Thursday, May 17, 2007

On Libertarians and God...

As I was searching the net earlier I came across this question in the "Yahoo Answers" section that I found to be rather interesting and worth sharing because it underlines one of the common misconceptions about some who consider themselves to lean libertarian or be libertarian.

If libertarian does not believe in God, how is it that he is afraid of death?

The answer that was selected as the best one and one in my opinion is also good:

There are two meanings of 'libertarian'.

1. Someone who believes we have free will. Thus a libertarian is quite likely to believe in God - unless he is also an atheistic existentialist. But I could be either and not be afraid of death.

2. In political terms, a libertian is someone who advocates minimal government and maximal liberty. I don't see that this sort of libertarian is necessarily an atheist, nor that he is necessarily afraid of death.

The ancient Epicureans said the following about death:

There is no need to fear death, because when we are here, death is not; and when death is here, we are not.

They taught that belief in angry gods who punish those who offend them is bad because it tends to make the believer afraid of death when the non-believer need not be.

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