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Kheldane

Libertarian Issues

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I know I am (deservedly) notorious for steering a good thread in the Libertarian v/s The World direction, but I think a few other forumers have also steered themselves in that direction without my involvement. So I now set up this thread that can be linked to - and can be used to keep from muddying up a regular thread.

Also, please feel free to use this thread to discuss any political-philosophical issues. Some forumers like to dig deep into issues, others just like to skim the surface. Maybe this thread can be used for the DD people, and the laymen will be spared the techical concepts...

Enjoy!! :D

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^ My first question to you would be, are you a "little-l" libertarian, or a supporter of the Libertarian Party? (If that makes sense.) I ask just to better understand where you come from.

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We got onto a short tangent about libertarianism in this thread:

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=28901

So I have a few follow-up Q's for ReliantJ:

What are you doing to bring about less government? (or what would you do?), because if the answer is not "voting libertarian", then you're seriously misguided. Honestly, I don't see how anyone (let alone someone who appears to be as smart as you are) could entertain the notion that a vote for democrat or republican could in any way result in less government. These party's records speak for themselves. The government has consistently grown larger, and at a faster pace, regardless of who is in charge. Both parties are bought and paid for by large corporations. Why do corporations not support the libertarian party? Because the party stands aginst most of the government protections/favors bestowned upon large corporations.

Also, you seem to be pretty religious, so I will save time and anticipate a few objections you might have to my "you should be libertarian" spiel:

"I disagree with legalizing drugs" - You have to realize that preventing other people from using drugs by locking them up (which you do when you vote to criminalize it) will in no way result in you getting into heaven. You need to go back and completely re-read the gospel (first four books) of the bible if you think Jesus would have wanted the Roman army to enforce his teaching. People turn towards christ voluntarily, and you don't save them (and probably damn yourself) by voting to make so many actions illegal. And beware - by legislating morality you have set the precedent that morality can be legislated, and then it's just a matter of time before the political tide shifts and you see your christian freedoms equally eroded. The best solution is the Libertarian solution: A governmetn without the power to regulate peaceful actions, be they moral or immoral from a christian perspective. Does that leave the door open to a wide aray of un-punished sinful activity? Yes. Does it also provide a rock-solid guarantee that christians will be free to live their rightous lifestyle unhindered by government? Also Yes. You can't have it both ways.

But beyond the christian aspect of it, there is the moral issue of you (or your government proxy) unilaterally deciding that an individual's peaceful activities will be punished with violence because you have some emotional objection to those actions. That's essentially what happens with drugs - maybe you've never thought of it in those terms, but hopefully you see that it could easily be turned against church members. Don't you realize that you are the one casting the first stone when you make drugs illegal?

And finally on this issue: If you have objections related to public safety (highways) and operating heavy machinery, I will remind you that in the libertarian world, it is the responsibility of the owners of those highways or airports or bulldoziers to ensure their operators/drivers are sober. And in the libertarian world those owners would not be the government. Insurace companies will provide more than enough financial incentive to cause the responsible parties to screen operators/drivers as necessary.

"I disagree with legalized abortion" - This is a hard issue for me, and I think the reason is because libertarianism doesn't have anything to say about this debate. Which makes it difficult for me because I approach almost all issues from the libertarian perspective. Going back to the basics in libertarianism, we remember that all violent action is bad - and subject to prevention by the government. So my first take on the issue is that abortion should be illegal from the standpoint that it's violent action against the fetus. The question then becomes what are the rights of the fetus (since you must believe it has rights if it's protected from violent action). I can see some libertarians making the argument that the fetus should then have the right to good nutrition, protection from maternal smoking/drinking/drug usage, maybe the right to a professional/doctor attended birth in a fully equiped medical facility. Anyway - I think libertarianism itself is neutral on the issue (the philosophy, not the people), so you can be libertarian and still pro-life. But your objections to abortion need to be based on the libertarian argument, no a biblical argument, because then you're back where you started (see paragraph about drugs above) with a weak political philosophy.

