Election 2016

The Humanist Visionaries of Libertarianism

Why we need libertarianism, outside politics, today more than ever.

|

California and Liberty
Filedimage/Dreamstime.com

Here in California, one big safe space from swing state politics, I woke up before the presidential election determined not to slip into despair and cast my vote for Gary Johnson.

I did so for one big reason—almost for one reason alone. Freed by single-party rule in the Golden State to vote artistically, it struck me that libertarians carry a special importance today, one that ought to be stressed and encouraged wherever helpful to do so. Because without it, our prospects for political life in America seem poised to sour even more.

The key is this: more than anyone else, libertarians most admire humanist visionaries outside politics. And as a matter of habit, they often take that admiration, and the patterns of thinking it fosters, into the practice of politics. What they attain is important, of course, but not as important, I think, as what they avoid: namely, the kinds of distorted visions that now wield too great an influence over Republican and Democratic politics alike.

Let's look at those distortions first so the value of the libertarian alternative can sail beautifully into view later on.

Democrats are much too captive today to the idea that justice is the highest vision—not just because they think justice is good (it is), but because they increasingly see every other vision of the highest as inexcusably riddled with injustice. Surely there is much to be gained from critically interrogating power structures and systemic problems; surely there is even more to be lost from embracing the delusion that only politics will save us because only justice holds up a lamp of perfection to guide us.

Republicans, meanwhile, often do look past justice for their vision of the highest—to a religious view of divine justice, for instance, or to cultural traditions that, while radically imperfect, provide us devious bungling beings with our best context for durable flourishing. To Republicans' misfortune, however, these visions have failed thunderously to connect with Americans on a truly humanistic level.

Why? Religion in America has largely splintered into a robust but parochial conservative camp on the one hand and, on the other, an ecumenical liberal camp where either a very thick vision of justice or a very thin vision of comfort subs in for what the conservatives would want. Civic-minded traditions have not fared much better. The simple fact is that many Americans today just lack the cultural lineage and the education necessary to fully participate in the tradition inhabited by, say, Robert F. Kennedy, when he broke the news of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination by quoting Aeschylus from memory.

I think these deep disappointments have helped foster the view that only a great business leader can return visionary thinking to politics. We are all now about to find out whether the art of the deal can make America great again. But even if it somehow does, the greatness of business is a much different serum to inject into politics than the grandeur of humankind. And it is on the all-important issue of human grandeur—our beauty, our promise, our imagination, and our capacity for good judgment in the testing of some limits but not others—that libertarians currently have both major parties beat.

Consider a quick list of humanist visionaries likely to attract admiration from one kind of libertarian or another. Yes, there's a healthy variety of libertarians, folks. You yourself would probably tick off names like Peter Thiel, a dedicated Trump supporter, Elon Musk, a cagey Clinton supporter, and John McAfee, who ran his own damn campaign for president. (McAfee's running mate, Judd Weiss, helped brilliantly brand the campaign with one of the millennium's most thoughtful bumper sticker slogans: Let life live.) It's little surprise these sorts of individuals not only come at politics from a place firmly outside its ambit, but that they do so from different precincts in the same basic place: technology.

Libertarians tend to recognize, in an instinctive way that points toward a crucial piece of wisdom, that tech is a natural site to rediscover our human grandeur in today's otherwise shadowy and uncertain times. At a moment when Christians have real work to do recover a deep and broad humanism, and the arts have slipped into a frustrating pattern of narrow-casting, niche identity, and low horizons, it's technology where independent visionaries are making the most of a concrete difference in capturing human imaginations with powerful—and powerfully specific—visions of our shared destiny.

You don't have to share all of those visions, or any of them, in order to notice their significance: lifting our gaze to something higher and more enduring than politics allows, and offering a more concrete—yet more capacious and forgiving—take on the future than the one we get by lusting after some shimmering abstract idea of perfect justice. (Plus, of course, they all interface freely with the healthy variety of humanistic visions that will in time emerge with the same energy from culture's other wellsprings in religion and art.)

For all their general optimism, libertarians are today's best keepers of our most important warning. If we can't come to politics animated and limited by a best-future vision that reaches beyond politics, our destiny is very likely to recede ever further from view, leaving us to stagger endlessly between fruitless battle and equally fruitless boredom. Trust California's libertarian visionaries before it's too late: there's a better way.

Advertisement

NEXT: The BMJ Joins The Lancet in Supporting Drug Legalization

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. tech is a natural site to rediscover our human grandeur

    Sure, or use to spy on and oppress people by the billions (Palantir), or to automate people out of jobs. But hey, “Let Life Live”, right?

    1. Automation has been replacing human jobs for centuries, and yet there are more jobs in the world today than there have ever been. Go figure.

