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Penn Jillette on Larry King

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Penn Jillette on Larry King Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Penn Jillette, in the face of ridiculous stupidity, arguing for individualism (and IMO doing a good job).

(He is only able to say anything substantive in parts two and three, so I suggest skipping straight to part 2--unless you care about what the Dem. and Rep. drones have to spew on this occasion)

Penn is a comedian, but he's been on other political/serious shows before in the past maybe two years, and he's been improving with every appearance. This is the first time he did a truly great job in explaining his position and making a great argument, and I think he is becoming a great advocate for reason and freedom. (That's why I posted this in the Intellectuals section)

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It would be awesome if they could provide the entertainment at OCON one year. (And preferably a year that I am able to attend.) :rolleyes:

I doubt they'd do a magic show (unless ARI can afford the massive fee they charge for private gigs), but they might agree to speak, who knows.

BTW, I heard your guy Limbaugh :) liked what Penn said on Larry King. (called him a voice of reason I think)

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It would be awesome if they could provide the entertainment at OCON one year. (And preferably a year that I am able to attend.) :rolleyes:

Any chance OCON can be held in Vegas? Maybe at the Rio? That way you only have to negotiate with the hotel for a large group rate :)

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OCON is in Vegas in 2010, so perhaps one can hope :rolleyes:

Aside from that, I have to disagree with the above. Penn made numerous concessions that he shouldn't have, and his supposed "argument" for individualism was vague and unsupported. "I don't really like the collective making decisions, I like individuals" was a weak statement. He could have been much more effective and direct; I've seen much better from Penn.

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OCON is in Vegas in 2010, so perhaps one can hope :rolleyes:

Aside from that, I have to disagree with the above. Penn made numerous concessions that he shouldn't have, and his supposed "argument" for individualism was vague and unsupported. "I don't really like the collective making decisions, I like individuals" was a weak statement. He could have been much more effective and direct; I've seen much better from Penn.

He could have laid out a stronger argument, obviously, but I think that it would have been very difficult in that venue to do so. You simply don't know how much time you are going to get.

He made the point that one man can't think for 300 million people. He has enough trouble making decisions for his own life. Those are strong points, I would say. Granted, it wasn't a philosophical defense of rights, which is very hard to make for anyone on a program like that. I mean, if you want a full philosophical defense of rights then a book is the best source.

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He could have laid out a stronger argument, obviously, but I think that it would have been very difficult in that venue to do so. You simply don't know how much time you are going to get.

He made the point that one man can't think for 300 million people. He has enough trouble making decisions for his own life. Those are strong points, I would say. Granted, it wasn't a philosophical defense of rights, which is very hard to make for anyone on a program like that. I mean, if you want a full philosophical defense of rights then a book is the best source.

This was Hayek's argument against Socialism; that because we are imperfect, it would be impossible to dictate 20 million prices and have a functioning economy. I think it points out something relevant, but I don't think that's it's particularly effective since it doesn't address the fundamental moral issue. If your basis for argument is the fact that we have trouble on our own or that we as human beings are imperfect to start with, you stress a point that the opposition relishes in since it's the basis for their argument for a nanny state/social safety net. Penn's statements about everyone being behind someone being a bad thing didn't make too much sense in a broader sense either--he could have made the point that due to the specific ideas that Obama advocated, he thought it was strange and dangerous that so many are behind him. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, was it a bad thing that so many were behind the idea of retaliation?

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He could have laid out a stronger argument, obviously, but I think that it would have been very difficult in that venue to do so. You simply don't know how much time you are going to get.

He made the point that one man can't think for 300 million people. He has enough trouble making decisions for his own life. Those are strong points, I would say. Granted, it wasn't a philosophical defense of rights, which is very hard to make for anyone on a program like that. I mean, if you want a full philosophical defense of rights then a book is the best source.

True, but you shouldn't start with "I think..." when you want to sound authoritative for a debate. You obviously want to state your point like it is a fact not an opinion.

Also did Larry King not learn anything from Ron Paul back in January?...

This segment was never aired...I wonder why?
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You've got to love Penn Jillette. Really, it's his strong presence and personality that helps him in cases like these, but he made some pretty effective points. The last quip was clever.

I'll have to check the video out. I love Penn & teller, and Penn does make a forceful argument nearly every time (see their show "BS" on cable, it's fun). They do a mean magic act, too.

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This was Hayek's argument against Socialism; that because we are imperfect, it would be impossible to dictate 20 million prices and have a functioning economy.

Yes, but that's not Penn's argument. His argument is that one individual can not make decisions for millions. It is literally impossible. This says nothing about how "imperfect" we are.

I think it points out something relevant, but I don't think that's it's particularly effective since it doesn't address the fundamental moral issue.

Yes, of course. But I think that's a tall order, even for a full fleged Objectivist philosopher in a venue like that.

Penn made an argument that is true and that is part of the reason men have rights. After all, if one man could think for all of us and we could survive, then it wouldn't be bad to do it, but it is literally impossible. I think it's hard to contend with that argument if you are a leftist -- or anyone else, for that matter.

He got one nice argument out there and I thought that was pretty good. He also did it in a very entertaining way. Added bonus!

True, but you shouldn't start with "I think..." when you want to sound authoritative for a debate. You obviously want to state your point like it is a fact not an opinion.

Yes, and you want to ground all of your arguments in reality. But, I think Penn made a point that is incontestably true, i.e. a fact. Remember, he's not a philosopher, he's a magician!

I'll have to check the video out. I love Penn & teller, and Penn does make a forceful argument nearly every time (see their show "BS" on cable, it's fun). They do a mean magic act, too.

Yup! They are real gems on the American scene.

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I often watch his vlog "penn says" on youtube. Once he mentioned that he has a poster of Ayn Rand in his dressing room.

He has also talked about Objectivist epistemology.

It is hard to get a good peg on him. He has also said he considers the absence of the government to be an ideal.

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