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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13891/another-kind-of-liberalism/

Another Kind of Liberalism

September 14, 2010 by

Professor Raico stresses that there was another tradition within classical-liberal thought, which recognized the interdependence between religion and liberty. This tradition includes most notably the three great thinkers portrayed in Raico’s 1970 doctoral dissertation. FULL ARTICLE by Jörg Guido Hülsmann

{ 25 comments }

Allen Weingarten September 14, 2010 at 11:50 am

One of the obstacles to determining the relation of religion to liberty is the lack of definition. To some ‘religion’ relates to man’s highest aspirations, and is understood as allusive or poetic. To others ‘religion’ embodies dogma, and requires acceptance of literal statements about the nature of reality and historic occurrences. Perhaps if someone defined what he meant by ‘religion’ it would clarify his position. Would it include the practice by the Incas of human sacrifice, such as cutting out the heart from a living human, or exclude that practice? Would it include Islam’s imperative to subordinate all behavior of men and nations to its dictates, or exclude it? Would it include the dogmatism that is immune to scientific refutation, or exclude it? The answer to these questions bear on whether religion is or is not an aid to liberty.

mpolzkill September 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

Does it include Weingarten’s imperative to subordinate all behavior of men and nations to D.C.’s dictates, or exclude it?

Allen Weingarten September 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Perhaps you are joking, but you know that I advocate only those dictates that are imperative for survival, which are few and far between. Nor as you know is government a religion.

mpolzkill September 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Can’t be separated, as I forever vainly try to get across. We get *all* of their insane dictates in the bargain. There is no fixing your empire, it must go.

And it *was* a half-joke, countering your joke of a propaganda hit on all Muslims.

mpolzkill September 15, 2010 at 10:00 am

Oh yeah,

Trust in the Lord, Weingarten.

“as you know”

That is right, it is a substitute, a rotten one.

newson September 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

have you read this monograph?

mpolzkill September 15, 2010 at 9:47 am

Who me? No, I should, I reckon. I’m embarrassed to say that I know next-to-nothing about Constant, and it looks like Raico discusses him first. I’ll get on it, thanks, Newson.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

Said it before to this Martin OB, there is absolutely no benefit to liberty in attacking the sincerely religious (and the insincere have more readily attackable spots). Any extensive and honest study on the subject will show why the State fears them more than any other type person. (It dawned on me some short time ago that there’s also no use in begging these folks to try to curb this useless and preening compulsion of theirs.)

Martin OB September 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Of course, dogmatism and immunity to scientific refutation is the very essence of religion. It’s called “faith”. Providing a convenient justification to crime and brutality is just the icing on the cake. Articles like this one, reinforcing the myth that atheism is somehow linked with totalitarian interventionism are the best publicity statism can get. Yes, priests were prosecuted in the USSR; so were Trotskyists; so where Nazi socialists for that matter, which indeed were former allies. Fundamentalists hate competition, and they love to turn dissenters into enemies. The Catholic church shamelessly co-opted or supplanted government when given half a chance, every single time. When they couldn’t, they complained as victims on the side of liberty. Now Muslims, who take their religion much more seriously than Catholics ever did (by being ruthless fanatics instead of smug self-contradicting hypocrites), are taking over the world and imposing the barbaric teachings of their holy book just like Catholics have dreamt of and haven’t dared doing for a few centuries. I call that poetic justice, but please, enough with the joke that defenders of liberty have something to thank religion for.

nate-m September 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm

“”Of course, dogmatism and immunity to scientific refutation is the very essence of religion.”"

If your a actually believe in your religion then there is no conflict between religion and science. All science can do is (for example) prove the existence of God if it’s successful. If you truly believe in a God then religion is not religion… it’s a reality.

“” Providing a convenient justification to crime and brutality is just the icing on the cake. “”

Funny. The Nazis seemed to believe that they had a extremely scientific basis for their particular attempts to eliminate what they considered impurities and diseases from the gene pool in favor of cultivating the more perfect human. This is exactly the same sort of genetic manipulations that we have done to create domestic animals, pets, corn, and a huge number of other goods. It is a very scientific thing.

“”"The Catholic church shamelessly co-opted or supplanted government when given half a chance, every single time”"”

Just because the church was ran by assholes when they were government does not mean that all Christians are assholes, too. Yes government and oppression have taken many many forms. The church of the middle ages was just one of thousands of possible forms. It’s like saying that the Germans were oppressive jerks in the past so we must do everything we can to eradicate all aspects of Germans and German culture from the globe if we ever want to be free.Nowadays, of course, the Catholic church supports many scientific endeavors and on a couple occasions have come out and specifically supported things like the theory of evolution.

