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Libertarianism, Theology, and Religion

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fakename Posted: Tue, Dec 6 2011 1:27 AM

Personally, I'm not a libertarian in the non-aggression sense (in principle my views could vary from "laissez-faire statism" [a more essential definition of ancap IMO] to totalitarianism depending on the exigencies of history), but I'm a Catholic and I would say that I believe that God does act in the praexeological sense; so God faces some sort of uncertainty (though I'm not sure what that means).

In your opinion, if you are a libertarian (someone who believes the non-aggression axiom) what kind of religion would you believe in (if any)? What kind of theological explanations or theories would you espouse? And what kind of God would that theology describe?

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Clayton replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 1:40 AM

Praxeology is value-free, so it is compatible with any theology that does not deny cause-and-effect or human choice (it must be compatibilist or affirm free-will to be consistent with praxeology). As for cause-and-effect, if you literally believed in the Greek gods, for example, that would be problematic since there is a large component of causality which is being pushed off onto these inexplicable entities called "the gods". Other than that, I can't think of any other restrictions.

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Bert replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 1:45 AM

Before I start...

I'm not a libertarian in the non-aggression sense (in principle my views could vary from "laissez-faire statism" [a more essential definition of ancap IMO] to totalitarianism depending on the exigencies of history).

...what?

I have to say the religion threads are starting to get annoying.  Why?  Because if anyone here chooses their religion on whether it aligns in some way with [insert political ideology here] you missed the point of religion completely.  I'm a libertarian, what religion do I believe in?  One with war gods and fertility goddesses (and vice versa).  What kind of theological explanations or theories do I espouse?  None in regards to politics.  What kinds of gods/goddesses does this theology describe?  See above.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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"I have to say the religion threads are starting to get annoying.  Why?  Because if anyone here chooses their religion on whether it aligns in some way with [insert political ideology here] you missed the point of religion completely.  I'm a libertarian, what religion do I believe in?  One with war gods and fertility goddesses (and vice versa).  What kind of theological explanations or theories do I espouse?  None in regards to politics.  What kinds of gods/goddesses does this theology describe?  See above."

Well what is the point of religion? (sorry this quote function continues to vex me)

And if everything is logically interconnected, then if one has political views, then shouldn't it have some logical connection with your religion?

For instance, wouldn't being a fascist produce a certain conviction that quakerism is wrong?

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Bert replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 2:14 AM

Well what is the point of religion?

Probably this.

And if everything is logically interconnected, then if one has political views, then shouldn't it have some logical connection with your religion?

It's too broad and time consuming to define.  We see Christian anarchists and statists, people (who aren't Muslim) talking about how Islam is the most free-market, and then see culturally Islamic populations using the state to impose it's own religious and cultural laws.  You have a Jewish state that the anti-Zionist Jews protest, and it's the most blatant example of a welfare/warfare state next to the USA which suppose to be a "Christian nation".

So, yes, no, who cares?  I follow a religion of which during it's time had kingdoms across Northwest Europe.  Various tribes had their own ways of handling disputes, and loyalty and trust was based on oaths and how they were kept.  What modern political theories I have =/= my religion.  The world view influences me, and I'm sure I can make some libertarian-esque message out of it, but that's not the point.

For instance, wouldn't being a fascist produce a certain conviction that quakerism is wrong?

Maybe, I'm sure being a Quacker might signify that theologically Hinduism is wrong, or something else.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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James replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 5:01 AM

I have a theory that Jesus might actually have been a Roman usurper around the time of the fall of the Republic.  A son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, he had to go underground outside the Empire after Octavian's victory at Actium, possibly travelling to India to study Buddhism, before returning to establish an imperial mystery cult for himself in Palestine, where he was executed on the authority of Octavian's successor, Tiberius.

But he got his Father's Kingdom in the end.  The only deified Roman emperor still worshipped today. :)  Quite the achievement.

I don't think that there's any God distinct from life/love/creation itself, which as the antithesis of politics.

Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro
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MaikU replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 8:16 AM

Gods are authoritarians (same with religions). Always. Father figures, so to speak, and we all used to look to our parents as authority (well, until some of us started thinking freely and found out, that we can f... the family and go live on ourowns.. Well, maybe pantheism isn't exactly authoritarian. I personally am possibilianist (philosophical view regarding the nature of the Universe). But I never had a belief in deities.

 

Anyway, NAP is a social construct. It makes no sense at individual level. But what it has to do with religion? I don't get the question.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Gods are authoritarians (same with religions). Always. Father figures, so to speak, and we all used to look to our parents as authority (well, until some of us started thinking freely and found out, that we can f... the family and go live on ourowns.. Well, maybe pantheism isn't exactly authoritarian. I personally am possibilianist (philosophical view regarding the nature of the Universe). But I never had a belief in deities.

 

Anyway, NAP is a social construct. It makes no sense at individual level. But what it has to do with religion? I don't get the question.

