must be plain enough to everyone. All it [Read story]
    • Good work, Mr. Saunders!

      At the finale you identified the connection between the religious leaders of history and the wars of history. The two have been intertwined throughout the ages. It has been said that all wars are religious wars: http://www.strike-the-root.com/bellum-sacrum?page=1

      Religion, however – or at least those among the 4,200 referenced by the “Adherents” listed in your nice essay – has the advantage (to us) of being in the realm of the free market. Or the appearance thereof. You can take it, or you can leave it alone. You can quit one and join another. Or you can abstain.

      But the most dangerous of them all is the one not listed: that mindless abstraction commonly called “the state” http://www.wendymcelroy.com/vlntryst/demyst.html

      And let’s not forget Larkin Rose https://archive.org/details/236222899TheMostDangerousSuperstitionLarkenRose2011

      Most of us can’t just up and quit “the government”; nor can we easily join another (g-d forbid!!!).

      But there is a “remnant”, I’m convinced (as was Albert J. Knock: http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/isaiahs-job) who will be free regardless of the endless wrangling and debating and arguing over libertarianism and/or “religion”. It’s to those in that group with whom I hope to communicate. Sam.

    • Hi Sam,

      ” It’s to those in that group with whom I hope to communicate. Sam.”

      You just have, and thank you!

      Randy

    • Bravo Mr. Saunders. Very entertaining indeed. Religion provides a great deal of material for comic relief imho. But, human behavior is mostly emotive and there are predetermined limits to our understanding set forth with the 3 (or 4) dimensions we are currently trapped inside. Shall we give up reaching beyond the stars and push hope of ever reaching higher planes of existence away for the sake of reason? Haven’t others argued that hope is reasonable and necessary for survival in death?

    • Hi Brad,

      Thank you for the interesting comments and you recognition that, though factual, the article is meant to be enjoyed as satire, not as an argument for or against anything except the obvious.

      As for your question:

      “Shall we give up reaching beyond the stars and push hope of ever reaching higher planes of existence away for the sake of reason? Haven’t others argued that hope is reasonable and necessary for survival in death?”

      I’m not interested in changing other’s views or beliefs. My previous article on this site is, ironically, An Atheist’s Defence of Christianity. I do think most people have in irrational desire for something, perhaps a, “higher plane of existence,” or some other floating abstraction when they have not even begun to understand the life and existence they already have, or how to live it successfully and happily. Why one longs for another life when they have mostly or completely failed at the one they know have has always bewildered me.

      Thanks again for the kind comments.

      Randy

    • Good day Mr. Saunders. Thank you for giving me more to study.

    • This is a masterpiece, Randall 🙂

    • Hi Roger,

      Your comments are always appreciated. So, thank you.

      And please call me Randy. Only my mother ever called me Randall. I know my nicname has a uniqued meaning in the UK, but I don’t mind it.

      Randy

    • An interesting compilation of religions, but I got lost in the conclusion. Are you suggesting that religion is the primary cause of war, or merely that sometimes war is fought in the name of religion? I would have a hard time believing that the horrific 20th century wars had anything to do with people fighting for an established religion. Perhaps a better understanding would come from studying the motivations behind war and violence.

      The very fact that the majority of the world’s history is accompanied by the presence of religion is of much interest. What would cause the only earthy organism capable of reason to believe that all knowledge was not contained in the material and that a greater knowledge could be gained from the transcendent?

      And the deepest, and I think most relevant questions have to do with epistemology. How do we know what we know? And is it gullible for humans to have to rely on a body of knowledge that far exceeds the ability of any one individual to gather and comprehend?

    • Hi Michael,

      “Are you suggesting that religion is the primary cause of war, or merely that sometimes war is fought in the name of religion? I would have a hard time believing that the horrific 20th century wars had anything to do with people fighting for an established religion. Perhaps a better understanding would come from studying the motivations behind war and violence.”

      Not at all. The whole article is meant to illustrate the absurdity of all religion. I use the fact of wars and cruelty resulting from religion only to emphasize that absurdity. If the concept were expanded from religion to ideologies, however, I think that would explain the motivation behind all war and violence.

      “What would cause the only earthly organism capable of reason to believe that all knowledge was not contained in the material and that a greater knowledge could be gained from the transcendent?”

      The insatiable desire for simple pat answers that do not require one to use their rationality to discover what is true and right. Most human beings will accept anything the promises success and happiness without having to earn it, which all religions promise and most government do as well.

      “And the deepest, and I think most relevant questions have to do with epistemology. How do we know what we know? And is it gullible for humans to have to rely on a body of knowledge that far exceeds the ability of any one individual to gather and comprehend?”

