Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Setting Hyper-Libertarians Straight on Objectivism: What's at Stake in the so-called Gay Marriage Debate?

(This post is a response to my friend and Christian brother Jacob at his blog here)

I do not intend to address every point that Jacob brought up in his post, just a few that I think are the most critical ones.  I entitled this post as I did because I see a movement among passionate libertarians who are seeking to correct the abhorrent and fascist views of this current government.(As well as heretical views in the church)  And for that I applaud them!  However, it is often the tendency of human beings to over react to a certain error to the extent where they produce their own.  For example:  hyper-calvinists refuse to preach the gospel to people unless those people are showing signs of being elect.  They reason that it wouldn’t be a genuine offer to them because unless God chose them they are incapable of believing.  Do you see what they have done?  They have turned out to be full blown Pelagians because of their over-reaction and non-objectivist thinking when it comes to the gospel.  In seeking to distinguish themselves from all theological error, they adopted the very thing they opposed.(By the way, Jacob is the first one who showed this to me:) Thank you my friend.)  This is the very thing that is happening amongst many in the libertarian movement.(I distinguish them as hyper-libertarians, because I’m actually not sure if all of them think this way).  In seeking to limit the government’s power, they are actually giving them more power.  In seeking to keep the government out of our personal lives, they open the door wider. 

I believe this is what is happening in Jacob’s post.  In his first paragraph under the heading “The Abomination of Outlawing Gay Marriage--Correcting the Church,” he argues that initiating force is an abomination.  For this issue at hand, I couldn’t agree more!!  Unfortunately...that is the very thing that is being defended: the right for the government to initiate force.   They are initiating force against “thing-ness.”  They are attempting to re-define a thing, and in doing so are initiating force against all the laws of logic.  A no longer equals A and in fact can contradict it whenever it pleases.  Before force is initiated in the physical realm, it must first be initiated in the meta-physical realm.  Marriage means something, just like every other “thing” means something.  All “things” that exist have an essence(logically) before they have an expression in the material world.  This is what objectivism sets forth.  The government is filled with people that are anti-objectivists.   It was forty years ago this year, that the government was allowed to change the definition of another “thing,” and that was human life.  70 million abortions later we have still not learned our lesson.  Christian non-objectivists were arguing similar things back then as well.  Although they personally thought abortion was wrong, they argued that the government had no right to tell them what to do with their body.  That is an equivocation to the matter at hand.  First of all, the government(justly) tells us many things that we can and can’t do with our body.  We can’t use our body to hurt other people. So the argument fails before it gets out of the gates.  But pressing on, the argument doesn’t address the other body that is being dismissed as a non-person.  Is that “thing” in the womb a person? ‘Well no..’  Really?  Who determined that?  The government.  The government did when they were allowed(by the people) to initiate force against “thing-ness”.  This is the irony that belongs to hyper-libertarians.  In seeking to re-establish order and bring back the power to the people, they often concede more power to the government.  Unfortunately this will come at great cost.  This is already being tested out in so called “transgender” cases.  In Massachusetts, the state school board initiated force against human sexuality(metaphysically) so that people can define themselves, sexually, however they want.  What’s the fallout?  Initiation of force in the physical realm by those same school officials who force normal girls to share locker rooms and bathrooms with boys who identify themselves as a girls.  Who are the victims?  The real little girls who will be treated as the bullies by school officials if they do not adhere to these newly re-defined transgender persons.   

Mark my words...the government will initiate force against anyone who will not accept their (soon to be) re-defined view of marriage.  So called “gay marriage” IS an initiation of force.  It is an initiation of force against “thing-ness,” and this will translate to an initiation of force against people who disagree with them.  It will enforce this new definition and press it to the point where we lose our freedom of speech.  Our neighbors to the north have already tasted this bitter fruit.  It will initiate force so that we are penalized through creative civil fines, as seen in the Hobby Lobby case.  In the end those who disagree with their initiation of force against marriage will be deemed dangerous to society and incarcerated.  One only needs to do a google search to see that this is not hyperbole. 