      1. OK go ahead, bite the big apple…..

        1. I will, because due to my job that only exists due to automation technologies, I have the money to afford apples if I so choose.

      2. Luddites and Malthusians are never wrong, just always one generation too early.

        1. Technology never fails to make life more comfortable and meet our basic needs. The Luddites and Malthusians are wrong when they claim it doesn’t. But I fail to see why technology necessarily makes us more free like the transhumanist religion claims. Hell may not be coming but heaven isn’t happening either.

          1. Well I probably don’t have an anecdote for every tech you might think of, but the internet has personally enriched my understanding of freedom an immeasurable amount.

            1. It is not that technology can’t make you more free. It is that it doesn’t have to. The internet is nice but it also makes it much easier for the government to monitor us and control the information we see.

              To give a counter example, electronic banking will if the government ever succeeds in making it mandatory and eliminate cash, will make us much less free and easier to control.

              1. yes, you are absolutely right for Happy Halloween and Happy Halloween Quotes

            2. You obviously understand how the internet can allow a person to never leave there home and gain a near infinite amount of knowledge.

              “enriched my understanding of freedom an immeasurable amount”
              +1 infinite

          2. Technology is just tools. Tools can be used for good and for bad. Since fire and using rocks to pound stuff, mankind has used tools for freedom and repression.

            The great thing about the trends in technology lately is that the freedom enhancing things are outstripping the ability of the govt to clamp down (in my opinion). The free market is creating things faster than the govt drones can figure out how to deal with it.

            Yes, the NSA and other govt hacks are doing their very best to control us more. On the flip side, privacy tools are a booming market. I’d bet on the free market winning that battle every time. Look at DRM technology. If you are Sony you are continually trying to lock your shit up, but it is your security team vs the rest of the world. Every time you release a new DRM scheme, it gets hacked in about 2 days.

            I also would always take technology predictions with a huge grain of salt. Technology has always progressed in ways that no one predicted. These technologists are like climate freaks. Their models never track with reality.

            1. I am gonna have to agree with John and AddictionMyth. I love technology and am pro-technology in everything, even driverless cars (which seems to bring out the inner Luddite around here). However, technology is ideologically neutral and can be used to liberate or oppress. It will not save us. Only success in the marketplace of ideas will.

            2. “Technology is just tools.”

              It’s more than tools. Technology tends to strip us of our autonomy. How many of us produce our own electricity rather than plug into the collective grid?

              “Technology has always progressed in ways that no one predicted”

              You should learn some history. Da Vinci predicted the helicopter and Babbage knocked together his own computer

          3. But I fail to see why technology necessarily makes us more free like the transhumanist religion claims.

            I don’t think so either, as I articulated further downthread. I meant only to address shreek’s utterly retarded quip that technology is going to automate humanity out of jobs, which is literally exactly what the Luddite movement believed, to the extent that they sabotaged industrial factories.

          4. Is Charles Murray a Luddite or a Malthusian? He says, more or less, that people have been replaced by machines and the only answer is a government provided basic income. When told this is the same old nonsense he insists that, and I quote, “This time it is different”.

            1. “This time it is different”

              This time professionals like accountants and architects are going to find themselves without a livelihood thanks to machines.

        2. A kissing cousin of the oft-repeated slogan of socialists confronted with historical failures of their ideology – “This time it will be different”

  2. Here in California, one big safe space from swing state politics, I woke up before the presidential election determined not to slip into despair and cast my vote for Gary Johnson.

    So who did you vote for?

  3. Agile, is that you?

  4. Techno-utopianism is a shitty substitute for social justice which itself was a shitty substitute for religion, and the proof is right in the article where Elon Musk – a purveyor of subsidy-dependent money-losing environmental feel-goodism products – is named as one of its prophets.

    1. Totally agree. Tech is no substitute for the revival of ‘civic-minded traditions have not fared much better’. The author recognizes the decline there but just seems to give up.

      de Toqueville marvelled at the pervasiveness and uniqueness of these ‘civic associations’ in America way back when. His chapter on them is easily the most lucid explanation of how those can work to both achieve something particular/social while furthering libertarian ideas of governance. AJ Nock was quite clear that coercive govt grows not at the expense of atomized individuals but at the expense of what he called ‘social power’ (which is just those same ‘civic associations’).

      Modern libertarians could easily focus on reviving those civic associations and social power – for a more modern world. It isn’t easy at all – but it is far more productive (and easier) than creating some mental vision where heroic individuals magically find each other and change the world. The tech notion is nothing but the latter sort of utopianism.

    2. Yes, Elon Musk, human paladin, is a great example. Not sure how he is an inspiration for liberty lovers.

    3. “Techno-utopianism is…”

      Well put. It’s today’s version of pyramid building, another heavily subsidized enterprise. It took thousands of years before its spiritual vacuity was understood.

