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  1. #151
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Oh no. Watch him straw man it up in this one.

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  2. #152
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I am confused, because what Milton Friedman is saying here makes sense to me. Serious. Can someone explain how this is a straw man argument? Or did you mean Michael Moore had a straw man argument? Also, it is nice to see that Moore was thin and healthy-ish at some point.

    Edit: It brought to mind this Paul clip, which I do not think reflects well on him (But still dig him)

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi1nxu-Sy-w"].[/YOUTUBE]
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #153
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    ^^^
    I am confused, because what Milton Friedman is saying here makes sense to me. Serious. Can someone explain how this is a straw man argument? Or did you mean Michael Moore had a straw man argument? Also, it is nice to see that Moore was thin and healthy-ish at some point.

    Edit: It brought to mind this Paul clip, which I do not think reflects well on him (But still dig him)

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi1nxu-Sy-w"].[/YOUTUBE]
    LMAO! That's not really Michael Moore. The guy who uploaded the video said this: "I meant 'A Young Michael Moore' in the sense that a child who is great at basketball is a 'Young Michael Jordan'. "

    In response to your question, I'll repeat what I said to some earlier inquirers:

    I'm talking about Friedman, unfortunately. He tries to do something like a reductio ad absurdum, but then it just turns out to be more like a reductio ad strawman.

    It goes something like this:
    1. Human life must be preserved at all costs.
    2. Say it costs $1,000,000 to fix the tailpipe explosion problem on each Pinto.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. Then we must therefore pay the astronomical amount of money it costs to fix the tailpipe explosion problem on the Pinto.

    Premise #1, which is presumed to be the position of the kid, is taken to its logical conclusion to show how absurd it is. The problem is that the kid never said that premise #1 was his position, and indeed it seems that Friedman presumed that if the kid thinks the company is under moral obligation to pay any amount of money to save human lives, even $13 per car, then it is under obligation for infinitely larger amounts as well.

    And since that's ridiculous because we'd never make any cars whatsoever (and indeed, as Friedman points out, if we extended the principle to our lives, then we'd never do anything whatsoever), then it must be better simply to ignore the moral problem and make decisions strictly based on cost-benefit analysis. This, I think, is a false dichotomy.
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  4. #154
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  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    ...then it must be better simply to ignore the moral problem and make decisions strictly based on cost-benefit analysis. This, I think, is a false dichotomy.
    He did not ignore the moral problem, because the obligation by a government entity would have been a moral problem as well. As he said the cost benefit analysis is applicable in every portion of our lives. The question is what is the best what to approach this problem, which is where the analysis comes about.
    I haven't seen the entire particular debate where this question would have more context, but generally these type of debates had him explaining of how the actual free market enterprise would have the most benefit, provided government did not violate the fundemental principles involved. People would come to him with government programs and regulations and presented to him the merits, and he retorted on how they made things worse in overall (drug policies, interstate trade, public units etc).

    I found the collection of Free to Choose, and theres also interviews with for instance Donahue and Friedman

  6. #156
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    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1lWk4TCe4U"]Milton Friedman on Donahue 1979[/YOUTUBE]
    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE1nJJBoxvk"]Milton Friedman on Donahue 1980 (1/5)[/YOUTUBE]

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tantive View Post
    He did not ignore the moral problem, because the obligation by a government entity would have been a moral problem as well. As he said the cost benefit analysis is applicable in every portion of our lives. The question is what is the best what to approach this problem, which is where the analysis comes about.
    What?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tantive View Post
    I haven't seen the entire particular debate where this question would have more context, but generally these type of debates had him explaining of how the actual free market enterprise would have the most benefit, provided government did not violate the fundemental principles involved. People would come to him with government programs and regulations and presented to him the merits, and he retorted on how they made things worse in overall (drug policies, interstate trade, public units etc
    Yes, more fantasy about "the invisible hand."
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  8. #158
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    ........ You started so well, coming with an argument for your view, to this ^^

  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    LMAO! That's not really Michael Moore. The guy who uploaded the video said this: "I meant 'A Young Michael Moore' in the sense that a child who is great at basketball is a 'Young Michael Jordan'. "

    In response to your question, I'll repeat what I said to some earlier inquirers:

    I'm talking about Friedman, unfortunately. He tries to do something like a reductio ad absurdum, but then it just turns out to be more like a reductio ad strawman.

    It goes something like this:
    1. Human life must be preserved at all costs.
    2. Say it costs $1,000,000 to fix the tailpipe explosion problem on each Pinto.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3. Then we must therefore pay the astronomical amount of money it costs to fix the tailpipe explosion problem on the Pinto.

    Premise #1, which is presumed to be the position of the kid, is taken to its logical conclusion to show how absurd it is. The problem is that the kid never said that premise #1 was his position, and indeed it seems that Friedman presumed that if the kid thinks the company is under moral obligation to pay any amount of money to save human lives, even $13 per car, then it is under obligation for infinitely larger amounts as well.

    And since that's ridiculous because we'd never make any cars whatsoever (and indeed, as Friedman points out, if we extended the principle to our lives, then we'd never do anything whatsoever), then it must be better simply to ignore the moral problem and make decisions strictly based on cost-benefit analysis. This, I think, is a false dichotomy.
    There is an old joke that goes something like this:
    Man - Would you have sex with me for one million dollars?
    Woman - Sure!
    Man - Hold on, how about for fifty dollars?
    Woman - Just what kind of girl do you think I am?!
    Man - We've already established that. Now we're just haggling about price.

    The student said the following, after describing Ford's decision to not fix the defect and just pay compensation because fixing the defect would cost more:
    Seems to me that Ford did what would be the right thing according to your policy, and yet that seems to me to be very wrong.
    So no, the student didn't argue, "no matter what cost." Rather, he argued two points: 1) that Ford did the "right thing according to [Friedman's] policy," and 2) that it was "very wrong" that Ford did so.

    If anything, it's the student that's using the strawman, here: implying that Friedman's policy would result in "very wrong" choices such as Ford made. Friedman's argument is not against your reported strawman of the student supposing infinite value to life, but rather his actual point (1). Friedman's policy is not "do the wrong thing if it's cheaper than doing the right thing."

    I can see how you might perceive a strawman in Friedman's argument, especially with the student and the audience saying out loud that the argument isn't about cost, while Friedman insists that it is. Friedman isn't trying to misrepresent the student's point, but their perspectives deeply differ. To say "we're arguing about cost" in a moral/economic argument such as this is deeply offensive to anyone mostly looking at the moral side, because it seems to discount the moral aspects, that there is no moral dimension.

    BUT Ford could just as well have weighed that the fix was worth the cost, even if it cost more than paying compensation for death and injuries. They didn't, and their reputation suffered, and they paid economically in other unforeseen ways. Their mistake, it could be argued, wasn't that they decided to weigh costs, but rather which costs they decided to weigh. In the end, it's just arguing [i.e., making value judgments, moral and otherwise] about cost [i.e., the economic trade-offs].

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Yes, more fantasy about "the invisible hand."
    Milton Friendman would describe the invisible hand, as the possibility of cooperation without coercion

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