In response to:

Beyond the Supreme Court: A Guide to Settling Gay Marriage

Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 5:33 PM
...they would have every right to ASK the church to do so. The church, in a free society, would have every right to REFUSE such a request, on any grounds whatsoever. In a free, libertarian society, marriage would be a matter of individual conscience and mutual contract. The state need have no role whatsoever, except the role of adjudicating contract disputes (though even here, binding arbitration agreements could cut the state out entirely). Freedom works.
nawlins72 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 9:42 PM
"Ultimately, yours (and Libertarianism's) is a GODLESS ARGUMENT. That's why it will NEVER FLY in this country. You leave God out of the equation, every time. Everything, in your eyes, is based on Utilitarianism."

This demonstrates why it is foolish to argue subjects you have no knowledge of.
nawlins72 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 9:40 PM
"There are some 'moral choices' that are DESTRUCTIVE, both to the individual and society, and thus the State should NOT permit them, for that reason."

And libertarians agree. They are choices that deprive others of life, liberty and property.
nawlins72 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 9:40 PM
"There are some 'moral choices' that are DESTRUCTIVE, both to the individual and society, and thus the State should NOT permit them, for that reason."

And libertarians agree. They are choices that deprive others of life, liberty and property.
nawlins72 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 9:37 PM
Richard, the "living in isolation" argument is a strawman, as no libertarian argues such nonsense. Also, the notion that government is the only mechanism for determining "harmful" actions is flawed. While it might be the most prevalent, you would have to explain how man decided such things before the advent of the State or how individuals are capable of this task only when under the label of "government" but not under different systems.
Richard31 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 9:04 PM
Paulus, as usual, I can agree up to a point with the "pure Libertarian" viewpoint.

Unfortunately, we do not and cannot live in isolation from all others - our mistakes always have the potential to harm others. It is the job of society to determine: a) whether the act of an individual has the likelihood of significant harm; and, if so: b) what is required to constrain the individual's harmful actions. The only mechanism society has for this is government.

Doesn't mean that I _like_ it, or that society has not become self-harmful in these days - but I have not seen a rational and complete proposal to "fix" the problem - particularly from Mr. Paul (Senior).
Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:45 PM
Andy544, you are getting close to the right answer. Yes, libertarians DO define what moral choices should be left to the individual: those that do not entail the use of force or fraud against others. And the last hundred years have provided ample proof that attempts of government to wage wars against voluntary behavior like use of the drugs the government doesn't like (one can hardly say our pharmaceutical state is against all drugs), causes a thousand times more misery than the actual use of those drugs.

Now, once you come to the realization that the state is not imbued with some sort of magical moral sense superior to your own, you're almost all the way to libertarianism.
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:34 PM
a sophist argument, all by itself. You folks take it upon yourselves to define what 'moral choices' should be left to the individual, i.e, legalized drug use, for instance. There are some 'moral choices' that are DESTRUCTIVE, both to the individual and society, and thus the State should NOT permit them, for that reason.
Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:34 PM
Andy544, this, too, is a false assertion.

Good vs. Evil and Right vs. Wrong are absolutely crucial concepts to the libertarian. However, the libertarian differs from the statist in requiring that one use only persuasion in implementing right and wrong. Thus, in a free and libertarian society, I fully endorse Andy544's absolute right to try and persuade gay people of the error of their ways. However, I absolutely repudiate Andy544's efforts to use the club of the state to PREVENT people from engaging in immoral (though nonviolent) acts.

Hope this clarifies the issues.
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:31 PM
neither one of those posts was an answer to my post of 7:38
Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:28 PM
Regarding your assertion that libertarianism is GODLESS (to repeat your all-caps shout), that is not exactly true, either. Libertarianism leaves matters of religious belief entirely up to the sovereign individual. Ron Paul, for example, is a very devout Christian, and also a libertarian. Actually, the libertarian movement is brimming with Christians, agnostics, and atheists, all united in the understanding that compulsion is the NEGATION of moral choice.
Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 8:25 PM
Andy544, you are not exactly correct in this assertion.

"Utilitarianism"--the belief that society should do whatever "works", in the classic view of Bentham--is a circular philosophy. That is, defining what "works" depends on what it is you want to achieve.

The libertarian does NOT engage in such sophistry. Rather, the libertarian carefully differentiates between moral choice and legal compulsion. The law should only compel in issues of force and fraud. Other moral choices, while crucial, must be left up to the sovereign individual; otherwise, it is not a choice, and hence not moral.
Cambermeister Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:41 PM
"Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves"
Ronald Reagan
Cambermeister Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:40 PM
Nobody despises helmet laws, seat belt laws etc. more than myself. We must avoid the arrogance infesting our nation. Hyper-Educated Ivy Leaguers believe they know best...what is best...for the commoner class.
This is exactly why we fought the Revolution. To bid farewell to arrogant elites.
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:38 PM
You leave out the whole concept of Good vs. Evil, Right vs. Wrong, Righteousness vs. unrighteousness...
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:37 PM
Ultimately, yours (and Libertarianism's) is a GODLESS ARGUMENT. That's why it will NEVER FLY in this country. You leave God out of the equation, every time. Everything, in your eyes, is based on Utilitarianism.
Paulus Textor Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:32 PM
A further point for Andy544 to consider is that, without the ability to choose a course of action, and weigh the benefits and hazards, there is no freedom. Thus, it is contradictory to assert that "freedom works, but immorality doesn't." The libertarian holds that one has the absolute right to choose wrongly, and PAY THE CONSEQUENCES or reap the benefits. Freedom thus is the ultimate test of morality itself; if you are forbidden from making a moral choice, you are forbidden to act morally.

Put another way, freedom and morality are mutually-reinforcing corollaries. Compulsion and immorality are the opposite, mutually-reinforcing corollaries.
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 7:24 PM
No, I don't think Paul is crazy, but I think you are.
nawlins72 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 6:23 PM
Yes, because Prohibition II has worked out so well. And lets not forget that great conservative principle of the continuous theft of the American taxpayers to support foreign nations (the wealthy Israel included). Yep, Paul is just crazzzy!!
Andy544 Wrote: Dec 14, 2012 6:14 PM
Freedom works, but immorality doesn't. The reason why Mr.Paul made no forward progress in the last primary campaigns is not because he didn't have some very good ideas. He did. The problem with Mr.Paul was with situations that required some moral analysis of the situation: i.e., the use and legalization of drugs , support for Israel, the only western-style democracy in that region of the world, (to cite two examples): in such situations, Mr.Paul didn't come up a 'little bit short', he came up WAAAAAY short... Your 'stainless steel logic' is this situation (which completely IGNORES the 'moral ramifications' of the institution of marriage) reminds me, once again, why I could never support Mr.Paul OR the Libertarian agenda. Thanks for comment.

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to tackle two gay marriage issues, those of us looking for some sweeping overall conclusions on the issue should temper our expectations.

The cases to be examined by the high court involve some specifics-- the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the range of benefits the federal government should grant in states choosing to recognize gay unions.

Both will necessarily involve some examination of what role the federal government should play in matters of gay marriage, but neither is likely to settle the biggest questions:

What is the proper...