Saturday, May 20, 2017
The famous Lucius Cassius, whom the Roman people used to regard as a very honest and wise judge, was in the habit of asking, time and again, “cui bono?” (“To whose benefit?”)’ Cicero.
In my opinion one of the best lenses through which to try to understand political party policy – including Tory policy – is the cui bono test. I wrote about this before here. Political rhetoric is one thing. But if you want to understand what the real agenda is, try asking ‘cui bono?’
It is hard, if not impossible, to find any economic or economy-impacting policy of the Tory Party that does not have the consequence that it benefits the very wealthy (top 1%) and big business. These are the same people who also contribute very significantly to Tory Party coffers, of course.
So consider the recent suggestion that Theresa May is now left leaning economically because she has recently said she rejects ‘the cult of selfish individualism’ and accepts that untrammelled free markets don’t necessarily deliver. That May is now economically left-leaning is a line that’s now even being repeated and endorsed by folk at The Guardian. The BBC says that May is now ‘targeting mainstream Britain‘...
Continues here at Conatus News.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
I thought I'd say something about my Dad's legacy and his influence on me.
He was a huge influence on me, not because he pushed me in any particular direction, but because he encouraged me to expand my horizons and find my own direction.
Even when I took some spectacularly wrong turns in life - and I really did - both my Mum and Dad were nothing but supportive and encouraging.
Dad could be difficult. But he was also warm, witty, and genuine. Dad was interested in other people - in how their lives went. He loved reading biographies. But above all Dad was interested in the potential of young people - in how their lives could go.
The potential of the young always fascinated Dad, and he devoted his life to bringing it out.
Dad had great intellectual honesty and integrity. He was willing to follow where he believed reason led, rather than use reason to try to justify going to some destination he'd already settled on.
Perhaps the most spectacular illustration of this involves religion.
Dad started out his adult life as a very religious man - he went to Bible College intending to be a religious minister - but he actually thought his way out of religious belief. Here we are at a humanist funeral, at his request.
Friday, May 12, 2017
Saturday, May 6, 2017
Many Theists (believers in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent God) try to make a 'cumulative case' for the existence of their God. However, what they call a 'cumulative case' is often misleadingly described as such.
A cumulative case can be a powerful thing. You often find cumulative cases in a court of law. Suppose Jones is accused of murdering Smith. The prosecution might offer a whole string of arguments for Jones guilt: Jones' lack of an alibi, Jones' opportunity, Jones' clear motive, fibres from Jones' clothing otherwise inexplicably found at the crime scene, an eyewitness of Jones committing the murder, Jones' admission of the crime to a cell mate, and so on.
The real strength of such a cumulative case is this: while any one component argument or piece of evidence for Jones' guilt might turn out to be no good, what remains can still be more than sufficient to convict him. Even if the defence can show, for example, that Jones' admission to his cellmate was faked, the other evidence in combination might still be more than enough to put Jones behind bars.