“”"Now Muslims, who take their religion much more seriously than Catholics ever did”"”

You should not portray such a huge group of people as acting under a single will or a single purpose or your the one that ends up looking like a idiot and a bigot.

Martin OB September 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm

“If your a actually believe in your religion then there is no conflict between religion and science. All science can do is (for example) prove the existence of God if it’s successful. ”

Religion doesn’t conflict so much with the actual body of knowledge generated by science (well, it does, but the Catholic church has become quite good at being kicked out of the way while claiming it didn’t mean to stay there anyway. Other Christian faiths not so much). The real conflict is with the methodology of science, for instance, Occam’s razor. Religions are full of bizarre untestable claims which help explain nothing. You can make up a new religion in a few minutes and it will be just as safe from rational refutation as any other. There you have the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Prove that they are wrong.

“If you truly believe in a God then religion is not religion… it’s a reality.”

The only reality is that you believe in it. To confuse belief with reality is, of course, delusional thinking.

“Just because the church was ran by assholes when they were government does not mean that all Christians are assholes, too. ”

I didn’t call them assholes. I just said being a Christian does not make you a friend of liberty. You can be both, and many Christians are, but there’s a tension between the two, not a mutual reinforcement. Wiping out all proselytist religions from the Earth would do a lot of good for world peace. Just in case you wonder, I’m taliking about each religious person leaving religion behind like children leave behind their pacifiers; I’m not talking about killing religious people; that only makes religions stronger.

“Nowadays, of course, the Catholic church supports many scientific endeavors and on a couple occasions have come out and specifically supported things like the theory of evolution.”

Against who? Let me guess… against other religious people. Hey, that’s progress. Maybe some day they will be supporting condoms to stop the AIDS pandemic in Africa. Anyway, Catholics nowadays may well be some of the least harmful variety of proselytizing religious people. That doesn’t make them inseparable friends of freedom.

“You should not portray such a huge group of people as acting under a single will or a single purpose or your the one that ends up looking like a idiot and a bigot.”

I did no such thing, but now that you mention it, indeed, most Islamic authorities work together for the purpose of advancing Islam and Sharia everywhere. You can see their dream by looking at any Islamic country, where gays are stoned to death and raped girls are punished by their brothers.

nate-m September 15, 2010 at 1:24 am

> The only reality is that you believe in it. To confuse belief with reality is, of course, delusional thinking.

There is not much difference between what a person believes and what they see as their reality. To say that to confuse belief with reality is delusional really shows that you have a poor understanding of the nature of either when it comes to humans and your probably very incapable of identifying delusions you may be harboring. Little hope for progress right now, I am afraid. But I’ll not lose faith in you. ;)

> There you have the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Prove that they are wrong.

Yawn. Their beliefs are their problem, not mine. That is why it’s a mistake to mix religion and politics. If they keep them themselves, I’ll keep to mine.

> Against who?

Maybe you personally? Hell if I know. Maybe it’s just a statement in a vain attempt to show people that to be Catholic is to be intellectually stuck in the dark ages. I don’t know. You’ll have to ask them on their motivations all I can get you is their statements and you can make your own judgement.

I don’t know why they have to be against somebody to indicate that they believe something is possible. Is this showing some fundamental flaw in your thinking or something? Do you believe your beliefs are incompatible and grossly at odds with people that may not agree with you? Should opposing viewpoints be stamped out that lack your personal approval and that you think are wrong? This seems likely from what your saying.

> I did no such thing,

Hrm?

“”"Now Muslims, who take their religion much more seriously than Catholics ever did (by being ruthless fanatics instead of smug self-contradicting hypocrites), are taking over the world and imposing the barbaric teachings of their holy book just like Catholics have dreamt of and haven’t dared doing for a few centuries. “”"

Who was that? Were you just channeling the flying spaghetti monster or something? That’ s a pretty severe statement and the term ‘muslim’ covers a very significant portion of the world population.

Martin OB September 15, 2010 at 6:12 am

“There is not much difference between what a person believes and what they see as their reality. To say that to confuse belief with reality is delusional really shows that you have a poor understanding of the nature of either when it comes to humans and your probably very incapable of identifying delusions you may be harboring.”

There’s no “their reality” or “your reality”, there is just reality, period. If you believe in something, you think it’s part of reality. Just because you think it’s so, does not automatically make it so. Get it? If you think you can make something real by believing in it, yes, you are delusional.

“Yawn. Their beliefs are their problem, not mine. That is why it’s a mistake to mix religion and politics. If they keep them themselves, I’ll keep to mine.”

