Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life and Liberty

I mentioned in my post the other day that even a libertarian can believe that abortion should be outlawed. Why? Life begins at conception, as any intellectually honest medical scientist will concede. Once we have established the individuality and humanity of the unborn, they are vested with the same right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as the rest of us.

I was thinking about the issue in church this morning when I was reminded that today is “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday”. The italics in the last sentence are intentional, because it bothers me that I had to be reminded.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Libertarianism and Legislating Morality

In my last post I mentioned how I am increasingly sympathetic to the libertarian point of view, although I am not quite there yet. One of the reasons I am still a little uncomfortable and unconvinced has to do with moral law. Despite the old and stupid adage that says “You can’t legislate morality” (What else are you going to legislate and why would you otherwise legislate anything?), all law has a basis in morality. Even the basic libertarian concession to the proper role of government,--to allow for the “least intrusive government consistent with the maximum freedom of each individual as long as he doesn't interfere with other individuals pursuing their own freedom”--is itself based in moral law. Does anyone remember the “Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tilting Toward Libertarianism

As a teenager and as a young adult, I pegged myself on the left side of the political spectrum. I called myself a liberal, which is of course a misnomer. Those who call themselves liberal today typically look to the government as the promoter and guarantor of the general welfare. In their view, the government is somehow to achieve this noble end through regulation, control and even ownership of economic activity; by redistributing wealth; or by incentivizing desired human behavior through regulation or the tax code. I prefer to label this ideology for what it is: statism.