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godsbelow's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by godsbelow

Jos Gibbons' and Coyne's criticism of Shermer as being 'in the pay of the Templeton machine' reminded me of something Christopher Hitchens wrote regarding Edmund Burke's critics:

It is a frequent vice of radical polemic to assert, and even to believe, that once you have found the lowest motive for an antagonist, you have identified the correct one.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has also contributed to the Templeton "Big Questions" page on free market economics: http://www.templeton.org/market/ (other contributers to "Big Questions" include Christopher Hitchens, Steven Pinker and Lawrence M. Krauss - it's worth taking a look).

She begins her essay thus:

There is little consensus on what is moral, let alone on what corrodes morality. A man of faith measures moral character by one's ability to abide by the demands of his God. A socialist might measure moral strength by one's dedication to the redistribution of wealth. A liberal - by which I mean a classical, Adam Smith or Milton Friedman liberal, not a liberal in its American meaning of "pro-big government" - might be religious, and he might see the merits of income equality, but he will always put freedom first. This is the moral framework to which I subscribe.

I wonder if Coyne would attribute her stance on economics to 'being in the pay of the Templeton machine' too.

Tue, 31 Aug 2010 08:28:27 UTC | #508400