      It is not gullible to learn from others, it is only gullible to accept what other’s teach without understanding whether what is taught is true or not, or worse, not even caring. As for epistemology, if you are truly interested, I have addressed that in a very long article on another site (my own), in the series, “How We Know,” which is actually a critique of a bad epistemology, but contains a correct one.

      Thank you so much for the interesting comments,

      Randy

    • Thanks for serving the major religions as a 4-course, witty repast. It’s very difficult to call foolishness foolishness without being vituperative. You have done it with finesse.

  • Originally submitted as part of doctoral coursework for Northcentral University, June 2016. Photo CC BY-SA 2.0: Butz.2013 Part 1: What’s so bad about subprime loans? Part 2: Leadership roles and social r [Read story]
  • Originally submitted as part of doctoral coursework for Northcentral University, June 2016. Photo CC BY-SA 2.0: Stan Wiechers Part 1: What’s so bad about subprime loans? The recent subprime loan crisis [Read story]
  • Originally submitted as part of doctoral coursework for Northcentral University, June 2016. Photo CC BY 2.0: woodleywonderworks Subprime loans are extended to people who do not meet the minimum requirements for [Read story]
  • I was pleased to be interviewed by CNN over the weekend, but even more pleased that my words and thoughts weren’t distorted to serve an agenda. The entire report on CNN, as it turns out, was relatively “fair and [Read story]
  • Thomas Carlyle called economics, “the dismal science.” Economics is not philosophy and it is certainly not science. What exactly economics studies is a good question, but there are plenty of academics and [Read story]
    • Hey Randall, actually that was pretty good. I liked it but I think economics and economists have taught me a great deal. It seems that you discount economics because it is not an absolute type science. I have been working on something that I will send you that is very interesting.

      I’ve broken down the basic types of economic systems and the basic types of political systems segregating them and then allowing the reader to understand the various systems most prevalent in the world. It works out surprisingly well.

    • Hi Skip,

      “It seems that you discount economics because it is not an absolute type science. ”

      I do not discount economics. The article actually addresses all the essential aspects of economics. What I discount is the belief that any theory or economics can be used to engineer society, which is what all economic theories really are: political theories of how societies ought to be organized.

      “I’ve broken down the basic types of economic systems and the basic types of political systems segregating them and then allowing the reader to understand the various systems most prevalent in the world. It works out surprisingly well.”

      I’m sure it does and I’ll be interested in your conclusions. You might interested in another article, “Libertarianism, Economics, and Other Absurdities,” which addresses what is wrong with specific theories of economics.

      Thanks for the comments,

      Randy

  • Last Wednesday, I cooked up some scrambled eggs mixed with homemade crumbled sausage and shredded Colby-Jack cheese. It’s one of my favorites and the rest of my family likes it too. But my two boys are growing [Read story]
  • Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean, which has become a surprising bestseller, purports to be a study and exposé of the “radical right’s stealth plan for America.” But to anyone who knows something about the su [Read story]
    • I have been reading about this issue for many days now, because Don Boudreaux seems to have taken it very personally, due to his close friendship with Buchanan. This was today in Cafe Hayek:

      Nancy MacLean Should Get Back In Touch With Reality

    • This is the 2nd derogatory article I’ve seen on this book. So many people are under the illusion that it is capitalism that is crushing the middle class when it is fascism and the massive number of redistribution of wealth schemes taxing the middle class into poverty.

      The first article was written by a colleague and friend of Buchanan and this woman didn’t even interview him. He was also a former member and President of the organization she is criticizing. Matter of fact she didn’t interview anyone from the organization yet makes erroneous assumptions and used logical fallacies in drawing her conclusions. I guess if it sells books she will be happy. A lot of female authors are doing very similar things.

      My girlfriend says just because some women have lied to you in the past that doesn’t mean their all dishonest and some can’t be trusted.

      Just had another case of a drunk woman here in Palm Beach Country pulling down her panties in front of video cameras to have sex with a guy and then accuses him of rape. The prosecutor is using her drunkenness as the excuse for her being coerced. And women are wondering why younger guys are staying clear of women in mass.

  • The Venezuelan Paramo.

  • Capital is the most limiting factor in the economy. New capital is essential for development in any and all economies.
    Any questions?
    Any comments?

  • A lot of people think using bitcoin is not pragmatic and they fear getting into it because they don’t know they can use it on their daily lives. Terry Brock and Luis Fernando Mises talk about how easy it can be t [Read story]
  • 26 things to remember if you want to be happy

    #Peac3VOLibertyRadio

  • In recent years, the meme of throwing one’s political rivals out of helicopters has become popular among certain right-wing and libertarian groups. Unfortunately, people from all over the political spectrum tend [Read story]
    • Libertarianism aside, one problem I see with free helicopter rides is that hardcore leftists may actually enjoy them. They like breadlines and re-education camps so I don’t think its much of a stretch. Thanks for the article though Matthew, I now have a better understanding of the history behind the memes.

