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Thread: Debate: Dave Smith vs. Andrew Wilson re: libertarianism & Christian populism

  1. #1

    Debate: Dave Smith vs. Andrew Wilson re: libertarianism & Christian populism

    Livestream: FRI 07 JUN 2024 @ 9:00 PM EDT

    Andrew Wilson vs Dave Smith: Is Libertarianism better than Christian Populism?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqIaiQ-aK_s
    {The Crucible | 07June 2024}

    The Bastiat Collection ˇ FREE PDF ˇ FREE EPUB ˇ PAPER
    Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)

    • "When law and morality are in contradiction to each other, the citizen finds himself in the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense, or of losing his respect for the law."
      -- The Law (p. 54)
    • "Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."
      -- Government (p. 99)
    • "[W]ar is always begun in the interest of the few, and at the expense of the many."
      -- Economic Sophisms - Second Series (p. 312)
    • "There are two principles that can never be reconciled - Liberty and Constraint."
      -- Harmonies of Political Economy - Book One (p. 447)

    ˇ tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito ˇ



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  3. #2
    https://x.com/BiblicalAnarchy/status...79582799802642
    & https://x.com/BiblicalAnarchy/status...80864683950470


    Andrew Wilson vs Jacob Winograd Libertarian Christianity Debate from The Crucible
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jykvMp_PjBM
    {The Biblical Anarchy Podcast | 30 May 2024}

    Debate from the Crucible with Andrew Wilson. We debated the topics of Christian marriage and libertarianism. What does it mean to use authority, and what are the limits of Christians and Christian ethics in terms of enforcing morality? This was a friendly but heated debate, I greatly enjoyed it. I think we both found some weaknesses in each other's segments/worldviews that need some refinement - and that's the point of debate. I hope you enjoy!


  4. #3
    I only made it a little over half an hour. I won't be watching any content from Andrew Wilson again.


    https://x.com/USAB4L/status/1799854602134736985
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  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    Livestream: FRI 07 JUN 2024 @ 9:00 PM EDT

    Andrew Wilson vs Dave Smith: Is Libertarianism better than Christian Populism?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqIaiQ-aK_s
    {The Crucible | 07June 2024}

    Thank you for sharing this! Below are my notes from the first hour or so. I had to cut off because of time-constraints and because Andrew is an insufferably bad debate participant. Please excuse the many typos...

    ---

    [Andrew's opening thesis: libertarianism leads to degeneracy. Libertarians can't or don't want to stop serious evils in the public space such as aberrant sexuality, cultural destruction of the nuclear family, suicide, and so on. This is because libertarianism begins with the principle of self-ownership, which is indefensible.]

    (PS: The looks on Dave's face during this opening statement were amazing.)

    I felt Dave's opening response left something lacking, so I will add some further remarks here. First, we have to ask: the principle of self-ownership is flawed by comparison to what alternative? Andrew's reply will be "that God owns us, because he created us", which is a perfectly excellent answer. Here, I agree with Andrew's ultimate foundation but there is one flaw, which will be readily identified by any political adversary: whose god? I agree with Andrew there is just one, true God, but many people do not. And the State is supposed to be ruling the public space, which includes me and all those other people who believe in other gods. We are prohibited by the Lord Jesus himself from using force in any way, shape or form (or even desiring to!) against those who believe in false gods. Rather, we are to win them over by the testimony of the Gospel, and our manner of life (practicing what we preach). Thus, the theological fact that we are God's (and cannot just live any way we please) must be separated from the question of what sort of behavior is permitted in the public space.

    The key, here, is to realize that the censure by force of certain actions in the public space cannot merely be the result of the moral wrongness of those actions. As I am walking down the sidewalk, someone may inform me that they consider my face to be repulsive. This is rude and it is wrong, but am I justified to "defend myself" with my fists against this verbal insult? Of course not. But why not? This is the problem that the naive theory of State-enforcement of public morality can never properly answer. Ultimately, they have to just kick the can down the road to "the people" and they hand-wave that, by some magic, the people having elected representatives and those representatives writing laws somehow resolves the underlying logical problem. But it does not resolve anything, it just evades the matter completely.

    Second, there we can (and must!) make a libertarian theory which sets the limits of what violence can be used for, in the public space. Let's say you are living in Ancapville, which is a walled, anarcho-capitalist city-state. Property-rights are enforced but, beyond that, everyone is free to do as they please without onerous regulations or nannying supervision by "the State". Even the city itself is just a for-profit corporation and the only power it has is the power of eviction from the confines of the walls. It cannot even seize property within its walls, it can only exclude the owner who remains the title-owner and may sell his property even if he becomes evicted. One day, you are taking your kids along a path in a private-park which is several acres of land along the banks of the river that flows through the center of Ancapville. You look across the river as you have thousands of times before, and there, sprawled out in XXX-detail is a pornographic advertisement. You quickly divert your childrens' attention and shuttle them back to your vehicle and depart. Now, the naive theory of libertarianism is that this is the end of the matter. Your only recourse is to be offended, and go home, and keep quiet about what bothers you.

    But this is not correct. We don't have to go into a full explication of Coasean rights theory to explain the matter simply. You call the park owner and complain. In turn, the park owner contacts the billboard owner and complains (as the park owner stands to lose a lot of revenue!) The billboard owner asserts, "It's my property, and I'll plaster any advertisement on there I get paid for." What we have, here, is a tragedy of the commons, where the commons is the public space itself, that is, that which is visible while walking about. THe solution, obviously, is for the park owner to threaten the billboard owner with a lawsuit, and to have the summons prepared and delivered by his security agents. THis is a Friedmanite theory of the public space. Obviously, if you do things that make a lot of people angry, there will be a lot of people willing to sue and/or (legally) threaten to make your life hard in every way they possibly can. Someone might even risk taking a crack at you even though it's illegal. Intentionally making yourself an unwelcome pariah is something that humans almost never do precisely because it is so dangerous. No one, that is, except for the State and its agents. Which shows what is really at stake here. It is not the rogue XXX-billboard renter who is the actual danger to the public space, it is the State! It's always the State. Wokism is not a manifestation of a lack of government, it's a manifestation of the very godless State which Andrew wants more of! Rogue billboards can arise in Ancapville, but it will not be long before enough material interests are aligned to its removal, that its removal will be effected.

    My assertion is that Wokism, opposition to the nuclear family, unnatural relations, and so on, are unsystematic in the human population but for the State. Without the State, they are just the random, rogue billboard. Sooner or later (and probably sooner), the problem will be squelched, because the individual who is causing the ruckus in the public space is arousing the ire of many people, all of whom will be happy to chip in a small sum to a fund that will be used to hire a legal/security-agency for the squelcing of that ruckus. This has always been how such problems have been handled prior to the modern era. That this even needs to be explained is a symptom of just how atrophied human society has become by the monopolization of practically all social functions by the modern, omnipotent nation-state!

    Also, Andrew opened with a litany of "are you against _____?" arguments, which is a common tactic of collectivist/socialist thinkers (and yes, sadly, many conservative Christians are, at root, collectivists). Bastiat wrote in The Law:

    Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

    We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.
    It's astounding that this trick still works fully 200 years after Bastiat wrote this!! I'm sure Andrew is not a socialist, but he is a collectivist in his thinking. That we object to using the tool of the State because it's the wrong tool for pretty much everything except patrolling the border and (maybe) hanging crooks, doesn't mean we're opposed to all those other things, in fact, quite the opposite! The State is the great ruiner of everything it touches, and we want to see the State removed from those things so they can be properly enjoyed!