What do you think about all this? Does it jive with what you've been working out for your own philosophy, or does it totally conflict with it? I'm just really curious about other people's take on these issues, especially when they seem to be on the verge of becoming libertarian!

^ My first question to you would be, are you a "little-l" libertarian, or a supporter of the Libertarian Party? (If that makes sense.) I ask just to better understand where you come from.

I'm not in the party, but I vote libertarian. I disagree with them where they deviate from the basic philosophy - plus some are too moderate from an economic stand point. I'm big-time into economics, and on that issue there can be no compromises. You might say I'm the "fundamentalist" of the libertarian camp, in that I'm really committed to the "peaceful actions legal - violent actions illegal" axion. I've use that axiom to win hundreds of political debates....

But I am not anarchist!! Anarchists are stupid in my opinion because they deny reality. We could go into that issue for ever, but suffice it to say I think the only legitimate functions of government are: Police, Courts, Military, and minor record keeping.

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So you can't be a Christian AND a libertarian?

FYI - Insurance companies do not as of today provide enough financial incentive for people who drive poorly. Go sit in any city court and listen to the number of people driving un-insured. If the government doesn't own the roads, how can you force people to drive insured?

That does correctly tie into the drugs issue. First off, I am completely against letting all drug offenders go. Whether you agree with the crime or not, it still is currently a crime and they broke the law. Even in Jesus teaching, he says 'give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars' meaning if laws don't violate Christian teaching, we should obey the rules set by government even if we disagree with them. I don't see how Marijuana can be illegal and alcohol/cigarettes legal, when all are equally dangerous. No, I'm not saying we should go back to prohibition, but I do think it's worth a fair look. Drugs would have to be government regulated like alcohol and cigarettes, so that means no drugs until you're 18/21.

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So you can't be a Christian AND a libertarian?

Woah!! Not sure how you got that. :ph34r: I was trying to say that being a Libertarian is almost required of christians - that libertarianism is not only consistent with the christian faith, but also the system most likely to allow it's members to continue to worship freely.

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FYI - Insurance companies do not as of today provide enough financial incentive for people who drive poorly. Go sit in any city court and listen to the number of people driving un-insured. If the government doesn't own the roads, how can you force people to drive insured?

That does correctly tie into the drugs issue. First off, I am completely against letting all drug offenders go. Whether you agree with the crime or not, it still is currently a crime and they broke the law. Even in Jesus teaching, he says 'give unto Ceasar what is Ceasars' meaning if laws don't violate Christian teaching, we should obey the rules set by government even if we disagree with them. I don't see how Marijuana can be illegal and alcohol/cigarettes legal, when all are equally dangerous. No, I'm not saying we should go back to prohibition, but I do think it's worth a fair look. Drugs would have to be government regulated like alcohol and cigarettes, so that means no drugs until you're 18/21.

Great Post!! The more I read it, the more I like it!!:D

Regarding Insurance: How can you force to drive insured?? LOL!!! The better question is how they plan to drive on my private road without proving to me that they are insured! My creditors (who helped me finance the road) require that I keep the road insured - in case of crashes. Therefore, I also require that my customers (drivers) undergo a thorough screening process before receiving a liscense, and I even require drug tests when there is doubt.

Regarding drugs: You're against letting drug offenders go? Why woud you be against letting people who have been wrongfully imprisoned have their life back? I realize that doing drugs is currently a crime - that is no news. This debate is about whether or not it should be a crime - so let's see what you have to say about why it should be:

"I don't see how Marijuana can be illegal and alcohol/cigarettes legal, when all are equally dangerous."

