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  1. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Interestingly, supposing Jezus was real from the biblical texts...he would be the only one to give free healthcare, as his healing practises would not have needed resources and money to give them to someone. (let's not get into the science of miracles though :P )
    As it is, any free healthcare people use nowadays never is free, because it always has a cost attached to it. Somebody still gets stuck to pay the bill.

  2. #162
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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.
    Yes, but I'm not seeing how that contradicts anything I said in my previous post. I said that Friedman did a reductio on the argument that "infinite value should be put on an individual life," which was not "young Michael Moore's" position. The kid even fully denies that this is his position soon after. Friedman seemed to think that if one takes moral issue with any price, however low or ridiculous, being placed on human life, then one believes that "infinite value should be put on an individual life."

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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."
    Were we watching different videos? The exchange went like this:

    Kid: 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.

    Friedman: Well let me ask you, let's suppose it would have cost a billion dollars per person, should Ford have put them in nonetheless?
    [This is a loaded question. If the kid answers no, which he kind of has to because answering the other way would be absurd, then he will be forced to agree to the opposite position from what he was originally arguing This also allows Friedman to control the parameters of the argument.]

    Kid: But it wasn't a question of that, it was a question of $13.

    Friedman: You're really only arguing about price. You're not arguing about principle. No, no, no [to audience reaction.] Because you cannot, nobody can accept the principle that an infinite value should be put on an individual life. Because, in order to get the money involved, in order to get the resources involved - it's not money - in order to get the resources it has to come from somewhere. And you want the policy which maximizes the situation overall. You cannot accept the situation that a million people should starve in order to provide one person with a car that's completely safe.
    [Straw man. It's a misrepresentation of the kid's position to say that he believes "a million people should starve in order to provide one person with a car that's completely safe."]

    Kid: That's absolutely right.

    Friedman: No, no, no, you're not arguing anything about principle. You're just asking, you're just arguing whether Ford used $200,000 was the right number or not.
    [False dichotomy. He's saying that either you adopt the principle that life is of incalculable value, or you mire yourself in unprincipled niggling over which costs make it acceptable to sacrifice life and which don't, which would suffer from being arbitrary and unjust. Unfortunately for Friedman's argument, even I can think of a third option off of the top of my head, and I'm sure there are probably plenty more that I haven't thought of: how about the principle that "death directly and immediately caused by the product should be avoided at any cost?" This is not the same as saying that "I should go out of my way, at any cost, to make a product which preserves life."]

    Kid: No, I'm not arguing that at all.

    Friedman: Suppose it would have cost 200 million dollars per life saved. Should Ford still have spent that 200 million dollars?

    Kid: 200 million dollars for what?

    Friedman: Suppose it were 200 million dollars. Suppose it were 200 million dollars, what should Ford have done?

    Kid: You mean per...

    Random Audience Member: That's not the question.

    Kid: Yeah, that's not really the question.

    Friedman: Yes it is the question. It's the principle of the question.

    [For the rest of this part of the exchange, the kid (who isn't sharp enough to keep up with Friedman, much less employ argumentative strategies against him) plays into Friedman's game and is utterly defeated.]
    The kid's statement that "Ford did what would be the right thing according to your [Friedman's] policy," for whatever other faults it might have, is not a straw man argument. For one thing, what position is he misrepresenting? Is it not indeed "Friedman's policy" that what Ford did was not "wrong?" All the kid said was that Friedman's policy meant that Ford's actions in this instance were not morally wrong, and that he [the kid] felt that they were. Friedman didn't seem to be objecting to that. Instead, he was busy asking loaded questions framed in a false dichotomy, setting up a straw man, and knocking it down via reductio.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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.
    Don't be condescending. My initial evaluation of Friedman's argument as straw mannish had nothing to do with the audience's reaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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.
    Friedman insisted, for his own position, that as a matter of principle the kid/audience had no argument and would simply be left niggling over specific costs with no guiding principle. Like I said before, this is a false dichotomy, and I think the audience was more outraged over this misrepresentation of the kid's position than the mere suggestion that costs be calculated into moral questions. You're dismissing their reaction as emotional without considering the fact that the principle of "we should, at any cost, not design a car whose parts cause death" is not the same as "we should, at any cost, design a car that absolutely prevents death."