    4. The entire essay was a garbled mishmash of ill-defined buzzwords, and equivalencies leavened by a smattering of hollow pieties.

      The author may have distinct concepts of exactly what defines terms like justice, durable flourishing, and humanism, and maybe he can explain exactly how they differ from other peoples visions of justice, flourishing, and humanism. But damned if he gave any indication of that here.

      Democrats are “too” concerned with justice. Exactly what sort, and whether it in any way differs from other – say libertarian – ideals of justice, remains unclear.

      And Republicans are just too darn God bothered, but only in a narrow “conservative” way that isn’t as expansive as the more liberal religious variants.

      Meanwhile baby bear humanist visionaries of a -purportedly- more libertarian bent offer something else entirely. Except when they really don’t.

      Sigh.

      Did Reason actually pay for this sophomoric effort?

  5. Shorter version – humanism can only really exist when Force is at its lowest. People scare themselves because they haven’t made peace with their own finiteness. They then feel they can unleash broadcast Force, swinging blindly and be sanguine over which chins they connect with. The more people that feel this way, and are conditioned that Force first is the watchword, then humanism suffers. As it stands now, we’re well fed and well groomed feral animals.

    1. As it stands now, we’re well fed and well groomed feral animals.

      There is some truth to that. But, you might want to think about how that realization squares with the idea that technology is always good and always increases freedom. Technology might just make us better fed and better groomed and easier to control feral animals.

      I think it is pretty short sighted to assume technology always enhances freedom or the pursuit of it is the same thing as the pursuit of freedom.

  6. Freed by single-party rule in the Golden State to vote artistically

    You were always free to vote how you wanted for whatever reason you wanted. “Spoiler” candidacy is abusing the fear of a Hobson’s choice – accept the duopoly, or lose your say altogether.

    Free minds and free markets.

    Focus on those two words.

    1. *first two words.

      Accidentally a word.

  7. Libertarians tend to recognize, in an instinctive way that points toward a crucial piece of wisdom, that tech is a natural site to rediscover our human grandeur in today’s otherwise shadowy and uncertain times. At a moment when Christians have real work to do recover a deep and broad humanism, and the arts have slipped into a frustrating pattern of narrow-casting, niche identity, and low horizons, it’s technology where independent visionaries are making the most of a concrete difference in capturing human imaginations with powerful?and powerfully specific?visions of our shared destiny.

    Good thing this guy rejects religion and hasn’t built his own to replace the religion he rejected or anything. Jesus Christ, how can someone so lack self awareness?

  8. At a moment when Christians have real work to do recover a deep and broad humanism…

    Humanism is defined as:

    “an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.”

    The reason you won’t see Christians working to “recover” humanism is because they never had it, and cannot have it, by definition. Humans are all evil (to varying degrees). This is the essential Christian doctrine of sin.

    There is a reason why Christians are called by the name, they are “little Christs”, or Christ followers. Look at the entire book of John and you can see where the man himself spoke on and on about his Father, the one we call God. God has to be at the very center of the belief (and our lives). To try to tell us we must abandon that platform is ignorant folly.

    There is good news though, Christians ought to value humans even more than anyone else as they are made in God’s image and he sent his Son to die for the even as they rebelled against him. Every human has infinite value and is irreplaceable.

    Again, the God I worship is one of the purest justice, that is of repayment. An eye for an eye, a debt for a debt. Any other “justice” isn’t worth the name. He is so dedicated to justice that he sent his Son to repay our debt for us.

    1. Now, certainly there are those who identify as Christians who need much work on “Do unto others”, but that is a failure of Christians to follow Christ not a failure to abandon him. Again, there are those who call themselves Christian who think that government stands in the place of God to “make people good”, but again, that’s a failure to listen to Christ when he says “My Kingdom is not of this world”. These “Christians” are actually government worshipers who don’t know any better (yet).

      For those who still don’t understand how Christians should use government, just look at the book of Judges where God’s preferred method of human governance is played out. Then look to 1 Samuel 8 for what happened when the people trusted in their government to solve their problems instead of God.

      You see, the only position a Christian should have about government would be a minarchist or anarchist position, though convincing most to listen to what God actually said instead of what the world says is quite hard.

      Lastly, the Wise Agnostic F. A. Hayek wrote in The Fatal Conceit about the abuse and limits of reason, the importance of what he called “traditions” (religious and moral) that allowed freedom more than modern “rationality” could possibly do. So no, your concept of “rationality” isn’t a good way to solve human problems.