    ---

    [Do you own yourself? Is ownership a "social construction"?]

    Self-ownership is, as Dave notes, demonstrated by the mere act of speaking. This negation of this assertion is what we call a fight, or (more generally) warfare. Since the aim or object of social order (as by a State) is to preserve peace, self-ownership automatically follows. The idea of self-ownership as merely a "social construction" is just collectivism in disguise, and also it is the same kind of mush-headedness that gives rise to Wokism. If everything is what whatever "society" constructs it to be, then men really can be women and vice-versa, and there really are 3,000 genders. Rather, self-ownership is something that we all know to be the case by virtue fo the image of God within us. Above, I raised the question of self-ownership by contrast to what alternative? On the "social construction" theory of government, the alternative would have to be something that "society" constructs collectively, but society can't do this, which is demonstrated by the problem of Wokism. It can't do this, because it is not only collectivism but it is a consensus problem. Everybody would have to agree, and that's never going to happen. Thus, I own myself because (a) it is obvious, (b) you cannot name someone else who has a higher claim to own me than I do, (c) if you want to persist in contradicting my self-ownership I will fight you (that last one is basically what the 2nd amendment is all about). Thus, since self-ownership cannot be contradicted (thrice-over), it is true.

    ---

    [Dave: Do you own your words?]

    Dave is basically appealing to Hoppe's argumentation ethics here. By virtue of speaking, you are logically (implicitly) asserting self-ownership. If you do not own yourself, then you are someone's slave, and you speak only by permission of the one who owns you. In which case, you are just a mouthpiece (e.g. as an ambassador is to a king) and you are sub-rational, that is, you are not capable of reasoning because your tongue is harnessed by the one who owns you. Thus, the one who asserts "I do not own myself" is simply opting out of rational argument. He is choosing not to have a rational discussion or evincing that he is not capable of having a rational discussion (because his master will not permit it).

    Dave concedes that self-ownership can also be a norm, but the key point that needs to be driven home, here, is that self-ownership is logically irrefutable. You cannot deny with "your" tongue that you own yourself, without immediately running into a performative contradiction. If you do not own yourself, then you are some kind of slave or robot or automaton belonging to someone else, and the entire "argument" is a waste-of-time, kind of like "debating" ChatGPT. The very act of entering into debate is a concesion in itself that you own yourself. And this is also self-evident -- the explanations given here are not necessary for anybody to know they own themselves... everyone automatically knows this.

    ---

    [Andrew: Slavery has existed.]

    Sure, it has. Also, murder has existed. Saying, "you can't own yourself because people have been enslaved" is like saying "you're not alive because people have been killed." Furthermore, even though slavery hsa existed, so have slave-revolts. So, if the mere existence of slavery disproves self-ownership then, by the same token, the mere existence of slave-revolts disproves the "you can't own yourself" theory. (Note: this entire line of reasoning is a complete non-starter. Dave seems to have been caught a little by surprise but this is not a difficult point to argue against. Denying your own self-ownership is downright silly. If you don't own yourself, then shut up! If you don't own yourself, then I suppose I can just tape your mouth shut just as I could apply tape to a tree out in the wilderness, if I felt like it, because it has no agency and certainly doesn't own itself!)

    ---

    [Dave: What demonstrated that people have owned other people?]

    Now Dave is cooking with fire!

    ---

    [Andrew: My moral foundation is divine command]

    So, this is where we get to the core of the disagreement and what the debate is really about. My position bridges half-way between Andrew and Dave: divine command is the ultimat moral foundation... and it is not a sufficient basis for public law! God commands us not to lie. Therefore, it is wrong to lie. This command really and truly impinges upon all people, whether they accept it or not. Nevertheless, we all understand that the State has no business enforcing truth-telling in almost all cases. Why not? Because the State does not exist for the purpose of enforcing divine commands, rather, the State exists (to whatever extent its existence can be tolerated at all) in order to secure the peace in the public space. If someone parks directly across the street from your house and turns up their 5,000w truck-bed speaker-system to maximum volume playing obnoxious music, you are perfectly reasonable to expect forcible intervention in this situation. This is the only legitimate function of the State! Even the punishment of crimes is really just this "don't be a nuisance" principle (that is, don't violate NAP) applied to more extreme situations.

    ---

    [Dave: How do you know the divine commands?]

    [Andrew: My delusions of divine command are as good as your arbitrary moral preferences.]

    Well, sure, this is completely true, and (speaking for myself, not Dave), this is one of the reasons why divine command matters. We really do need a "heavenly tie-break", so to speak. But that is a theological matter of ultimate moral authority and the mailman and trash-collection (assuming these are functions of the State, which they usually are in the modern West) have nothing to do with that. That this is even a matter of contention is itself yet another manifestation of the mental atrophy induced by the modern omnipotent State. It should be an obvious point but, sadly, it's not.

    ---

    [Dave (again): How do we know divine commands?]

    [Andrew: subjective v. objective; libertarian values are subjective, therefore, they don't require any answer at all from the objective position since they make no objective claims]

    Dave: God talks to you, he also talks to me, so we're even. (Correct answer.)

    ---

    [Andrew: Do you want the state to intervene to stop a suicide?]

    Dave: I would want that.

    My view: I don't think the State has a duty to intervene in just any such situation. The State, in itself, does not automatically have anything to do with this. The problem only becomes a matter of State if (a) it fails or (b) it otherwise becomes a public matter. In those situations, the State would potentially be involved as it becomes a rogue-billboard problem. A man who goes up on a tall building each day over the public square and threatens to throw himself down is making a nuisance for children and families below, who are subjected to disruption by his outrageous behavior. The State should not intervene "to stop him from harming himself", rather, the State should intervene so that peaceful families going about their daily business will not be disturbed. This point is actually very important because the other answer is how you get weaponized "compassion". I'm not saying we (society) should not have compassion for someone in distress, but the State is always the wrong tool for social compassion.

    ---

    [Andrew shouting over Dave and insisting on high-school debate team antics]

    This is flatly un-Christian behavior and a bad representation of the name of Jesus. I don't think Dave Smith is a Christian (to my knowledge), but this kind of battle-ax debate methodology is inappropriate in the context of inviting someone onto your show and then laying into them like they just built a fence on your side of the property-line and are justifying themselves for that. Dave is just on the show for the purposes of a discussion or even a friendly (non-adversarial) debate. Intentionally turning it into an adversarial debate is just rude and an example of immoral behavior that, as libertarians, we know does not justify the exercise of violence no matter how badly you might feel otherwise. I find it ridiculous that this has to be said and Andrew's antics at this point makes it difficult for me, as a believer, to continue watching. Rude and absolutely un-Christian behavior.

    Amazingly, Dave persists through the fire, so I will continue to watch the debate.

    ---

    [Andrew: Why can't (adult) brother/sister have sex?]

    [Dave: Against nature]

    [Andrew: Naturalistic fallacy]

    Andrew is here losing track of the argument. He wants to have a debate with Dave over the foundations, but Dave is repeatedly granting the argument over foundations. Andrew is just going off half-cocked, having hyped himself up for a different debate than the actual debate itself.

    ---

    [Andrew: Absent God, morality is just preferences.]

