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Religion
See other Religion Articles

Title: God is not a Libertarian
Source: increasinglearning.com
URL Source: http://www.increasinglearning.com/god-is-not-a-libertarian.html
Published: Jul 11, 2018
Author: Bill Fortenberry
Post Date: 2018-07-11 05:22:33 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 113
Comments: 5

A friend of mine recently requested that I review the video “An Introduction to Libertarian Thought” presented by David Boaz on the libertarianism.org website.  You can view the video for yourself at this link: http://www.libertarianism.org/media/exploring-liberty/introduction- libertarian-thought.  My goal was to compare libertarian philosophy with the teachings of Scripture.  This article presents the results of that analysis.

Mr. Boaz presented three fundamental tenets of libertarianism: individual rights, spontaneous order and limited government.  One of these three is blatantly unscriptural.  The other two are somewhat more subtle in their error, but that error is there nonetheless.  Let’s look at each of these tenets in turn.

Individual Rights

The first fundamental of libertarianism is stated to be individual rights.  A Christian watching this video may, perhaps, find himself agreeing with this particular tenet until he considers a fact expressed very eloquently by John Quincy Adams.
 
"The acknowledgment of the unalienable right of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is at the same time an acknowledgment of the omnipotence, the omniscience, and the all-pervading goodness of God."

This notable observation by our sixth president highlights a major flaw in the libertarian view of individual rights.  Mr. Boaz correctly recognized the existence of those rights, but he failed to recognize the source from which they are derived.

This, of course, can lead to some very serious errors in libertarian thought.  If God is not recognized as the source of all unalienable rights, then those rights must rest on the mere reasoning of fallen man.  This produces at least two major threats to a Christian political system.  First, any right that is granted by the reasoning of man can be denied by the reasoning of man.  And second, relying on man’s reasoning for rights could cause us to grant rights where no rights genuinely exist.  In other words, the libertarian aversion to recognizing God as the source of all rights could cause them to call evil good and good evil, and Isaiah 5:20 tells us that God has pronounced woe against all who make this mistake.

We may, of course, wonder if this is a legitimate concern.  Can we really see evidence of this danger within the various writings and philosophies of libertarians?  One need only study the libertarian view of homosexual marriage to find that this dangerous reliance on man’s reasoning has indeed come to fruition.  It is difficult to find even a Christian libertarian who believes that the government should mandate that marriage be reserved solely for heterosexual couples.

There are many other areas in which the libertarian blindness to the source of unalienable rights has produced dangerous philosophical errors.  Time does not permit that we cover them in detail here, but we know for a fact that when men rely on their own wisdom, they always stray from the wisdom of God.  As the Bible assures us in Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

II. Spontaneous Order

Mr. Boaz’s second tenet of libertarianism should be immediately recognized as contrary to the teachings of the Bible.  In this portion of his speech, Mr. Boaz expounds on the idea of spontaneous order.  He gives three examples of what he supposes to be spontaneous order in society: language, law and economy.  I will address each of these examples individually and then comment on the concept of spontaneous order as a whole. 

Contrary to Mr. Boaz's insistence, language is not an example of society's ability to create spontaneous order.  According to the first chapter of Genesis, language predates man and cannot possibility be considered a product of human society.  The first chapter of John's Gospel goes even further and tells us that the Word of God expressed in Genesis was the very essence of Jesus Christ.  Language, therefore, finds its source in God Himself, and even the multiplicity of languages is declared to be of His design in the eleventh chapter of Genesis.  Thus, this example fails to reveal the validity of Mr. Boaz's claim for spontaneous order.

The next example was that of law, and I have found it very interesting to compare Mr. Boaz's concept of a spontaneously generated law with the explanation that Sir William Blackstone provided in his Commentaries on the Laws of England.  You can read a condensed version of that explanation on my website at: http://increasinglearning.com/Documents/01_SourceoftheLaw.pdf.

Compare this statement from Blackstone:

"For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained."

With this statement from Mr. Boaz:

"Law just evolved spontaneously as a way for people to settle disputes ... Eventually Government came in, and it wrote down the common law, and it wrote down all the statutes that go with the common law, but the law was originally a product of spontaneous order."

I don't think that I need to point out which of these two positions is more closely aligned with the Bible.

Mr. Boaz is also mistaken in his understanding of the economy.  He asks: "Who designs the economy?  Who plans the economy? Well, the answer is, nobody."  That's a very poor explanation for the genius of capitalism.  In reality, the answer is that God planned and designed the economy.  This has been recognized by capitalists for centuries.  In fact, historians frequently note that capitalism is founded on the protestant work ethic taught in II Thessalonians 3:10 - "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 

Adam Smith referred to the rule of God over the economy in his book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.  He stated that "by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention."  Now, many libertarians have argued that the "invisible hand" mentioned by Mr. Smith was nothing more than the same spontaneous order refered to by Mr. Boaz, but Mr. Smith claimed that it was the hand of God.  Consider this quote from his earlier book, Theory of Moral Sentiments:

"They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species. When Providence divided the earth among a few lordly masters, it neither forgot nor abandoned those who seemed to have been left out in the partition."