      1. the only position a Christian should have about government would be a minarchist or anarchist position

        Umm – no. You are just trying to impose your own vision/ideas on others. There have been a shit-ton of situations where Christians (or most other religions too for that matter) have been free to create their governance ideal. Benedictine and other monasteries through the dark ages. Universities in the medieval era. The very different sorts of Puritan/congregationalist/Calvinist systems that created MA/RI/CT during the early colonial era. The Amish/Mennonite/Shaker communities in the later colonial. The ‘utopian communities’ of the early 19th century (Oberlin, Mormons, New Philadelphia, Hopedale, Oneida, Amanas, etc).

        The last thing you can call any of them is minarchist or anarchist.

        1. Umm – no. You are just trying to impose your own vision/ideas on others.

          I said should. Read the Book of Judges and 1 Samuel 8 and tell me you can come to another conclusion.

          I never said that those who claim the title won’t do the wrong thing anyway, I’m saying that it’s logically indefensible.

          1. Judges and Samuel are both Old Testament. So yeah – I can say that most Christians would look to New Testament if they are looking to primarily biblical/textual rationales for actions.

            1. And the New Testament doesn’t have any comments whatsoever about how to make a government as the Christians were more likely to be persecuted by it than to be in charge of it, let alone to make it in their own image.

              “My Kingdom is not of this world…”

              So if you were to try to discover what God’s preferred method of governance was, you’d have to go to the Old Testament. And contrary to what some preach, the Great “I am what I am, I was what I was, I will be what I will be” doesn’t change.

              1. Actually Calvin and Benedict and the scholastics thought very seriously about issues of governance BY Christians. And Calvin’s ideas/writings in particular became hugely generically influential (social contract, consent of the governed and justifications for regicide, checks and balances, etc) once they were secularized (without attribution – since copyright didn’t exist then) by the French enlightenment.

                Of course we don’t read Calvin or the other original sources anymore but the direct biblical references (both Old and New) that he based his ideas around are there if you want to wade into the weeds.

                1. Of course we don’t read Calvin or the other original sources anymore but the direct biblical references (both Old and New) that he based his ideas around are there if you want to wade into the weeds.

                  Considering how badly Calvin screwed up salvation, I don’t put much stock in him getting governance correct.

                  I actually like Aquinas’ view. He pretty much said that all government is flawed because it’s made up of flawed people, but that a king, while having the least “upside,” also had the least “downside,” because the people were good at recognizing a tyrant and lopping his head off. He said that democracy had the highest upside, but had nearly immeasurable downside because the tyrant was the people. IIRC, he proposed some sort of hybrid system that was loosely used as the basis for the US Govt.

                  1. I actually like Aquinas’ view. He pretty much said that all government is flawed because it’s made up of flawed people, but that a king, while having the least “upside,” also had the least “downside,” because the people were good at recognizing a tyrant and lopping his head off.

                    That was Calvin’s justification for regicide too – that a monarch who leads souls away from God is evil. But Calvin also went further with original sin. Because we are all flawed – ALL power – political and economic and everything else – runs the risk of the evil/acquisitive ruling over the pious. Which turns into the basis for checks and balances AND economic competition. Structurally, force the evil to compete with each other in the realms they are likely to choose – and that leaves room for the pious to freely choose God (or virtue/etc which is the real meaning of ‘pursuit of happiness’).

                    Hugely important idea for what we now call liberty.

                  2. Also consider that Cicero, under no Christian influence, advocated a mixed form of government for his own set of reasons.

                    Then consider how much Cicero affected the Neo-Platonists such as Plotinus, who then strongly influenced Augustine, who then influenced Aquinas…

                    And it’s not like all of these thinkers and their extant works were just ignored by the Founders.

                    We, from our vantage point, are able to view the scope and sweep of the greatest minds of multiple generations, and trace out the threads linking them all. Threads they all deemed worthy of serious consideration. Amazing.

                    And not to pretend that they did not have their differences. Merely to note that, rather than spend fruitful time considering the ramifications and merits of those differences, we are too often caught arguing with people seemingly both ignorant of, and diametrically opposed to their core principles.

                2. Never read Calvin on the issue. Did my own research (read the Bible again and again over the course of decades).

                  If the French Enlightenment followed Calvin’s teaching, it looks like Calvin got it quite wrong. Not as wrong as others, mind you, but still not right. According to God, a government (king) big enough to replace Him in the people’s hearts was one that taxed them at the unbelievable rate of 10%!

                  1. I always preferred Hobbes to Calvin.

            2. Not that those Old Testament sources are irrelevant at all. But that they are read by most Christians (and Jews too) as specific to their context/times (written during Babylonian Exile). They were the only written material at the time of the later Temple era – when there were religious/political disputes between Hellenizing Jews (then spread throughout the Roman Empire as a minority) and Hebraizing Jews (mostly in Judea until the Temple was destroyed when they too were forced into diaspora). After the temple, they mostly split – Hellenizers mostly becoming Christian with the New Testament now written down as primary way to interpret Old/Tanakh; Hebraizers mostly becoming rabbinic/modern Jews with the Mishna/Talmud now written down as way to interpret Old/Tanakh.