    The problem with this argument is, once again, Andrew is misfiring, he's aiming a good argument at the wrong target. If Dave were arguing against the ultimate foundations of Scripture, these arguments would be applicable. As Dave astutely points out, Andrew has gotten himself hyped-up for an argument with a 20-year-old OnlyFans streamer, not with someone who is actually reasonable and can defend their position logically. That Andrew resorts to jack-hammer verbal debate tactics actually undermines whatever credibility he might have had in the discussion, since he shows that he simply didn't prepare for a debate with Dave himself, just his own private caricature of what a libertarian is. He seems to think he's debating Chase Oliver, or something. It's a very bizarre look and I cannot emphasize strongly enough that this kind of verbal jack-hammering, in this context, has absolutely no overlap with the Gospel of Jesus Christ whatsoever. By behaving this way, Andrew is dragging the name of Jesus through the mud. It is shameful and sinful.

    "He who answers before listening- that is his folly and his shame." (Proverbs 18:13)

    As to the substance of Andrew's (irrelevant) question, the correct answer is that it's just a trick question, there is no valid answer. "Absent God" would be Mad Max world, it would not be civilized America under the influence of the Gospel, circa 2024. Thus, there is no "absent God". The question he's really asking (by way of baiting) is "absent God-belief, can you justify morality?" and the answer to that is: of course, because we are never truly absent God. The one who is absent God-belief is still acting in accordance to mores whose ultimate justification can only be derived from the Christian worldview.

    ---

    [Dave: <humping your sister> is so uncomfortable to talk about]

    LOL. I've never watched this channel before, but I just have to reiterate again that it's obvious that Andrew has been debating very juvenile-minded Woke types, and he is blindly convinced that this is an accurate model of Dave's views, despite Dave's repeated protests to the contrary.

    ---

    [Andrew/Dave steel-manning Andrew's position on NAP]

    Andrew does not understand the meaning of the word "aggression". He seems to think that aggression is just any use of force outside of exigent circumstances (e.g. immediate self-defense). Rather, aggression is inherently immoral and is never justifiable, by definition. What we mean by "aggression" is the use of force without a good reason, without moral justification. If someone steals your bicycle, it's not "aggression" to repossess the bicycle from them, even if you have to wrest it out of their hands. You're simply undoing their prior aggression. You can snatch your own bicycle back, even much later, even against resistance from the thief, for exactly the same reason you can shoot an intruder in your house: they are the aggressors!

    ---

    [Andrew: "If I own myself, and you own yourself, then there can be no moral objection to _____"]

    Once again, misses the point. What differentiates between where the State can and can't be used to intervene is the rogue-billboard; the State is simply the wrong tool to address private sexual perversions in a private home, as long as they remain private. It only becomes a State matter once it comes out into the public square. Thus, sodomy laws are objectively a bad idea, and this is not just a libertarian thing... it's a historical evidence thing. But abolishing sodomy laws and replacing them with nothing (the Woke, Chase Oliver, libertine-wing of the LP solution) is also an objectively bad idea (and we're living through the reasons why, right now!) Rather, the State can be used (and should be, lacking a better tool) to suppress the promotion of sexual perversion in the public space. Removal of rogue-billboard problems would be done much more quickly and efficiently in Ancapistan due to the removal of State corruption, but that's an efficiency argument, which is not the important thing in this context. The key issue is that the NAP is no obstacle whatsoever to rogue-billboard issues, it just tells you that (a) the State is not the best tool for addressing them and (b) rogue-billboard problems don't create an easement for State invasion of the private space because it is aggression against self-owning individuals.

    ---

    [Dave: Freedom and liberty do not automatically lead to degeneracy.]

    This is a situation where Dave is correct but for the wrong reasons. Let's go back to Dave's admission that he attributes God as the reason he understood moral reality, even before he believed in God. That is why freedom and liberty do not automatically lead to degeneracy. We call this God's common grace. The problem comes when we try to assert that humans are somehow "intrinsically good", which history amply disproves. Apart from the Gospel, all humanity is without hope. The Gospel transforms culture, even if many people do not accept it. Rather, the contrast that needs to be teased out is that the Gospel is the only path that leads to freedom and liberty (in the fullest possible sense of freedom and liberty) and that, when humans are left to themselves, they naturally go into slavery. (Ultimately, this is slavery to sin.) The fact that, under the influence of the Gospel, freedom and liberty do not automatically lead to degeneracy is itself evidence of God's common grace, which extends to all people. For this reason, those who value liberty (aka all libertarians) ought to welcome the influence of the Gospel whether or not they believe in it. The whole purpose of the Gospel is to set men free from the shackles of slavery that define this present world-order. That's the key takeaway here!

    ---

    [Andrew (interrupting, for the 10 millionth time): Degeneracy is being promoted by libertarians]

    OK, yes, that is true. There are some libertarians who are promoting degeneracy. There are Christian churches who are also promoting degeneracy. So what? I'm not defined by the people who say they're with me, I'm defined by the people I say I'm with. This is yet another completely irrelevant point.

    ---

    [Dave: Government undermines the values that Christians and traditionalists care about.]

    This is the point. The cure, in this case, is the poison. Andrew is just a run-of-the-mill Christian authoritarian. There must be a factory somewhere where they stamp these people out, they're cookie-cutter copies of one another. Government force is at best suitable for patrolling the frontier to keep out invaders, and (possibly) hanging crooks. It has no other legitimate use. The Constitution gives the Federal government a tiny list of a few other powers besides these. What has the Federal government done with that tiny list? It has taken over not only the entire economy, but the entire culture. And who is the single, largest megaphone promoting WOkism right now? It is the Federal government. That we are in this predicament is precisely why libertarians are such "NAP fundamentalists". This is a camel that cannot be given even a single micron of leeway, let alone an inch! As soon as you permit the State to engage in any form of aggression, you have already given the camel the whole tent. It might take a few decades or a couple centuries to fully work its way from night-watchman to global tyranny, but it will do so as surely as rocks fall when dropped.

    Government is the premier cause of degeneracy, it is not the cure.

    ---

    [Andrew: But how could you have enforcement against <weird_butt_stuff> without the gubbernmint?!?!]

    Muh Roads. That's always the nuke. BUT WHAT ABOUT MUH ROADSs$sSsS$%SS&*.

    People are smart. They'll figure it out. What people do in their private house is a matter that God cares about (Dave concedes this) and can potentially have ramifications in the public space (Dave implicitly concedes this), but the State is not only the wrong tool to fix it, it can only make the problem worse. Dave points out the exponential growth of government in the last 3 or so decades, and its correlation with the explosion in open depravity. Andrew avoids this point completely because it completely breaks his super-Boomer world-model.

    ---

    [Andrew: <hilariously continues to conflate every form of consenting action with adult brother-sister incest and butt-stuff>...]

    [Dave: Government is the primary cause of all the evils that you're complaining about]

    [Andrew: <super-Boomer mode> Yeah, but the AMA was founded as a private trade-organization]

    So, this is the typical Leftist debate-tactic (hilarious to see how the hard-Right parrots the hard-Left whenever it suits their agenda). "Private institutions are just as evil as the government." Still beside the point, because what makes private institutions dangerous is that they can use the weapon of the government to impose their agenda on the rest of us. Without government, any "private institution" is of no more nuisance than a furniture store advertisement blowing down the street. Who cares if they're evil, don't patronize them. "But other people can!" Again, so what? Until they have teeth, I don't have to care about them, and I won't care about them. And there is only one place they can get teeth: the State.

