Friday, December 9, 2005

Vox Day: Fake Christian, or Fake Libertarian?

Vox Day is a self-professed Christian, and a self-professed libertarian. He also thinks that non-Christians cannot justify the condemnation of rape. Lets see what he has to say:

The Judeo-Christian moral ethic is clear – rape is a sin, a willful pollution of a temple that rightly belongs to God. Neither the Jew nor the Christian need hesitate before asserting the act of rape to be evil and justly holding the rapist accountable. But this ethic does not offer a blanket excuse to victims, near victims and would-be victims either, since the element of consent – which today draws the dividing line between sex and rape – can also provide a contrarian condemnation of the woman's own actions.

To Vox, rape is only immoral if you subscribe to the arbitrary dictates of an Abrahamic creator-God. Also, Vox thinks that everyone is owned not by themselves, but by God. So much for the libertarian concept of self-ownership!

Since only the woman who is not entertaining the possibility of sex with a man and is subsequently raped can truly be considered a wholly innocent victim under this ethic, it is no wonder that women who insist that internal consent is the sole determining factor of a woman's victimization find traditional Western morality to be inherently distasteful.

To Vox, date rape does not exist. Vox thinks that if a woman flirts with a man, then he can fuck her and she has no grounds for protest. Where are the libertarian values of non-coercion, individuality, and the right to self? And how does Vox define "traditional Western morality" anyway? I'm assuming he means Christian morality, which isn't a morality at all, but an arbitrary dictate from an all-powerful authority figure (again, where are the libertarian values? Libertarians don't blindly submit to self-appointed authority figures and their dictates). But I would contend that Christian morality is not "traditional Western morality." If anything, Biblical morality could be called "traditional Middle-Eastern morality," but that's quite a bit different.

Vox Day also spends a considerable amount of time looking at this topic from Islamic, Pagan, and other religious perspectives. Clearly, the only "morality" that Vox Day can conceive of is one of a religious dictate from an all-powerful God or gods. These ideas are totally antithetical to libertarianism. Remember, libertarianism focuses on individuality, self-determination, non-coercion, and a refusal to blindly follow the rules of self-appointed authority figures. Eventually, Vox makes his anti-libertarianism quite clear:

As I have previously asserted, most atheist and agnostic morality is parasitical, the cultural residue of previous generations.

Vox has really put himself in a bad spot here. First of all, he accidentally declared with a proverbial bullhorn that he either doesn't understand, or he totally rejects libertarianism. Secondly, he sets up a straw man about atheism. Atheism, in itself, has nothing to say about morality. There are all kinds of atheists with vastly different concepts of morality. But libertarianism does indeed have something to say about morality, and Vox has rejected it completely. What is it about Vox that makes him a libertarian exactly? He seems to like capitalism, but that in itself isn't libertarianism. He seems to be more of a supporter of the Jesus Regime when it comes to morality. You can't get much farther away from libertarianism than that!

And while "might makes right" is the true essence of atheist amorality, it is not exactly the most convincing means of attempting to assert the moral evil of the rapist.

Good luck supporting that statement, Vox! I would pay money to see a "might = right" moral code that is truly derived from the negative claim of atheism. Again, atheism has nothing to say about morality; atheism makes no positive claims. Vox is in the land of straw men. The sad part is that I think he isn't even aware of his straw men. His understanding of atheism is woefully inadequate, and here he is shooting his mouth off. I wonder if Vox even understands the difference between a positive and a negative claim?

Francois Tremblay has written a terrific response to Vox's ignorant claim that atheism says "might = right." Francois says:

The only ones who believe that "might makes right" are God believers, who claim that God has absolute power over all human beings, and can wipe them all out, simply because it has the might. Now that's amorality for you. I have never heard of any atheist who believes this principle - in fact, most atheists tend to be relativists or utilitarians, which is stupid, but very different from "might makes right".

In fact, the only people I know who use power as a standard of morality are followers of collectivist belief systems, like Christianity. Historically, Christianity has always assumed a role of moral nad political dictatorship when it was in power. Christians still attempt to use the social power they have left in the United States to dictate the value-expression of other people.

Their whole moral mindset is that "might (God's might, that is) creates and dictates right", and the subversion of individual values in one's own mind, so how could Christianity possibly be conductive to free value-expression in society ?

Well put, Franc. I couldn't have said it better myself. So much for Vox's absurd claims of which ideology subscribes to "might = right." Vox's God has all the might, so to Vox, whatever his God says is right. Vox is a really confused Christian. He projects "might = right" onto atheism, when in truth it is part of his own belief system, then he expresses his inherent distaste for it, which is especially ironic. Someone should let him know about this contradiction of his. When he finds out about his mistake, I wonder what conclusion he will come to, that his God is immoral, or that "might = right" is ok after all? But Vox still has more to say:

There may be a genuine moral argument against rape to be made outside of the Judeo-Christian ethic, but I have yet to hear it.

