An Enlightened Conversation on Earth Hour's and Earth Day's Endarkenment

  • April 27, 2013 · 4:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

[This meeting should have been scheduled in late-March, but there were just too many things happening then.]

Let's have a meeting to discuss some philosophical and economic concepts that relate to Earth Hour (and April's Earth Day). Since we schedule it at 6:30 p.m., you will have plenty of time to return home in case you wish to switch off promptly for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m.

We have several related ideas to discuss. Philosophical ones include: environment, resource, scarcity, goodness. Economic ones include: economics, capital, wealth, richness. If you already have settled on your definitions of these concepts, great! Let's hear them. The more differences we uncover, the more interesting the conversation will be. I take the term "interesting conversation" to mean one that culminates in specific leads for further study or that motivates practical plans of action. Surely, whether to act on the chime of Earth Hour is a concern of practicality.

In more details:

Ideas have consequences with respect to one's actions in the society at large. This applies both to good ideas as well as to bad ones.

So, with your participation in this meeting, I would like to entertain the very minority view that maybe, just maybe, the millions and millions of people across the country and the world who are set to switch off during Earth Hour in order to save the environment, that they may be wrong. That is, from a scientific, moral standpoint, the prescriptive proposition that we should act to save the earth for an hour from our use of electricity, is a truth claim that is open to rational investigation. I contend, as a preview, that a philosophical understanding of certain rarely-discussed, economic distinctions can enlighten one's view in such a way that by the time Earth Hour comes, we individually can decide with some certitude whether to let there be darkness, or let there be light.

(Note: this meeting is also cross-posted with another social group.)


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  • Tim


    Tom recently sent the group an email entitled, "Vegetarianism Now an Eating Disorder." I've started a thread in our messageboard so we can respond to it. I've already made my own interesting comments there.

    May 1, 2013

  • Tim

    Here's my concise summary (anyone is welcome to add to it) for those who couldn't attend or had to leave early:

    According to Tom, one is an environmentalist if they use the following premises (A1 & A2) to make the following argument (A3):

    A1: The supply of natural resources is limited and quickly diminishing.

    A2: The environment is harmed systematically by production and economic activity.


    A3: The environment must be saved from our unsustainable using up of natural resources and from our production and economic activity.


    April 28, 2013

    • Tom O.

      I grant you B4 may be softened if the error about the environment is an innocent one. However, once someone is informed of the correction but then continues to advocate for environmentalism, i.e., calling for halting productive and economic activity; then he has made that leap of faith. In which case, environmentalism becomes a religion.

      The evidence is quite common. I have made acquaintances with enough so-called "new atheists" who have latched onto this environmentalist religion. Their minds have been made up; they don't want to hear the corrections. And they definitely become militant in their advocacy.

      1 · April 28, 2013

    • Tom O.

      This latest bit of news about the "Last Rhinos in Mozambique Killed by Poachers" appears to exemplify premise A1 but in fact strengthens my B1. http://www.telegraph....­ The so-called tragedy of the commons, which the rhinos here did exemplify, is a real problem only because mistaken ideas and thoughts underlying economics had been politically implemented. Rhinoceroses will again become plentiful natural resources when Mozambicans vote to protect their individual rights to grow rhinos for horns as we grow chickens for meat. No American ever dreads the possible extinction of chickens.

      1 · May 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed the conversation, but I mostly disagree. It is good to know that unbeknown to me I am a communist.

    April 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I won't be making it, but please don't let Tom get away with his Newspeak on this subject.

    1 · April 27, 2013

  • Tim

    FYI, I'll be 20 minutes late.

    April 27, 2013

  • Mark G.

    Sorry, I'll be out of town today. Sounds like a good topic.

    April 27, 2013

  • Tim

    Philosophically, I also foresee ethical and political issues. Should be very "interesting" indeed!

    April 15, 2013

    • Tom O.

      Given the state of affairs in the world, Tim, you can count on it being radically enlightening. If you haven't done it before, then this really is THE meeting to bring along with you your friends and co-workers. You and they will get a sneak preview of some of the most rarefied positions in ethics. Of course, how you take these philosophical ideas will be up to your tolerance in logical discourse. Some people actually had dropped out (from my other social groups), because they couldn't accept the logical implications.

      April 26, 2013

  • Tim

    Just a quick reminder that we have a messageboard we can use for in-depth discussions:

    April 21, 2013

7 went

  • Tom O.
    Event Host
  • Tim
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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