Ask the Libertarian Objectivist Christian

Well, you did nail down the questions I was interested in. Sorry for not being clear with the questions, but I figured they would give the answers I was looking for. Thank you. I find your views on Christianity to be very intriguing.

Could you clarify this statement:
“but the Libertarianism part is, well, like I already said about the In any case, I look forward to it.”

I think that something got eaten out of the middle of that statement. As for Taoism and Objectivism, they do share much, as the primary tenet of Taoism is pretty much to do what feels natural, and avoid violence. And Gilligan, I think I know what you’re referring to, but I don’t seem to have my copy of the Tao Te Ching (Call me old-fashioned, but I like Wade-Giles better than Pinyin) on hand, which is one reason that thread is still in the future.

2Sense, I’m not going to presume to speak for Lib, but if your philosophy holds that society does not have the right to initiate force or fraud (which includes things such as taxation) against an individual to benefit society as a whole or other individuals, then IMO you are pretty much a libertarian. I see it as a matter of where you want to distinguish between the rights of individuals and the rights of society. A libertarian considers the rights of the individual to be inviolable, and rights assigned to society to be subordinated to them.

I can tell I’m going to enjoy this thread.

I assure you that I am not on the road to Libertarianism.
What I understand of this philosophy frightens me, much in the same way that I assume that my belief that a strong central government could be held responsible to the people would frighten you.

It is my understanding that Libertarianism does not hold the rights of the individual to be inviolable. It allows for the violation of the right to liberty of murderers.

Thanks for the reply though.

To Lib or Water or anyone for that matter:

Am I to understand then that Libertarianism rejects what Beccaria would refer to as a “social contract” namely that individuals give up some of their liberty for the greater social welfare?

Not all chocolate is brown/ Yes, it is. White chocolate is not true chocolate, just butter fat with sugar.
So there mr. Lib!

People have the right to be free of initiated force and fraud. Murderers are the initiators of force, and the retaliatory force of punishing them is not a violation of their rights.

If murderers were unpunished, then it would be impossible to say that your right to be free of murder exists. This is why Lib uses the phrase “peaceful honest people” so often. While it’s a nice phrase, I’m going to try to explain this without it. This is rather simplified, so don’t fault me for my lack of detail in logically inferring each step from the previous.

First, let’s look at what rights are. Rights are really the obligations of others. What it means when one person has a right is that others are obligated to act in accordance with that right. If I have the right to life, you are obligated not to kill me.

People exist as individuals, so we believe that they have innate individual rights. Lib and the framers of the Declaration of Independence credit God with their existence, I credit nature.

Life is the most basic right. Everyone must be guaranteed the right to not be killed. We cannot guarantee that each person will lead a happy and healthy life. We can provide that they are allowed to pursue that end as they see fit, provided they are not infringing on the rights of others.

We believe that one cannot freely pursue his (assume her as well from now on) own life if his life is threatened, or if he is lied to. Therefore, force (including threats of force) and fraud are outlawed.

After this, we see the granting of additional rights as incurring obligations on others that would not allow them to freely pursue their own happiness.

And no, the thought of living in a country with a strong central government doesn’t scare me, I’ve gotten used to it. I’ll leave the trickier questions to Lib, and this one as well, if he wants to clarify/correct/disagree, etc.

I am willing to bow to your superior understanding of the definition of rights within the Libertarian philosophy; however, since I reject that philosophy its definitions do not apply to me. Nor do they apply to any other non-libertarian. So outside of the Libertarian context, I say that this quote is false. The murderer has not consented to being confined, therefore his rights have been abridged.

I do not say that this is unjustified or immoral, I believe that it is necessary. I am merely pointing out that rights are and should be abridged in certain situations.

On a side note:
While I disagree with you about the source of rights, I believe that they are bestowed by society, I do think that you state the definition of them very eloquently. I have been looking for the definition of yours that Smartass is fond of quoting for a while now. I don’t suppose you remember where I could find it, do you?

On another side note:
I promise that I will drop this after this comment, but I would not characterize the Federal government as a strong central government.


Congratulations. That makes you a living paradox.

“Libertarians are, by definition, those who oppose the initiation of force.” — Understanding the Libertarian Philosophy by Joseph Knight.

What I believe in that regard is irrelevant. Were I you, I would more concern myself with what he believes is helpful to him.

I can see where that might be hard to figure out.

My purpose for starting “Ask the Libertarian Objectivist Christian” is to answer questions people might have for Libertarian Objectivist Christians.


I know that you dislike what you understand of my philosophy, but I also know that you do not dislike me personally. It would never even cross my mind that you might be trolling.

Not necessarily. It avoids the employment of any arbitrary means for the end of expedience. In other words, a means is not justified simply because it might bring about an expedient end. However, my philosophy does not preclude an expedient means that is also ethical.

Well, broadly speaking, I live it like most people live their lives, I think. Day to day.

Are you asking whether I play God? No, I do not.

As I have said before, I see nothing wrong with any system, so long as it operates in a libertarian context. When I vote, I vote for candidates who believe that peaceful honest people ought to be free to pursue their own happiness in their own way.

Of course not.

It is not the laws that I fear, but the guns.

No, I never do.

I’m afraid I can’t.


Thank you.


Whenever peaceful honest people have been left free to pursue their own happiness in their own way, there has been a libertarian context. I cannot recall knowing of any such time.

I believe that the Word of God is bound by no book. The Word of God is alive.



