God, Man and Liberty

More back-and-forth with JC of the Evangelical Outpost:

By claiming that drug users can “adequately function” Vox is setting the standard rather low. If that is all that libertarianism has to offer it should be no surprise that most people reject it. I also think that he (and many others) are falling for a false dichotomy between libertarianism and statist interventionism. My only contention is that it is precisely because libertarianism doesn’t care if a person is virtuous or not that it is ultimately doomed to fail. According to Christian belief, man is inherently corrupt and will not naturally choose to do good. Society either has to find a way to help develop character (my preference) or it will eventually require a form of government where the state steps in to correct the mess that people make of their lives. Libertarianism prefers not to have either which is why it is untenable. (The comments section on Vox’s post are also worth reading.)

Actually, the reference to functional drug users was not a broad-based defense of libertarianism, only a demonstration of how a part of Joe’s argument rested on a false assumption. It would be very strange to attempt to reduce the full measure of human freedom and liberty to socially functioning drug users. I also disagree that there is a false dichotomy between libertarianism and statism, as I seem them as polar opposites showing the true breadth of the political spectrum.

Neither libertarianism nor God “cares” (to use Joe’s word) if a person is virtuous or not. The authoritarian nature of conservativism shows the skull under the smile here, as with socialism, it is willing to use raw force to impel what conservatives consider to be virtuous behavior. But “to care” is obviously equal with the concept “to force” in both conservative and socialist parlance. And yet God does not behave in this manner, indeed, He refrains from using His almighty power in allowing individuals to behave how they desire and to suffer the natural consequences of their behavior.

Exactly like a libertarian.