The View From 1776

Latest Exchange With Prof. Gavin Kennedy

It appears that we are not very far apart.

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The latest exchange of views with Professor Gavin Kennedy can be found on the Intellectual Conservative website.

My original essay titled Adam Smith vs. Robert Reich, started the exchange of views.

Professor Professor Kennedy’s first rebuttal and my response both can be found on the Intellectual Conservative website.

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Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/20 at 02:09 AM
  1. Wow Tom, you gave that guy a good lickin'. It was utterly foolish for him to try to put words in your mouth about Hume.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/20  at  05:07 PM
  2. I just read the latest reply from Professor Kennedy and there was one point which he makes at the end that I feel needs a reply. His final paragraph infers that your article was an attempt to monopolize moral conduct as belonging only to a Judeo-Christian belief system. I don't know if that's your intention, but I find it difficult to believe that such morals can only belong to a worldwide minority. Was it your intention to focus only on the majority in the United States?
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/25  at  02:39 PM
  3. I think that Tom has been clear in stating his position that America's Judeo-Christian political philosphy is more preferential and necessary than all others, including PC cultural relativism. This is absolutely not a statement that the worldwide minority that is supportive of "The View From 1776" so to speak, is immune from criticism and sin.

    Kennedy's claim that whatever Adam Smith's good points were, those can be made to fit anywhere while still remaining consistent and coherent is simply wrong. To think that way is to live at odds with epistemology.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/27  at  01:05 AM
  4. Kennedy was referring to "Adam Smith's philosophy of human sentiments and moral conduct" as being universally applicable since these things are innate in every human being. These are Smith's own ideas that support his theory of natually occuring morality regardless of religious beliefs.
    Unfortuantely, Kennedy is forcing his agenda of proving Mr. Brewton's own beliefs improper when it is wholly impossible to say whether or not one's own beliefs are right or wrong. These are of a personal nature and relative to everyone else can either be accepted or not. I respect the opinions given by Mr. Brewton and I make every attempt to understand, but it is up to everyone else to form their own opinion.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/27  at  10:23 AM
  5. You don't have to come to the conclusion that the truth can't be known in order to respect someone's right to make up their own minds. I don't see the surrender of absolute truth and morality in order to obtain intellectual pacifism as a great deal. What IS impossible, is to force everyone to know what you know, accept what you accept, and understand what you do. I understood what Kennedy was saying, and what you believe. I just believe that when you surrender more (qualitatively) in exchange for something less, that is always a bad bargain.

    I am ashamed to admit that I have neglected both The Wealth of Nations and Theory of Moral Sentiments in terms of what I have read about economics and political philosophy. I just took them for granted. So I imagine that he made some contributions, which are ACTUALLY KNOWABLE, contrary to your statement that "it is wholly impossible to say whether or not one's own beliefs are right or wrong."
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/27  at  12:03 PM
  6. I implied that a judgement cannot be formed as to whether an action or belief is right or wrong in relation to what is truthful or moral in the hearts and minds of men or in the eyes of God. I admit my shortsightedness in this instance. Upon further introspection, I have definitely misrepresented my own beliefs with that statement.
    I have grown up in an environment that has pushed tolerance as not only the norm, but the rule and it is becoming more obvious these days that my tolerance for certain attitudes and beliefs has a limit. I would like to believe that a balance can be found between different cultures, but that seems to only be possible if our values are in agreement. It is saddening that intolerance must lead to destruction, but when the values of others do not coincide with our own, we must take action to protect the things we value. I'm not sure if this seems a bit extreme as I am still attempting to define my own values and beliefs. I truly appreciate your responses and find them to be very helpful and force me to really think about what I believe.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/27  at  01:31 PM
  7. Whatever our beliefs are, I believe that if more persons shared your candor, we might come closer to that balance that you speak of. Somehow, this fits into what we've been talking about, hasn't it?

    I had an inkling that what you said before you corrected that public statement, might strike you as somewhat askew if we revisited it. The correction was necessary either by yourself or someone else, and I admire that you have expressed your appreciation for that. Otherwise, who knows, it might turn into a political device! No, actually, it has been so for quite a while, hasn't it? Some might say that it is the product of moral relativism, and in some cases it may be. I pray that perhaps another time we could follow up on this with a breakthrough of a bigger sort, even if you're not involved in mine or I in yours. Because I think that we have made some here, however ordinal. Your questions are not simple ones. What's that old aphorism? "Genius knows where the questions are hidden."
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  05/28  at  03:34 AM
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