              1. Most Jews who were spread out throughout the world (at the time) didn’t accept Christ, unless you have data I don’t have.

                1. Most Jews who were spread out throughout the world (at the time) didn’t accept Christ, unless you have data I don’t have.

                  The factoid I’ve seen is that, before the temple was destroyed, roughly 10% of the population of the Roman Empire was ‘Jewish’. Based I think on census/administrative/legal snippets because at that time Judaism was considered an acceptable ‘alternative’ religion to be considered ‘citizen’/Roman – hence mentionable in court/legal records/etc. I’ve never seen/read anything that says that the population of the Roman Empire ITSELF dropped by 10% after the temple’s destruction and the ban on Judaism rituals (circumcision being an obvious one that can’t remain invisible) – when those Jews who would become modern Jews moved outside the Roman Empire – and those Jews who would (mostly imo) become Christian went underground re religion. Everything about the following era in both religions fits the supposition.

                  It’s possible that they just lost their faith – adopted paganism or Emperor worship – and then just became ‘gentile’ over time as they lost their ethnic identity too. But that just doesn’t seem very likely to me even though history/mythology always tends to just make people on the ‘losing side’ just disappear as if they all died overnight.

                  1. Considering that being Jewish was acceptable (even post temple destruction) and being Christian often met with persecutions, sometimes to the point of death for hundreds of years AD, I find that a bit hard to believe, unless you mean that it happened post Christian persecution.

                    I would say, given the persecutions of the Christians, and the fact that the destruction of the temple wasn’t (in the Romans’ eyes) an assault on the Jewish faith, but on the Jewish states’ rebellion, that the more likely answer is that they simply stopped reporting themselves to be Jewish, for one reason or another. Some likely did accept Christ, or the “life-style”, or just the name for whatever reason. I don’t see it having been the majority reason, however.

                    1. being Jewish was acceptable (even post temple destruction) and being Christian often met with persecutions, sometimes to the point of death for hundreds of years AD, I find that a bit hard to believe, unless you mean that it happened post Christian persecution.

                      Hadrian prohibited circumcision after temple destroyed. That’s not just religious. Slaves also must be circumcised and then rules of jubilee/shmita as slaves become considered ‘Jewish’/manumitted not perpetual chattel. It would manifest in property disputes – and probably slave revolts – throughout the Empire. Didn’t happen re temple.

                      Post-temple destruction Judaism was totally illegal until I think 200 ce (by which time Xianity is separate/illegal too). So four or five generations of actual people who are ‘illegal’ no matter what they believe/do. But if anyone culturally understood persecution – and understood it long before – and understood how to persist against it – it was both Hellenizing and Hebraizing Jews.

                      I just don’t think its an accident that arguments about circumcision/ritual – and early Xianity marketing universal hope/salvation to slaves – and living through persecution – and theological arguments about what Jesus/Christ actually is – are so pervasive in early Xianity. Just as its not an accident imo that all conflicts between Hellenizers/Hebraizers (going on for a few hundred years) disappear and rabbinical texts win and get written down.

                    2. And I learn something new. It seems the Romans recognized the fact that you can’t legislate a religion away as Hadrian’s successor lessened the ban on circumcision by allowing it to be done to Jewish sons.

                      It would seem that the “Hellenizers” either became Christian, practiced in secret (and were too dispersed to affect the texts, the newly dispersed may have been more likely to stick together), or quit the religion, even if some kept up the culture.

                      Also, I take the end of the conflicts to be more religious in nature, in that if you’re Jewish and know what people say Christ did, then you pretty much have to double down on the traditions, even if they go against what your Scriptures directly say, there’s really no other “safe” way to be.

                  2. The factoid I’ve seen is that, before the temple was destroyed, roughly 10% of the population of the Roman Empire was ‘Jewish’.

                    Keep in mind that identifying as a certain faith didn’t preclude identifying as another. The Romans were all about adding new gods to their pantheon. Nothing kept somebody who believed in the existence of the God of Abraham as a minor regional deity from identifying as Jewish (AFAIK)

                    1. didn’t preclude *believing in another*

                      That’s what I get for not proofreading.

                    2. I doubt anyone would prevent them from doing so, but the Jews were already considered “weird” by all people because of that whole Monotheistic thing.

                      And the Romans did love the Greek gods, sure, but apparently they didn’t like Yeshua… And as far as I know when some Roman leader accepted what he understood (poorly) as Christianity, he also rejected all other gods when he did so.

      2. Even Stephen Jay Gould (noted scientist and avowed atheist) argued for “Non-Overlapping Majisteria”. Meaning that there is a place for scientific process and rational thought, and there is a place for religion/philosophy/etc.