They don’t really believe in that, of course. They just make a point, and if you can’t prove their purposefully ridiculous mock religion wrong, then you have a problem if you want other people to take your religion seriously, just because it can’t be proved wrong.

“Maybe you personally? Hell if I know. ”

Of course I know. It was a rhetoric question. They were defending Evolution against other religious people, more precisely other Christians. The Catholic church wanted to sound a bit less bonkers than their competitors, the creationist crowd.

That was after centuries of denying, mocking and fighting science in general, and more than a century with Evolution in particular. So, no, that doesn’t count as a possitive contribution of religion.

I said:
“Now Muslims, who take their religion much more seriously than Catholics ever did”

You said:
“You should not portray such a huge group of people as acting under a single will or a single purpose or your the one that ends up looking like a idiot and a bigot.”

You could accuse me of ungranted generalization (you would be quite wrong, but at least it would make sense), but what you accuse me of has nothing to do with what I said. There’s no need to postulate that a group “acts under a single will” to say a particular attitude is present in most of its individuals. Even if I really meant “ALL Muslims take their religion very seriously” (which I didn’t), no unity of will is required.

On the other hand, if I said “Muslims attacked the West on 9-11″, I would be attributing a particular decision taken by some individuals to all their religious community, which is what you accuse me of doing.

DD5 September 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm

“You should not portray such a huge group of people as acting under a single will or a single purpose or your the one that ends up looking like a idiot and a bigot.

Stop crying like a little bitch, and take your medicine like a big boy.

nate-m September 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Here is a very obvious example of ‘Stupid is as Stupid does’.

Thank you for supporting my argument.

Bob September 14, 2010 at 2:02 pm

It is important to differentiate between faith, religion and religious institutions. Religious institutions that add to the public discourse and provide doctrinal instruction to their voluntary members are the epitomy of liberty, and by encouranging virtue then contribute to a better functioning free society. Those that have amassed poltical sway, either by coopting the state as in many muslim countries or as stand-alone quasi-states such as the vatican, posesses the power to impose tyrrany.

The Crackshot Crackpot September 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Oh god! Make it stop! Make it stop!

At least in real church I can check out all the trophy wives that parade around the pews.

How ’bout some pictures to go along with the hymns, reverend?

Anthony September 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Bob,
That is well spoken… any religious group that does not attempt to violate the rights of people (either inside or outside their faith) is ok by me.

I have just one line of questioning for the many religious people here, out of genuine personal curiosity:

How do you choose which religion is true? For Catholics, why aren’t you Muslim? or Buddhist? How do you know which religion to have faith in?

nate-m September 15, 2010 at 2:58 am

“”"How do you choose which religion is true? For Catholics, why aren’t you Muslim? or Buddhist? How do you know which religion to have faith in?”"”

It’s really a very personal thing. What makes sense to you may not make sense to me and visa versa.

My belief stems from the fact that if there was a God he would do what is necessary to make his presence known and that we exist for a reason. It did not make sense that we would be created to wallow around in ignorance and suffering. So as part of our creation we would be given at least two things:
1. The intellectual capacity to understand, if we wanted.
2. The clues stuck in reality that would allow us to understand.

So I figured it would not be terribly un-obvious and it would probably be built into the fabric of nature and the universe in some manner. So I figured I’d asked for guidance and after a couple of events helped me convince that the Bible was probably a good enough place to start.

If you think about it, even if it ended up being somewhat fruitless as a religious experiment the concepts of the Bible are so deeply ingrained in our culture and thought processes that understand it would help to understand a great deal of why western westerners do the things they do.

So nowadays I know that the Bible (aka Word of God) and it as core item of the Christian faith. Without it at the core of the discipline of thought behind the Church concepts then Churches would easily wallow around without guidance and drift off into same traps of thought that any other minor modern paganistic religions spend most of their time. (ie. the people that worship the moon, that think the ‘goddess’ is a huge galaxy-sized vagina, that wood nymphs living in trees are our cousins, that mushrooms and LSD are keys to freedom, aliens come from space and raped your mom to make you etc etc) That is without the cornerstone of the Bible there is not much point to being a Christian at all. It might as well not exist since it could be just about whatever the hell you wanted it to be. At that point there would be little point to any of it.

Sooo… Going by what the Bible says my assumptions on point 1 and 2 are bit more nuanced then I thought. So, for example, it says that God has made some people spiritually dumb. That is he had removed their capability of understanding on purpose. As odd as this may seem it was done as a sort of blessing.. that they are simply not robust enough, spiritually, to make it through the this world on their own. They are still valued, of course, so this is their protection.

