When I speak of "Libertarian philosophy" or "psychology," I should emphasize the fact that I will refer to the elements which I consider to be the most respectable elements of these two terms, which in my view intersect. "Libertarian philosophy" has had input from notable people like the late Ayn Rand, the late Harry Browne, and a number of others. Notable "Libertarian psychologists" are people such as the late Dr. Haim Ginott and Dr. Nathaniel Branden (real name: Nathan Blumenthal). Both Libertarian philosophy and psychology feed off of each other in a continuous feedback loop.
For more than a decade, I studied the writings of notable Libertarian (and psychology) writers, and I have considered myself to be a Libertarian at least since the year 1999, if not a little before that. Harry Browne's 1973 book "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" was a critical book in my life which turned me onto Libertarian thought. When I read this book (at the time), nearly everything in it made sense...at least from a humanistic perspective. Such admonitions as minding one's own business and staying out of other's business made good sense. Concerning one's self with only one's own "point of control" rather than attempting to pursuade others made sense. Such points as "being free" from government traps, family traps, selfishness traps, and the other "traps" that Browne mentioned in his book all made good sense. And to the credit of his book, those Libertarian-minded folks that followed nearly all of his advice have indeed become freer than the average person who just mindlessly follows all of the mainstream/establishment messages pushed through its various sources (mainstream magazines, news, TV, internet, etc). That would be the positive aspect of Libertarian thought in my view.
From a humanistic standpoint alone, my evaluation is that Libertarianism is no doubt the best product on the market. If I had to choose between a Libertarian-minded person or some mindless Zombie drone (either a neolib or a neocon) as my neighbor, I would choose the Libertarian-minded person any day of the week. I prefer to be around people who mind their own business, and who take personal responsibility for what they do. In my personal experience, my Libertarian friends have routinely been highly respecting of my personal privacy, my personal space, and my individual rights. For that reason, Libertarian types can be a pleasure to live around. I maintain some of these traits myself, as I believe that I must be the type of person that I would like others to be towards me. Libertarianism certainly does have some redeeming qualities.
With the positive things that I have said about Libertarianism, I also see a dark side to it that many Libertarians are blissfully blind to. Because Libertarians tend towards the attitude of "live and let live" and to a tendency to not discuss belief systems (religious or otherwise), the average Libertarian will often consider themselves to be "atheists" or "agnostics." The best of the nonbelieving Libertarians will claim they are "agnostics" and will say that "they do not know if a God exists or not." As such, they will further say that because they do not know if God exists or not, then it follows that a believer (in God) should not know either. This premise is incorrect. Believers know that God exists, because His Word says so. The common Libertarian premise is that the Holy Bible is not the Word of God, and many will proclaim that it was not "God-inspired" even though 2 Timothy 3:16 says otherwise!
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB)A large number of Libertarians will make numerous excuses as to why the Holy Bible is a flawed book. Some will claim that it was poorly interpreted, or written by a bunch of madmen. The History Channel can be thanked for that common perception due to some of their depictions in the past. There are other numerous "hit pieces" out there that portray the Bible as merely a piece of literature deserving of no more recognition than any other piece of literature. If you are a nonbelieving Libertarian reading this blog entry right now, fill in your own excuses as to why you think the Bible is flawed here: _____! I've heard many of the excuses, but I know I have not yet heard them all!
Not only do a large number of Libertarians believe that the Holy Bible is not legitimately the Word of God, many of them believe that the Bible is NOT necessary to do "good works!" After all, many Libertarians see themselves as "good people," because they mind their own business, they do not impose upon others, they negotiate rather than using force, etc. Certainly, such traits are admirable in my view. I would much rather live around Libertarians than around self-loathing neoliberals or neoconservatives! But, Libertarians need to realize that even our best works fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Further to that we are not saved by good works, we are saved by God's grace.
I should also mention that in order to obtain God's grace, we must first have faith in Him! One point made in Romans 14:23 is that to act without faith (in God) is also a sin.
