Debate:Misconceptions about libertarians

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Debate.png This is a Debate page.
Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by Blaise.


Proposition[edit]

I was disappointed to see this site resort to ad hominen by referring to libertarians according to the "basement dweller" stereotype. I get the impression that the authors of such pages have bee exposed only to a small group of libertarians, that is to say, the conspiracy theorists. Libertarianism is simply the antithesis of authoritarianism, and we seek to maximize that both socially and economically, as we believe it is the best way for the human condition to prosper. You will find that many libertarians, especially the militant atheist crowd of them (which is significant), are extremely pro-science. While I myself am not an atheist, I also enjoy laughing at ancient astronaut "theory" and alternative medicine, think the anti-vaxxer movement is a dangerous one and oppose the teaching of creationism. If anyone is interested, I can refer them to several libertarian pages and discussion circles where they will see many similar attitudes being discussed, and will probably be surprised if they've only been exposed to the "basement dweller" crowd before. I also think you have a poor understanding of libertarian views on public education. I would not wish to entirely abolish the Department of Education (as many of the anarchist-leaning libertarians would), but I would like parents to know more about their rights and options to home-school, to see teachers and administrators actually held accountable, and to see more avenues of alternative education be promoted. On your site, you listed the need for critical thinking as a benefit of public education. My experience has been that the standard schooling our children go through fails to teach critical thinking, and in some cases discourages it. I am not someone who went to a private school all his life and one day decided to "hate poor people" (as the accusation often is); I learned to hate school from an early age and watch too many of my peers have the same experience. I was reading college-level novels in elementary school, so I also hate when people tell me "You just didn't want to learn; I'm sure it was all your fault". Many of us fear that is children continue to be put under such a system, that we will have more illogical and ignorant people in the world. It is because of my appreciation for the great innovators and thinkers of society that I am a staunch individualist. It is because of my appreciation for the sciences and arts that I advocate for a world where people are recognized and rewarded for their endeavors. Not everything is so simple, so please don't try to paint everybody you don't agree with as "basement dwellers". User:Blaise — Unsigned, by: 214.15.219.73 / talk / contribs

Gee you sure sound like a basement dweller. 05:38, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
"I was reading college-level novels in elementary school". Aren't you just proud.--Miekal 05:41, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
The lazy genius claim really rubs me the wrong way, it usually amounts to "I would have been massively successful if it wasn't for everyone else". A large amount of the internet libertarian school of thought is based on this. - π 05:52, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
It does seem particularly prevalent amongst libertarians. My hypothesis is that this is caused by the fact that libertarians do tend to be quite bright, but also often quite uneducated. As you go through higher education you quickly realise that your stratospheric IQ doesn't mean jack-shit compared to hundreds of years of accreted thought by people of a similar intellect. As a person who has conducted a bit of work on IQ testing I'm endlessly amused by the claims of IQ much higher than any test can measure. Tielec01 (talk) 06:02, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't say uneducated so much as selectively educated. They typically tend to be comp. sci. or engineers who look down on formal training in the arts/humanities although consider reading Wikipedia articles on history and philosophy as making themselves as some sort of Renaissance Man. - π 06:21, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
You're just out to discourage the coming of the Peak of all potential.--Miekal 06:13, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Totally agree with the clarification Pi - for some reason I think of just having a single bachelors degree as not super educated (although of course it is a high level of education). We used to have a few Mensans floating around here, which is about as high as most IQ test purport to measure; some claim to measure to 160 but back away from the claim when pushed. Tielec01 (talk) 06:37, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Well I never said anything about an IQ, I just gave one example of reading ability in case their was any question about my motivation to learn. There are many areas that I'm weak in and I don't shy away from admitting it. What I promoted was to make others more aware of their options and avenues of alternate education, as the standard method of schooling doesn't work for everybody and some of those people may want to try a different path. There wasn't a claim of "lazy genius", either, as I am self-motivated and not a genius. Claiming to be ahead of your peers at a certain age isn't a claim of genius; too often when a student fails, though, he is automatically blamed and made to feel like a failure for not complying with the arbitrary school structure. Once again, you have also resorted to ad hominen by throwing "basement dweller" as an insult, even though I have never been one. My intention was to explain the origin of libertarian attitudes, which is that critical thinking is essential but not taught by standard schooling, and that is why I look for alternatives. User:Blaise — Unsigned, by: 214.15.219.73 / talk / contribs

Nobody cares that public schools didn't nurture you the way you felt they should, they don't do that for anyone. They do however provide a minimal education for everyone and that is the point. - π 07:27, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
John Galt never had no stinking public education. I think. Tielec01 (talk) 08:04, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
A lot of the libertarians tend to imagine themselves as naturally-talented system-buckers like the characters of a Rand novel. - π 08:06, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

I never desired to be "nurtured" by any state-run entity. User:Blaise — Unsigned, by: 214.15.219.73 / talk / contribs

I consider it a violation of my freedom that I was born in a public hospital. Tielec01 (talk) 08:10, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
All I have heard from this guy is "something something critical thinking" and "wah, I wasn't good a school". - π 08:12, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Okay, I'll go over it again: you may think that standard schooling is vital for development in critical thinking, but most schools in the U.S (I can't speak for those in other countries) are ineffective in educating their students on it. Too many of them graduate without good knowledge of the scientific method or critical thinking. I do not think this is an infringement on freedom, or that it should be abolished, I simply feel that it could be greatly improved upon. I am not a radical or extremist of any sort, and I say these things out of a desire to see my peers reach their full potential and have their natural curiosity satisfied. — Unsigned, by: 214.15.219.73 / talk / contribs

And this would be remedied through home-schooling? - π 09:02, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Home schooling is one option, and I have seen it produce some wonderful results (and I do realize these cases are anecdotal), but for single parents and certain families with more difficult circumstances it's not a very realistic one. As I said, I do not oppose all public-sector schooling; I simply advocate that it's quality be enhanced, such as doing away with Common Core, No Child Left Behind and making teachers and administrators more accountable by cutting down on some of the heavier bureaucracy. Since the majority of parents have no choice except public schooling, it would be harmful to not improve on it, and ultimately unfair to them. I also would like to see vocational schools and apprenticeships be encouraged for students who show no interest in attending a four-year university right off the bat, as there are plenty of specialized blue collar skills that could help such young people land a decent job. User:Blaise