 

Response: I thought that NAP was a moral theory and not just a construct (though I suppose we can discuss the goodness of constructs) and in so far as religion has to do with morality and vice versa, I figured that the NAP had to do with religion.

But anyway, I thought the NAP dealt with the level of the individual, as per lifeboat situations? Also, does possibilianism say that because we know that we don't know, then we should be willing to examine any number of possible philosophies? In what sense does it say something about the universe though, since it seems to talk per se only about our knowledge?

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To quote, type this, in these brackets "[ ]"

quote

then the quote itself, then,

/quote

if you would like to name the quotee, type,

quoteuser="quotee"

At the front of the passage instead of just ,

quote

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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MaikU replied on Tue, Dec 6 2011 5:46 PM

fakename:

Gods are authoritarians (same with religions). Always. Father figures, so to speak, and we all used to look to our parents as authority (well, until some of us started thinking freely and found out, that we can f... the family and go live on ourowns.. Well, maybe pantheism isn't exactly authoritarian. I personally am possibilianist (philosophical view regarding the nature of the Universe). But I never had a belief in deities.

 

Anyway, NAP is a social construct. It makes no sense at individual level. But what it has to do with religion? I don't get the question.

 

Response: I thought that NAP was a moral theory and not just a construct (though I suppose we can discuss the goodness of constructs) and in so far as religion has to do with morality and vice versa, I figured that the NAP had to do with religion.

But anyway, I thought the NAP dealt with the level of the individual, as per lifeboat situations? Also, does possibilianism say that because we know that we don't know, then we should be willing to examine any number of possible philosophies? In what sense does it say something about the universe though, since it seems to talk per se only about our knowledge?

 

Moral theory, construct, same thing. It says nothing about its "trueness" though, what I mean, NAP is the only theory consistent with reality and human nature.

Possibilianism doesn't deny the possibility, that "there might be something" it just doesn't claim, that there is gods or anything. But doesn't claim, that there is nothing just because we don't know something or have no evidence for now. But yeah, it's an exploration of the unknown, not a stric cut, like religious people or hardcore atheists do.

Well, it's also could be kinda childish stance, but I prefer calling myself that why rather than atheist. I'd like to differentiate myself from the most of outspoken atheists, because they tend to be very agressive and immature towards religion and philosophy in general. I was one too.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU:

Moral theory, construct, same thing. It says nothing about its "trueness" though, what I mean, NAP is the only theory consistent with reality and human nature.

Now I'm just getting curious so forgive me: you mean to say that the NAP is merely a formal theory like logic and that it fits with what you know about the universe?

what examples of human nature or anything else hints at the NAP being appropriate?

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 6:35 AM

"In your opinion, if you are a libertarian (someone who believes the non-aggression axiom) what kind of religion would you believe in (if any)?"

To ask this question is to completely misunderstand libertarianism.. since it is a political philosophy only. Natural law arguments; be they come from super-natural or not, is a different question entirely, and one completely irrelevent to political philosophy.

As for praxeology and religion, Mises:

"The praxeological categories and concepts are devised for the comprehension of human action. They become self-contradictory and nonsensical if one tries to apply them in dealing with conditions different from those of human life. The naive anthropomorphism of primitive religions is unpalatable to the philosophic mind. However, the endeavors of philosophers to define neatly the attributes of an absolute being, free from all the limitations and frailties of human existence, by the use of praxeological concepts, are no less questionable.

Scholastic philosophers and theologians and likewise Theists and Deists of the Age of Reason conceived an absolute and perfect being, unchangeable, omnipotent, and omniscient, and yet planning and acting, aiming at ends and employing means for the attainment of these ends. But action can only be imputed to a discontented being, and repeated action only to a being who lacks the power to remove his uneasiness once and for all at one stroke. An acting being is discontented and therefore not almighty. If he were contented, he would not act, and if he were almighty, he would have long since radically removed his discontent. For an all-powerful being there is no pressure to choose between various states of uneasiness; he is not under the necessity of acquiescing in the lesser evil.

Omnipotence would mean the power to achieve everything and to enjoy full satisfaction without being restrained by any limitations. But this is incompatible with the very concept of action. For an almighty being the categories of ends and means do not exist. He is above all human comprehension, concepts, and understanding. For the almighty being every "means" renders unlimited services, he can apply every "means" for the attainment of any ends, he can achieve every end without the employment of any means. It is beyond the faculties of the human mind to think the concept of almightiness consistently to its ultimate logical consequences. The paradoxes are insoluble. Has the almighty being the power to achieve something which is immune to his later interference? If he has this power, then there are limits to his might and he is no longer almighty; if he lacks this power, he is by virtue of this fact alone not almighty.

Are omnipotence and omniscience compatible? Omniscience presupposes that all future happenings are already unalterably determined. If there is omniscience, omnipotence is inconceivable. Impotence to change anything in the predetermined course of events would restrict the power of any agent.

