What Richard Carrier Really Thinks

So, mercifully April Fool’s Day is over. And as you probably figured out, I lied in my post about Richard Carrier being a close friend of mine and running for Congress as an extreme libertarian who considers it an “enslavement” of the American people when they are taxed for the sake of clean air, supports legalizing dog fighting, wants to abolish public police and fire services, advocates for establishing private militias for better self-defense, and wants private citizens to excise a toll from each other when they walk on each other’s sidewalks.

The truth is we are not actually close friends. I was trying to sound cooler than I am.

I admit I had a lot of fun devising a post attributing to Richard Carrier positions (some of which were outright crazy) which he didn’t really hold by quote mining actual things he has written. I enjoyed the exercise in trying to craft something mildly plausible sounding and I liked the abstract idea of successfully fooling people. But I hate actually fooling people. I’m kind of a softie in this regard. I feel too much sympathy for embarrassed people unless they’re New York Yankees or conservative Republicans caught with Rent boys.

Usually in real life when I tease someone with a phony claim to give them a jolt, the words “just kidding” are off my tongue before they have more than 2 seconds to process it and begin to believe it. Don’t get me wrong, I love to tease people, but something about lying, even in fun, makes me feel like I’m using force on them and being unfair with them. So while yesterday I would have an initial rush of feeling accomplishment when I successfully would fool someone, I would always immediately thereafter wince and wish they had not posted anything publicly believing the falsehood.

Plus, I hoped not to do damage to Richard’s reputation! And, so, quickly to remedy that, let me recommend in no unequivocal terms, his posts titled “Factual Politics” for an incredibly incisive and thorough philosophical takedown on anarchistic and fiscal libertarian views on a wide range of subjects. I don’t just say this to make amends and to set the record straight, this series of posts is something every anarchist and every fiscal libertarian should read and grapple with. And every one who opposes either anarchist or fiscal libertarian positions should master the arguments for future debate and for thinking in coherent philosophical terms about their own more pro-social views. The series is long but well-worth reading in full:

Factual Politics (1)

Factual Politics (2)

Factual Politics (3) (mistitled as #4)

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.


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