Friday, September 18, 2009

Libertarian fatalism

It’s often said that certain cultures (e.g. Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist) are backward and stagnant because they are fatalistic, and being fatalistic, the populace is passive in the face of suffering. Since what will be will be, you might as well grin and bear it.

Ironically, libertarians have the functional equivalent of fatalism. Take a statement by Victor Reppert:

“It's easy to see that if people are given a free will, God cannot be systematically insulating the world from its effects without in effect taking that free will away. If a billy-club turns into nerf every time I try to hit someone over the head, or if I start to throw up every time I lust, I am effectively unfree. Welcome to the world of Clockwork Orange.”

Now this has reference to God, but if you take it seriously, then it also has ramifications for social ethics. Logically, we shouldn’t try to make the world a better place, for in so doing we’d be upsetting the libertarian ecosystem. We can do things which improve our personal situation, but to meddle in the affairs of other free agents would tilt the libertarian balance of cause and effect.


  1. It seems that there are two conflicting wills: the will of the rapist to rape and the will of the victim not to be raped. Why would God uphold the free will of the rapist but not the free will of the victim?

  2. Brett,

    it is for better minds than mine, but I don't know whose shoulder you should cry on?

    Given the chance and opportunity, teach the girls and boys this:::>

    Pro 26:1 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.
    Pro 26:2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.

    Only a fool says there is no God.

    Teach your children well! "Fear God and keep His commandments!"

    To spin a bit of Luther:::>

    What does this mean?

    There are consequences for every cause, as the curse causeless "shall not come"!

    That is an absolute that I would bank on! Won't you?