No, I consider slavery a threat to liberty. Since it’s been abolished, we can turn our attention to other matters.
I understand the positions you’ve noted in your post. I also know the underlying reasoning. What I don’t know is the basis of the underlying reasoning.
Only if you consider life imprisonment for any serious violent crime “lenient.”
I threw in all those qualifiers because it was an vague generalization. There are of course significant exceptions, you most especially. I was responding to your vague assertion that libertarians were being unfairly picked on with a vague generalization indicating a “sense” that I and others appear to have developed about libertarians. Let’s get past the vagueness and get into a rational debate.
The questions that I asked in the OP seem very simple and straightforward. I don’t think they’re vague at all. If you disagree, you can certainly ask for clarification.
And, yes, I’ve evaded your question, not because I don’t want to answer it, but because it’s off-topic. What I think about libertarianism is a matter for other topics and other posts.
Just because you don’t specify priests or a church doesn’t mean that you hold religious values. Any statement accepted purely on faith, in the complete absence of or in contradiction to empirical evidence, is a religious belief.
For instance, I’m specifically curious about the conception of “property” here. Is the concept that all liberty derives from property a religious belief, or a value statement? The difference is subtle, but meaningful. A religious belief cannot be debated. You either accept it or you don’t. A value statement is still very difficult to debate, but it puts itself on an equal footing with commonly accepted values, such as compassion, ordinary liberty, presumed equality, etc.
I will admit this. I’m not “up” on libertarian philosophy in the same way I’m not “up” on Quantum Mechanics. I have a serious interest in the subject, but I don’t have a thorough professional understanding. I’m in that state where “a little knowlege is a dangerous thing.” Another reason why I don’t want to contaminate this particular discussion with my preconceptions.
As I mentioned before, there are certain values that have more or less common adherence, and there are others that are less common. You can’t really argue the merit of a value in a vacuum. However, you can rationally determine that two values are incompatible.
For instance, Robert Anton Wilson says, “I would be a libertarian but I don’t hate poor people.” Obviously he is being flip and hyperbolic, but he does assert there is a values conflict between libertarian absolute property rights and our compassionate responsibility to less fortunate people. I’m not arguing the correctness of his statement (yet) just using it as an example of a values conflict.
I’ve never believed that true libertarianism followed the philosophy and explicit provisions of the Constitution. The most obvious is that, as I noted in the other thread, the Constitution provides that the Congress may levy taxes for the general welfare, a position, in my understanding, absolutely in conflict with libertarianism.
This is the “crux of the bisquit.” What does “as free as possible” mean? For instance, do I have more or less freedom because I’m compelled to pay taxes to build freeways. I have less money, but I have a network of roads that makes intercontinental travel trivial. I maintain that this trade-off debatable on its own merits.
Whereas my understanding of libertarian philosophy is that the imposition on my freedom of the taxes is, in and of itself, an unacceptable imposition on my freedom, regardless of the utilitarian consequences.
This is where we conflict. A libertarian will flatly assert “The government has no business doing this.” I’m arguing (as I mentioned before) a deduction from what I consider a generally accepted premise (taxes are justified for the general welfare), and the libertarian hasn’t accepted my premise.
Now, if you’re going to defend a premise in the arena of rationality, you have to argue whether that premise is deduced from other generally accepted premises, is based on a value system, has a positive utilitarian effect, or just has been accepted on faith.
That’s the question I’m trying to answer.
And I always make allowances for typos in a post that exhibits excellent grammar, spelling, and overall clarity. I certainly have made my own share!
Against stupidity the very gods / Themselves contend in vain.