        1. “Conflict thesis” which serves as the basis of a lot of the New Atheists’ arguments against religion (i.e. religion is inherently anti-science and promotes stagnation) has been thoroughly discredited in academic history circles as well. For the last century.

      3. Excellent post, ace_m82

    2. Eye for an eye, huh?

      Sodomy laws, marriage bans, adoption bans, DADT, DOMA, security clearances, bans on being teachers or being positively portrayed on television or comics. They’d be all for having that done to them as they did to gay people?

      And I suppose since they’re currently busy arguing that it’s so important that they be able to discriminate against gay folks, they’ll also insist that justice demands that gay folks can discriminate against them?

      Sorry, but that’s a little hard to believe. It may be “an eye for an eye” when they feel wronged, bit the moment they’re the transgressor it’s all “turn the other cheek”.

      1. Sodomy laws, marriage bans, adoption bans, DADT, DOMA, security clearances, bans on being teachers or being positively portrayed on television or comics.

        Yep, people do evil things with government. So what?

        They’d be all for having that done to them as they did to gay people?

        And I’m sure they will, and have been, haven’t you noticed? I suppose there is some justice in the (minor) persecution Christians now suffer.

        And I suppose since they’re currently busy arguing that it’s so important that they be able to discriminate against gay folks, they’ll also insist that justice demands that gay folks can discriminate against them?

        Who is this “they” you speak of? Do you mean me? Because I don’t do any of those things. If you mean what justice would be, yes, perhaps that would be it, but don’t people demand justice when they are wronged but beg mercy when they do wrong?

        Yes, people are logically inconsistent. I’ve said so many times. So what?

        An eye for an eye is justice, but don’t expect the aggressor to demand it.

      2. And I suppose since they’re currently busy arguing that it’s so important that they be able to discriminate against gay folks, they’ll also insist that justice demands that gay folks can discriminate against them?

        I’ve yet to see anyone advance an argument that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against Christians. Considering that 75% of the population is Christian and less than 2% of the population is gay, I doubt anyone would notice. For instance, I’m not aware of a single lawsuit by a Christian against, say, a gay advocacy group over employment or accommodation. On the other hand, there are dozens of completed and pending lawsuits against Christian groups by gay people over employment and accommodation.

        Also, if your best examples of Christians oppressing gays is censorship and public shaming half a century ago at the hands of a cross-dressing FBI director who spent his entire life as a “confirmed bachelor” and lived with a male companion, you might need to dig a little deeper.

    3. “Again, the God I worship is one of the purest justice, that is of repayment. ”

      Are you familiar with the Lord’s prayer? If not, I’ve got news for you. You’re not getting into heaven until you forgive those precious debts of yours.

  9. The Confucian “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you” is more preferable to the Western Golden Rule (“Do unto others…).

    1. Correctly understood, the Golden rule is better*, but I would certainly be happy in life if everyone were to follow the Silver rule.

      *It encompasses the entirety of the Silver rule + doing any good that you can think of. None of the “good” can include any bad that breaks the Silver. The misunderstanding is that “Do onto others” doesn’t mean one should treat everyone as if they have all the same priorities and preferences as the doer, but that the doer should attempt to satisfy the priorities and preferences of the other.

      1. Man, fuck the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Bullfuckinghshit. That is you projecting your values onto others and entirely unlibertarian, because it goes against the subjective theory of value. I much prefer the Platinum Rule:

        “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

        1. That is you projecting your values onto others and entirely unlibertarian

          That is precisely what I just commented was the common misunderstanding of the rule.

          “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

          Correctly understood, that’s what it means. Don’t give someone water when you are thirsty, give it to them when they are thirsty. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” aka “Do good to others as you would want them to do good to you”.

        2. “Treat others the way they want to be treated.”

          My title is Supreme Emperor, Lord of the Realm
          My universal pronoun is His Highness
          I require tribute in gold, gummy bears, and virgins

          The platinum rule sucks ass.

          1. To expound, the “others” are (at a certain level) somewhat irrelevant to the Golden Rule. They’re certainly the object of the rule, and their intentions and preferences do matter to an extent, but the Golden Rule is much more about internal self-adjustment to allow yourself to act more truly altruistic. It establishes an equal relationship between you and others.

            The golden rule isn’t just about actions. Hulk Hogan wanted $3M from Gawker. Do you think that Gawker was following the Golden Rule when they paid out their settlement? Of course not.

          2. If I were a businessman trying to sell you shit, I would send you ads about gummybears, investing in gold, and russianvirginslookingforamericanhusbands.com. Do you get it now?