Indeed. Vox hasn't heard much -and doesn't know much- about atheism, his own "might = right" Christian ideology, or the moral code within libertarianism. It's kind of sad to watch Vox claim ignorance as a justification for making up things at whim and assigning the wrong features to the wrong worldviews.

Finally, Vox gives us an argument that we can use to attack his own Christian morality:

When each does what is right in his own eyes, all distinctions between right and wrong become meaningless.

Hey Vox, does that include when God does what is right in His own eyes as well? Why or why not?

Vox Day is, quite clearly, a Christoid fundie. He doesn't express or practice any moral code that could be considered libertarian in the slightest sense. Christian morality is antithetical to libertarian morality, and Vox subscribes to the former. Christian morality is the essence of "might = right" while libertarian morality is the exact opposite, and again, Vox subscribes to the former. No wonder Vox thinks that non-Christians can't declare rape immoral! His only concept of morality isn't morality at all, but merely a Christian "might = right" set of rules. Non-coercion is a foreign concept to him.

Vox Day is a true Christian, and a fake libertarian.


Pablo said...

Christian and libertarian: the two are not mutually exclusive. I also think you failed to understand Vox's reasoning. You should read what he posted again.

Aaron Kinney said...

There are many components and facets to both libertarianism and Christianity that are mutually exclusive, especially when you make the kind of claims that Vox Day does in his Wingnutdaily article.

Pablo, are you claiming that having an infallible self-declared authority figure hand down arbitrary rules that everyone must blindly follow is compatible with libertarianism?

Francois Tremblay said...

"Christian and libertarian: the two are not mutually exclusive."

*cough* BULLSHIT *cough*

"I also think you failed to understand Vox's reasoning."

There's not much to understand in his "reasoning".

Pablo said...

You fail to understand christianity. Makes me wonder about your understanding of libertarianism.

Delta said...

Good post AK, I think it's clear that anyone who really values self-ownership and true freedom in society, whether they be libertarian, anarchist, or something else, cannot be a christian or another member of a religous group that submits to some traditional authority, especially one that is so blatant as religion. And his understanding of atheism appears to have come from a televangelist.

Aaron Kinney said...


Thanx, and good to see you :)


You have claimed that I misunderstand Christianity. And you implied that I don't understand libertarianism.

I am willing to hear why you feel this way. But please demonstrate it. Don't just claim it.

Ive been supporting my assertions and giving details all day. Now its your turn.

Francois Tremblay said...

"You fail to understand christianity."

No... correction : we fail to understand what YOU believe about Christianity.

Pablo said...

Wow, where to start. First off, your belief that christian ideology consists of a might=right mentality is way off. Jesus came to serve, not be served. Even the apostle Paul remarked that it was when he was weak that he was strong (2Corinthians 12:10). Christians believe God is the arbiter of all that is right and good because of who and what He is, including the author of creation. Hence his authority.

Francois Tremblay said...

"Jesus came to serve, not be served."

Someone didn't read the Gospels OR Revelation. That's a mighty big chunk of the Bible to ignore.

Any real Christian would know that "Jesus" "came" to Earth to change his own mind about a rule he made up (original sin). If that's not self-serving, I don't know what is.

Pablo said...

I guess the person who didn't read the gospels would be you, Francois. Jesus says in both the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Mark that he came not to be served but to serve.

As for changing the rule about original sin, he came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). Hence the sacrifice on the cross.

Have you had the opportunity to read the bible yet? You really should give it a try. You might find answers there.

thomas said...

I know not where you get your ideas about Christianity, morality, and the law, but I would suggest Aquinas' treatise on law from the Summa Theologiae and even C.S. Lewis "The Abolition of Man". At least high-church Christianity talks about the Natural Law and the use of reason to discern it and where it ought to become positive law and where it should not. It sometimes gets it wrong, but at least there is an audit trail that allows for correction.

Self-ownership is hardly a universal principle for all who claim to be libertarian. I'm not sure it is even more than a narrow slice. Not only that, they seem to have trouble defining "self". Doris Gordon ( who is an atheist makes a devastating case from pure reason that you are human - a self - from the moment of conception. Others seem to have different ideas, all claiming to come from the oracle of "reason", though the oracle seems to say what is currently politically in vogue or what is convenient. So are you with the atheistic but pro-life Ms. Gordon on this issue? Or with Rothbard? Or maybe a third position?

If your god is reason, at least by the acolytes who call themselves libertarian, he seems far more schizophrenic than anything in Christendom or even the great heresies.

Also note I could simply randomly misquote Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and other libertarians, or quote them out of context and say "don't you know libertarians believe the following nonsense: ..." in exactly the same way you are not even quoting the bible, or the catechism of the catholic church, or any known standard protestant statement of faith and morals.