5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:5-7 NASB)
Because a "lack of faith" in God is sin, it also follows those who do "good works" without faith are in essence still sinning against God! So, what appears to be "good works" may not always actually be! This statement applies to both believers and nonbelievers. Most nonbelieving Libertarians are likely to wince at such a seemingly "irrational" statement, but there is more...read on!
23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. (Roman 14:23 NASB)
You see, it is impossible for anyone (Libertarians included) to do anything pleasing to God without His grace!
Thus, my overall point is this. Even the best nonbelieving Libertarians can do "good works," but those good works may or may NOT be pleasing to God. You must FIRST have faith in God in order to have His gift of "grace." Because, without His grace, you can do little that is TRULY pleasing to God!
6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NASB)
Just because a Libertarian minds his/her own business or takes personal responsibility for his/her actions, this still does not mean that what they are doing is "pleasing to God!" To prove my point, I will further mention that many Libertarians that I know (or have known) are indeed the most "selfish" people I have ever known in my life. Many care only about what happens in their own lives, and could care less about other people that are less fortunate. Many even hold to "social darwinism" which essentially endorses the social concept of "survival of the fittest." Not all Libertarians necessarily hold to this concept, but a majority of the ones I have known hold to it in a staunch manner. Those Libertarians holding to "social darwinism" will sneer at the Holy Bible as God's Word, and they will further sneer at the concept that Jesus is God come in the flesh (1 John 4:2)!
The above verse (1 John 4:2) essentially divides those who believe from those who do not. It separates the true Christian believers from those who are essentially antichristians! That is right, you are either one or you are the other as harsh (or narrow-minded) as that sounds!
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; (1 John 4:2 NASB)
I have known many nice, polite, and intelligent Libertarian-minded types over more than a decade, and I will tell you that only a very small percentage of them are believers in God and His Word - The Holy Bible. I also have to say that the Libertarian-minded types that I have known are also the highest educated and most intelligent people I have known in my life. However, as intelligent as they may be, too many of them view the Scriptures as foolishness! See 1 Corinthians 2:14-15 below:
Further to the above, I contend that even if I gave a Bible to a nonbelieving Libertarian to read, that even the most intelligent nonbelieving Libertarian would be incapable of fully understanding what he/she reads! There is a reason for this! God blinds the eyes & hearts of those who do NOT believe!
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. (1 Corinthians 2:14-15 NASB)
8 just as it is written,
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.” (Romans 11:8 NASB)
40 “He has blinded their eyes and He hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.” (John 12:40 NASB)When nonbelievers are exposed to the truth that God actually blinds those that refuse to believe in Him or His Word (The Bible), there may be some who think that God is a cruel and unfair God! On one level, I can understand why some people would think this and the average nonbelieving Libertarian might ask the question: Why would I want to serve a God that behaves in such a manner? My reply to that would be this: God created human beings and he created the order of all things. It makes no difference whether we think He is a fair God or not. The fact remains that He is in total control, and He has the power to kill both our body and our soul! No other entity has that power!
I know Libertarian psychology teaches that we should never be motivated by fear, but rather only by positive forces. There are times when such teachings are truthful (from a worldly perspective), but such teachings have no validity when it comes to God. We are to fear God above all else! We are to have faith that He exists, and that His Son (Jesus) sits at His right hand in Heaven! If we have that much faith, then and only then do we receive God's grace, which then opens our eyes, our heart, and minds so that we can understand and implement His Word (The Scriptures). Through God's grace, a believer of average (or below average) intelligence has a better chance of being able to implement what he/she has learned from Scripture than a highly intelligent nonbelieving Libertarian who believes he/she can "do good" on their own and without God's grace!
28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NASB)
Lastly, I urge all nonbelieving Libertarians to humble their hearts, as that is often yet another weakness that intelligent nonbelieving Libertarians suffer with. Arrogance is not going to save you and help you to gain God's gift of grace either! Knowing that any good you have done is still garbage in the eyes of God is indeed a humbling thought! Because without a humble heart, you will NOT be saved!