An issue that I keep coming back to in my exchanges with various of the Bleeding Heart Libertarians is what I see as their unwillingness to offer a clear description of their position. It comes up in details of what they write, such as Jason Brennan’s use of the phrase “minimally decent lives,” a term I have been describing as dishonest mush.
Clear language promotes clear thought, fuzzy language makes possible unclear thought. The less clearly your ideas are defined, the harder it is to see problems with them, the easier to evade problems when other people point them out.Cartoon Libertarians, Social Justice, and Bleeding Hearts:
One possible response is that advocates of social justice believe that the justification of the society depends in part on the implications for poor people. But so does very nearly everyone else. Utilitarians believe that the justification of the society depends on how well it serves everyone’s interests, the poor and disadvantaged included. Similarly for alternative candidates. The concept that, according to Brennan, has a definite meaning in philosophy either has a meaning that nobody could take seriously or a meaning that distinguishes it from practically none of the alternative concepts—the only exception I can think of is a pure deontological position that pays no attention at all to consequences. I agree with Jason that consequences matter, but that agreement does not define social justice.