Thursday, 2 April 2009

Ryan Avent on Libertarianism's Reality Problem

Ryan Avent posts a well-crafted critique of the libertarian CATO think tank's reality problems regarding global climate change:

That is to say, confronted by a problem demanding solutions inimical to libertarian beliefs, libertarians were faced with the choice of reneging on their beliefs or turning their back on science. Tellingly, they chose the latter. One might think that’s a rather drastic decision, given the role scientific endeavors have played in delivering the material prosperity so dear to the hearts of the libertarian world, and one would be right.

A belief system that cannot grapple with the fundamental reality of a situation is, quite simply, not a belief system worth having. If I were a part of a movement that demanded I not get out of the way of oncoming cars, and that challenged the conclusion of the fields of physics and biology that an impact between the car and my person would leave my person badly damaged, I would begin to suspect that this movement was maybe full of crazy people with very bad ideas.

Food for thought. While the libertarians sort that one out, I suppose the rest of us will try to stay out of traffic.

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