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Center for Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Why Is Planet Earth On Life Support? Cosmic Convergence, ContributorWaking Times When the biosphere itself is on life support, we have some very serious problems down here, don’t we? Perhaps the following excerpt ought to be seriously considered when probing the true causes of Earth’s predicament. “Every civilization is built on a foundation of core spiritual beliefs, predominant religious traditions and accepted philosophical principles. The very blueprint of the society will reflect the integrity and soundness of those belief systems and religious faiths. The extent to which they are defective and lacking will always be manifested by the societal architecture which is constructed upon this philosophical foundation. What were those philosophical ideals and religious beliefs that set the stage for so much destruction to the biosphere? Where do we find the philosophical roots of this ‘revolution’ … in what countries … in which cultures … dominated by which religious traditions? English: The Language of Commerce and Control

The Out Campaign - Promotions If you would like to create your own Out Campaign /promotional items, or tie them into your own local group, please feel free to use the following design materials. The red "A" logo is copyright RDFRS, but that's to prevent others from claiming it and blocking people from using it. The red "A" is sybolic of Atheists and RDFRS is very happy that it has become a general meme for Atheism. Below is a collection of user submitted artwork and remixing which incorporates the "A" logo. If you have submitted something in the past and don't see it please send it to us again so that we can make sure and add it to the list. We can also add a "Submitted by: "your url" or your name, e-mail etc. Submitted by Bala Submitted by K100 Submitted by William B Submitted by Derrick Wildey - iPhone background Submitted by Derek Job Submitted by Richard Newbold 200 pixels: 500 pixels: Submitted by Aernout van der Linden Submitted by John Submitted by Marco A. Thanks to Simon for the wallpaper. Thanks to Sznajper 1440x900

Make Drug Use Pay Its Own Way: Laurence Kotlikoff, Glenn Loury In a far-off land called I’m Right, You’re Wrong, a fierce drug-legalization debate is raging. Half the people, libertarians, say drug use should be legal. The other half, moral purists, insist it shouldn’t. They disagree even on what to call it when those who buy or sell drugs are led off to jail. The libertarians call this a form of taxation -- specifically, a tax on the time of the buyer and seller. The moral purists prefer the term criminal penalties. On this much everybody can agree: non-violent buyers and sellers are wasting a lot of time in jail. Let’s say everyone agrees to drop the unwinnable legalization argument and to do something useful: switch to levying penalties in dollars rather than in time. The penalties should equal the difference between the gross price paid by buyers, including the dollar value of their lost time, and the net price received by sellers, after subtracting the dollar value of their lost time. Filled Jails This question applies in spades to the U.S.

Paradox of value An image of water, a commodity that is essential to life. In the paradox of value, it is an apparent contradiction that it is cheaper than diamonds, despite diamonds not having such an importance to life. Labor theory of value[edit] In a passage of Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he discusses the concepts of value in use and value in exchange, and notices how they tend to differ: What are the rules which men naturally observe in exchanging them [goods] for money or for one another, I shall now proceed to examine. Furthermore, he explained the value in exchange as being determined by labor: The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.[4] Hence, Smith denied a necessary relationship between price and utility. The labor theory of value has lost popularity in mainstream economics and has been replaced by the theory of marginal utility. Marginalism[edit]

Paradox of hedonism The paradox of hedonism, also called the pleasure paradox, is a concept in ethics that focuses upon pleasure and happiness as strange phenomena that do not adhere to normal principles. The philosopher Henry Sidgwick was first to note in The Methods of Ethics that the paradox of hedonism is that pleasure cannot be acquired directly, it can only be acquired indirectly.[1] Overview[edit] It is often said that we fail to attain pleasures if we deliberately seek them. John Stuart Mill, the utilitarian philosopher, in his autobiography: But I now thought that this end [one's happiness] was only to be attained by not making it the direct end. Viktor Frankl in Man's Search for Meaning: Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. What is good? Psychologist Alfred Adler in The Neurotic Constitution (1912): Example[edit]

Intrinsic value (ethics) It is contrasted with instrumental value (or extrinsic value), the value of which depends on how much it generates intrinsic value.[2] For an eudaemonist, happiness has intrinsic value, while having a family may not have intrinsic value, yet be instrumental, since it generates happiness. Intrinsic value is a term employed in axiology, the study of quality or value. Other names for intrinsic value are terminal value, essential value, principle value or ultimate importance. See also Robert S. Intrinsic value is mainly used in ethics, but the concept is also used in philosophy, with terms that essentially may refer to the same concept. End is roughly similar, and often used as a synonym, for the following concepts: This is a table which attempts to summarize the main intrinsic value of different life stances and other views, although there may be great diversity within them: There may be zero,[5] one, or several[5] things in the world with intrinsic value.