(You should really read Aquinas - he notes that for you to effectively convince someone with argument, you must do so on THEIR home field, not your home field. In this case, you should know what christians really believe - all of which is easily accessible via any search engine and argue from there).

I will try to avoid doing that, but I haven't found any clear statement of your beliefs. "self-ownership" is neither self-defining nor self-evident (unlike our creator's endowments of the rights to life, liberty, and property). If you are simply cloning Ayn Rand's or Murray Rothbard's mind, or someone elses, at least I would have a point of departure for argument. Other than you hate religion and seem to like "liberty" (left as a vague concept), I do not know really what you believe or what it implies.

For example, liberty normally implies the freedom to be foolish (in the eye of the viewer). Yet you seem to want to abolish Christianity. No freedom of thought. No freedom of speech. No freedom of the press. And you say without these things would make for a more free society (freedom from religion). Not even a market for ideas, though most libertarians I normally associate with it want markets for everything.

I would also argue we are in a post-christian "culture of death" noting the teen suicide rate among other things - they aren't practicing christians who are killing themselves, but have achieved the nihilism you are espousing. I'm not sure I would like your particular libertarian utopia. But since you mentioning enslaved minds, and doing tyrannical things to break the slavery (even against the slave's will), do you agree or disagree with the Libertarian Party's idea about legalizing even the most addictive drugs? I can't tell from anything here.

When you begin with "Any real Christian would know..." and then proceed to claim something which I doubt 2% of any denomination who hold the gospels inerrant would believe, you simply point out your ignorance of Christianity.

But maybe this explains it. Vox is a true Christian, not just "Any real Christian". Since he doesn't hold to your definition of real Christianity, the problem seems to be less that he is a fake libertarian, but that he is a fake your-definition-of christian.

Of course the neighbor's poodle would be a fake dog if you defined dog as having feathers, a bill, waddles and quacks.

There are very many Christians at and and they end up with the same conclusions in the main as the atheistic libertarians, but through their processes. Are they also fake libertarians?

You can try reading the Catechism of the Catholic church and what it says about individuals, or even the encyclicals like "The Gospel of Life", or "Centissimus Annus" (100th year anniversary of the encyclical on Labor) and see if they are consistent or inconsistent with individual liberty and human dignity. At least you could argue the point.

Or you can simply continue to be a closed-minded collection of atheistic bigots who only are capable of attacking straw men.

It is clear you hate religion, but hatred is emotion and not reason, and all emotion blinds the faculty of reason. Put your aside your hatred and as Saint Paul suggests, come, let us reason together.

Francois Tremblay said...

Pablo : Unlike you fake Christian, I've read the Bible from front to cover. I also don't read only the part my priest told me to. And finally, unlike most Christians, I have good reading comprehension. Your little squibbling about "fulfilling the law" (which I already knew) notwithstanding, you still have zero point, apart from the one on top of your head.

In case you didn't notice, this blog is not for you, either. This is a libertarian blog. So scram.

Pablo said...

That was harsh, Francois. I have indeed read the bible several times, studied it for years at seminary, and used it on a daily basis when I served as a pastor.

But the interesting point here is that you use the expression "fake christian". Are you implying that "real christians" are good and/or acceptable?

As for this blog not being "for me", I have to wonder about your putting it up on a redily accessible site if that's indeed the case. But what I guess you meant was that you don't want to encounter divergent points of view here. If so, I'll take my leave. Sorry I hurt your feelings.

BlackSun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BlackSun said...

pablo and thomas

There's no way either of you guys can come up with any evidence for the veracity of what's in the bible. It's not even an accurate historical document. The gospels were written decades or centuries after the supposed events took place. It's known that much of what was written was influenced by the politics of the time. Until the Gutenberg bible 14 centuries later, there wasn't even a chain of custody that can be followed. Just a lot of laborious hand-copying of manuscripts. A millenium-long game of written telephone. So whatever was originally there has been almost certainly altered beyond recognition. Whatever the case may be, if there was a historical Jesus, evidence for his 'miracles' is nothing but hearsay.

Reason and individualism? You can't have either if you believe in a supernatural higher power. There's no way you can say you support those principles and still spout religious claptrap.

I don't think atheists hate religion. My personal point of view is that I don't want to have any beliefs at all. Just the facts. Religion is simply a collection of views not supported by evidence, which falls squarely in the realm of (admittedly popular) entertainment. As such it is not to be hated, it is just irrelevant to an objective life.

mabbox said...

"Reason and individualism? You can't have either if you believe in a supernatural higher power."

I personally believe in a creator. So I lack reason and individuality. But is it not as ignortant to claim there isn't a creator as it is to claim there is?

Libertarian Jason said...

Excellent have one of my favorite blogs...

keep up the good work.