    [Andrew: You wouldn't even need a medical license to practice medicine! <cue Boomer outrage> It's anarcho-capitalism, baby!]

    LOL.

    Just that. LOL.

    ---

    [Andrew: We used to have anti-trust laws!]

    So out of his depth, it's just downright embarrassing.

    [Andrew: Mussolini, fascism!]

    Please, make it stop.

    [Andrew: Corporate power can also become elite and it becomes a power unto itself]

    Sure, but until they pick up guns, they can simply be ignored. And when they pick up guns, so can we. And there's more of us than there are of them. When they pick up guns, they just give us the opportunity to physically remove them fro society. Problem solved. What prevents us from doing that... is the State because it's the only organization large enough, well-funded enough and well-staffed enough to even have a chance of resisting the people. And if they want a showdown for real, we can kick their ass, too, because the State is just a parasite, nothing more. And guess whose leg the corporate power is always, always always hiding behind?? The State!!!

    [Andrew: There are no licenses in anarcho-capitalism.]

    Please, please make it stop...

    [Andrew: Pat Buchanan would agree with me.]

    Dave gives him the smackdown on licenses. So well deserved.

    [Andrew: Who would issue licenses?!]

    BUT MUH ROADS!!!

    [Dave: <lays down lesson on Andrew regarding the true meaning and history of paleo-conservatism>]

    [Andrew: State and local governments can be corrupt like the Federal government!]

    *sigh* -- this whole discussion is like watching a blind toddler angrily flailing at the dog who is holding him at arm's length like "WTF?"

    Nobody said they can't be corrupt. However, the whole big idea of American constitutionalism is that the Federal government exists in order to create a playing-field for the several State governments, wherein the unanswerable questions of what regulation is best can be answered by simply trying them all, and seeing which ones work. It's not a complicated idea. As soon as you allow the Federal government to transform into a centralized, national Leviathan, however, the entire purpose of the Constitution is mooted, and we're better off having many small, competing governments since this limits the total amount of damage that any one of them can do. If you have slavery in one state, at least it's only in one state. Right now, we have natioanlly enforced tolerance of the transgender Agenda... thanks, Federal gubbermint!!

    ---

    PS: As a post-mortem on where Andrew's reasoning goes wrong (from a Christian standpoint), it is that he is mis-applying the principles of presuppositional reasoning by expanding their scope beyond their true domain. I confess that God is sovereign over me and my mind, but I do not imagine that God's sovereignty over me gives me any right to do something to you. In fact, quite the opposite, God is not only sovereign over me, he is also sovereign over you and therefore, I may not lay a finger upon you! You are God's property, not mine, and so the ultimate offense that is occurring when I violate your property rights is that I am violating God's property-rights (in you). This is a fairly common mis-application of presuppositional thinking by certain folks within the church (who I will leave unnamed) and this is why I am well-versed in what is going wrong here. Andrew wants to assert God's sovereignty through himself onto his fellow-citizen (through the proxy of the State). But that is not how God's kingdom works, at all, as anyone who has read the New Testament should understand. God is sovereign both over Andrew and his neighbors and, for this reason, Andrew is bound to the Gospel (since he professes faith) and the Gospel absolutely prohibits Andrew from aggressing against his neighbors, in fact, the calling of the Gospel is that we believers are to accept (not retaliate against) aggression from our neighbors if it is God's will for us to do that. This is not to be confused with defense of the innocent, which is a separate matter.
    Last edited by ClaytonB; 06-25-2024 at 08:32 PM.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  6. #5
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  7. #6
    Part 2:

    [Andrew/Dave: <back and forth on private institutions]

    Andrew has a common Boomer/Republican misconcpetion: to be libertarian is to be anti-"public-sector", pro-"private-sector". Dave points out that "supporting" the existence of restaurants doesn't mean you "support" just anything a restaurant does. This fries Andrew's Boomer-brain-circuits and he diverts the fact he just got verbally pantsed by Dave with a bunch of loud talking about irrelevant points.

    [Andrew: NAP is a leftist idea]

    Oh yeah, watch out for those NAP-respecting Antifa thugs!

    Dave seems to be trying to avoid an NAP-quagmire. (These discussions get super-autistic, but Andrew is obviously unable to rise beyond that level anyway.) NAP is kingergarten morality. Anyone who *opposes* NAP is an authoritarian, by definition. They are someone who believes that, by some kind of "social contract" alchemy, we can presto-change-o transmute a crime (using violence against someone without a sound moral reason for it) into a non-crime. That when the police officer is tasing the guy who is already face-down on the pavement with his hands behind his back, in 100.0% full compliance, zero talk-back, nothing, that this is not a crime at all, because "the officer was just doing his duty".

    [Andrew: I don't think you do own yourself]

    Note that Andrew here contradicts his earlier statement where he replied, "Yes, according to the social construct, I own myself." Andrew has absolutely no clue what he's even trying to refute.

    [Andrew: Private corporations would form a government anyway]

    So, the worst-case scenario is that we could have what we have right now.

    [Andrew: It's in our best interests, as Christians, to monopolize the force-apparatus of the State.]

    This is Christian Reconstructionism. Basically, it's a Protestant version of Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism, but where American Protestants are monopolizing the State, not those dirty Catholics or dirty Anglicans. Needless to say, it directly contradicts Scripture, John 18:36.

    [Andrew (in reference to social welfare): This type of theft [is] incorrect]

    So, Andrew is subtly tipping his hand here. Dave has clearly never handled this species of snake before -- I have. Without going into a very long explanation, basically, Andrew believes that there are times and places that outright crimes can be justified in service to the kingdom of God, upon God's own command. So, if God tells me "Go kill that guy across the street", it doesn't matter that that would be considered "murder" my the government, the fact is, I have been commanded by God, and so my action is merely obedience to God. Obviously, this is insanity, but this is a pretty easy way to give a Reconstructionist + Divine Command Theorist (DCT) a verbal-swirlie. Just ask them if it would be murder to go kill some random guy on God's command. They will try to deflect with "God would never command that", but then just point to an OT example where God did command people to go kill other people, and keep holding their head down until the bubble stop coming up...

    [Andrew: What about conscription? Don't we have a duty to defend our country? If it's all just NAP, then there can be no higher duties, no conscription.]

    [Dave: It would be enslaving someone if they do not want to go. They might have a moral responsibility to defend themselves and their family, like everybody else, but that's assuming it's a just war, as in the case of a foreign army directly invading.]

    So, the bigger issue here that I think Dave isn't hitting Andrew with, but should, is that it's not a question of whether there is a duty or not. Rather, the very category of having a duty already presupposes self-ownership. If I do not own myself, then I cannot have a duty, because I am already a slave, and slaves don't have duties, they are just objects like animals. My dog doesn't have a "duty" to poop in the yard, he either poops in the yard or he does not, and bears the consequences accordingly. In order to have a duty, one must own oneself. This is Argumentation Ethics which I know Dave knows (from other podcasts), so I think he's just a little jet-lagged in this debate and didn't expect an adversarial, high-school debate-team style debate. But he soldiered through it and I give a lot of respect for that.