Well - that really doesn't address why any of them should be illegal, does it? Well, it kind of does - - - what do you mean by dangerous? Dangerous to whom?? Am I to take it that your're sole objection to drug usage relates to driving while impaired? Would simply making a law "no driving while high" satisfy you, and then you'd be cool with everyone shooting up? Actually, I know that's not what you mean: I just want to hear how you will articulate your opposition to drug use itself - when the only person involved is the user :D

But you do bring up a good point: Shouldn't alcohol/cigaretts be illegal too? I think, to be consistent, you have to either allow all, or allow none. But the question here is not should the government be consistent - that is a given. It should. The question is what should it consistently outlaw - and why.

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Woah!! Not sure how you got that. :ph34r: I was trying to say that being a Libertarian is almost required of christians - that libertarianism is not only consistent with the christian faith, but also the system most likely to allow it's members to continue to worship freely.

I'm not sure you can make a blanket statement that people turn to Christianity voluntarily. I think adults who convert tend to do so voluntarily these days, but children certainly tend to be indoctrinated into it before they can make an educated selection, just like any other centralized religion.

With regard to your argument that being a libertarian is required of christians, while I might agree it appears most consistent with the Bible, more particularly the NT, it isn't very consistent with the church; meaning 1) perhaps the church has drifted from the Bible, and 2) it would require a huge tectonic shift of actions for most christians and particularly churches to realize the libertarianism required. You may or may not agree, but it appears many of the christian conservative views are actually liberal in respect to how they view government's role in the lives of citizens (liberal in the unrestrained exercise of governmental power sense).

I tend to the libertarian, at least on the national level. In that if you remove the national government as an intrusive power, you can preserve localities' discretion to be intrusive or restrained, and you can preserve citizens' choices of where to live. Contradict that with an intrusive national government, and it really divests a lot of the discretion from the localities, and it certainly makes citizens' choices more moot. Sooo, it technically allows a person to be nationally conservative, but locally liberal, in that he trusts his locality to administer the services that might be considered intrusive, but distrusts the national government ability to do so efficiently. I think there is a role for social programs, but they are dangerous to administer, and the citizens must be in close proximity to the bureaucracy and administration conducting those programs, to monitor them and kick them in the butt if they need it. You can't do that when you live hundreds of miles away, as is the case when DC is making the decisions. I also believe that regardless of the level of government, laws only should be passed when the legislators can prove that current laws aren't effective. This would require proof that laws are currently being enforced.

A lot of this is unfortunately a moot point given the collusion amongst the parties in DC. I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a peaceful solution. The one thing that above all else needs correction is the absence of incentive in restraining government expenditures. I have a sense though that no matter who gets into office, the incentives to spend on behalf of your constituency are so immense that you can make the argument the responsible thing is to seize as much pork on your constituents' behalf as possible. That's the system. If you don't, you're not saving your constituents any money, the money will be spent irregardless. So you're depriving them of their share, and volunteering their money to a liberal or conservative district somewhere else. Only if there's an across the board and across party lines shift to restrain spending would an individual's libertarian tendencies actually achieve something. I just have a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel given the current context in the beltway. And, honestly, in some sectors of the country, folks are so on edge feeling the brunt of government's intrusion that I wouldn't be surprised if in the next hundred or so years that something drastic has to occur, hopefully not violent.

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I'm not sure you can make a blanket statement that people turn to Christianity voluntarily....

... while I might agree it appears most consistent with the Bible, more particularly the NT, it isn't very consistent with the church...

...A lot of this is unfortunately a moot point given the collusion amongst the parties in DC. ....And, honestly, in some sectors of the country, folks are so on edge feeling the brunt of government's intrusion that I wouldn't be surprised if in the next hundred or so years that something drastic has to occur, hopefully not violent.

I agree with may of your points!

RE Christianity: I make no claims about how people arrive at christianity - I was just evaluating the interaction of the faith with political philosophy. You are right though - the church seems to consistently advocate government involvement in people's private lives, even though that's not consistet with the NT. I think a lot of the things they do are contradictory to the NT... That's a whole 'nother thread though...:ph34r:

RE Government: I think the change may have to be violent. Jefferson said you need to have a revolution every 20 years. I definitely think any revolution would be violent because the corporations are not at all above the idea of using police power to ensure their continued existence - since they currently do it on a daily basis. Rarely does a thief stop stealing simply because you ask him to... ;)

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I think adults who convert tend to do so voluntarily these days, but children certainly tend to be indoctrinated into it before they can make an educated selection, just like any other centralized religion.