I’m not sure that believers in Rand can be Libertarians. She was very strict with her worshippers that they toe the line precisely as she commanded. And she despised libertarianism, in particular the notion of noncoercion as axiomatic, derisively calling libertarians “hippies of the right”.


Jesus did not speak to “society”, but to individuals, in particular their hearts. He never called upon government to make a law, but rather, called upon men to make a decision.

If you wish to feed the poor, then feed them (as I do). But you have no authority over other men who are peaceful and honest, and must leave them to decide for themselves whether they will love their fellow man.

There are matters moral and matters civic. Jesus is concerned about the former. When you refuse to help the poor, you must answer to God, not government.

No. There are no conflicts unless you mix the metaphors. Let Caesar handle what is Caesar’s, and let God handle what is God’s. Remember that even Caesar will answer to Him.

A Christian. By a nose.


One cannot speak about the unspeakable.

One cannot know the unknowable.

A butterfly trapped in a closed fist is no longer a butterfly.

Butterflies fly.


No, you are not. Not summarily, at least.

Individuals who are peaceful and honest may freely and willingly give up whatever they wish, including the rights that God or nature gave to them, to form social contracts. But forcing people into contracts against their will is tyranny.


You did not ask about “true chocolate” versus “white chocolate”. You asked about “chocolate”, a word which you yourself combine with the word “white” to signify butterfat and sugar.

Stop equivocating and sit down.

(Please let 2Sense know whether this answer was helpful to you.)

Well, I took the test and answered honestly, and learned that I have a Phlegmatic Personailty (sic). The strength summary was quite accurate, but the weakness summary seemed to directly contradict it.

My own objection isn’t to strong government but big government; I think many libs would agree. You and I differ on the purpose of government; you see its purpose as solving problems, and I see it as protection from force.

I think we might agree, though, on the source of rights, although I wouldn’t phrase it the way you did. Unlike waterj2 and Lib, I don’t believe rights are natural, but a human invention. But I wouldn’t say “bestowed by society” but rather, “agreed upon by people.” And I think the particular rights that people should agree on are those that most other libs say are given by nature or God.

  1. I’m a bit unclear as to how taxation works in a libertarian society. Is it voluntary? Or is it just non-existant? If it is the latter, how does the government fund policing, fire protection, and defense?

  2. Can one be a libertarian and an athiest at the same time?


How interesting! My best friend is a Phleg. The link I gave you hardly does justice to the concept, but hopefully, it gave you some idea.

For a more in-depth understanding, I recommend Why You Act The Way You Do by Tim LaHaye. It has a fairly strong religious slant, but you can filter through the fluff to get to the meat.


Let us first define our terms.

Given that a tax is a payment for services made under force or threat of force, and that a fee is a voluntary payment for services, a libertarian society cannot, by definition, tax people, but it may contract to secure their rights in exchange for a fee. It is then up to individuals to decide whether and how they will be governed.

Yes. Libertarianism is concerned with politics. Atheism is concerned with religion.

I interpret this as being those who wish to be governed are goverened. That is, if one would like police protection, fire protection, and basic defense, one must contribute something to the government that provides this to them.

So if an individual chooses not to contribute anything, are they still warranted the aforementioned?

Hi Lib

[As you have seen elsewhere I am interested in libertarianism but I’m not one.]

I am confused by the use of the term “objectivism”. I personally think Rand was confused about this (having read what you have already had to say I know this won’t annoy you as such).

In my profession (economics) libertarians tend to be radical subjectivists. That is personal choice is beyond value criticism in that only an individual can know their own preferences and that their subjective evaluation of the world is what counts (I’m thinking GS Shackle, FA von Hayek and J Buchanan here).

Obviously you do not feel constrained by Rand’s dogma, but you hang on to the term. Why? In your system, aren’t you saying that the individual’s subjective knowledge of god’s spirit/ essence/ plan is what’s important? Isn’t this the opposite of objective?


Dear Mr. Libertarian Objectivist Christian
You have stated the following:

When there is not a libertarian candidate available and you vote for the next best thing, do you find yourself supporting one non-libertarian political party more than another? How can you be certain that, although you are voting for a candidate based on his merits as an individual thinker, you are not supporting the agenda of his political party that might be in conflict with your ideals?


You are exactly right.

God or nature gave you your rights, i.e. property, beginning with the right to life. You are therefore entitled by either your Creator or natural law to give or withhold your consent to be governed as you wish.

The concept is not new, though it has not, as yet, been implemented within any context of which I am aware. The following, expressing exactly the theme you’ve grasped, is from a very old document:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

Well, a libertarian government exists solely to secure the rights of its citizens. Therefore, only two (police and defense) of the three services you mention would apply, though in a combined form, since the citizens’ rights must be secured from whatever arbitrary coercion source, whether a lone thug or a tyrannical nation-state.


But it is not a matter of “contributing”, at least not in the smarmy modern sense. It is a matter of getting what you pay for and paying for what you get. There is no ethical basis, libertarianly speaking, upon which to force a peaceful honest man to be governed against his will. Nor is there any such basis for claiming the rights and property of other men.

Silly. I could compose a statement that said “SDMB members are, by definition, those who have purple feet.” If a Doper writes in to deny that he or she has purple feet, then maybe he or she is a “living paradox”—or maybe I just need a better definition.

And picmr, my cynical take (not that anybody asked me, of course!) on the use of the word “objectivism” by Randians and neoRandians despite its epistemological inappropriateness is that it just sounded nicely “rational” and “scientific.”