            1. It looks like my original reply got eaten by the squirrels.

              You’re very nice in assuming that I want to be treated fairly. However, I do not want to be treated fairly. I want gold, gummy bears, and virgins, and damn whoever gets in my way.

              The Golden Rule implies egalitarianism. The Platinum Rule presumes egalitarianism. That makes the Golden Rule much more defensible than the Platinum Rule (because egalitarianism qua egalitarianism is really hard to defend)

  10. “And it is on the all-important issue of human grandeur?our beauty, our promise, our imagination, and our capacity for good judgment in the testing of some limits but not others?that libertarians currently have both major parties beat”

    And the first person out the gate that you reference is Elon Musk???? So you argue against the “businessman” being the way forward, and then reference 3 (wait for it………)
    BUSINESSMEN

    Are they tech entreprenuers? Probably. But “visionaries”?

  11. And it is on the all-important issue of human grandeur?our beauty, our promise, our imagination, and our capacity for good judgment in the testing of some limits but not others?that libertarians currently have both major parties beat

    So, libertarianism is based on the presumption that people are generally good? Ima call bullshit on that.

    The word he is looking for is utopianism. Utopianism is based on the misconception that people are generally good. In reality, people are self-centered, conniving, unprincipled, and generally evil. That’s what makes libertarianism great. It’s an ideology with great skepticism against people, drawing boundaries between their interaction to avoid these generally evil people from doing injustice to one another.

  12. While I agree that technology improves people’s everyday lives and material well-being (even in the face of job loss, as it creates more new jobs than it destroys)…I don’t see it technology alone as helping to usher in some kind of libertarian moment.

    If anything, today’s hyper-technological world gives people the leisure time and resources to get bent out of shape about the most asinine things imaginable. Take “cultural appropriation,” for example. If people were still hunter/gatherers, or even if they still worked 10 hours days, six days a week, do you think there would be a groups of extended-adolescents whining about something as stupid as whether it’s okay for a non-Indian person to do yoga?

    A lot of today’s extremely shallow politics is the embodiment of “first world problems.” People are so far away from worrying about whether there will be enough to eat, or whether they’ll freeze this winter, or whether some roving bandits will come along to murder them and steal their things, that they get hung up on abortion, “free” college, and cake-baking.

    1. “If anything, today’s hyper-technological world gives people the leisure time and resources to get bent out of shape about the most asinine things imaginable. ”

      What for you is leisure time is for others whining time. As a Libertarian I have no problem with that.

  13. I remember this you saying great lines.
    various free software Mobdro premium give you live freeze info.

  14. As a non-Christian, I share some of their values, but there are many I don’t share. But I have never understood the secular humanist view of morality.

    https://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/11

    In particular:
    “As secular humanists we believe in the central importance of the value of human happiness here and now. We are opposed to absolutist morality, yet we maintain that objective standards emerge, and ethical values and principles may be discovered, in the course of ethical deliberation. Secular humanist ethics maintains that it is possible for human beings to lead meaningful and wholesome lives for themselves and in service to their fellow human beings without the need of religious commandments or the benefit of clergy.”

    What objective standards? How do you measure them? If human happiness is the standard, whose happiness? Are we going to integrate over the whole population? Well I bet we could get to a place that on net, has greater total human happiness, while at the same time, some people may feel like they are in hell! Or dead altogether.

    And why live in service to their fellow human beings in the first place? I proudly proclaim the following
    I DON’T LIVE IN SERVICE TO OTHERS!

    I may certainly help others sometimes (beginning with those closest to me). I generally try to not to fuck over others, unless they fucked with me first. But, at the end of the day, why shouldn’t I?

    1. Secular humanists are retarded. There is no polite way to put it. They are generally nice people who assume that everyone else is just like them. You know what makes some people happy? Beating the living shit out of someone and taking their things. Secular humanists can’t account for or understand that.

      1. You know what makes some people happy? Beating the living shit out of someone and taking their things. Secular humanists can’t account for or understand that.

        To restate what you wrote, secular humanism relies on the premise of egalitarianism. When you question that premise, the entire house of cards collapses.

    2. I have never understood the secular humanist view of morality.

      John Gray (a leftist atheist PETA-type) wrote imo the best article about it in 2002

      The Myth of Secularism – http://www.newstatesman.com/node/156832

      Of all the myths spawned by the Enlightenment, the idea that we live in a secular age is the most absurd. Throughout much of the world, religion is thriving with undiminished vitality. Where believers are in the minority, as they are in Britain today, traditional faiths have been replaced by liberal humanism, which is now established as the unthinking creed of conventional people. Yet liberal humanism is itself very obviously a religion – a shoddy derivative of Christian faith notably more irrational than the original article, and in recent times more harmful. If this is not recognised, it is because religion has been repressed from consciousness in the way that sexuality was repressed in Victorian times. Now as then, the result is not that the need disappears, but rather that it returns in bizarre and perverse forms.

