January 26, 2008

A Hesitant Re-Endorsement of Ron Paul

After Ron Paul's response to racism charges and my analysis of the situation as sleaze rather than racism, I am now prepared to somewhat hesitantly re-endorse Ron Paul for president. There are two reasons for this: process of elimination, and some additional information on the racism charges. First, the process of elimination...
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January 22, 2008

January 19, 2008

A Brief Argument for Descriptivism About Laws of Nature

Isaac Newton believed that F=ma was a law of nature. Leave aside for the moment the question of whether he was right - some philosophers might think that, although it turned out simply to be an approximation that worked well for matters of ordinary experience, it still counts as a legitimate law. That's not what I'm concerned with right now. What I'm concerned with is what it means to claim that F=ma is a law of nature. Because of this, I may sloppily speak of F=ma as having a referent when, according to some theories I will be considering, it...
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January 17, 2008

No Racism, Just Sleazy Politics

Reason is a libertarian magazine of long standing. They now have an article up speculating on the origin of the infamous Ron Paul newsletters. I think Reason's explanation makes a lot of sense of the situation. They note that many veterans of the libertarian movement suspect Lew Rockwell was involved. Though Rockwell denies writing the articles, Reason brings up some interesting points about the history of Rockwell and another individual by the name of Murray Rothbard. The name Jeff Tucker also came up in association with the newsletters. This is the general picture: these people, Rockwell, Rothbard, and Tucker, apparently...
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January 14, 2008

Christian Carnival CCVI

This link is a little late in coming (my apologies), but Jeremy has included my post on hyper-Reformation theology in Christian Carnival CCVI (that's 206 to you barbarians) at Parableman.
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January 12, 2008

Ron Paul Responds to Racism Charges on CNN

Ron Paul recently appeared on CNN to address charges of racism. The video is available on YouTube and I recommend that everyone watch it. I still don't think the response is fully adequate, but there are a number of points that I think are important in terms of a total evaluation of the situation:
  • Paul explicitly and repeatedly repudiates the views expressed in the newsletters.
  • Paul calls Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Ghandi "heroes" of individual liberty for their use of non-violent civil disobedience to oppose abuse of power by government.
  • Paul says the article and its timing were politically motivated...

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Topic(s): Politics , Ron Paul
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January 9, 2008

Ron Paul and Racism Revisited

Ron Paul did rather poorly in yesterday's New Hampshire primary. He barely matched hist poll results. In Iowa, which is much less fertile ground for Paul and his views, he got nearly double what the polls predicted. The campaign blog blames an article in the New Republic on the newsletters that were published in Paul's name in the '90s containing racist content and the like. The blog links to Paul's issue page against racism and a campaign press release to clarify the campaign's positions on the subject. When I first read the campaign's response, not having seen the New Republic article...
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January 7, 2008

Hyper-Reformation Theology

I am increasingly of the belief that one of the biggest problems - and the root of many other problems - with contemporary Evangelicalism is what I call "hyper-Reformation theology." I don't mean hyper-Calvinism. I use the term "Reformation theology" to refer to five points which are far more fundamental to the Reformation that the points of Calvinism: namely, the five solas. By the term "hyper-Reformation theology," I mean a collection of exaggerated caricatures of these essential doctrines which are currently popular among Evangelicals. The most visible of these is "hyper-sola scriptura", which I have discussed before...
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January 3, 2008

Quote of the Day: Some People Will Believe Anything

Sometimes the claims invented to support a theory in trouble are just rationalizations. I recently met a lively group of people standing in the aisle on a flight from London to Toronto. They said hello and asked me where I was coming from, and when I told them I was returning from a cosmology conference, they immediately asked my view on evolution. "Oh no," I thought, and proceeded to tell them that natural selection had been proved true beyond a doubt. They introduced themselves as members of a Bible college on the way back from a mission to Africa, one...
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Blog Year 2007 In Review

The year 2007 on this blog saw over 214,000 visits from over 72,000 distinct users. This is down just slightly from 2006, a trend that I attribute to less regular blogging, and especially less regular carnival submissions, and also to not hosting the philosophers' carnival, which led to a big surge of hits in 2006. Here are the top ten most popular posts...
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