Thornton Holding Court.jpg

Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

"Bad, Pope. Bad!" Economics Turns Philosophy Professor Into Raging Moron

An Op-Ed in the New York Times examines the issue of climate change and seeks to answer the question: What is the best way to get millions of people to act for the greater good in a way that reduces their own personal material wealth? 

Is there any doubt that religious leaders are the absolute experts on the subject? Whether it's recruiting volunteers to be attacked by police terrorists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge or sending thousands of Nuns to minister to the poorest of the poor in slums around the globe, it's safe to say religious leaders know a thing or two about mobilizing humanity. 

Who thinks he knows better? A philosophy professor who has swallowed the moral philosophy of anti-social math savants hook, line, and sinker: 

I find nothing objectionable about the pope’s moralizing tone and language of “sin.” But his skepticism about market-based solutions to climate change is rooted in a misunderstanding.

How magnanimous of you, Joseph Heath, philosophy professor at the University of Toronto, to not object to the Pope's claim that some actions are wrong. Do tell, what is this "misunderstanding" of Francis's? This man whose life has taken him from the slums of Buenos Aires to the throne of the Vatican, what is it about "market-based solutions to climate change" that he just doesn't get?

The customer, in his view, is often wrong. He wants an economic system that satisfies not whatever desires people happen to have but the desires that they should have — a system that promotes the common good, according to the church’s specification of what that good is. 

Wait a second. At first glance this suggests that the philosophy professor is claiming that the results of market transactions are, by definition, the morally right result. So if the market says that the poor of Calcutta should starve to death in the gutter (and, by the by, that is exactly what the market says) the Pope is morally wrong to praise Mother Theresa for her rejection of the market in favor of compassion? And the problem here is that "compassion" is "the church's specification of what the good is"? Seriously?

Well, Heath may in fact believe that, but the claim he is making here is different. He seems to think that "the market" is the only way to get Muslims and Catholics to agree that we really shouldn't make the Earth an unlivable global sauna where shifts in water, agriculture and sea levels devastate the lives of billions of the planets most vulnerable citizens, because he continues:

And there lies the deepest tension in this encyclical. In the introduction, Francis addresses the work not just to Catholics but to all of humanity — in recognition of the fact that climate change is a global problem and will require the cooperation of all peoples, of all faiths, to resolve. But he then appeals to a conception of the common good that is specifically Christian, and criticizes markets on the grounds that they do not promote that conception.

Huh? Rejecting market based "solutions" is idiosycrously Christian? What, exactly, is this narrow vision that is "specifically Christian"? Heath describes what he thinks Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists will never agree to:

The pope claims that the environment cannot be “safeguarded or promoted by market forces.” Confronting the climate crisis will require a deeper, spiritual transformation of society, replacing “consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing.”

In other words, you will never get other religions to agree to reject the idea that capitalism produces a morally just world. The crack epidemic may be over in the United States, but this claim shows that former Mayor Rob Ford isn't the only addict in Toronto. Joseph Heath, philosophy professor at the University of Toronto says that the Pope is wrong to call for "sharing" because Jews will never go for it. The man is smoking crack. More thoughts from a man who is clearly out of his mind:

The problem of climate change is so urgent that we cannot wait around for people to come to some kind of spiritual agreement. What we can demand, here and now, is that people pay the full cost that their consumption imposes on others, including future generations.
What makes the market a liberal institution is that it does not judge the relative merits of these desires. The customer is always right.
This is what carbon pricing achieves. This market-based solution, precisely because it is liberal, is the only one that has any chance of serving as a basis for global cooperation.

What Muslims will go for is a demand for cash. Don't worry, we won't try to get you to believe in "sharing," but you must pay us now! India, China, we know you don't like "sacrifice" and "generosity," but you love the Western idea of liberalism, right? I mean, China, every individual has the right to self-determination and total autonomy over their body and their lives, that's like enshrined in your constitution, right?

Totally. Fucking moron.

How Many People Did Economists Kill a Today? A Million? A Billion?

Reagan Had A Very a Good Reason To Pay Billions of Dollars To The Murderers of Latin American Jesuit Priests