    [Andrew: God owns you]

    Dave doesn't get a chance to reply to this and I'm going to guess that he would consider this a theological question more than a question touching on the topic of the debate, which was supposed to be "Libertarianism vs. Christian populism". As I noted in my previous post, this is the unstated core of Andrew's view on the matter. For myself, this is how I would pull apart Andrew's view. Andrew believes God owns him, and owns me, etc. I actually happen to agree with that. But many people do not. Those people are welcome in the public space so long as they obey by those aspects of God's natural law which are manifest to all people, see Romans 1:18ff, Lev. 24:22, etc. The fact that they do not know who God is, and they would not understand or agree that God owns them, even though it is true, matters. Thus, when I say, "I own myself", this is really a short-hand way of saying, "No other human owns me." So, I can *both* say "God owns me" and "I own me", because they both mean the same thing, it's just that the "universe of discourse" is smaller in the case of saying, "I own me" ... we are just talking about the public space in respect to natural law, "the world-as-such". In "the world-as-such", I own myself. Within the Cosmos, which includes the heavens and God himself, God owns me. The fact that GOd owns me is why I can assert with final authority that I own myself in the world-as-such, and that nobody else can have a legitimate ownership claim. This is what the Declaration of Independence is talking about when it says:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident,"
    -> What follows is obvious and does not require explanation

    "that all men are created equal,"
    -> All men are creatures of God, and for this reason, they are equal before God

    "that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,"
    -> Therefore, everyone has certain rights that are so basic that they cannot be rid of them, even if they wanted to

    "That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
    -> Some of these rights which are relevant to this document are Life... which means that you have an inalienable right not to be murdered by the State or by other slavers attempting to make an ownership claim upon you.

    Reconstructionist DCTs like Andrew like to hit people with this "you don't own yourself" crap because they expect to be challenged on it (Dave chose not to walk into that trap which, in this case, was the right call since he was not prepared for that rat's nest). Then, they plan to fall back onto "Oh, well, God owns me. And he also owns you. So that's why you can't do what you feel like doing." Again, while this is theologically true, it's not useful at all in the public space where we have to craft rules and policies that are going to be applied to people who don't believe in God or believe in other gods or simply consider the entire theological question to be irrelevant. It is civilly valid and lawful for them to have other god-beliefs or not to believe in God (etc.), even though we, as Christians, hold these other views to be objectively false. Thus, presuppositional reasoning is not suitable for application to the rules in the public space because "you are to love the foreigner living among you" ... AS a foreigner!! That means they don't worship your God. They don't believe your Scriptures. But we still have to love them! How do we do that when we can't bludgeon them over the head with transcendental proof for the existence of God, and so on?! We can't! Thus, we have to civilly accept their unbelief or false-belief, even while we theologically reject their beliefs as false, so long as they abide by the natural law, which includes obeying all (reasonable) civil laws imposed by the government. This is the only proper solution to the "what if a Christian woke up one day and was President?"-problem. He would have to rule unbelievers and false-believers to exactly the same civil standard as believers. All categories: believers, unbelievers, false-believers, etc. are all held to exactly the same standard of civil order: the natural law which is manifest to the mind of all men, Psalm 19:1ff, Romans 1:18ff, etc.

    The Reconstructionists have as a goal the "takeover of the government apparatus", as Andrew admits here. This is anti-gospel and anti-christ for exactly the same reasons that the ambitions and abuses of the church of Rome through the secular authorities has always been anti-gospel and anti-christ. It's just a different flavor of the same poison.

    [Andrew (closing statement): DCT means you don't own yourself]

    Then who owns me instead? Please point to my owner. This is the problem with the misapplication of presuppositionalist reasoning outside of its proper domain. God is my owner, yes. But among all of us in this room or in this nation, please point me to the man or organization who owns me instead of me. And you can't. And yes, we explicitly deny that the government does or even can own anyone. The government is just a human organization, nothing more, or less. It has some unique properties by virtue of the habits that define human thinking so far, but these unique properties are not magic and do not confer any magic powers or rights to the government itself. Quite the opposite, because government is inherently odious in its very nature, we want to minimize it as much as we possibly can for moral reasons, that is, to make govenrment more like God's kingdom. What is God's kingdom? Just go back to Genesis 1,2. There, Adam and Eve were completely free (Gen. 2:16) and God delegated ruling power over the earthly creation to Adam, (Gen. 1:26-28).

    In short, Andrew is a bull in a china shop who has read some books on apologetics and debate tactics, but he has a deeply and fundamentally flawed view of Scripture. DCT means I do own myself, that's the whole point of the Gospel! (John 8:32,36, Gal. 3:28, 4:26, 5:1,13, 1 Cor. 9:19, Heb. 2:15, 1 Pet. 2:16)

    [Andrew: You can't create objective, justified morality out of Argumentation Ethics]

    This is true! But it also doesn't matter. That's because Andrew persistently confuses ultimate foundations with the rules of the public space. These are two very different questions. And while I, as a believer, use Scripture and God's manifest natural law, and the light of reason, in order to understand what are God's rules for the public space, other people don't have to. If you just look at the world, and understand what is right and wrong in the public space, that's good enough. And it is Scripture that tells me that if you claim that you don't understand what is right and wrong in the public space, you are lying. But you don't have to believe that. As long as you understand God's rules for civil life in the public space, and follow them, you have done your duty to the natural law, and this is the case from the standpoint of Christian doctrine. In fact, it is only Christianity that can and has created space for non-violent pluralism that does not also degenerate into rank paganism. The only way to get peaceful, civilized plurality, is through the mass spread of Christian mores. This is the foundation upon which the God's natural law rests and so when these values are widely believed and adopted, the public space becomes peaceful, civilized and pluralistic.

    For example, the Jew walking down the street wearing a yarmulke and minding his own business is doing no harm to anybody else by wearing it. The Reconstructionist types have a very hard time explaining why the power of the State is not to be used to compel the Jew to convert or leave. They have a hard time explaining why the power of the State is supposed to be used for enforcing all these moral ends because they are moral, but isn't supposed to turn into Christianized Sharia law. And in many cases (but not all) this is exactly what they do want to implement.

    [Dave (Q&A): God has granted us self-ownership]

    Bingo!

    [Andrew: But God can intervene in the world]

    While true, and while this implies that God has the ability to override human free-will, it's a common mistake among Calvinists to imagine God as some kind of all-meddling puppet-master. The problem is that they are so myopically focused on God's power that they completely overlook God's majesty. A king does not meddle in all the affairs of all the people in his kingdom because it would be beneath his dignity. For the same reason, God is not all-meddling. But God is all-powerful, so if he does intervene in our lives (including overriding our own choices/desires/actions), then that's just what it is. So, both God's sovereignty and free-will are true at the same time, but the synthesis of these two is usually misunderstood. It's amazing to me how badly this is misunderstood because I don't think the Bible is unclear about it.

    [Dave (Q&A): Government, by its very nature, is taking from one group and giving to another group]

    i.e. aggression.

    Earlier, Andrew objected to the characterization that "taxation is theft". He could not define the distinction between when it is theft and when it is not. Here, he tries to put it down to the old canard, "form of government." No, it's not the "form" of the government, it's what government is and does. To get away from the quagmire of Hoppean ethics (a worthwhile discussion, but far too advanced for someone like Andrew), let's break it down in very simple terms.

