The Volokh Conspiracy: Megan McArdle explores the causes and consequences of academia’s liberal skew.... I am regularly astounded by the number of otherwise-intelligent academics I encounter who are completely ignorant of alternative views. It’s not that they’ve considered and rejected conservative or libertarian arguments. It’s that they fail to understand them, if they are familiar with them at all. This post by Mark Kleiman is a good example, in that it puts forward a laughable caricature of libertarian and originalist constitutional thought that would have been discredited with but a moment’s investigation into the question...
And along come Sasha Volokh and Ilya Somin to explain that Jonathan Adler fails to understand their version of libertarian ideas:
The Volokh Conspiracy » Asteroid defense and libertarianism: [S]tarvation counts as a natural cause, so federal programs (or any government programs) [to feed the hungry] could only be justified on an attenuated theory like “If people are starving to death, they’ll commit more crimes, and we could control that with more police, but a cheaper way of doing it is with welfare payments”...
The Volokh Conspiracy: Sasha Volokh’s post arguing that his version of libertarianism might not allow government spending to provide for asteroid defense has drawn predictable howls of outrage, including Brad DeLong’s claim that it proves that “libertarians are completely insane.”... I don’t think that Sasha’s view is necessarily ridiculous or “insane.” Any theory based on absolute respect for certain rights necessarily... lead[s] to catastrophe in some instances.... How about absolute rights to freedom of political speech? If you are committed to them, that means you oppose censorship even if it’s the only way to prevent Nazi or communist totalitarians from coming to power and slaughtering millions...
Put me down as believing that any theory of moral action that privileges one particular set of rights or goods lexicographically--i.e., "based on absolute respect for certain rights" and not for other rights or duties--above all others is, ipso facto, insane.
Sane thinking starts with taking people as ends in themselves, and not as means to ideological purity.
Was the sabbath made for humanity, or was humanity made for the sabbath?