While enthralled in an argument over God with one of my philosophy teachers, we hit upon an interesting subject that severely challenged my beliefs about the world. That subject was the question: are we determined by God to do things, or do we have the power of free will via spontaneous order.
The teacher’s assertion was that we are determined by God to do whatever God wants us to do. He further declared that the silly idea of individuality and the other silly idea of natural laws were a bunch of bunk that Thomas Jefferson (among many others) abused to gain power. These natural laws and notions that the individual was sovereign believed that spontaneous order works. Let me divert from the post for a moment and argue against two things here:
1) I believe that there are natural laws. In the state of nature, with no forms of civilization or order (including religion, government, and other oppressors) around, we would behave by these fundamental natural laws, without question, because they are natural. By nature, for example, we have the ability to operate individually for our personal good. That good involves saying what we think, owning property, having the ability to defend ourselves, and, among many others, having the ability to live. If those natural rights sound familiar, that is only because they are defended by the Bill of Rights. Libertarianism, I contend, revolves heavily around the idea of natural rights or natural laws. Without them, there is no justification for claiming that the individual is sovereign, which, need I say, libertarianism does.
2) Spontaneous order is what guides the world, not some cockeyed notion of God’s will determining us from birth to death. By nature things happen which force us to adjust and change our beliefs about the world. This is seen daily in capitalism, because of the innovation that is constantly undergone to correct past problems. I contend that people innovate and change without being determined to do so. But as my teacher would say, do we really know anything?
Let me stop with my philosophical diatribes that seem to be more prominent on Sunday morning than other times (those dang religious shows) and turn now to the question of what does this have to with liberal bias on campus. Just wait!
The teacher, as I stated, declared that every course of action was chosen by God. God had determined John Locke and others to invent the notion that in the state of nature, there are natural laws. This was to trick humans to think that God did not exist, hence the rise in the 18th and 19th centuries of deistic and atheistic notions; which God had determined.
He continued to say that in the 20th century God showed his power by causing the Great Depression (he determined the stock market to crash), to force religion back into our lives. Then he determined us to call for big government as a sign of religion; big government was a new age pyramid for God, if you will. I am not making this up!
Now here is how I look at it: I am a deist: there are laws in the universe that are not intruded upon by God. Second, I believe, as stated, in natural laws. Third, I believe that natural laws clearly defy the growth of government; and seeming that God does not supervise or enforce those natural laws, God does not support big government either.
Regardless if you agree with me or not on my religious views, I think most of us (I hope) can agree that God does not support big government. However, if you listened to the teacher one might think that FDR was God’s second son. (That would make Daschle…)
But wait, it gets better. I asked him to explain the infidels who do not support big government? His answer: the devil put them on this earth to torment God, and so far God is winning showing his strength with every new government program. So, to my fellow devil worshiping libertarians, advocate evil by advocating limited government.