    On the one extreme, we have Genghis Khan. Genghis rides into your village one day, and makes camp. He demands every villager to bring half their flocks, grain, etc. so they can eat them. A few weeks go by and it appears that they're not going to leave. A time-traveling Christian monk from the future informs the villagers, "Well, we do have to pay our taxes because of Romans 13 and since Genghis is now the apparent ruler of this village, we must pay them cheerfully and not grumble about it." Genghis Khan calls the villagers back and demands they pay half of whatever they have remaining. He has a few villagers beaten because of the paltry payment that is given. Out of fear, many villagers bring even more than was demanded. Another week goes by. Finally, Genghis Khan demands all food and any other valuable property be paid to him as taxes. The villagers give everything they have, and Genghis and his army mount up and ride off. My question is this: During the weeks that Genghis Khan was settled at the village and it appeared he was never going to leave, was he the rightful ruler of that village? Are the extorted payments that the villagers made to him robbery, or taxes? Obviously, there is no material difference between this case and if a robber were to break into your house and steal everything you have. It is not "taxation", it is just robbery.

    On the other extreme, we have the heavenly New Jerusalem, where Scripture tells us, "the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it", meaning, they will make voluntary offerings there and this is how the New Jerusalem will derive its support. This is the structure of the kingdom of God -- God does not "tax", quite the opposite, we are all the constant beneficiaries of God's boundless largesse. We are the ones who are a tax upon God, not the other way around. So, God's kingdom is the reverse of human kingdoms.

    Between these two extremes, where does the US Federal government circa 2024 land? Well, it is practically equivalent to Genghis Khan raiding a village. It is difficult to define the distinction between these two cases. So, the US Federal government is as far away as you can possibly be from the New Jerusalem, and it is just a hair's-breadth from Genghis Khan and its only inclination is to get even closer to Genghis Khan.

    The "NAP doesn't work, it's pure idealism"-objection is silly because nobody's even talking about the pure NAP ideal. Nobody's talking about absolute non-aggression or absolute self-ownership as some kind of platonic absolute. Rather, let's turn the ship of State around and stop steaming in the direction of even more Genghis Khan, because it's obviously not working, and let's instead go in the direction of God's kingdom. Along the way, we'll reach the 1776 model of the US government that was originally established by the Founding Fathers. When we get there, we will all be very wealthy men, and let's convene again at that time and let's have a proper theological/philosophical discussion over the question of whether we really need to go to the "extreme limit" of absolute NAP purity. Who knows, maybe I'll even change my mind between now and then. But for now, the direction in which the ship of State should be sailing is obvious and only the ignorant, stupid or tyrants can disagree with that assessment.

    ---

    Conclusion: No conclusion except to say that it was a debate between one participant who was trying to use jackhammer debate tactics in a counter-productive fashion, often misfiring wrong arguments for the fireworks effect, and another participant who I know is far superior intellectually but who was also clearly jet-lagged or not in top form for some other reason. I'm not sure why Dave didn't just kick Andrew's teeth in (verbally), because Andrew wasn't pulling any punches and Dave is not only smarter and more well-read, he's a better debater. Dave seems to have been a bit jet-lagged or something, which is a shame, because after the rudeness from Andrew, I would love to have seen him get a proper verbal beat-down.
    Last edited by ClaytonB; 06-10-2024 at 09:35 PM.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  8. #7
    McArdle does a post-debate review:



    [Angela: DCT is too rigid for (the current world)]

    I agree. To put more meat on the bone, when we're making laws (that's implicit within the debate topic since libertarianism is ultimately a political position), we have to make laws regarding the public space[1] which everyone is permitted to lawfully pass through. That includes Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and even atheists. You are allowed to be any of those things, in the public space, so long as you conform with the rules of the public space. Christian DCT is not always suitable for direct use in forming the rules of the public space. It might be suitable in certain circumstances.

    For instance, since everyone already agrees that murder is wrong and must not be permitted, so no one is going to object to the DCT argument, since that's just how you personally arrive at the common conclusion that everybody already agrees upon. The problems arise with edge-cases. In those cases, we need something more like a "DCT theory of civil laws for the public space". We don't have to have agreement from others on DCT itself. Rather, we only need agreement on the conclusions reached from DCT. And to achieve this, we're going to have to explicate the basis on which we (mere humans) can rightly demand compliance (via law) from other humans. And that common basis is really just property rights.

    Basically, DCT --> "Thou shalt not steal" (8th commandment) --> Everything else. So, almost all of Christian public policy boils down to the 8th-commandment, rigorously applied to the absolute hilt. Since the 8th commandment is a moral law that every culture, religion (including atheists) can agree on, we have a truly universal basis on which to construct a Christian theory of law in the public space. 8th-commandment --> Hoppean AE --> you own yourself --> you are free to transform what you own, or peacefully trade it with others --> libertarian/propertarian rights-theory.

    "Yeah, but what about Woke/trans people who go hide in their house and do perverted stuff?" What about it? If it is truly private, and we don't know about it, then there's nothing to be done. There is no "what about" because there is nothing that is a matter of public-policy. "Oh, OK, so you're fine with any crime, any violation of God's law, just as long as it is well hidden." It doesn't matter if I'm OK with it or not -- if they're hiding it, there's nothing that I can do to stop it, even if I have police and laws against it. Such activity only become a matter of public policy when it becomes exposed. And as for how to exclude people who engage in behavior that your community finds out-of-line with its moral convictions, the Hoppean theory of HOAs, eviction, etc. is one way to arrive at a robust propertarian solution to these problems. This is often treated as angels-dancing-on-pinheads stuff but it really ought not to be -- in the end, these are the kinds of details upon which such cases are actually decided in law courts. Thus, it behooves Christians who care strongly about moral decency within their community to ensure that they are building their civil laws on a solid foundation, and not just making things up as they go. If you have a well-crafted HOA covenant, and a privately gay couple is in violation of it, and this becomes a matter of public knowledge (it's not just a hidden secret in their private home), then there is a legal basis on which to evict them from the community and legally compel them to sell their property to someone else who will abide by the covenant. Hand-waving these issues is no good, it just leads to false-accusations and tyranny through poorly defined legal language. Attempting to "legislate morality" through the State is also no good, it just leads to invasion of the private space and outright tyranny. Ruining your community in order to save it is an act of insanity, and this is the insanity that we have seen most frequently resorted to.

    [Angela: Rahab lied]

    The problem that Angela is raising here is that biblical morality is not always obvious. It does become clearer the longer you study the Bible. In fact, it is a rigorously coherent book, which seems impossible given its many authors and extremely long and complex history. But arriving at that insight is something that will take most people many years of study. This makes the Bible unsuited to be a "civil law handbook". The Bible may be an ultimate religio-cultural foundation of our laws (e.g. DoI/Constitution), but quoting the Bible in court is probably legally fallacious unless the case is dealing with really foundational issues like religious freedom, etc. In addition, the laws governing the use of the public space apply to people who do not accept the Bible as a common moral/legal foundation. Beyond the 8th-commandment, we don't need them to. We just need property rights. From this, all else follows.

    [Angela: natural law]

    In Christian theology, this is called God's general revelation. It is that part of man's moral knowledge which he unavoidably has merely by virtue of being human. As Christians, "being human" is further understood to mean, "created in the image of God". A person may deny that they are created, let alone created in the image of God (e.g. an atheist), and that's no obstacle to the principle of general revelation in this context. That is because, for the purposes of making law, we don't need to police your thoughts or your words (usually), only your actions. And if your actions violate property rights, you are breaking the 8th-commandment, which is part of general revelation (natural law) and you are liable to punishment (by force).