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    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].
    Agreed. They shouldn't have weighed the cost of "death as an immediate result of our car's faulty construction" at all. If they hadn't, it wouldn't have even been a dilemma whether or not to include the $13 part, because they would have just included it. Or they would have redesigned the car. They created their own problem.
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  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Yes, but I'm not seeing how that contradicts anything I said in my previous post. I said that Friedman did a reductio on the argument that "infinite value should be put on an individual life," which was not "young Michael Moore's" position. The kid even fully denies that this is his position soon after.
    Friedman does not suggest that's the kid's position.
    Friedman seemed to think that if one takes moral issue with any price, however low or ridiculous, being placed on human life, then one believes that "infinite value should be put on an individual life."
    No, that's the opposite of what Friedman is saying. He's saying that if the issue is simply a moral principle, then cost should not matter. Cost does matter (as both sides acknowledge), thus Friedman is saying the argument is about cost, and about how to weigh the cost, not whether cost should be weighed.

    Were we watching different videos? The exchange went like this:

    [This is a loaded question. ...]
    No, it isn't. It's simply adjusting the cost variable. Asking at what point the cost would make it right.
    [Straw man. It's a misrepresentation of the kid's position to say that he believes "a million people should starve in order to provide one person with a car that's completely safe."]
    It's only a straw man if you present that as being your opponent's argument. Friedman does not do so. Again, Friedman is only adjusting the "cost" variable, to demonstrate the point that the argument is necessarily about cost, not that anyone believes the extreme cases he suggests.

    Friedman: No, no, no, you're not arguing anything about principle. You're just asking, you're just arguing whether Ford used $200,000 was the right number or not.
    [False dichotomy. He's saying that either you adopt the principle that life is of incalculable value, or you mire yourself in unprincipled niggling ...]
    He's not saying what you think he's saying. He's emphasizing that it's all a matter of cost.

    The kid's statement that "Ford did what would be the right thing according to your [Friedman's] policy," for whatever other faults it might have, is not a straw man argument. For one thing, what position is he misrepresenting?
    Friedman's.
    Is it not indeed "Friedman's policy" that what Ford did was not "wrong?" All the kid said was that Friedman's policy meant that Ford's actions in this instance were not morally wrong, and that he [the kid] felt that they were. Friedman didn't seem to be objecting to that. Instead, he was busy asking loaded questions framed in a false dichotomy, setting up a straw man, and knocking it down via reductio.
    Friedman's policy doesn't place a moral value on Ford's actions. The kid says it does.


    Friedman insisted, for his own position, that as a matter of principle the kid/audience had no argument and would simply be left niggling over specific costs with no guiding principle. Like I said before, this is a false dichotomy, and I think the audience was more outraged over this misrepresentation of the kid's position than the mere suggestion that costs be calculated into moral questions. You're dismissing their reaction as emotional without considering the fact that the principle of "we should, at any cost, not design a car whose parts cause death" is not the same as "we should, at any cost, design a car that absolutely prevents death."
    Now you're the one quibbling. Being small and fuel efficient "causes death" in the exact same statistical sense that the missing $13 plate "causes death." Some vehicles are safer than others, and degrees of safety are exchanged for other desirable properties.

    Agreed. They shouldn't have weighed the cost of "death as an immediate result of our car's faulty construction" at all. If they hadn't, it wouldn't have even been a dilemma whether or not to include the $13 part, because they would have just included it. Or they would have redesigned the car. They created their own problem.
    OK, so we agree. Except you still have a weird definition of straw man argument.

  4. #164
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    I'm going to ignore the dishonest attempt to bring Jesus into this discussion.

  5. #165
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    1) There is no such thing as a free good or service, except maybe for sunlight and air.

    2) I've read the entire Bible several times. In which verses did Jesus discuss government healthcare policy?
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  6. #166
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    Also, since when did Marm start caring about what Jesus taught? She's been ranting about how horrible a book the Bible is here for a while.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I've read the entire Bible several times. In which verses did Jesus discuss government healthcare policy?
    C'mon, Jesus believed the world was coming to an end in his own lifetime or in the lifetime of his followers, but if he knew how wrong he was, I am sure he would have discussed government healthcare policy, wouldn't you?

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    C'mon, Jesus believed the world was coming to an end in his own lifetime or in the lifetime of his followers, but if he knew how wrong he was, I am sure he would have discussed government healthcare policy, wouldn't you?
    The world did end. Jerusalem was sacked and the 2nd temple destroyed right at the tail end of that generation. He knew exactly what he was talking about.
    Take the weakest thing in you
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  9. #169
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    I think it's awesome how butthurt people are over a funny picture.

    This means I said something important.

  10. #170
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    Yes Marm, we're totally butthurt about your pic.

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