Religutarian: The Intersection of Religon and Libertarian Thought

It’s funny when you get two groups who are not traditionally bedfellows to agree on the same things for nearly the same reasons.  In a recent debate, a fundamentalist Christian argued for an absolute right to life because it stated in the Constitution that we were endowed with said right by our Creator.  That’s hardly surprising, in fact plenty of Christians don’t even use the Constitution to back up their claims.  God said it, they believe it, that settles it.

Then the loony libertarians started jumping in with their support.  See, many libertarians, as I’ve written before, have some very bizarre ideas about rights as well.  According to them, rights are these nebulous, magical things that just float around and humans are obligated to acknowledge and follow them, even if libertarians have no way of demonstrating they even exist or determining what they actually are.

Both of them take their claims about rights entirely on faith, only the object of that faith is different.  Neither of them has a shred of evidence to support their claims and worse, neither of them have any interest in dealing with the reality of the situation with regard to rights.

What reality?  That rights are invented, instituted and implemented by man.  We make them up.  This makes both of the unlikely allies uncomfortable for the simple reason that if they cannot declare a universal application of these rights, their entire worldviews collapse like a house of cards.  That really is the problem, and the demise, of both positions, that they are presented as presuppositions which cannot be supported, for positions which absolutely rely on them.

So I came up with a word, “religutarian” to describe the intersection of the religious and libertarian rights lunacy.  Two groups, which usually have very little in common, have stumbled onto an unlikely common ground, drawn there by their individual delusions, yet holding just as much blind faith that they’re in the right spot.  Worse, their claims stemming from those beliefs continue to operate in tandem.  Christians claim that rights had to come from God or there could be no rights at all, they have to be handed down from on high and objective or their moral high ground falls apart.  Libertarians claim that rights have to exist objectively, entirely separate from human society, or there is no basis for declaring objective right and wrong and their political hand-waving makes even less sense.

So what does all this mean?  Very little, I’m sure, I just thought it was interesting.  Two groups that are largely laughable, who parade around with their holy books, the Bible on the one side and John Locke on the other, coming to much the same conclusions about things that really, both sides would entirely disagree with for the other side.

It’s just funny.  Forgive me if I continue to laugh at both parties.

2 thoughts on “Religutarian: The Intersection of Religon and Libertarian Thought”

  1. This might mean more than you think. I've been thinking along somewhat similar lines for some time now. Since the marriage of the "moral majority" and its subsequent incarnations generally known as the religious right, with old-style business Republicanism, I think both sides of that equation have been corrupted by the other, in a similar fashion to what you describe above. I wonder if part of it is that holding beliefs in one's mind for years and decades without evidentiary support (thus requiring frequent self and/or social reaffirmation) tends to "train" one's brain to think that way about more and more things, thus requiring less and less evidence to believe something. Thus one sees capitalists treating their view as the only rational one, and evangelicals believing the capitalists' version of economics as a matter of faith as well.

    1. I think in both cases, they're not so much interested in evidence to believe, they already have their beliefs, they've invented them out of whole cloth and demand they must be true. Then they go back and look for anything which they can use to justify those beliefs and that's where they get into trouble. Once they get emotionally attached to a belief, they are unwilling to examine or consider any other position because to do so would utterly destroy their worldview. They're right because they cannot imagine the possibility that they're wrong.

      Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common human foible.

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