    [Angela: self-ownership is tied to agency. No one without agency can own anything.]

    Good points.

    To add to this, self-ownership is really just the 8th-commandment applied to the self. From Christian moral theory, I do not own myself, if we're talking about the civil sphere and God, because God owns me. But in respect to the civil sphere on its own (other people), I own myself because no one has a higher claim to myself than I do. If you want to rebut that point, please point me to the person or group who has a higher claim to own me, and explain why their claim is better than mine. And even if you succeed in arguing they have a better claim than I do, you still have the problem that slavery is impossible, thus, denying self-ownership is a performative contradiction (Hoppe's AE).

    [Angela: <free will> ... unless you're Calvinist]

    So, this is a common misunderstanding of Calvinism (that God is a puppet-master). Rather, this only describes a heresy we call hyper-Calvinism. All non-heretical Calvinists affirm compatibilism, just all Arminian Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, etc. do. God is over all, and you are morally responsible for your actions (which means you could have chosen otherwise, you were not "dragged by the leash" into acting as you did.) Anyone who is not a heretic must affirm both these things. Where Calvinism is distinct from the other views is in respect to a specific topic of theology called soteriology, that is, the doctrine of salvation. Other views assert that salvation-itself is a (blank-slate) choice, Calvinism (which is actually Augustinianism) denies this. You did not choose God, God chose you. This has nothing to do with compatibilism which all Christians must affirm... to do otherwise is heresy.

    [Angela: Why shouldn't the church be in charge?]

    As she notes, theocracy is alien to our current understanding of the civil law and the rules of the public space. A true theocracy is just Sharia law. It is the supremacy of the Pharisees. It is an absolute nightmare-scenario, hell-on-earth. Truly.

    The church should not be in charge because the church is not for being in charge. Ultimately, the church is God's temple. It's where God lives. It's his house, not his throne-room. God's throne is embodied not in the church, but in the Messiah himself, and you can see that in the throne-room vision of Revelation 4,5 but there are many other ways to see this. God's throne is his forceful power, usually represented by the symbols of the rod, scepter or sword. When you trip and fall and bruise your knee, you are experiencing God's throne in a very weak sense. God has the power to impose rules on you with consequences that you find extremely distasteful. You are not your own god, the universe is not your private dream-space, you do not have the right to do just anything you want, and when you break God's laws (even by accident), the forceful effects that come in the form of consequences are a manifestation of God's throne.

    By contrast, they are not a manifestation of God's temple, of his dwelling-place, in fact, they are the opposite of this. God's church is how he administers grace to the world (in the Gospel). Grace is the manifestation of God's leniency to us, his desire that we will not suffer the full measure of the consequences of our folly. Thus, the church is the exact opposite of the crown and the two can never be united except in the person of the Messiah himself. This is why Jesus is both Lord and High Priest. No one else can unite these two offices, because no one else has gone to the Cross. Only Jesus did that and, by doing so, he has taken up the right both to save our souls and to rule us materially. This was one of the primary purposes of the crucifixion, Heb. 12:2.

    [Angela: Christ didn't usher in a theocracy]

    True. And in this, he set the example that we are to follow until he returns. However, when he returns, he absolutely will establish a theocracy. It will not be "ushered in", either, it will simply be. Thus, we do not need to consciously "prepare" the coming kingdom in the sense of setting up its laws, etc. However, if you are a Christian, you do well to understand the coming Kingdom (and if you're not a Christian, you do well to become one!) The coming kingdom is a throne -- God will not be asking anyone's permission or consent to rule on earth, he will simply rule.

    [Angela: he was in opposition to the law]

    As a source of life and as the universal rule-of-life, yes, but not in-itself, see Matt. 5:17,18. Jesus made it clear that his life's work rested on the earlier foundation of the covenant God made with the Israelites. In fact, he himself is that foundation (because he is the one who redeems it), therefore, he cannot oppose it at any point. But Jesus was not generically a rebel or libertine. That was a false characterization placed onto him by the Pharisees.

    [Angela: the moral rules in the Bible are for the church, not the government]

    This is true as far as it goes, however, there are a couple important caveats. First, (a) the moral rules of the Bible impinge upon the Christian in government and (b) the government is actually under God's authority as a matter-of-fact, whether or not the State itself acknowledges that. The New Testament is very clear that God is patiently enduring the rebellion of the wicked (specifically, the wicked tyrants within the State) until the very end. And then he will clean house all in one go. That moment of vengeful housecleaning, which approaches day-by-day, will be the arrival of the Messiah's throne, on earth. It will not even be a battle, as often depicted in End Times movies -- it will just be a slaughter, (Eze. 39:17-20, Rev. 19:11-21). The governments of the world ignore God's moral rules to their own peril. They are getting away with nothing, (Matt. 12:36, Rev. 9:6).

    [Angela: The Gentiles were not under the law of Moses, and were not required to go under it in order to join the church.]

    This is correct, and a point that is so badly misunderstood by so many Christians that it's absolutely astounding. She points out that this has lessons for the idea of theocracy, and I loosely agree. Suppose the most devout Christian who ever lived somehow magically found himself appointed emperor of the world, and he was forbidden on pain of death from abdicating. What should he do? How should he execute this office that has been thrust upon him? Well, he must rule over both Christians and non-Christians alike, and he must do so justly. This means he must apply the rules of the natural law (which are known to all men according to God's general revelation, see Psalm 19:1ff, Rom. 1:18ff and many more), and he must do this without imposing an alien burden on those of his subjects who are not Christian. By "alien burden", I mean that he must not impose rules which go beyond natural law (natural, innate conscience and sense of morality). In my view, the best way to achieve this is to start with an 8th-commandment DCT theory of Hoppean self-ownership and property rights, thus constructing a wholly propertarian theory of laws in the public space.

    [Angela: People naturally tend to self-govern]

    This is true with one caveat: that people are widely influenced by the Gospel. Self-governance is a phenomenon that has most fully manifested only in Gospel-infused cultures. A consciously libertarian State, like that founded in the Constitution, should seek to remove all roadblocks to the spread of the Gospel within its borders. It need not oppose other religions because that is not the job of the State (imposing foreign political activity associated with some particular religion, e.g. Islam, is not the same thing and these things should not be confused together, or you get theocracy and Crusades!) But it should make a point to see to it that the Gospel is not impeded in the public space.

    [Angela: We need to leave victimless crimes to God]

    I can partly agree with this, but I think we can actually synthesize a libertarian and propertarian view on this point through the Hoppean concept of HOAs. If you want to make an Amish district where only Amish things are permitted (e.g. cars are prohibited on the roads), that is perfectly compatible with propertarianism so long as the land area is contiguous and is owned outright. Obviously, driving a car is a victimless act, just as much as smoking dope in your own home is. Thus, the proper way in which to enforce these kinds of very fine-grained lifestyle rules in a quasi-public space is for that space to be enclosed (as by a border, wall or property-line), completely private (no easements or other public spaces) and for a covenant similar to an HOA to exist consensually between all owners of land in that territory.

    But within the public space, generally, the State has no right to invade our privacy, which includes our home, our persons, papers, effects (and cars, phones, electronics, etc.) The act of breathalyzing someone on pain of incarceration, for example, is inherently an act of aggression. That doesn't mean that public intoxication laws are wrong, but enforcing them using these kinds of invasive methods is wrong.

