Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jeremiad Against Libertarianism (or at least some highly secularized, extreme versions of it)


By Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong

[from a Facebook thread on my page]

I've been saying for years that libertarianism -- at least in its extreme forms -- has more difficulties being consistent with Christianity than even left-wing political views do. Mark Shea commented on this same article: " Libertarianism is a heresy. It focuses on subsidiarity while ignoring solidarity. It's a philosophy for people with no children." I agree.

A libertarianism that entails legal drugs, moral / social neutrality regarding same-sex "marriage" or things like cohabitation, etc. (all quite fashionable among many young people, even Catholics and other Christians and/or "libertarians"), it falls short of Catholic social teaching and biblical teaching.

Subsidiarity in libertarianism is not what Catholics object to, because it's a Catholic principle. It's the extreme emphasis of it to the exclusion of solidarity (as Mark Shea noted) which is the problem.

I don't think government can or should do anything about cohabitation: but Christians certainly should. I was referring above mainly to the positions of those who are libertarians: it's this mentality of "if it doesn't harm anyone, let folks do as they wish." That's the fundamental lie: sin does harm society because it harms families and relationships, which are the basis and foundation of society. To not understand this is to miss a very basic aspect of Christianity: the communitarian one ("we are our brothers' keepers," etc.).

Libertarianism is a very mixed bag: many types, and sometimes people aren't even aware of the larger philosophical / social issues that lie behind a lot of this stuff. They just take in the philosophy from friends, etc.: which is the human tendency.

Marijuana kills brain cells and memory. That's hardly good for society.

Human laws ought to reflect natural laws. The law is supposed to sanction what is good and right, because that is best for society. Same-sex marriage will destroy society insofar as it is a perversion of the basic building-block of it and is also mortal sin in Catholic thinking. That's why it was unthinkable as a legality until very recently.  Sodomy ought to be illegal (and usually has been in most societies), and that is because it's against natural law, which good human law ought to reflect and mirror.

Contraception was illegal until 1965 in the US, though obviously not enforced. The Griswold v. Connecticut case dealt with that and brought in the notorious "right to privacy" thing that was the groundwork for legal abortion. So philosophically and ethically, this sort of libertarian or "let everyone do as they please" thinking lies directly behind the abortion holocaust.    

The churches have to teach on the wrongness of fornication and masturbation. But few do at all, and those that do at all often do it in a dumb and insubstantial way. Thankfully, there is a growing and thriving abstinence movement now where young people can hear intelligent talks about these issues, so they can make sensible choices in their lives and avoid much misery and heartbreak that come from any sin.

Homosexuality (i.e., male sexual acts) is so unhealthy because certain body parts weren't meant to be associated with certain other body parts (without getting graphic). So people get sick and die at a younger age as a result. The Bible makes the argument that it's against natural law (largely in St. Paul).The whole notion that government couldn't say anything about contraception gave us abortion. That's the fruit. Now we're gonna get societally sanctioned homosexual "marriage" leading to a perversion of the basis of society: the family.

If people want to foolishly think like this, let them ponder the actual results of it. The government says lots of things about lots of private stuff: you can't rape in private, or abuse a child, or even kill yourself. The only dispute is over which things are moral or not, so it goes back to ethics and religion to make that determination.

Thus, as society becomes more secularized, it becomes more immoral, to everyone's detriment. We see that tragically playing out now, all over the world.



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4 comments:

Richard Perry said...

I Agee 100%. The problem with "if it doesn't harm anyone, let folks do as they wish" is 1) who is the ultimate judge of "harm"'? 2) is that judge infallible? 3) who pays for the damage (mental, physical, emotional) caused by wrong decisions?

Libertarians assume that anyone who evaluates any potential harm or good of their actions has perfect knowledge or at least a perfectly-formed conscious.

Judging "no harm" is supposed to liberate us from the oppressive over-bearing shackles imposed by governments and religions.

Libertarianism makes each individual into their own god with their own judgements and morals. And if everyone's morals and judgements are correct, then none are wrong. Unfortunately, this is where many people think we should be as an 'enlightened' society.

Dave Armstrong said...

1) Bible / Church, that has influenced secular jurisprudence; 2) Yes. 3) Should be the individual who is guilty of it; in practice it's often society: all of us.

Michael Wilson said...

Dave,
I heard a joke in reference to this topic: "Why is the legalization of Marijuana being promoted at the same time as that of "Gay" Marriage?
Because in the Bible it teaches that: "Let a man that lies with a man be stoned."

Dave Armstrong said...

LOL