Notice that here Mr. Smith clearly explains that he viewed the invisible hand to be the hand of God (Providence) working out His will to provide for all men.  Compare this with the biblical teaching of Deuteronomy 8:17-18 and I Samuel 2:7-8:

"And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.  But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."

"The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.  He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them."

Capitalism is not the result of a spontaneous order.  It is simply the correct application of God's economic laws.

And now, let me address the topic of spontaneous order as a whole.  Mr. Boaz began this section of his speech with the claim that "In most of our lives order seems planned."   He then concluded this segment with the opposing claim that "One of the key ideas in libertarianism is that most of the order in society evolves spontaneously.  It doesn't need to be planned."  By placing these two statements side by side, we can see that libertarianism is gravely counterintuitive.  

Everyone knows that order comes from planning.  It is one of the laws of science.  Any system left to itself will tend toward a state of maximum disorder.  This law is true of every area of life not just physics, for the Bible teaches in Proverbs 15:22 that "Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established."  And in Proverbs 11:14, we find the ominous declaration that "Where no counsel is, the people fall."  The libertarian philosophy of spontaneous order is thus proven by Scripture to be both flawed and dangerous.

III. Limited Government

This brings us to the third foundation of libertarianism - limited government.  Now, at first glance, this may seem to be an obvious point of agreement between Christianity and libertarianism.  Both philosophies agree that the power of the government should be limited, but it is important to note that a disagreement exists in regards to the extent of that limitation.  This disagreement is what produces the real and practical differences between these two philosophies.

To be consistent with the teachings of Scripture, a government must be limited to those powers which are delineated to it by God.  For example, the Bible teaches in Romans 13:1-6 that one of the duties of government is to punish those that do evil.  Therefore, a Christian system of government will claim power to punish acts such as selling pornography or drugs on the grounds that such actions are an evil to society.  Men may still choose to do evil under such a government, but they do so in fear of the consequences.

A libertarian government, on the other hand, would not possess the power to punish evil.  As Mr. Boaz stated, a libertarian government would exist "to protect individual rights and spontaneous order."  "We have our rights to begin with," Mr. Boaz claims, "Each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others."  Thus, under this system, if a community of individuals decides that they would like to retain the right to sell pornography and drugs, then the government must not just permit those actions but in fact must actively protect the right of that community to engage in such actions.  Libertarianism, therefore, prevents the government from fulfilling the role to which it was ordained by God. 

So what was the conclusion of my analysis?  According to Mr. Boaz’s presentation of libertarianism, I found this philosophy to be unscriptural in each of its foundational tenets.  It fails to recognize God as the giver and delimiter of all rights.  It fails to recognize the danger of relying on spontaneity instead of careful planning.  And it fails to recognize the role of government that was ordained by God.  In short, libertarianism fails as a Christian philosophy and should not be embraced by any follower of Christ.

[This article is undated]


Poster Comment:

Repeating: Libertarianism fails as a Christian philosophy and should not be embraced by any follower of Christ.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


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#1. To: Gatlin (#0)

"Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"CAN THE LIBERTIES OF A NATION BE SECURE WHEN..."
--Thomas Jefferson

VxH  posted on  2018-07-11   8:49:54 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Gatlin (#0)

God is not a Libertarian

Alternate text if image doesn't load

Libertarianism fails as a Christian philosophy and should not be embraced by any follower of Christ.

In your opinion, perhaps.

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Trump: My People Should ‘Sit Up in Attention’ Like Kim Jong-un’s Staff.

Deckard  posted on  2018-07-11   9:09:19 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Deckard, Everybody (#2)

Libertarianism fails as a Christian philosophy and should not be embraced by any follower of Christ.

In your opinion, perhaps.

That is not my opinion. That is a statement on which the author documents his thesis extremely well.

Do you wish to dispute any of his points, or would you rather continue “playing like” you are hondope and posting stupid memes to cloak your ignorance and hide your embarrassment. I will go with the latter as the obvious choice.

Your turn …

Gatlin  posted on  2018-07-11   9:56:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Gatlin (#3)

Do you wish to dispute any of his points,

I already did:

The Christian Case For Libertarianism

“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” - Ron Paul

Trump: My People Should ‘Sit Up in Attention’ Like Kim Jong-un’s Staff.

Deckard  posted on  2018-07-11   10:07:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Deckard (#4) (Edited)

Do you wish to dispute any of his points,

I already did:

The Christian Case For Libertarianism

Good, let’s go over to that thread and have a discussion on this….are you game for that?

I surely hope so….I’ll meet you over there.

Gatlin  posted on  2018-07-11   10:42:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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