Shayne Wissler
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek proverb

Progressivism’s infantalism

19 December 2016

If you study the history of progressivism/postmodernism/Marxism (all of which arise from the same mentality)[1] you’ll find a mountain of analysis, but what is at their core?

Wikipedia states that “Progressivism is a philosophy based on the Idea of Progress, which asserts that advancement in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to improve the human condition”.

Who could argue with that? We all want progress …

Ayn Rand’s metaethic

24 August 2013

In Ayn Rand’s essay, The Objectivist Ethics[1], she valiantly attempted to defend a rational ethic. Did she succeed?[2]

At the base of every system of ethics is metaethics, which provides the ultimate concepts and justifications of a given ethical system. Metaethics is notoriously difficult to rigorously square with reason, and Rand was well aware of that, as the proud proclamations she gave regarding her own solution makes clear.

Before I summarize Rand’s argumen…

Hans Hoppe’s “Argumentation Ethics”

04 July 2014

A careless reader recently compared my metaethical view[1] to Hans Hoppe’s “Argumentation Ethics”[2], insisting that my view is some kind of variation. In this post I highlight the problem with argumentation ethics and clarify the difference between Hoppe’s view and mine.

Consider Hoppe’s own outline of his game plan:

“I want to demonstrate that the libertarian private property ethic, and only the libertaria…

Dialog with a Skeptic

16 March 2014

I recently have been having a dialog with a skeptic, whose skepticism takes him as far as rejecting a belief (or non-belief) in a world that exists independently from himself.

In the below, I consolidate my experience with him here. To my knowledge, these replies match what he might say, if he were really having this dialog, but they are not him speaking; this is a purely fictionalized account:

I believe that natural rights, rightly understood, are a species of moral truth.

I do…

To Sam Harris: A Challenge and a Solution

07 February 2014

I find in Harris’s writing both a heartfelt plea and an argument. His plea, which I wholeheartedly applaud, is that to help address the unnecessary horrors that plague the world, we should strive to find a humane, rational morality. Unlike many of his detractors, I think his general goal is not only laudable, but is achievable.

However, I don’t think his argument works. The problem is threefold: 1) it blithely dismisses the relevant metaethica…