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February 10th - Skeptic Book Club w/ Omarzu

On February 10th at 4:00 p.m., The Skeptic Book Club will discuss, "Economics as Religion," by Robert H. Nelson. Chuck Omarzu will be our discussion leader. The book club meets every 2nd Sunday of the month at Barnes and Noble Bookseller at 8029 Kingston Pike in Knoxville.

From the www.amazon.com website:
Is Economics a Religion?
By Jennifer Morse (Vista, CA United States)

Prof. Robert Nelson argues that economics has become the modern religion, complete with a priesthood (economists), a sacred text (Samuelson's "Economics") and a plan of salvation, (material progress will solve the problem of mankind, including the problem of sin.) Over the top, you say? He makes a great case. Read this book and find out for yourself.
I am a professional economist myself. Nelson's arguments ring true in my experience in the profession. He argues that many of the controversies over economic policy are really controversies over views of the world. These world views are so fundamental, and deeply held, that they are unlikely to be dislodged by technique and data, no matter how rigorous. Nelson thinks we would have more fruitful policy discussions if we would quit pretending to be scientists, and face up to these fundamental questions. I have to agree with him.
I wish he had pointed out that economics is not doing a very good job being a religion. Material progress can not solve all the problems of the human race. We would all be better off, if we would admit that.

Posted by pking
Feb. 06, 2008