Saturday, 26 April 2008

A Year Ago



Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers is a moral vegetarian.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

You report that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

You say that while at one time the United States was considered a model nation that other countries studied for its outstanding justice system, this is no longer the case. You mention a few factors that contribute to this phenomenon, such as democracy (for example, public pressure on elected judges to make harsher rulings).

One thing you don’t mention is the importance of the media in this country, in particular television, in spreading and reinforcing the occurrence of violent crime in the United States.

Our assault on drug dealers in this nation is a healthy thing. Ask parents who have lost their child to the insidiousness of the ills created by drugs. The heart and soul of the United States often appears to have a large and growing darker side, as mass murders and child molestation cases increase.

To secure the fruits of a civil society, perhaps it is a good thing that incarceration rates and detention periods have recently increased in the United States.

Bob Jack
North Las Vegas, April 23, 2008

Note from KBJ: Amen.


Rest in peace, Denny.

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) on Good and Evil

But whatsoever is the object of any mans Appetite or Desire; that is it, which he for his part calleth Good: And the object of his Hate, and Aversion, Evill; And of his contempt, Vile and Inconsiderable. For these words of Good, Evill, and Contemptible, are ever used with relation to the person that useth them: There being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common Rule of Good and Evill, to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves; but from the Person of the man (where there is no Common-wealth;) or, (in a Common-wealth,) from the Person that representeth it; or from an Arbitrator or Judge, whom men disagreeing shall by consent set up, and make his sentence the Rule thereof.

(Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, rev. student ed., ed. Richard Tuck, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed. Raymond Geuss and Quentin Skinner [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996], chap. 6, p. 39 [italics in original] [first published in 1651])

Note from KBJ: This paragraph expresses Hobbes’s value subjectivism. Values (good and bad) do not exist independently of valuing subjects; they are imposed on the world by valuing subjects. Like Hobbes and David Hume (1711-1776), I’m a value subjectivist (and therefore an ethical subjectivist). This doesn’t mean I can’t distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic value. I value some things intrinsically (i.e., for their own sake) and other things extrinsically (i.e., for the sake of something else I value). For example, I value knowledge for its own sake (as well as for the advantages it confers). I value money only extrinsically.


I found this by accident. It’s hilarious. What is going on? Is the guy playing the song, or is he merely pretending to? He seems to know the licks. His facial expressions crack me up. By the way, I love the song. Anyone know what it is or who it’s by?