Action is a display of potency and control that are limited. It is a manifestation of man who is restrained by the circumscribed powers of his mind, the physiological nature of his body, the vicissitudes of his environment, and the scarcity of the external factors on which his welfare depends. It is vain to refer to the imperfections and weaknesses of human life if one aims at depicting something absolutely perfect. The very idea of absolute perfection is in every way selfcontradictory. The state of absolute perfection must be conceived as complete, final, and not exposed to any change.

Change could only impair its perfection and transform it into a less perfect state; the mere possibility that a change can occur is incompatible with the concept of absolute perfection. But the absence of change-ix., perfect immutability, rigidity and immobility-is tantamount to the absence of life. Life and perfection are incompatible, but so are death and perfection.

The living is not perfect because it is liable to change; the dead is not perfect because it does not live.

The language of living and acting men can form comparatives and superlatives in comparing degrees. But absoluteness is not a degree; it is a limiting notion. The absolute is indeterminable, unthinkable and ineffable. It is a chimerical conception. There are no such things as perfect happiness, perfect men, eternal bliss. Every attempt to describe the conditions of a land of Cockaigne, or the life of the Angels, results in paradoxes. Where there are conditions, there are limitations and not perfection; there are endeavors to conquer obstacles, there are frustration and discontent.

After the philosophers had abandoned the search for the absolute, the utopians took it up. They weave dreams about the perfect state. They do not realize that the state, the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion, is an institution to cope with human imperfection and that its essential function is to inflict punishment upon minorities in order to protect majorities against the detrimental consequences of certain actions. With "perfect" men there would not he any need for compulsion and coercion.

But utopians do not pay heed to human nature and the inalterable conditions of human life. Godwin thought that man might become immortal after the abolition of private property." Charles Fourier babbled about the ocean containing lemonade instead of salt water.20 Marx's economic system blithely ignored the fact of the scarcity of material factors of production. Trotsky revealed that in the proletarian paradise "the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise." 27 Nowadays the most popular chimeras are stabilization and security. We will test these catchwords later."

Human Action, page 69.

It's part of the Chapter II - Epistemological Problems of the Science of Human Action, in particular "The Limitations on Praxeological Concepts"

The last few paragraphs then tie into the next Chapter Economics a Revolt Against Reason.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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MaikU replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 8:00 AM

fakename:

MaikU:

Moral theory, construct, same thing. It says nothing about its "trueness" though, what I mean, NAP is the only theory consistent with reality and human nature.

Now I'm just getting curious so forgive me: you mean to say that the NAP is merely a formal theory like logic and that it fits with what you know about the universe?

what examples of human nature or anything else hints at the NAP being appropriate?

 

NAP is logically consistent, yes, but it's not "like logic". Even they both are human construct. I'd say NAP is more of a social one, while logic is like zeros and ones, yes/no. Speaking of examples, I keep in mind empirical evidence of observation of human society as a whole and interactions between individuals. Any other moral theory, as far as I know, is either the argument from authority (visible-state laws, or invisible-gods) or just pure nonsense, a mere opinion (I don't like when someone steals from me, but I surely would steal, given the chance).

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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fakename replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 11:00 PM

MaikU:
NAP is logically consistent, yes, but it's not "like logic". Even they both are human construct. I'd say NAP is more of a social one, while logic is like zeros and ones, yes/no. Speaking of examples, I keep in mind empirical evidence of observation of human society as a whole and interactions between individuals. Any other moral theory, as far as I know, is either the argument from authority (visible-state laws, or invisible-gods) or just pure nonsense, a mere opinion (I don't like when someone steals from me, but I surely would steal, given the chance).

Question: how do you derive morality from empirical observation when problems analogous to deriving economics from history seems to present themselves?

As for the logic problem, arguments from authority (like "God said so, therefore it's wrong"), I believe, prove that you should believe that something is wrong. Logical fallacies exist because they interfere with proofs that impart true, reasoned, belief. Whereas the other arguments don't have reasons to establish why something is, they do suffice to establish that it is wrong.

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MaikU replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 1:14 PM

fakename:

 

Question: how do you derive morality from empirical observation when problems analogous to deriving economics from history seems to present themselves?

I don't understand the question. Could you please re-formulate it for me? English is not my native language.

fakename:

As for the logic problem, arguments from authority (like "God said so, therefore it's wrong"), I believe, prove that you should believe that something is wrong. Logical fallacies exist because they interfere with proofs that impart true, reasoned, belief. Whereas the other arguments don't have reasons to establish why something is, they do suffice to establish that it is wrong.

It proves nothing. WHO is saying "you should believer this and that"? Obvious answer - people. And it becomes not only circular, but totally absurd. People know about God more, than "he/she" ever revealed about himself/herself (means that we don't know any facts, only personal anecdotes.. It's basically a delusion (no offensee on your part). And I am not sure I get the last sentence of your post.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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