I am a proponent of Western society’s dominate intellectual tradition, what I call science-based liberal capitalism. From this position I proceed in all my thinking.
What is the practical meaning of this statement?
Thinking Like a Scientist
First, it means that I accept only propositions that can be proven by observation and testable theories. I, therefore, reject the common notion that anything that cannot be explained must ipso facto be attributed to a god, or that it will remain forever a mystery.
Power to the People
Second, I have a healthy respect for the political traditions of democracy, representative democracy, and the idea of the republic. The general will of the people, even when it is wrong, must be the basis on which society is organized. That said, it is the obligation of any right-thinking and reasonable person to challenge the general will with the express purpose of leading mankind to even greater heights of concord and progress.
The Market Economy
Third, I have qualified support for the premise that the production and distribution of material goods is best performed using a market where prices determine both supply and demand. That said, I reject the notion that every thing we value as human beings can be quantified and priced. For that reason, society must set limits on the market, especially when it comes to things that the market refuses to do, does not do well, or because it is socially dangerous to leave a particular function solely in the hands of one person or a few individuals.
I also reject the notion that there is one “emergent” market that is “free.” An economy is composed of multiple markets, and not all of them are necessarily free. In short, that private economy is best which has many little markets with a certain degree of competition.
On Making Mistakes
Because I am a human being, I am flawed like everyone else. I might occasionally violate my own principles by making an illogical argument, proceeding well beyond a testable hypothesis, or by making a silly bone-headed statement. I hope anyone who reads what I write will feel free to call me on it when I make a mistake. I only ask that you play nice and avoid the two most common logical mistakes of modern discourse: ad hominem attacks and the frequent resort to argumentum ad absurdum.