If you say children are indoctrinated into Christianity as another way of say "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it," then yes, I will say Christian indotrinate their kids. We all have the freedom to choose which path we will take, and many kids grow up and chose another path. But it is still the responsibility of Christian parents to train their children how to live and love God the way he loves all of us, Christian or not.

As for drug users in prison, I see a HUGE difference from someone wrongly imprisoned, aka imprisoned for a crime they DID NOT commit, and a drug user imprisoned for a crime they DID commit.

As I said earlier, I have mixed feelings regarding whether most drugs should be legal or illeagal if cigarettes and booze are legal, but I think if it were legal, it should be regulated like cigs and booze. I think soceity does have to regulate morality to some point, otherwise why is murder illegal? If I don't like you, why shouldn't I be able to shoot you when I see you? Because are a society built on christian morality.

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Kheldane, I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in providing this venue for everyone to discuss this issue. I also appreciate your interest in my views, though I'm a little concerned that the way you framed your preemptive response to my potential libertarian qualms about drugs might lead someone who doesn't know me to believe that what you articulated is my actual feeling on the issue. I'm sorry to say that I haven't yet developed a strong, or reasoned opinion on the issue, so I'll have to give you a raincheck on that one.

I admire your passion for your political beliefs, and as I said in the other thread I share many beliefs with libertarians. In 2004 I even voted for a libertarian candidate (though not for president), mostly because he wasn't a Republican or a Democrat (not a very good reason in and of itself I know). On that note, I hope I haven't said anything thus far that would lead you to believe I support either of those parties. In the last couple of years I confess that I have been waking up from my misguided hope that the Republican party really does stand for limitted government, the right to life, and other conservative issues.

I part ways with the Libertarian Party specifically on a couple of key issues. First, they state in the preamble to their party platform that "all individuals are soverign over their own lives..." While I think I understand the intent behind that statement, I can't agree with it. As a Christian, I believe that God is sovereign over every life.

Secondly, the Libertarian Party stands against the right to life by opposing laws criminalizing abortion. rocky top buzz put it very well when he spoke of the moral standard of our country. We must have some standard by which we discern right and wrong, and the Bible is the foundation for a lot of the ideals which molded the founding fathers' thinking. In many ways it is (and should be) the bedrock of our nation. It would be hypocrisy for me to oppose abortion yet somehow believe that the government doesn't have the authority to prevent it. Abortion is murder, and is absolutely an area in which the government can and should act.

I would also argue that the Libertarian Party isn't the only alternative to the Republicrats of the world. I very much wish I had been far enough along in my flight from the Republican Party to have voted for Michael Anthony Peroutka for president in 2004. He ran on the Constitution Party ticket. While the CP is falling apart because of the hypocrisy of many of its key members on the abortion issue, their party platform is a thing of beauty. Have you read it Kheldane? If so, what do you think about it?

Finally, you asked what I'm doing to see things change, and that's a fair and wonderful question. At this point in my life I feel I'm educating myself on these important issues. I'm also trying to raise the issues where appropriate and take a stand for what I believe. Where it will go from here with me, I'm not sure at the moment.

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As I said earlier, I have mixed feelings regarding whether most drugs should be legal or illeagal if cigarettes and booze are legal, but I think if it were legal, it should be regulated like cigs and booze. I think soceity does have to regulate morality to some point, otherwise why is murder illegal? If I don't like you, why shouldn't I be able to shoot you when I see you? Because are a society built on christian morality.

Murder is violence, which government is desinged to prevent. But you say government should also stop people from sinning even when their activities are not violent? You can't base your decision about whether or not to throw someone in jail and ruin their life on "mixed feelings". You need to figure out what your feelings are - don't just say "well, that does seem a little contradictory, I guess I have mixed feelings". That's no kind of solution. You need to reconcile the contradiction and base your decision about throwing people in jail on some concrete principle.

