How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone Not to Proselytize?

Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

One of My Favorite Songs

An Inspiring Song


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Libertarian, Libertarianism

A libertarian is a person who agrees with conservatives that man has certain fundamental rights and that the proper role of government is limited to the securing of those rights--that is, to justice--but who tries to build his argument on a basis other than from God's revelation. Ayn Rand, for example, started from Aristotle's famous A=A and built her whole edifice upon that point. Libertarian arguments in general seem to me to be designed to prove to all men everywhere that man has certain fundamental rights, and for this reason, are generally made without reference to God, on the grounds that not all men believe in God.

The problem, as far as I am concerned, is that as soon as you start building your argument apart from God, the very obvious question comes up: "If I want to violate someone else's rights, as long as I can get away with it, why shouldn't I?" And in the most practical terms possible, a godless argument offers no serious answer to this. To the best of my recollection, every time one of Rand's characters in Atlas Shrugged asked some variant of this question, she has one of heroes or heroines shoot him (said shooting generally accompanied by a sneering observation about the questioner's cannibalistic tendencies) rather than grapple with the question. Ultimately, a godless argument for man's rights suffers from what Francis Schaeffer called an insufficient base. In an atheistic universe, the only law that applies is the law of the jungle: eat or be eaten.

A second problem for libertarians is that in practical terms, they cannot actually finance the very limited functions of government that they will concede should exist, as they usually hold that taxation for any reason amounts to robbery. The conservative says that God ordained government and taxes to support its legitimate functions.

Nevertheless, because libertarians do hold that man has fundamental rights, the violation of which constitutes immoral behavior, libertarians and conservatives have many areas of policy overlap and are frequent political allies.

No comments:

Post a Comment