Friday, October 15, 2004

Limitations on Libertarianism

From Eternity Road, a good post from a good blog:
the theory of natural-rights liberty is largely correct. But it has a border around it, and a gray zone near that border where insistence on natural-rights absolutes puts one at odds with 99% of humanity.

The border is the demarcation line at which individual options end and a requirement for collective action begins:

  • When individuals don’t have a way to settle their differences as individuals, but must perforce act as collectivities;
  • When individuals do not possess the competence to act as the guardians of their own rights and well-being;
  • When individuals’ rights clash in an absolute and irreconcilable way.
These are the kinds of issues, particularly in regards to family issues, that put me off libertarianism. I still think it is often desireable to see if an issue can be left to a person and God to work out. Often we have to fall a few times before we can accept God's grace. But it really is true that "no man is an island" and that has implications for how we govern ourselves. For myself, I think it is in all of our interests to see to it that our nation and culture is projected into the future, and that we cannot take it for granted that this will happen.

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