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Showing posts from August, 2014

Markets in Some Things: Professional Protestors in China

Given the Chinese legal system's general dysfunction, it's not a surprise that medical malpractice lawsuits are not very common. What is surprising is the alternative that has come about, according to this New Yorker article on Chinese patients attacking doctors:

In Beijing, I met Benjamin Liebman, a professor at Columbia Law School, who has published a study on “malpractice mobs” in China. He told me that protests consistently extract more money from hospitals than legal proceedings do. Family members can even hire professional protesters. One report in Shenzhen mentioned an average price of fifty yuan a day for the service of a protester. The radiologist in Shanghai told me, “If your mother dies in the hospital, there will be an agency that comes to you and says, ‘We can help you. We can have twenty guys who can come to the hospital, blackmail them, and share fifty per cent of the profits.’ They’re very professional.” Surprisingly, in a country where even a small public gath…

Defending Atheism(?), Part 2

Storey's responded to my original post, criticizing his original post about entitled "The Irrationality of Atheism" a few days ago. I think this kind of engagement, in the abstract, is generally fruitful, but I also like arguing. With that being said, let's get into the substantive responses that Storey's put out, and reply in kind.

With regards to Storey not clearly defining God

Storey doesn't believe that it's fair for me to call him out on not defining what he actually means by "God" (and I use the quotation marks because the general term would be god, lower case) in his blog post, saying that such a fully fleshed out theology would be more worthy of a book length treatise. This would be a fair criticism, if, and I apologize if I wasn't clear, that kind of full definition is what I was looking for. I am not: it is beyond obvious that having a complete theology is beyond the range of a single blog entry, at least for those of us who are not…

Nitpickings of "The Irrationality of Atheism"

If you were to simply judge a post by its title, Storey Clayton's recent post, "The Irrationality of Atheism," would seem to indicate an author who believes that anyone who is an atheist is irrational. That is, of course, not what his post is actually about. In fact, partly because he poorly defines important terms (ie, "God" or "atheism," for example), he is unfortunately guilty of having a weasel-like and generally difficult to pin down position. Nonetheless, Storey does have a position, and it can be summarized as thus: given the simulation hypothesis and the current big bang theory, it is irrational to completely dismiss the possibility of God.

It seems, on face, a strange statement to ultimately indite atheism with. That is because it is not a response to any serious academic attempt at atheism, and instead fundamentally comes down to the fact that most of the collegiate atheists Storey has interacted with are perhaps dicks. Nonetheless, there ar…