Libertarianism uses violence as the measuring stick. If some junkie smokes a joint in his basement, that does nothing to me. If you come and murder me, that does something to me. Violence is a one-sided tranasction - only one party is voluntarily involved. Thus no mutually beneficial exchange takes place, and wealth is therefore destroyed, rather than created. It is government's job to prevent violence so that society can continue to function and prosper. If someone engages in action that you consider sinful, but harms no one else in the process (it is not an interaction, but rather, just a personal action), then that's between them and god.

Can you honestly say you see no difference between you smoking a joint in your basement and you murdering me??

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Secondly, the Libertarian Party stands against the right to life by opposing laws criminalizing abortion. rocky top buzz put it very well when he spoke of the moral standard of our country. We must have some standard by which we discern right and wrong, and the Bible is the foundation for a lot of the ideals which molded the founding fathers' thinking. In many ways it is (and should be) the bedrock of our nation.

Hey Reliant J -

Sorry if I jumped the gun on the drug issue - but it usually comes up when discussing Libertarianism with christians. FYI - I am a christian - but I have (apparently) a completely different understanding of how that should affect my voting than most christians do.

Please re-read my paragraph about abortion - the Libertarian philosophy itself does not stand for abortion, even though the party platform may say that on their website. The party needs more people like you to steer it in the right direction. As I said - My take on the issue is that it should be illegal - but I do see the other side of the argument. I have yet to hear a well reasoned explanation from a benefit-to-society standpoint about either side.

As for your statement I've quoted above - let me re-visit this concept since it seems to be a little abstract:

Yes, the bible guides you and tells you right from wrong. Does that mean that every sin described in the bible should be punished with imprisonmen or death by the government? Not likely, I say. The government is not an essential part of each person's salvation. In fact, I say it plays absolutely no role in a person's salvation. It's just something that exists in the background of society - it has no religious purpose, it mearly helps society function. A key element of a functional society is the prevention of violent acts - which government must do. It also should arbitrate disputes according to laws which promote stability and progress. Hence its police,military, and courts functions.

So back to my question, Which you didn't answer - but must answer in the course of your philosophical development: When you throw a drug junkie in jail for using drugs - does that get either you or the junkie into heaven? Or does it damn you for judging them and commiting violence (throwing the first stone) against them when they've done nothing to you and only sinned against god?

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As for drug users in prison, I see a HUGE difference from someone wrongly imprisoned, aka imprisoned for a crime they DID NOT commit, and a drug user imprisoned for a crime they DID commit.

I just re-read this^

Do you see a difference between someone imprisoned for doing something wrong and somone imprisoned for doing nothing wrong?

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Someone imprisoned for using drugs (aka braking the law) is not someone "imprisoned for doing nothing wrong." Besides, most 'recreational' drug users end up spending time in jail. It's the dealers and those found with a ton of drugs who end up in the pokey.

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Kheldane, I guess I didn't answer your question about throwing junkies in jail because it seemed to me you were countering an argument I didn't even make. No action alone can "get you into heaven." I agree that faith without works is dead, but salvation comes by the grace of our Lord through the blood of Jesus Christ and our belief and faith in him.

Now, don't take that to mean that I believe that throwing junkies in jail is necessarily righteous. I do believe that drunkeness and drug abuse is a sin, but as I said, I don't have a well thought-out position on that. As I said before, I'll have to give you a rain check on that subject. I guess my point was to say that it would be foolish for a Christian to believe that either throwing junkies in jail or not throwing junkies in jail would in and of itself save anyone.

