Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quote of the Day: Some Atheist Clown.

Meaning no disrespect, in addition to being a magician, raconteur, and strong pro-rights libertarian, Penn Jillette graduated Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1974.

I suppose you could call him an elitist, accredited, fancy-pants atheist clown. But that seems a bit verbose.

On Ace of Spade's Overnight Thread the "ending comment" was a quotation by Mr Jillette on compassion:

It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

And those that find great joy in the coercive power of the state? Well they tend to run totalitarian in their impulses and at the very best are merely apologists for despots and other oppressive monsters.

But the idea that naked force is a pure good shows 2 things: 1) That since that coercion is necessary, those you are forcing cannot be convinced to voluntarily comply. and 2) That making them comply will be for their own good.

One can see the aristocratic underpinnings of such thoughts.

The article where Penn writes this passage can be found here.

One a related note is this report by Zombie on how academia grapples with how mush indoctrination is necessary and how overt it should be. Yes, really.

No comments: