Not that they’re related, but the more or less concurrent rise of libertarian Ron Paul and demise of prominent atheist Christopher Hitchens give one pause. The sympathy that this author, as a progressive, feels for libertarians’ anti-war stance parallels that I feel for atheists’ anti-religion stance. But I not only lack sympathy for, but am fundamentally opposed to, what motivates those beliefs on both their parts.
Libertarians’ opposition to war is motivated by the belief that that a state should keep its gaze and its money within its own borders, no matter the carnage overseas. Atheists’ opposition to religion is motivated by the lack of belief in — however one cares to describe it — God, a higher power, or a greater intelligence.
My opposition to war is primarily for humanitarian reasons — death, dismemberment, incineration, all that fun stuff. Among the many reasons for my aversion to most organized religions is the proprietorship they exercise over the concept of God (which, in my estimation, is emphatically not a personal God — maybe only an organizing principle). Not to mention the wars they wage in His name — which is where we came in: the twain where progressives and libertarians meet.
Where atheists and I part ways is the deep faith in the greater intelligence and an afterlife (for most, a way station for rebirth) that I’ve evinced over the course of my spiritual* practice.
Still, in the end, libertarians and atheists get something right, while conservatives and religions next to nothing.
*A word that I’ve never been comfortable with because of its pretentiousness, but you get the point.
Cross-posted from the Foreign Policy in Focus blog Focal Points.
Categories: Religion & Philosophy, War/Security
I read the books Blowback by Chalmers Johnson and The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin to get an in depth understanding of Ron Paul’s economic and foreign policy views. Ever since I’ve been a believer that his views are spot on.
Dr. Paul’s personal position on minding our own business isn’t even really relevant, because he believes that the Constitution only allows the United States to go to war when it has been declared by Congress. If Congress declares war, then war it would be. Bottom line…it isn’t a presidential decision to make.
Part of the purpose for the separation of powers is so that we don’t have a dictatorship where one person can unilaterally take us to war when tempers run high. Surely you would not disagree that we have been taken into wars by our recent presidents with alarming frequency and with little basis for doing so?
I am able to compromise with the warmongers (although I don’t really want to.) If Americans want to police the world, fine. If you absolutely insist. But first, you have to clean up your mess here at home and that requires pouring some of that money you are spending on foreign aid into our own country. You know, I would like to solve the world’s hunger problems, but it makes no sense at all for me to use my paycheck towards that end and let my own family starve…does it? In case no one has noticed…we have serious issues right here at home. Fix them, and then have at the rest of the world if you insist.
Seems to me the fact that people can reach the same conclusion from different viewpoints is the basis of coalitions. Unfortunately, right now the tendency is to work only with people one agrees with 100%, with the unfortunate results we can all read about in the news.
What’s important is you found a way to feel superior to both.
If you have an inteligent point to make, please do. Otherwise, spare us the juvenalia and move along.
If we were certain that Iran would have the bomb in six months and we were to go to war to prevent it, how and when should we go about declaring war?
Is this like we were certain that Iraq had WMDs?