Beating up the little libertarian

Aaron Kinney offers an exemplary object lesson in the common mistake of elevating theory over observation. This is made even more amusing by his numerous errors in logic and reading comprehension, some of which appear to border on overt intellectual dishonesty. Of course, he’s an atheist, so there’s no moral reason he shouldn’t dissemble if he feels the need to do so. Consider:

To Vox, rape is only immoral if you subscribe to the arbitrary dictates of an Abrahamic creator-God. Also, Vox thinks that everyone is owned not by themselves, but by God. So much for the libertarian concept of self-ownership!

No, it is self-evident that one can only claim that rape is immoral if one subscribes to a coherent moral code which presents a rational basis for universality, (or at the very least makes a claim, however dubious, to universality). As I have demonstrated, many individuals, past and present, have subscribed to coherent moral codes which do not consider rape to be immoral or consider it at most to be a petty crime worthy of minor compensation. Most people today do not even pretend to subscribe to a coherent moral code; they make arbitrary decisions based on their feelings at the time. Christians are one of the very few groups who possess a coherent moral code which presents a rational basis for universality – I note that this assertion is supported by a vast panoply of non-Christian intellectuals, past and present. Aaron also conveniently leaves out that I expressly stated that there may be other such moral codes, but neither Aaron nor anyone else has even attempted to present one.

Despite 17 years of Christian fundamentalism, Aaron managed to somehow miss the very basis for Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. In fact, Vox does not think that everyone is owned by themselves, but by Satan. Jesus Christ had to die in order to pay the price to redeem humanity, hence the phrase “Blessed Redeemer” that appears in so many Christian hymns. I recommend a children’s book called “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” which might help Aaron understand this concept; if the book is too difficult, I’m told there is a movie which makes much the same point. (Before Aaron tries to misquote my own words against me, I note that the word “rightly” is an adverb, which modifies the verb “belongs”. Apparently he’s as good with grammar as he is with theology.)

As for the libertarian concept of self-ownership, one always has the right to sell oneself to another individual.

Vox thinks that if a woman flirts with a man, then he can fuck her and she has no grounds for protest. Where are the libertarian values of non-coercion, individuality, and the right to self? And how does Vox define “traditional Western morality” anyway? I’m assuming he means Christian morality, which isn’t a morality at all, but an arbitrary dictate from an all-powerful authority figure (again, where are the libertarian values? Libertarians don’t blindly submit to self-appointed authority figures and their dictates). But I would contend that Christian morality is not “traditional Western morality.” If anything, Biblical morality could be called “traditional Middle-Eastern morality,” but that’s quite a bit different.

Vox does not think that, Vox has never written that and Aaron is guilty of exaggeration at best, outright lying at worst. As for the question, I might as easily retort: where are the libertarian values of self-responsibility and independence, not to mention justice, in taking exception to the statement that a woman is responsible for the consequences of her actions? The contention that traditional Western morality is not synonymous with and largely derived from Christian morality is willfully and demonstrably absurd and anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge must consider it laughable. The equation of Christianity with blindness is an unsupported assertion, while the one equating a postulated ultimate authority – aka God – with a “self-appointed authority figure” is a dishonest and illogical caricature. If God as described exists, he is the legitimate and ultimate authority. If he does not exist, then how can he appoint himself?

Eventually, Vox makes his anti-libertarianism quite clear:

As I have previously asserted, most atheist and agnostic morality is parasitical, the cultural residue of previous generations.

Vox has really put himself in a bad spot here. First of all, he accidentally declared with a proverbial bullhorn that he either doesn’t understand, or he totally rejects libertarianism. Secondly, he sets up a straw man about atheism. Atheism, in itself, has nothing to say about morality…. I would pay money to see a “might = right” moral code that is truly derived from the negative claim of atheism.

Along with his difficulties with grammar and theology, Aaron demonstrates a failure to grasp the concept of intellectual vaccuums and the nature of the things that tend to fill them. And yet, he sees the same vaccuum I do, indeed, all he does here is repeat what I have previously stated on a number of occasions: atheism has nothing to say about morality. The atheist is provided no basis with which to condemn rape or any other evil by his atheism, and because he lacks this basis, he is therefore forced to rely on concepts such as “might makes right” when he wishes to condemn the action of another but is unwilling to play moral parasite and piggyback on the morality of others.

More later….