Tuesday, August 11, 2009

God is a statist

A libertarian debate over religion at fr33agents (which I plan to join soon) produced this excellent quote:

Your self-ownership applies even to the imaginary Sky Tyrant: your soul, if it exists, is your own. The Sky Tyrant does not own it and does not have the moral right to torture you should you choose to follow your own path and not its. I think anybody who still believes in the Sky Tyrant as a good and just god requires some alone time with their conscience, to ponder what possible morality such a torturing, murdering bloodthirsty demon god could possibly push into the world.

There are many Christian libertarians out there who are perfectly decent, well-meaning people. But remember: the thing that makes libertarians different is we apply our moral standards (against crimes like theft, murder, rape, torture) to everyone, including the state. Should we not apply these standards to god as well?

Why should god get a free pass?


  1. Christian libertarians (many, if not most of whom are, as you point out, good people) are philosophically inconsistent. They are, of course, nevertheless valuable allies in the struggle for liberty, and I'd prefer the company of a William Grigg or a Gary North to a GUNvernment loving atheist.

    I still find it puzzling though how they can argue for the natural rights of man and the values of individualism, and state that people should be free to do anything with their own lives except violate the rights of others, then turn around and praise the ultimate dictator and believe there is nothing wrong in God violating those very rights.

    Think of a Christian libertarian who rightly attacks government as nothing more than a murdering gang of thieves that has often committed genocide, but who also worships a God who killed off nearly the entire population in a worldwide flood and that was okay, 'cause "God did it".

  2. I see nothing inconsistant with theism and libertarianism. Both are faiths, for that matter. One just trusts that a God will take care of things, the other that companies and private citizens with no motivation to do good will in fact do the right thing.

    In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Christianity caught on within libertarianism as the new government. They can't trust the real government elected democratically by the people, but I bet they would trust a theocracy to pick up the slack.

  3. SE,

    I completely agree with everything you've said here.


    Liberalism (which is just fascism for pussies) has a *lot* in common with theism. Both believe everything would collapse if not for the watchful eye of a central authority. Neither have anything to do with freedom, and the adherents of both will generally admit it.

  4. This post seems to assume that you have to believe in the common notion of Hell to be a Christian.

  5. Libertarians believe in an invisible hand. I rest my case.

  6. Adam Smith was a hack and, if anything, less libertarian than his predecessors. The expression "invisible hand" is mostly used by faux libertarians.

    It is instructive that an old analogy made by a mediocre (though famous) economist is the basis of your supposed case.

  7. But judging by your previous comment and the arguments (I use the term loosely) on your blog, I suppose shouldn't expect any better.


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