Subjective theory of value Overview[edit] According to the subjective theory of value, voluntary trades between individuals imply that both parties to the trade subjectively perceive the goods, labour or money they receive as being of higher value to the goods, labour or money they give away. The subjective-value theory holds that one can create value simply by transferring ownership of a thing to someone who values it more highly, without necessarily modifying that thing. Individuals will tend to obtain diminishing levels of satisfaction, or marginal utility from acquiring additional units of a good. In a free market, competition between individuals seeking to trade goods they possess and services they can provide for goods they perceive as being of higher value to them results in a market equilibrium set of prices emerging. Diamond-water paradox[edit] The development of the subjective theory of value was partly motivated by the need to solve the value-paradox which had puzzled many classical economists.

Austrian School The Austrian School is a school of economic thought that is based on methodological individualism.[1][2][3][4] It originated in late-19th and early-20th century Vienna with the work of Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Friedrich von Wieser, and others.[5] Current-day economists working in this tradition are located in many different countries, but their work is referred to as Austrian economics. Among the theoretical contributions of the early years of the Austrian School are the subjective theory of value, marginalism in price theory, and the formulation of the economic calculation problem, each of which has become an accepted part of mainstream economics.[6] Many economists are critical of the current-day Austrian School and consider its rejection of econometrics and aggregate macroeconomic analysis to be outside of mainstream economic theory, or "heterodox. Methodology[edit] In the 20th century, various Austrians incorporated models and mathematics into their analysis. Inflation[edit]

Economic liberalism Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in organizing the economy on individualist lines, meaning that the greatest possible number of economic decisions are made by individuals and not by collective institutions or organizations.[1] It includes a spectrum of different economic policies, such as freedom of movement, but it is always based on strong support for a market economy and private property in the means of production. Although economic liberalism can also be supportive of government regulation to a certain degree, it tends to oppose government intervention in the free market when it inhibits free trade and open competition. However, economic liberalism may accept government intervention in order to remove private monopoly, as this is considered to limit the decision power of some individuals. While economic liberalism favors markets unfettered by the government, it maintains that the state has a legitimate role in providing public goods.[2] Ideological basis[edit]

Montesquieu Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu (/ˈmɒntɨskjuː/; French: [mɔ̃tɛskjø]; 18 January 1689 – 10 February 1755), generally referred to as simply Montesquieu, was a French social commentator and political thinker who lived during the Age of Enlightenment. He is famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers, which is implemented in many constitutions throughout the world. He did more than any other author to secure the place of the word despotism in the political lexicon,[1] and may have been partly responsible for the popularization of the terms feudalism and Byzantine Empire. Biography Château de la Brède Montesquieu was born at the Château de la Brède in the southwest of France, 25 km south of Bordeaux.[2] His father, Jacques de Secondat, was a soldier with a long noble ancestry. Montesquieu's early life occurred at a time of significant governmental change. Philosophy of history It is not chance that rules the world. Political views See also

List of liberal theorists Individual contributors to classical liberalism and political liberalism are associated with philosophers of the Enlightenment. Liberalism as a specifically named ideology begins in the late 18th century as a movement towards self-government and away from aristocracy. It included the ideas of self-determination, the primacy of the individual and the nation, as opposed to the state and religion, as being the fundamental units of law, politics and economy. Classical contributors to Liberalism[edit] Laozi[edit] Laozi (China, 6th century BCE) is the author of the classic Chinese text, the Tao Te Ching, and the founder of Taoist philosophy. Aristotle[edit] Aristotle. In addition, Aristotle was a firm supporter of private property. "Humanism"[edit] Niccolò Machiavelli[edit] Niccolò Machiavelli. Contributing literature: Il Principe, 1513 (The Prince, [1])Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, 1512-1517 (Discourse on the First Decade of Titus Livius) Desiderius Erasmus[edit] Desiderius Erasmus