When the government is allowed to initiate force against the definition of thing-ness, it will initiate force physically against those who disagree. 


  1. What is the essential principle regarding the proper use of State force being advocated above? It seems to be that the State ought to defend "thing-ness" from the "initiation of force", and that force is initiated against "thing-ness" whenever someone thinks or acts wrongly about a thing. So, the role of the State is to ensure (by force) that everyone is always thinking and acting rightly about things -- that no one ever thinks or acts wrongly about anything. If at anytime, anyone anywhere is ever able to think or act wrongly, then the State has failed to do its job in defending "thing-ness".

    The State is therefore responsible to use force to ensure absolute perfection by everyone at all times. The State has become God. Period.

    Such is the only logical conclusion of the principle advocated above. The only way one could hold to this position without simultaneously advocating for a full-on theocratic dictatorship is by refusing to consistently follow the principle and position being espoused. The violation of *every* right by the State is the only logical conclusion of such a principle. And *that* is how one determines the trajectory of an idea: not by the circumstantial events which happen to coincide with it in history, but by the inevitable logical conclusions which must be true if it is followed consistently -- because if advocated and embraced, it *will* be followed consistently... in due time.

  2. Jacob (1 of 2)

    The essence of my argument is not being dealt with. I agree, in regards to the issue at hand, that initiating force is an abomination. Your position (Jacob) advocates that the government does initiate force against "thing-ness." It initiates force metaphysically which will translate to initiating force in the physical realm. This is not a theory, this is happening all over this planet. In whatever country you look where your position is being practiced, true freedom is being swallowed up. You are advocating relativism whether you realize it or not. If there is no definition to this thing called marriage, then anything can be marriage and you have no philosophical ground to stand on in order to argue against that.

    Regarding your response to me, you are employing a straw man and you should know better. Where in my post did I advocate that the government should control people's thinking? The irony that is dripping from this discussion is that is exactly what your view leads to. This is not a slippery slope fallacy, not a mere potentially or a probability, but this absolutely follows from your view with indisputable evidence. The state, in your view, is God because it becomes the final arbiter of what a thing is. 2 Peter 2:14 says that the government's role is to "punish those who do evil and praise those who do good." That means that the government is a steward. It's job is to examine their people's public behavior in light of natural law(at the very least), and make right judgments accordingly. To punish accordingly, to praise accordingly, and to tolerate according. But even those judgments they make are also to be in accord with natural law(and hopefully Scripture), so that they punish, praise and tolerate in the proper spheres with the proper restraint. They mete out consequences(positive or negative) based on the pre-established standards.(Natural Law) They do not re-define what those standards are. Your position advocates that they have the right. Your position advocates that they can initiate force on the metaphysical level, changing the definition of thing-ness.

  3. Jacob (2 of 2)

    Regarding your statement: "It (my essential principle) seems to be that the State ought to defend "thing-ness" from the "initiation of force", and that force is initiated against "thing-ness" whenever someone thinks or acts wrongly about a thing." Who said that? I certainly did not. That is a straw man. The state ought not to be thought police nor should they punish every action in my view. They are stewards who have to judge(against a God’s standard) what ought to be praised, punished and tolerated in their respective spheres. But if they are relativists, which is the fruit that your philosophical seed produces, they graduate to deity. They now instead of being stewards are now the standard.

    Lastly you said "And *that* is how one determines the trajectory of an idea: not by the circumstantial events which happen to coincide with it in history, but by the inevitable logical conclusion which must be true if it is followed consistently--because if advocated and embraced, it *will* be followed due time." Question: Is 70 million aborted babies a "circumstantial event which happens to coincide" with the government redefining personhood OR the inevitable logical conclusion? If you say the first, you are denying the very reality in which we live. If you say the second you contradict your position. Total depravity is not a theory but a fact. When sinful human beings, who hate God, are told that they can kill their babies, because in fact they are not actually babies(through the government's adjusted definition),and that the government will not punish them for this, but will in fact praise them for this...what is the inevitable logical conclusion? 70 million dead human beings. All of which were victims of the government initiating force against "thing-ness" That is hardly a "circumstantial event which happens to coincide with it in history." In fact all of the examples that I gave in my post were inevitable logical conclusion of your position. The burden is on you to prove otherwise.

