Friday, July 31, 2009

A response to some comments about the previous post from Triablogue

Oh good Lord. I posed a simple question. I did not advocate the Obama plan, or oppose it. I pointed out that there were some things which were "socialized" and some things which were not socialized, and asked whether health care is something that should be socialized or not socialized. That's it. That's all I said.

It does reflect one thing, and that is that when you look at something and ask whether government should try to provide it or whether it should be provided privately, it's a case by case decision. A simple "capitalism good, socialism bad," or the reverse, won't do the job, unless you are a thoroughgoing, consistent libertarian, or a complete Communist. I mean, is there anyone out there that wants to privatize the military? Besides the CEO of Blackwater?

Vallicella offers some reasons why health care should remain privatized, or rather, why the step in the direction of socialization that has been proposed by the Obama administration is not a good one. However, his post and mine are not parallel to one another. He advocated something, I asked a question, and behind that question are a few observations about the nature of the debate. Only by reading a whole bunch of things in to my statements do you get anything like a basis for the kind of comment you made. I respect Bill's points, and may at some point raise some questions about his post.

I might add that the Democratic proposals have been criticized on the left because they don't replace the insurance companies with a single payer program.

OK, you guys know my political affiliation, but not everything I write is intended as advocacy. My job as a philosopher is sometimes to ask questions, rather than to answer them. In fact, I wrote that as a response to a student's paper proposal to give that student a way of thinking about the issue, and then thought it would be a good blog entry. I do that a lot, actually. Remember that guy Socrates? Oh yeah, he was a charlatan, too. That's why he had to drink hemlock.

But notice two things that happened here. One is that you resorted to name-calling and personal attack. The other is, apparently, you read a huge amount into my statements that are simply not there. This is a serious problem that I have with this blog. It's kind of tough to take you guys seriously when it comes to exegesis, when your interpretation of my statements is nothing but eisegesis.


philip m said...

I saw that and thought it was pretty uncharitable. I understood what you were doing.

'The simplification of anything is always sensational.' Saw this Chesteron quote a few days ago. Simplicity can often be more productive than a convoluted argument. However, they are of course supplemental.

Victor Reppert said...

I think this also reflects polarized thinking. I think whatever our position, it is important not to ask first of anything you read "Whose side is this guy on."

unkleE said...

I'm sorry you experienced this frustration, Vic, but I think we unfortunately have to expect this. Your blog is mostly read by christians and atheists, and it is a sad fact that many christians and many atheists do not live up to their ideals. (Who does, really?) Christians are supposed to be full of grace, but so often we seem full of nastiness and hate. Atheists are supposed to be rational, but they are just as human as the rest of us and jump to conclusions, allow emotion and belief to colour their responses, just as the rest of us can do.

Both "sides" should be above "name-calling and personal attack", but it ain't necessarily so. Keep up your side of the bargain, their are many of us (I'm sure) who appreciate and depend upon your fair-mindedness and grace.