Inherent Incorrectness

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

I’ve enjoyed my debate with Josh in the comment space of this post. Comment space isn’t the best place to keep things going so I’ve decided to pose a question to my friend. It’s basically become a question of epistemology: how is it that we can know something.

Here’s the poser from Josh

I also think the leading intellectual on evolution (whomever that is) and Karl Marx are inherently incorrect. As a Christian and a capitalist, how is it logical for me to read work from either of those persons as anything but incorrect?

For me, there is a simple response: you assimilate the arguments and when the logic and the conclusions have been proffered, you attempt to disprove the ideas, if possible. We can attempt to disprove the conclusion that comes with 2 + 2, but we should never consider that disagreement with the person is proof against their ideas. Krugman, the economist, may offer conclusions that the reader may not like, but the disagreement should come as a counterargument, which should involve two items: a counterclaim and analysis to back it up. Josh proposes that since he is a Christian, he must by reflex disagree with some leading intellectual on evolution. This I can’t comprehend, as I think there’s no epistemological relationship between belief and faith and the goals of science.

Our disagreement came down to one hinge: the essence of the financial crisis stems from too much regulation or political influence (Josh claimed it was the democrats’ fault) or an essential market/bubble argument (I argue that the casino lost it’s game). We both agree that the bailout shouldn’t happen.


One response to “Inherent Incorrectness”

  1. Josh says:

    “…how is it that we can know something.”

    I posit that either “fact”, “belief”, OR a combination, form one’s Knowledge.

    From Knowledge comes the Wisdom to decide whether something or someone is right or wrong (either for ourselves or society).

    “Inherently incorrect” is defined (by me for my own Knowledge) as someone whom I have decided is wrong because I have previously judged their view. (Note italics, lest someone concludes I am arrogant).

    Now just because I have decided someone to be inherently incorrect/wrong, this does not mean I will ignore the opposing view. For the written work of a person is one of the “facts” that must be accounted for Knowledge (since I allow for views and theories to be updated or changed).

    “Krugman, the economist, may offer conclusions that the reader may not like, but the disagreement should come as a counterargument, which should involve two items: a counterclaim and analysis to back it up.”

    Krugman is a liberal, a socialist, and anti-Bush. I am a conservative, a capitalist, and a (general) supporter of the President.

    Combined with my extensive comments from that web log post, these pair-ed views are on sufficient opposite ends of the theoretical spectrum that I did not think I needed to analyse every detail of why I disagree with Krugman’s article. Anyone who knows me and these six positions should be able to deduce why I disagree with his absolving of Freddie and Fannie from the financial crash :- )

    I like to choose my battles, and it gains me nothing to debate Krugman when I would rather fight the greater battle of defeating the view to which he subscribes: the socialism model.