As for abortion, forgive me if I implied that the Libertarian Party expressely stood for abortion. I don't believe it does, though I believe that in its double-mindedness on the matter it is complicit in the abortions that take place. Let me put it another way: I can't compartmentalize my life and say that Christ is Lord of this area of my life, but not this other area. That is to say, it would be hypocritical of me to think that it was ok for me to privately oppose abortion but publicly allow my neighbor to kill his unborn child if he chooses. I belive it's wrong because for one thing God created that child, and it also deprives that child of his unalienable right to life, liberty, and the puruit of happiness. The founding fathers saw the right to life as a self evident truth.

You say you use violence as a measuring stick. I believe that the measuring stick of the Christian must be the Bible. If you believe God is sovereign and Lord, then you must search His word to find your standard of moral conduct. Does that mean we should pass laws against all sin? I don't think so, because government's purpose is to defend our God-given rights. At some point people just need to be responsible for their own actions, and families and churches should hold everyone accountable.

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Someone imprisoned for using drugs (aka braking the law) is not someone "imprisoned for doing nothing wrong."

Then tell me what they've done wrong! And don't just say "they broke the law", this is not some kind of word game. Tell me why a person should be imprisoned for using drugs in their home. I completely dismiss your circular axiom ("it's wrong because it's against the law, and against the law because it's wrong") as a waste of time.

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I guess my point was to say that it would be foolish for a Christian to believe that either throwing junkies in jail or not throwing junkies in jail would in and of itself save anyone.

I agree, but that doesn't let you off the hook for purposefully, wrongfully imprisoning someone. Sure you might still be saved by grace, but you have not loved your neighbor by taking their freedoms away just to satisfy your idea of how other people should behave. It's your responsibility to teach them the right way and turn them towards christ. If you vote to make drugs illegal, you've voted to take away people's freedom, and subject them to government sanctioned violence. You're essentially using the government as your proxy to commit violence against them. Now against actual criminals - that is necessary. They have brought violence into society, so unfortunately it takes violence to stop them. But using drugs is not a violent act - it only involves one person. If a high person subsequently kills someone, yes - then they are a crimnal deserving punishment. But just using the drug - I don't see how you could say that throwing that person in jail is the christian thing to do. Yes, god requires you to live according to his teaching & law - but no part of that law gives you the authority to use violence to make others live according to god's law. A government is nothing more than a social management tool. It needs to be efficient & effective - it need only provide a peaceful foundation where voluntary exchange can occur and private property is protected.

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If you say children are indoctrinated into Christianity as another way of say "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it," then yes, I will say Christian indotrinate their kids. We all have the freedom to choose which path we will take, and many kids grow up and chose another path. But it is still the responsibility of Christian parents to train their children how to live and love God the way he loves all of us, Christian or not.

As for drug users in prison, I see a HUGE difference from someone wrongly imprisoned, aka imprisoned for a crime they DID NOT commit, and a drug user imprisoned for a crime they DID commit.

As I said earlier, I have mixed feelings regarding whether most drugs should be legal or illeagal if cigarettes and booze are legal, but I think if it were legal, it should be regulated like cigs and booze. I think soceity does have to regulate morality to some point, otherwise why is murder illegal? If I don't like you, why shouldn't I be able to shoot you when I see you? Because are a society built on christian morality.

I just disagree with the tactic that the minds and hearts of children should be monopolized with a single religion at an age when they have more difficulty resisting. I know people grow up and choose another path, but it's a minority. And I'm not singling out christianity; it's just about all of the major centralized religions that do it, and that's the source of a lot of the global strife in the world -- religious pi$$ing contests. I hate it, and I hate how each religion attempts to claim that they have a hold on some higher moral ground that justifies their participation in the pi$$ing. Again, for those sensitive to being singling out, I'm not singling out Christianity, although they certainly through the centuries are not any more immune to it than any of the other culpable religions. I view it as an absolute evil aspect that appears to be inherent in most centralized religions. Those who promote and profit from it don't deserve their status and authority within their religions, imo.

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Awesome. Just saw this thread today.....

