I recently discussed Pinker on violence and earlier made some references to Foucault. Googling for that link I came upon this idiotic trashing of Pinker. It is asserted that Pinker’s graphs are “biased” without explaining how and accuses him of ignoring Foucault’s point about the importance of threats “institutionalizing” (or preventing) violence, when Pinker advances the same Hobbesian Leviathan hypothesis I discussed here. On the plus side this person claims Pinker has finished a new book soon to come out called “A History of Violence”. If that actually is the case, I look forward to it.
In a list of religious people put up by Walter Block I noticed the inclusion of Pete Boettke. I don’t recall Boettke mentioning religion before and was under the impression he was an atheist. In Brian Doherty’s book Radicals for Capitalism on page 437 Boettke recalls the good old days saying “The typical young IHS turk in the 1980s believed in the three A’s: anarchism, Austrianism, and atheism.” While a few of his peers have dropped the first two, Pete is still proudly Austrian (hence his blog, journal and courses) and perhaps less proudly anarchist. So I wonder about his C.S. Lewis moment. Bryan Caplan’s dissent from Austrianism has received a number of replies (not surprising given the Austrian penchant for argument), but his strident atheism is only even indirectly argued against by Larry Iannoccone. So my question to Pete is, if you were an atheist like your peers, what led you to that and what later made you decide against it?