Surprise- prayer doesn’t heal little girl Wednesday, Mar 26 2008 

WESTON, Wis. — An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.


This is the ugly side to religion, for sure.


Gravel joins libertarian party…wha?? Wednesday, Mar 26 2008 

Ok, not exactly. But he wants to:

Fed up with being excluded from the debates and otherwise marginalized, former Senator Mike Gravel of Alaska announced today that he will seek the Libertarian Party nomination for president.

I don’t understand this at all. I mean, you do have to be a libertarian to be in the party, right?

Libertarian Quote : 6 Wednesday, Mar 26 2008 

Every friend of freedom must be as revolted as I am by the prospect of turning the United States into an armed camp, by the vision of jails filled with casual drug users and of an army of enforcers empowered to invade the liberty of citizens on slight evidence.

– Milton Friedman

I can’t wait for this! Tuesday, Mar 25 2008 

On April 16, Cato will be hosting a policy forum putting Mr. Stern, Cato’s Andrew Coulson, Gary Huggins of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind, and University of Texas at San Antonio economics professor John Merrifield on the same stage to debate the big question: Is school choice enough to fix American education, or are government standards the key?


Fight the good fight, Cato.

Libertarian Quote : 5 Tuesday, Mar 25 2008 

What kind of people are constitutions designed to govern? I think that the simplest answer to that question is people like you and me, people with good days and bad days. Within the context of governmental power, however, we are more worried about what people will do on their bad days than we are pleased about their behavior on their good days. A fine despot may do wonders for a while: public roads may be constructed, trains may run on time, and the Dow may reach three thousand. But a bad despot, or a good despot turned bad, has quite the opposite effect. Our concerns go beyond potholes, train delays, and the bear market. We worry about tyranny, terror, confiscation, segregation, imprisonment, and death. There is more to fear from the downside that there is to gain from the upside. It is not that all people will behave in irresponsible ways once they assume public office. It is enough that a few unprincipled people in hight positions can wreak public havoc…We should set our presumption against the concentration of power in the hands of government.

–Richard A. Epstein

This is, of course, the primary reason to be against a concentration of power into a small group of people.

Libertarian Quote : 4 Tuesday, Mar 18 2008 

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Notes on Dawkins (Colmes appearance) Monday, Mar 17 2008 

Dawkins is continuing his tour across the US, and recently landed on Alan Colmes’ radio show.

A few notes here.

I really appreciated (seriously) Dick talking about the religious pandering of our politicians. Of course McCain doesn’t care about religion. Hillary a Christian? Well, people certainly think so. It’s good to see Richard call Americans out on that bullshit (yes, that is two nice things I’ve said about Dick in a row. Don’t read into it.)

According to Dawkins, the argument from design is the only argument people take seriously. I don’t think this is true at all. In the philosophical world other arguments take precedence over the design argument. Perhaps a minority of “scientifically-minded” evangelical Christians use the design argument as the knockout punch, but that is about it. Even then, Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument or C.S. Lewis’s Moral Argument would probably get more airtime than the design argument. We just don’t hear about it as much because no one is trying to get those arguments placed in school curriculum.

“How does it help to postulate a Creator?” in response to the question of the origins of the universe. This is not very useful, Dick. I am thinking or writing something a little longer on this particular question, but in the meantime I’d check out Plantinga’s response to him here:

[S]uppose we concede, at least for purposes of argument, that God is complex. Perhaps we think the more a being knows, the more complex it is; God, being omniscient, would then be highly complex. Perhaps so; still, why does Dawkins think it follows that God would be improbable? Given materialism and the idea that the ultimate objects in our universe are the elementary particles of physics, perhaps a being that knew a great deal would be improbable—how could those particles get arranged in such a way as to constitute a being with all that knowledge? Of course we aren’t given materialism. Dawkins is arguing that theism is improbable; it would be dialectically deficient in excelsis to argue this by appealing to materialism as a premise. Of course it is unlikely that there is such a person as God if materialism is true; in fact materialism logically entails that there is no such person as God; but it would be obviously question-begging to argue that theism is improbable because materialism is true.

Beautiful as usual, St. Al.

Wow, Dawkins does have the patience of a saint. Those callers are absolutely retarded. He is right, they do “bleet like sheep” , and Dawkins was right about the bullshit thing.

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