Monday, October 8, 2012

Is religion compatible with a free society?

It seems to me that many of those interested in pursuing the knowledge of a free society have also come to other conclusions outside of our actual acting world. Not all of us have reached these conclusions because ultimately there is no logical deduction to be made to get there as there is with everything else that justifies the free society. These logical deducible axioms aren't abstract fixations on a could be world, no they are natural observations that can be made by acting men about acting men.

It seems though, that along with the idea of our society being of "Rules without Rulers" many others have taken the idea a step further. The new saying a lot of Voluntarists/Anarcho-Capitalists are using is "No Gods No Rulers" obviously showing what their spiritual beliefs are. Now, not all of those that believe in a free society are atheists and that includes me so that should be mentioned.

But why such the broad distaste for religion? Why should a purely individual choice, like so many other choices, be broadcasted with the message? Why turn off individuals that see the evils of the State from our philosophy?

I haven't quite figured that one out yet but it seems it stems from the belief that if you are to have total control and free will over your body, like the axiom of self-ownership implies, then no outside supernatural power should be able to claim it or have the power to do so. If this supernatural entity does then you are obviously not completely free and the axiom crumbles, along with every other conclusion that uses it as its premise.

Can you reconcile this paradox so that you might be able to still justify a free society off this essential axiom? I say yes, and I'm not religious one bit. Here's a great justification for those that believe in a higher being and still want to be able to conform to the idea of self-ownership.

Regarding the second point, self-ownership is no more inconsistent with God's ownership of us than our ownership of private property is inconsistent with God's ownership of the entire universe. Though the religious believer takes God to own everything, this nevertheless is compatible with the belief that He also allows us to take portions of the external world for our own exclusive use. Relative to Him, we are but stewards of what we possess and He owns; but relative to each other, we are owners of what we possess. (Indeed, there are two Commandments Thou shalt not steal and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods giving divine sanction to claims of private ownership.) But surely the same thing is true, and indeed more obviously true, of ourselves: relative to God, we are but stewards of His property, but relative to each other, we are self-owners. (And of course, this entails that, though we may not be answerable to each other with respect to every use we make of our selves, we are answerable to God for every use.8)1

So there is absolutely no need to leave behind your faith, judge others for their own faith, or worse turn the religious off by portraying your dislike in religion so zealously. We can all make our own personal choices in life especially as something as important and no less individualistic than other choices as religion.

1 Feser, Edward, Journal of Libertarian Studies, Volume 18, no. 3, pg.97, Mises Institute


  1. Very good. I've written on this theme here:

    1. Thanks for sharing that, good points as well.

  2. 1 Samuel 8:
    But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

    10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

    19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

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