The Phileas Club 83 – Civilized Conversations and Wrong Decisions


On this episode we talk about:

  • Police violence and elections in France
  • Scandals and corruption in Peru
  • President Trump continues to rock the boat
  • And more!

Remember you can support a show at

More info on the show: 

You can also download the MP3, or subscribe via iTunes or RSS.


  1. Hi Patrick,
    I’m in the middle of the podcast right now – traffic jams weren’t long enough to go through the whole thing yet – and I wondering on your and the other speakers’ opinion on the following:

    Contrary to Belgium, where I live, voting is mandatory. What’s your view on that? Because, I’m convinced that when voting is mandatory, extremist parties would have a much harder time getting to power. Around minute 28, you say that people who voted against extremist parties a few years ago, won’t be doing it now because they’re sick of it. Don’t you think by making them vote, they’d still counterbalance the whole rise of the extremist wings?

    Same analogy goes for the US, I think. Trump didn’t win because he had more republican voters than other previous republican candidates, but rather because fewer democrats went voting. If it had been mandatory, would the result have been the same? just wondering about your thoughts.

    Maybe voting should – or should not – be mandatory?
    Personally I like the fact it is in Belgium, it gives me, maybe a false, feeling of security of keeping the system “in check”.

    • That’s a good question, and I honestly don’t have a good answer… Good aspects for sure, but the “right not to vote” seems like something defensible as well. I think I mostly agree with you, but I just don’t know. :/

  2. Joelfreak says:

    Mandatory voting makes people vote, but not be informed.

  3. John Pastor says:

    I enjoy listening to your podcast but (and there is always a but) there is one spectrum very unrepresented, that is the objectivist/libertarian point of view. I think the show would benefit greatly from an occasional guest that supports that angle.

    • I’ve actually been thinking about doing a special about that for a while. I think libertarianism is the one school of thought that I just *do* *not* get… 🙂 Just too much to discuss these days! I’ll get too it eventually.

  4. Great show, I was very happy to hear what Tom Merritt had to say. It’s so rare to listen to a point that is so measured, so neutral and so “positive” – as in positive intent towards others. The curiosity he has to try to understand other people’s points of view.

    That’s also one of the reasons I love the show, it’s always important to try to understand “why” someone does what he/she does instead of just saying they are “wrong” because this notion is so incredibly subjective.

    Long story short, I enjoyed it a lot because it was not “judgey”.

    • patrick says:

      Thanks! I think it is important indeed to have this _as well_. We have a lot of adversarial conversations already, it’s not like one more would add much to the conversation… 🙂

  5. I was interested to hear Tom mention “you don’t agree with me so you don’t matter/you’re an idiot – end of discussion”. I don’t think that this is a new phenomenon. As a Christian in Australia, that has been the response to Christian perspectives for much of my lifetime. It has been most obvious in the same-sex marriage push (not a debate, since one side apparently has no right to be heard), but on issues previous to that also. And I suspect that many non-White-Anglo-Males might suggest that intolerance of their opinion has existed for even longer. I think that the intolerance has always existed, but it is now more pronounced thanks to busyness. As in, “I’m too busy to have time for anything that doesn’t reinforce my opinion”, whereas in previous times people were willing to listen, even if unwilling to be challenged on their ideas.
    I love that The Phileas Club exists. I really appreciate the opportunity to get perspectives from people outside my regular, somewhat isolated, experience.

    • Hey Craig, and thanks for the comment!
      While I’m sympathetic to your situation, I think it’s important to not equate intolerance towards minorities and intolerance towards ideas. The two can sometimes be linked, but you’re not doing your cause any service by saying, essentially, “not listening to the argument of my group which is dominant is the same as racism”. I know it’s not quite what you’re saying, but it is easy to get from there to here… The reason minorities get “special treatment” (special attention, more careful consideration, etc) is that you can’t achieve similar rights without it. Anyway, that’s a different issue… The one you’re actually talking about (the dismissal of your opinion) is a symptom of the deepening divide between “sides” indeed. I do think there are cases where discussion is indeed difficult (young earth theory for example), but same sex marriage I think can be discusses from a societal viewpoint in a rational manner. One issue there is that the arguments against often come from a somewhat arbitrary place (as in: The Bible says so), and you have a admit that when this is the basis of the discussion, it makes rational argumentation somewhat complicated… But there are also, as I said, elements of discussion that are valid. I went through a deep introspective process a few years back to set my mind on the issue; if you’re interested in checking it out, my thought process is available in written form here. 🙂

Speak Your Mind