Friday, November 20, 2009

For those who claim "Atheism is a religion"

I got a comment in connection with my Examiner column on Freedom of Religion that said, in part:

No matter what religion you ascribe to (including atheism)...

I hear this all the time, and it is a sign of some really faulty thinking. However, I know from past experience that this is something that is taught in some churches, so it doesn't surprise me that it gets repeated. But if you want to be taken seriously in your argument you need to let that notion go.

Seriously, if atheism is a religion, then good health is a "disease" and an empty dog house just contains another breed of dog. A lack of something is not a different type of something.

Does government ever do good?

Does government ever do good?

I come down pretty hard on externally-imposed coercive government all the time. Am I being fair? Am I being honest about what government is and what it does? Perhaps a better question is, is anything that government does "right" or "ethical"? Are the final results ever good even if the government's methods and reasons are not right?

Does it really matter? Two wrongs don't make a right. Nothing government does is ever done without harming some innocent person. To pretend that those who are harmed don't matter, or are not numerous enough to matter, is wrong. If there is something you want, which government currently claims to provide, can you think of a way to get that without using coercion? If not, then maybe you should reconsider what it is that you desire. Chances are that it is not right, and therefore not worth the price.

For "taxation" to not be theft it would have to be completely voluntary with absolutely no penalties for not paying. People would have to be able to pay only the amount they want to pay, and designate exactly where they want the money to be spent. If that meant your favorite program withered and died, then that is exactly what needed to happen. People would have voted with their money.

For "laws" to be right they would not penalize anyone, ever, for non-aggressive or non-deceptive behavior. It wouldn't matter if 99% of the population designated that their voluntarily-donated "tax" money go to enforce those "laws". Their "might", their overwhelming majority, doesn't make "right".

As you can see, if a government could abide by these guidelines, it would not be a government by definition. That is why "minarchy" isn't realistic. That is why any real form of coercive government is without merit and is wrong to support or advocate. I can't support evil even if it is convenient and "beneficial" for me personally.

On the other hand, there is a bright spot concerning government: the US government is killing itself. That is a result I can support, even if I dislike the means which are bringing it about. Through statist acts government is assuring its own demise. Sure, they'll try to lay the blame elsewhere. It won't stick. Over-printed counterfeit "money", wars of aggression and colonization (not that there is a difference), "taxation" and regulation which destroy or drive away businesses and jobs, "dumbing down" information to keep statist-drone children from feeling too bad... all of these things are only accelerating the approach of "E Day".

It may not be pretty at the end, but it is not the freedom activists who chose this path. In fact, we have offered alternative after alternative, only to be threatened and marginalized. So be it. Stay out of the way as government dies and be prepared to fight any new Rulers who arise to "fill the void". Make sure there is not ever a "power vacuum" by keeping power where it belongs: in the hands of the individuals. In the new, free world, I suppose we could look back and thank the short-sighted stupidity of the current crop of statists and their political ancestors for our new beginning. It may be the only good to ever come from the actions of government.