Is Libertarianism Satanism?

In all the many years that I have read and heard a great many misconceptions, criticisms, and smears of libertarianism by Democrats, Republicans, liberals, progressives, centrists, and conservatives, I have never read anywhere or heard anyone say that libertarianism is Satanism.

I guess there is a first time for everything.

Because some people mistakenly believe that libertarianism is a moral philosophy, they think that libertarians are materialistic, nihilistic, libertines or hedonists who believe in situation ethics and moral relativism, and are antagonistic toward religion.

And then there is the gentleman who wrote me recently:

I just thumbed through your 2020 article, Is Libertarianism Immoral? Of course it is. It goes out of its way to be immoral. It can’t be reconciled with any notion of morality, certainly no biblical morality. On every point where the Holy Bible says that man should or should not do something, Libertarianism says the opposite and calls it freedom.

I can imagine that many Libertarians consider themselves atheists, but they are not atheists. It’s God is an abstract notion called Liberty, to whom the nation has erected a graven image. In practice Libertarianism is Satanism, for that is the religion that does the opposite of what God says in the Holy Bible for the sake of opposing God. That is what Libertarianism does, it does the opposite of everything God says do or not do for the sake of opposing God.

I think you get the idea of what he is saying so I won’t bother to reproduce the whole e-mail.

The article in question was published in August of 2020. I guess my critic just discovered it. Here is what I said in the article about libertarianism:

Libertarianism is the philosophy that says that people should be free from individual, societal, or government interference to live their lives any way they desire, pursue their own happiness, accumulate wealth, assess their own risks, make their own choices, participate in any economic activity for their profit, engage in commerce with anyone who is willing to reciprocate, and spend the fruits of their labor as they see fit. As long as people don’t violate the personal or property rights of others, and as long as their actions are peaceful, their associations are voluntary, and their interactions are consensual, they should be free to live their lives without license, regulation, interference, or molestation by the government.

I concluded that “it is not the business of government to protect people from, or prevent people from engaging in, bad habits, risky behavior, harmful substances, unhealthy choices, dangerous activities, poor decisions, addictive actions, immoral conduct, or ruinous vice.”

To put this “libertarianism is Satanism” nonsense to bed as quickly and as briefly as possible, let’s just take one example: adultery. This is something that is condemned all throughout the Bible and by every Christian denomination that I am aware of.

Does libertarianism say that men and women should commit adultery? Absolutely not.

Does libertarianism say that men and women should not commit adultery? Absolutely not.

Does libertarianism say that committing adultery is immoral, sin, and against god’s law? Absolutely not.

Does libertarianism say that committing adultery is not immoral, sin, and against God’s law? Absolutely not.

Does libertarianism recommend that anyone commit adultery? Absolutely not.

Does libertarianism recommend that anyone not commit adultery? Absolutely not.

Libertarianism neither condones nor condemns adultery. Libertarianism does not say anything about adultery. As libertarianism’s greatest theorist, Murray Rothbard, has explained:

Libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be a complete moral, or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory, that is, the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life. Political theory deals with what is proper or improper for government to do, and government is distinguished from every other group in society as being the institution of organized violence. Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit except invade the person or property of another. What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.

Have individual libertarians ever committed adultery? Of course they have. Just like individual atheists, agnostics, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists have committed adultery. Have individual libertarians ever tried to justify their act of adultery? Of course they have. Just like individual atheists, agnostics, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists have tried to justify their act of adultery.

But libertarianism doesn’t say that man should or should not do anything. It says that whatever he does, law enforcement, government bureaucrats, puritanical busybodies, and religious zealots should give him the liberty to do it as long as he doesn’t violate the personal or property rights of others. If God wants to punish a man in this life or the next for committing adultery, then that is his prerogative. But it is not Satanism to leave that decision up to God.

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