I also consider myself a libertarian(ex Repub). I agree with Kheldane concerning drugs. What a person does in his own home is his own business. I personally do not do drugs. But if my next door neighbor smokes a joint in his living room to relax I do not care. It doesn't affect me. In the same way gay marriage should be just as legal as straight marriage. Gays are human beings, and have rights. Who am I to take the gift of marriage away from them?

I hate abortion. Very little sickens me more than it. However I do not think it should be made illegal.

Perhaps the scariest thing for me about our government is the increasing role that religion is playing in it. Imo this is a very bad thing for freedom. Forcing people to do what you consider moral does nothing. FAITH is the only thing that saves someone according to Christianity, so outlawing what they consider immoral serves no purpose.

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samsonh, how can you say you'll vote for John Ford Jr in the senate and call yourself a libertarian. Don't you know that he would vote for socialized medicine and increased government involvement in a heartbeat.

As for gay marriage, do you think grown men should be able to marry 13 year olds if they both consent? After all, Who am I to take the gift of marriage away from them?

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In the other thread I gave my reason for supporting Ford. It is basically a vote against Corker to show my displeasure with current Republicans. There are so many measures Repubs are currently putting forth that restrict freedom. It bothers me how much the message has changed since the gop took control more than 10 years ago. Power corrupts. The entire reason why libertarian is the only way to go.

About grown men marrying 13 year olds. You would find that partnership repulsive because it goes against our cultural norms. In many parts of the world this would be normal. BUT, you still need to have certain restrictions based on age. I am not sure what the age of consent for marriage is in TN currently(16?18?), but I think 16 is a proper age. I don't think you would find a ton of 13 yos getting hitched if all restrictions were removed though ;)

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I agree, but that doesn't let you off the hook for purposefully, wrongfully imprisoning someone.

Again, that's not a position I've come down as favoring in regards to drug use. As I've not developed a solid opinion on this issue, I don't wish to debate it further. I am, of course, interested in your take on it, but I still feel like you're approaching the discussion as if you're arguing against statements I might make but haven't made.

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Again, that's not a position I've come down as favoring in regards to drug use. As I've not developed a solid opinion on this issue, I don't wish to debate it further.

Fair enough. Now that we've established that you (currently) have no objections to libertarianism, then you may begin voting libertarin this election term and help realize our mutual goal of less government. :) Also, you should spread the word about libertarian ideas whenever you get the chance. I look forward to your imput on many other issues, ReliantJ !!

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I just disagree with the tactic that the minds and hearts of children should be monopolized with a single religion at an age when they have more difficulty resisting. I know people grow up and choose another path, but it's a minority. And I'm not singling out christianity; it's just about all of the major centralized religions that do it, and that's the source of a lot of the global strife in the world -- religious pi$$ing contests. I hate it, and I hate how each religion attempts to claim that they have a hold on some higher moral ground that justifies their participation in the pi$$ing. Again, for those sensitive to being singling out, I'm not singling out Christianity, although they certainly through the centuries are not any more immune to it than any of the other culpable religions. I view it as an absolute evil aspect that appears to be inherent in most centralized religions. Those who promote and profit from it don't deserve their status and authority within their religions, imo.

Why not indoctrinate when kids will receive indoctrination in any case ? It's all indoctrination.

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Clobber - My question is, do you have children? I do not yet, so that gives you a heads up on where I'm coming from.

I don't know you from Joe Smith, so please don't take any of this personally, but what you are advocating is that parents just throw their kids to the wolves. If David Koresh knocks on your door and says 'I want to teach your kids about my religion,' then you would pass them on out because after all, they should have the right to choose their path without any parental oversight. Or maybe someone else comes along and wants to teach your kids the joy of beastiality, well they should go because they might like it!?!?!?

Now I'm not saying we should shelter our kids from knowledge of what the real world is, but we certainly don't have to immerse them into each experience. I won't have to take my kids down to the pink pony for them to know that those types of clubs are degrading to women. But you think I should expose them to strippers so they'll have that experience? Maybe they'll want to grow up and become a pimp?

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