  4. Then, let us be more specific in getting at the heart of your argument - particularly the principle from which you are operating. You have brought up the charge that allowing "Gay Marriage" is an initiation of force against "thing-ness". As stated above, it seemed to me that this is because "marriage" by definition is heterosexual - therefore to allow people to redefine it is to allow them to assault objectivity or "thing-ness". So, it seems that the essential principle is that the act of redefinition (or mis-definition, for that matter) is considered by you to be an act of initiating force. Is that correct? If so, the rest of my argument follows. If not, what *is* the initiation of force you are referring to?

    Concerning your abortion question, it is a logical result of the government redefining personhood. I completely agree with you on *that*. But you're mixing apples and oranges. The problem with the government redefining personhood in that instance is not the redefinition, as such - the problem is that the result is the government failing to do it's job of defending against the initiation of force (on the part of unborn babies). The government does need accurate definitions for those things in it's jurisdiction - but not for everything. The government needs accurate definitions for: person, life, liberty, property, rights, fraud, contract, etc... It does not need accurate definitions for: The Bible, God, Jesus, the Hypostatic Union, Marriage, Sex, Prayer, the color blue, etc...

    I've repeatedly stated a clear principle by which to determine those things in (and out) of the Government's jurisdiction. Do you have a clear principle which does the same?
    What principle are you operating off of which demands that the Government define "marriage" but not "Scripture"?

  5. Dearest Euthyphro,
    When we spoke last May, I pointed out that since your position fails to hold to a definition to marriage, then any thing can be marriage, including adults marrying small children. You disagreed on the grounds that small children cannot give proper "consent" since they are not fully cognitively developed.
    What does consent mean?...
    Whose definition are we using?...
    Yours? Mine? NAMBLA's? The government's? If marriage doesn't mean anything, then how can the word consent mean anything? If the government can change the definition of personhood(abortion), of marriage(so-called gay marriage), then why can't it change the definition of consent(pedophilia)?

    As for the questions that you asked me, I answer: I will not be baited into trying to defend a position I do not hold and that does not flow logically and necessarily from my view. The burden of proof is not on me. I do not have to prove that the government has to get the definition of the Bible or Jesus Christ or the church right to prove my position. You on the other hand do have to prove that it is within the government's sphere to redefine thing-ness. You have not been able to accomplish this because you are trying to use absolute truth to defend relativism. If things like marriage don't mean some "thing," then they can mean any "thing." That is relativism.

  6. I've already stated that the Government needs to have accurate definitions for those things under it's jurisdiction. Consent is obviously under the Government's jurisdiction regarding contracts.
    Let's review the similarities and differences in our positions.
    We *both* agree that there are objective, non-negotiably definitions of things - everything.. including marriage. Marriage IS defined by God as one man and one woman covenanting together before God in a way that symbolizes Christ and the Church for His glory. THAT is marriage and nothing else is. To redefine the "thing-ness" of anything in a way that contradicts reality is to engage in evil subjectivity. We both agree with that.
    I believe that it is not the Government's job to enforce all objectively accurate definitions - that the Government needs to have accurate definitions only in regard to those things under its jurisdiction (rights, contracts, etc..)
    You (seem to) believe that it is the Government's job to enforce all objectively accurate definitions.... or only those which pertain to rights/ contracts AND a few other random issues like maybe marriage... or... I don't know. I'm still trying to figure it out.
    You see, we agree that it is absolutely VITAL to accurately understand and define all things. One of those things is the Government and its proper role. I am trying to understand and define its proper roles accurately. You seem to disagree with my definition, but you won't submit your own -- or if you do, you won't answer clarifying questions on how or why you allow exceptions to your description.

    One thing is for sure. At least one of our positions is wrong, relativistic, and will lead to severe violations of rights in every area of life if adhered to consistently.