Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This "ultimately meaningless, frivolous, pointless, fatuous exercise"

No, it's not life - it's the serious examination of the antinatalist position, and Modeled Behavior is getting its hands dirty with us.

Karl Smith notes, contra Bryan Caplan, that giving someone life is not like giving them $100 because life can't be freely disposed of. And Adam Ozimek argues, inter alia, that we can't just poll already-existing people to figure out the wishes of possible people.

And various commenters want everybody to stop talking about such obvious stuff.


  1. Karl Smith has another relevant post on pessimism:


  2. I don't know why anyone takes Bryan Caplan seriously. His attitude toward others may be polite and superficially reasonable and sympathetic, but to me at least it's not especially serious, and mean, narrow, and unempathetic to boot. His libertarianism and neoclassical economics is of the most facile and adolescent variety, like Megan McArdle's. I just see no point in reading anything he writes when there are people like Tyler Cowen (on good days) and Robin Hanson who write about similar topics from politically similar perspectives but do so in a way that's generally more penetrating, that indicates that they've seriously thought about the flaws in their positions, that doesn't casually dismiss or ignore counterarguments, and respects the complexity of whatever issues are at hand rather than reducing nearly everything to Econ 101 and EvoPsych 101.


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