      1. “Yet liberal humanism is itself very obviously a religion -”

        It’s not a religion. Christianity is a religion. It is a set of beliefs and practices to contact a supernatural world.

        1. That’s only if you define ‘religion’ as requiring mostly an emphasis on ‘supernatural world’. Your definition is entirely sociological (by that I mean the academic dept that pigeonholes topics so it can claim oversight over them). And if you know sociology, you’ll know that it was created by August Comte (in the same way that Adam Smith creates ‘economics’ as a separate academic discipline) – the same August Comte mentioned in this essay who overtly created ‘The Religion of Humanity’ by copying the rituals of Catholicism.

          You might want to read the essay not just the introductory excerpt.

          1. “Your definition is entirely sociological ”

            It’s the only criterion that fits all recognized religions.

            Rituals alone do not a religion make. You have to have the effort to reach out to the supernatural. The existence of a holy book, a god, a moral code, a church etc is not enough. and many religions manage well without one or more of them. But they all share this striving for the supernatural.

            1. Let me state this mathematically since the sole change of ‘Humanism’ was to change the object of worship from ‘God’ to ‘Humanity’

              Catholicism = Religion
              Catholicism – ‘God’ + ‘Humanity’ = Humanism /= Religion

              Sociology (following from Comte’s development of positivist philosophy – all true knowledge is verifiable and the only method of verifiability is empirical science) treats both those equations as obvious/truisms. Most people think this elevates ‘science’ itself to an ideology (scientism) that is itself mere faith/belief unsupported by (not necessarily contradicted by) evidence (which in a different age used to be called ‘religion’).

              1. Let me give an example where the mere act of belief itself can change ‘knowledge’.

                Read the biblical passages re Mary/Jesus/Joseph/Virgin Birth/Immaculate Conception.

                With skepticism and the need for scientific verification, the ‘knowledge’ gained from that is that Mary is a lying whore, Joseph is a cuckold, Jesus is a bastard, and that God’s first human family is based on lies delusion and deception. Not much of an ethic there.

                With belief/acceptance, Mary is innocent and devoted, Joseph is trusting, Jesus is God, and that that first family is based around love, trust, acceptance and humility. Which, whether you accept that ethic or not, is clearly a different message/knowledge.

                It doesn’t matter whether it ACTUALLY happened historically. Or CAN’T happen scientifically. No more than that it doesn’t matter whether Sherlock Holmes actually exists or lives at 221B Baker St when reading Conan Doyle. The point is that the attitude itself matters and changes the knowledge received – and none of that is ‘verifiable’. That belief – systematized to some coherent end – is what distinguishes religion – not ‘the supernatural’.

                1. “and none of that is ‘verifiable’. ”

                  But that’s a limitation of science and skepticism. Science isn’t going to help you with the miraculous any more than it’s going to tell me you really feel love for another or are just bluffing. Science deals with what’s nameable, measurable and repeatable. There are vast areas of human knowledge and experience that fall outside these narrow strictures.

              2. The Renaissance was filled with Humanists who were also devout Catholics. And in general, I don’t think you’ll find many humanists who admit to worshipping humanity. The Renaissance guys for example. They worshipped God, not Humanity. Also, from a Christian point of view, there is no clear division between god and man because of the Trinity thing.

                1. Agree but the Renaissance wasn’t the same thing as modern humanism. Can’t be because the idea of human progress and agency doesn’t really exist until the Enlightenment and that idea is central to ‘humanism’. The Renaissance idea persists today in the academic depts called the ‘humanities’ not as an -ism.

  15. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    >>>>>>>>>http://www.centerpay70.com

  16. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    >>>>>>>>>http://www.centerpay70.com

  17. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    >>>>>>>>>http://www.centerpay70.com

  18. I get Paid over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I Never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    ??..>>>>>> http://www.jobmax6.com

  19. Facebook gives you a great opportunity to earn 98652$ at your home.If you are some intelligent you makemany more Dollars.I am also earning many more, my relatives wondered to see how i settle my Life in few days thank GOD to you for this…You can also make cash i never tell alie you should check this I am sure you shocked to see this amazing offer…I’m Loving it!!!!
    ????????> http://www.factoryofincome.com

  20. until I looked at the paycheck saying $4730 , I did not believe that…my… brother woz like actualy bringing in money part time from there computar. . there friend brother started doing this for less than 7 months and resently paid for the morgage on there home and bought a new Cadillac …….

    >>>>>>>>>http://www.centerpay70.com

  21. I get Paid over ?80 per hour working from home with 2 kids at house. I Never thought I would be able to do it but my best friend earns over ?9185 a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless.

    ??..>>>>>> http://www.jobmax6.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.