Then on the flip side there are people that have no choice but to believe. That God takes a active role on their life and they could not turn away even if they wanted to. The reason for this is that we existed (as in everybody) has existed PRIOR to this earth age. These people are people that made their own choices up and sided with God previously and have not wavered, so their is not much point to allowing them to make up their mind again anyways.

Most everybody falls between the two groups, of course. Many people will not end up really having much of a fair shake at this life. The end of this world will not herald the end of everybody. The Bible teaches that to die is to be with the Lord. There is no hell in the ‘fire and brimstone’ classical sense portrayed in pop culture. We all go to heaven completely irregardless of our choices or how we lived our life or anything like that. We sit there till ‘Judgement Day’ and all get judged. So then some people will get eliminated, that is erased completely from existence as if they were a flame of a candle that was put out (it does not seem like that would be a very large number). Other people get to hang out with God in paradise and the rest, either because they choose to remain, or because they did not have much of a chance in this life are set at the other side of the gulf of reality for (what I understand as) a thousand years of additional teaching and decision time.

All in all it’s extremely interesting. It’s amazing how much I was told about what is in the Bible was not really in the Bible.

Stuff like:
1. The book of Genesis does not contain the beginning of the universe. It’s the beginning of this particular segment of earth age. There is nothing that indicates that the earth is really 8 thousand years old (or whatever). In fact there are quite a bit of referencing going to to times before Genesis.

2. Adam and Eve were not the original humans and all humans are no descended from them. This is pretty obvious in the whole ‘God made man in the 6th day, he rested on the 7th, and then it goes to talk about why he then decided to make Adam and Eve and whatnot.’ Also the whole ‘day’ when talking about God is quite a bit different then the whole day thing when it comes to human’s days. This is pretty obvious in how Cain, when exiled because his murder of Able, was able to travel to the land of Nod and eventually got a wife there. Of course this particular tidbit is controversial were in my eyes it’s a pretty much a ‘duh’ thing.

(Even if you do not believe in what the Bible says it’s still interesting to try to understand what the Bible is trying to say exactly. Maybe not. Whatever float your boat.)

3. No Apple in the book of Genesis. The whole Apple, from what I can tell, originated a Sunday school thing so that the teachers could avoid the embarrassment of trying to explain what is really talked about in that part of the Bible to children. Unfortunately it seems that most people’s Bible teaching nowadays never got much past it. I could be wrong. Whatever.

As far as how much I ultimately believe in all of that, it varies day to day. It’s much easier for me to talk about what I think the Bible teaches versus what I actually believe. To me ultimately it’s a all extremely personal thing, a very personal relationship with God. The best bet for anybody is just to ask for guidance and take it from there. Of course you could ask me what you should believe in, but that’s probably pretty obvious from what I was talking about and my opinions are probably less then useful to you and asking me is not what I am saying. :)

Anthony September 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm

nate-m,

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. As it happens I do have experience with the bible because I was raised as a Catholic… at the very least I know what the Catholic church says the bible is about.

The main issue that forced me to reject religion was the notion that there is, in fact, no rational way to choose between religions (or sects of a religion). Using the bible as a basis for faith does not work for me since, first, there is more than one version of the bible, and even if I could decide on one particular translation there is still an infinite number of interpretations of any given text.

Second, which holy book do I use… should I stick with the Jewish bible and become Jewish? Assume that Jewish people were too stubborn to recognize Jesus as the savior and use the Christian bible? Assume Christians were too stubborn and go with the Koran, in addition to the Christian and Jewish testaments? Or skip the bible all together in favor of Buddhism?

My most recent religious experience was a young Muslim (around 20) explaining to me that I should not eat pork because “pigs used to be people”. I decided that if I was to accept that logic and evidence are to mean anything to me, I needed to reject the sort of faith that leads people to such ridiculous ends.

newson September 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm

to the extent (if any) that religion acts as a counterweight to statism and not as a bulwark, is it a concern to libertarians which one people may prefer?

John September 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Belief in imaginary friends has no relation to a philosophy based on reason

The hottest sale north face kids jackets,kids north face jackets,kids north face jackets sale,cheap kids north face jackets,the north face daypacks,North Face Day Pack,North Face DayPack,North Face DayPack salein 2010. September 15, 2010 at 12:04 am

good job.

Raimondas September 15, 2010 at 1:19 am

People without faith can communicate only over lawyer i.e. they have phantom of liberty.

Anthony September 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm

As I person without religious faith, I in communicate exactly the same way as I did when I had religious faith… I am not sure exactly what you are getting at here.

JFF September 15, 2010 at 6:29 am

I look at it more practically; what master does a free man serve?

The answer, “himself.”

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