In light of some increasingly strange comments, I’m somewhat reluctantly changing my comments policy. All comments must now be approved before they appear. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I’m afraid I cannot approve any comments whose intention is simply to satirize or otherwise poke fun at people. Philosophers Anonymous and Philosatire do a good job covering that, if that’s the sort of forum you’re looking for. If a comment appears wilfully obscure, I’ll eliminate it.
Finally, at the risk of repeating what should be obvious to anyone who has spent some time here, I in no way endorse many of the views presented by our commentators. Anyone who knows me will know that I find some of the views aired by others here not only incorrect but even obviously and disturbingly incorrect. That will be no big surprise to those who have read through my exchanges in these threads. However, for reasons I clarified in my post on Feb. 6th, I try to follow Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s dictum “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” I feel confident that, given enough time, intelligence, information, rigor and patience, rational people will in the end be forced to agree that the earth is round, that we are the result of evolution, that climate change is real and largely human-caused, and that women are under absolutely no innate philosophical disadvantage in comparison with men. Yes, it still makes me somewhat uncomfortable to listen and respond to these alternative views; but as I made clear on Feb. 6th, I think it is worth doing.
P.S. While the commenter who has chosen the moniker ‘JS’ apparently shares my initials, he(?) is non-identical with me.
Addendum: Some readers have expressed unhappiness with my changing the comments policy. I certainly have my own regrets about that. But some of the cryptic comments coming in, which I have now deleted, seemed aimed at disclosing the identity of one of our commenters who chose a moniker rather than using his name. I don’t know whether or how this commenter knew anything about the other commenter’s identity, but I didn’t want to run the risk of permitting that.
While I champion free discussion on topics of public interest, I fail to see how that end is furthered by attempts to guess at or reveal the identities of those who have chosen to be anonymous and have, in a very real sense, trusted me to preserve their anonymity here. As for satire and mockery, I agree that they have their place in a free society. However, it has never been my intention to host that sort of discourse here.
A few people have suggested to me that there is a social need for a forum in which current developments can be discussed freely and anonymously, without censorship or moderation. I heartily agree that that such a forum should exist, but the fact is that I am too busy to run such a forum here. The constant need to check comments for ‘outings’ of other commenters is not a duty I can take on. I hope someone who has the time and inclination might take that hint from my readers and start up such a forum. I’m closing comments for the time being. I apologize again for this.