    • I’m pretty sure that the alt-right does, in fact, know the origin….
      Maybe even celibrates it….

  • I walk into a restaurant and am promptly led to a table. A server — a cheerful woman who looks to be in her late twenties — immediately approaches, introduces herself, takes my drink order, and returns with a [Read story]
    • I have always been uncomfortable with tipping. First, if you travel a lot, you usually do not know how much is customary to tip. Second, the absolute amount of tipping depends on what the client spends, and in fine dining, especially wine: if you have a couple of 700$ SuperTuscany bottles, not to mention some Bordeaux, the 15%% of the waiter can easily be several hundreds dollars. Third, it does not make a lot of economic sense: if you are not likely to return to the restaurant, there is no incentive to tip after the dinner. Fourth, especially when I was young and money-constrained, it made me feel pressured and anxious.
      I especially remember an experience of around 30 years ago. As a recent graduate, I had a dinner in a posh restaurant in Boston with maybe 15 colleagues after a day of training, and it was my office turn to pay. I received a bill of around 2.000$, and, with shame toward my office, I decided to tip 200$ because I heard something about a customary tip of 10%, which, for a guy like me that used to be a part time waiter in Italy for most of high school and college, seemed an outrageous amount. After a while the waiter came back and talked to an American colleague saying that he was expecting 15%. When the guy told me that I HAD to tip more, I felt so pissed and humiliated that I tipped only 50$, instead of the 300$. The situation became so tense that the American guys had to tip instead of me on my way out.
      Think in this way: the consumer good is not the food or the service, it is the complete experience, with all its components organized and delivered in the best way possible. This is the job of the enterpreneur, in this case the owner of the restaurant. It makes much more sense the way it is in Europe: you are not expected to tip, the full price is clearly written in the menu, and the restaurant owner has his arrangements with his employees. You tip only if you received an unexpectedly great service, and the tip is really something extra.
      Now I do not care much, because I am relatively well-off, so I always tip what I think is around the higher number of the costumary percentage, but I still feel a bit stiffed every time I go to a restaurant. I am basically subsidizing other patrons that are spending less than me or are deciding to be free-riders.

    • Tipping is not the norm in Australia or New Zealand and I’m glad its not. Why is food different to any other product or service. You don’t tip the tyre salesman for fitting your car with new tyres, that’s his job so he should do it to the best of his ability. I’d much rather pay a higher price for the meal than tip or at the very minimum, be forewarned that tipping is customary for whatever reasons and the expected rate is detailed. I have tipped people when they’ve gone beyond what could have ever have been expected of them, but this is rare.

    • @massimomazzone
      Tiping IS expected in America and everyone knows it. Don’t go if you can’t tip.

    • @justinhale But the cracks are starting to appear. This Google search for “tipping hospitality included”…
      https://www.google.com/search?q=tipping+“hospitality+included”
      … leads to many interesting articles about US restaurants that are experimenting with doing away with tips and paying their staff decent wages instead.

    • (This website doesn’t handle the above URL properly. Just copy-and-paste it into the browser address bar.)

    • Well, I NEVER tip. Instead I make a gift at the end of the meal and ALWAYS in cash. I also make sure that the server understands the importance of distinguishing between the two.

    • I have mixed emotions because I lived by tips for six years, but I didn’t agree with the concept. Go figure! My father didn’t tip, or very little. My mother overtipped. Again, mixed feelings. My wife overtips, adding to mine sometimes. I go along, except when she is totally wrong, as in when we get terrible service. I explain to her that she is encouraging laziness or incompetence or both.
      And here we come to the one time that tipping is helpful. If the service is poor or bad the tip should reflect this. It encourages the server to examine life choices. Maybe the server is not suited to the profession but in denial.
      Once the service was so terrible, as bad as could be imagined, and I wanted to leave without paying, but explain first. My wife was horrified and strongly objected, but we compromised. I subtracted the cost of my uneatable order and left no tip. I still think the correct response was to wait for the manager and explain, but we had been there for 2.5 hours already, and my temper was short. In retrospect, I should have gone over the manager’s head to the food service manager, who may have been incompetent also, but I least I would have felt better.
      In conclusion, there are pros & cons to tipping. The best argument against is: How can you draw a line? Why tip one service profession and not another? Argument for: Tipping gives the customer some control besides just complaining, which is often useless. Money talks louder.

    • Tipping is a horrible custom. It is considered an insult in Japan.
      One of the nice things about Peru is that there is no tipping (except in places that have been corrupted by American tourists).

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