“How a Bill(ionaire) Becomes a Law(maker)

Your Thoughts?

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.

  • smhll

    I support the political objective of overturning the Citizen’s United ruling, however, I noticed the use of visual slurs in the viedo such as sillouhettes of Darth Vader, Mr. Burns and the Mad magazine spy. I guess cartoons don’t always make appeals to rationality.

  • http://teethofthebuzzsaw.blogspot.com Buzz Saw

    I’m just never convinced by these arguments (around 2:35) that the founders of the USA wouldn’t “sit on the sidelines and watch.” I don’t think they had much confidence in the “common folk” and left a lot of voting up to the elites. For example, Senators were not, if I recall correctly, elected by popular vote for many years…maybe not even until post-Civil War? We still have the electoral college.
    Otherwise, yeah, if voters were more informed and more involved, then the rich would not have so much influence. That seems to be A LOT to ask for, though.

  • John Moriarty

    The big flaw in democracy is the short and wrong time perspective of the voter and voted-for. Money’s perspective is longer, but still way too short. If we want to minimize human suffering, ameliorate environmental degradation, and all the really good stuff that contributes to sustainability and hence least harm to the greatest possible number, and hence a good chance to flourish, we need perspectives covering a few hundreds of years. And that’s actually more important than atheism, humanism, philosophy.

  • kraut

    “we need perspectives covering a few hundreds of years. And that’s actually more important than atheism, humanism, philosophy.”

    and how do you approach that without humanism, philosophy and atheism?

  • John Morales

    Closing words:

    If you want your democracy back, join us; if you don’t, don’t worry — we’ll get it back for you.

    This is equivalent to saying “whether you join us or not makes no difference”.

    (That’s supposed to motivate people?)

  • jenny6833a

    The video seemed overblown to me. We do have a lot of good lawmakers, and many of them get re-elected without raising huge amounts of money.

    • Josh R.

      Jenny, you are definitely right. There are plenty of politicians that don’t need to raise huge amounts of money. All politicians do need to raise some money, however, because most politicians aren’t Ross Perot, or Mitt Romney.

      This American Life had an episode back in March detailing some of the aspects of the 24/7 fundraising culture that dominates the political climate in America today.

      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/461/take-the-money-and-run-for-office

      It’s a pretty good listen, though it is quite a bit longer than UnPAC’s video. If nothing else take a listen to Act One: The Hamster Wheel. It’s got descriptions of a few politicians non-stop fundraising and, while this may not be the case everywhere, the way it is reported does make it seem pretty endemic.

  • John Moriarty

    Decent people do good deeds for reasons we might not feel comfortable with, say a fireman rescues someone from a burning building , then thanks God for his grace and strength. You don’t have to have the best motives to do what is best.

    • John Morales

      Decent people do good deeds for reasons we might not feel comfortable with, say a fireman rescues someone from a burning building , then thanks God for his grace and strength.

      Religious people thank their god for lots of things all the time, sometimes even for bad things; you haven’t stated the supposed reason for the firefighter rescuing someone (I’d have thought because it’s their job!), so I don’t see how your example is supposed to illustrate your contention unless you think the only reason they did their job is so that they can thank their particular deity afterwards.

      You don’t have to have the best motives to do what is best.

      Leaving aside that when there is no linkage between outcome and intent there is no merit due and that “reasons we might not feel comfortable with” is not the same as “not the best motives”, in most cases bad motives will lead to bad outcomes when it comes to interpersonal relations; therefore, at best this is unmeritorious instead of straight out immoral and certainly not something to ignore about people.


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