The (Potential) Enemies List: Two Thoughts
By Bryan Caplan
Thanks for all your comments on my “enemies list.” Two thoughts:
1. Many thanks to Sam for pointing out Luis Angeles’ retraction. Since the thrust of my discussion of kids and happiness is that the observed effect is negative but small, I was only going to footnote Angeles’ article as a counterexample. But now I don’t even have to do that.
Incidentally, I’m incredibly impressed that Angeles publicly admittedly the mistake. That takes a lot of courage and integrity.
2. I thought about putting anti-natalists on my list. But it seems safe to ignore them because (a) they’re extremely rare, and (b) no broader audience will take their complaints seriously. If I took their complaints seriously, of course, I’d feel obliged to address them despite their low status in the world of ideas. But as a big believer in the philosophy of common sense, anti-natalism seems absurd to me. If an idea has neither intrinsic merit nor social traction, the marginal benefit of discussing it seems less than the marginal cost.