    ---

    [1] I am distinguishing public and private spaces as a proxy for a more theological treatment of the topic which the curious can learn more about by searching "Kuyperian sphere-sovereignty". The point is that the State is not the suitable instrument to be setting the rules for how we eat food at the dinner-table because the State's purpose for existing really has nothing to do with setting household rules. There already exists a rule-setting mechanism for the household, namely, the head-of-the-household. For situations where there is an overlap (such as a crime committed in a private home), the solution to this is to simply extend the public space into the private space for the duration of the criminal investigation -- your living-room is no longer "private property" if there is a murder committed in it and it remains annexed to the public space until the investigation is completed. This principle is one of strictly enumerated power, however, otherwise, we end up with Sharia law. The State (as the least bad available agent of public policy) can trample on your property while investigating a (genuine) crime, but not in any other case, on any construction. It is not that the State's interests in solving crime supercede the interests of the household, rather, it's that the household as a household has equal interests with the State to clear its name and reputation and, thus, cooperates with the State in facilitating the investigation by not impeding it. If a household does not value its reputation (e.g. the household of a mob boss), then there are bigger fish to be fried than just the murder itself. It is a household that shows by its non-cooperation that it is going to have to be excluded from society completely.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  9. #8
    Defending Ancaps Where Dave Could Not - Dave Smith Andrew Wilson Debate Critique
    https://odysee.com/@Anarchast:2/Defe...DaveCouldNot:9
    {TheAnarchast | 19 June 2024}

    Anarchast Episode 614

    Bloodsport IS NOT debate and actively works against finding truth. Libertarians are also unfortunately weak on their foundations of moral philosophy. Join us in today's show as we critique a quintessential example of both of these points.

    Tensor Debate Method: https://gitbanned.com/Anarchast/Tensor-Debate-Method

    0:00:00 - Intro
    0:00:52 - What are we doing?
    0:13:53 - Andrews Opening
    0:22:32 - Daves Opening
    0:26:16 - The "discussion" begins...
    0:53:08 - Self Ownership Round 2
    1:37:20 - The Subjectivity of Superstition
    2:04:01 - Lets Actually Answer the Question




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  11. #9
    For those who are curious about how Christian theology informs this debate:



    Ironically, Doug Wilson considers the label "libertarian" to be radioactive poison. But I think Wilson's aversion is really to the uppercase-L Libertarians who are really crypto-Marxists that have infested and taken over the party, which McArdle has worked to take back. When it is understood that the purpose of the Gospel is to be free (Galatians 5:1), it is easy to see how (small-l, classical) libertarianism and Christianity overlap, in fact, the one directly follows from the other. And note that "free", here, doesn't mean free-to-be-perverts-and-idlers but, rather, free-to-rule-the-earthly-creation-as-God's-delegates (Galatians 5:1b (second half of the verse), Genesis 1:26-28). So, we need to build a bridge between the Kuyperian theological framework, on the one hand, and the McArdle-ite vision for a libertarian party that is about Liberty, capital-L, just as America was founded to be. "Land of the Free" is just an empty slogan in 2024, it refers to no actual people, places or conditions in modern America. You can have all the moral and doctrinal reformation of America that can be imagined but if, at the end of all of that, we are not free, it will have been a total waste of time, and nothing will come of it: Gal. 5:1, John 10:10, 1Co 7:22, 8:9, 9:19, 10:28-32,, 1Pe 2:16, 2Co 3:17, 2Pe 2:19, Col 1:13, 2:20, Gal 2:4,5, 3:13, 4:3-5,22-26,30,31, Heb 2:15, Isa 42:6,7, 61:1, Jde 1:4, Joh 8:32,34,36, Lev 25:10-17, Luk 4:18, Psa 116:16, 119:45, Rom 14, 6:7,20, 7:6, 8:2,15, Deu 5:6,6:12, 7:8, Exo 5:1, 7:16, 8:1,20,21, 9:1,13, 10:3, 13:3,14, 20:2, Jer 34:13, Jos 24:17, Jud 6:8, Mic 6:4 and many others! The Gospel is ABOUT Freedom and it is FOR Freedom! The whole point is to escape slavery! Hebrews 2:14,15!
    Last edited by ClaytonB; 06-20-2024 at 12:09 PM.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Occam's Banana View Post
    Defending Ancaps Where Dave Could Not - Dave Smith Andrew Wilson Debate Critique
    https://odysee.com/@Anarchast:2/Defe...DaveCouldNot:9
    {TheAnarchast | 19 June 2024}

    Anarchast Episode 614

    Bloodsport IS NOT debate and actively works against finding truth. Libertarians are also unfortunately weak on their foundations of moral philosophy. Join us in today's show as we critique a quintessential example of both of these points.

    Tensor Debate Method: https://gitbanned.com/Anarchast/Tensor-Debate-Method

    0:00:00 - Intro
    0:00:52 - What are we doing?
    0:13:53 - Andrews Opening
    0:22:32 - Daves Opening
    0:26:16 - The "discussion" begins...
    0:53:08 - Self Ownership Round 2
    1:37:20 - The Subjectivity of Superstition
    2:04:01 - Lets Actually Answer the Question

    Andrew Wilson: "Dave, can you demonstrate for us how you own yourself?"

    Based on that, everyone gets very involved in the definition of "own" and ownership. That is the key question. But what no one has mentioned is, wtf is "demonstrate" supposed to mean in that context? Dave was confused, and it wasn't because of the word "own".

    I submit that the use of "demonstrate" was intentional, to both make the question somewhat incomprehensible, and after that, difficult to answer. Thus, any need for clarification would make Dave look stupid, less sophisticated, etc. It was a trap right from the start.

    Hey Andrew Wilson, can you demonstrate for us how aliens have either visited earth, or not visited Earth. Just answer the question, it's a simple binary, it's basic logic, there is no Fallacy of the Middle here.
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Pharma-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul

    Proponent of real science.
    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  13. #11
    The Crucible w/ Andrew Wilson | Part Of The Problem 1134
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcDAn9WDfV8
    {Dave Smith | 25 June 2024}

    On this episode of Part Of The Problem, Dave is joined by the host of The Crucible Podcast, Andrew Wilson. Dave and Andrew discuss some of the problems society faces due to blurred gender roles, Andrew's experiences on the "Manosphere" podcasts, and so much more!

    You can find more of Andrew Wilson Here!
    https://thecrucible.video/

    Follow Andrew On X
    https://x.com/paleochristcon


  14. #12
    Bob Murphy weighs in on the debate:

    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Bob Murphy weighs in on the debate:

    I want to make a few remarks on the idea that consent (as a litmus test for civil law) opens Pandora's Box (culturally). The argument, in itself is not baseless, and Wokism proves this. There are social problems that have the "camel's nose in the tent" problem -- if you allow even a small amount of certain kinds of cultural corruption, it will lead to an explosion of cultural corruption. This is not false. However, this is a bit of a red herring in respect to the role of consent in libertarian law, and I think that Smith didn't crank Wilson's arm hard enough on this particular point.

    Basically, the issue is this: it may be ever-so-undesirable for there to be homosexuals having sex with each other in the privacy of their homes, but the question facing public policy is whether or not the State is the right tool to fix this social problem? And the answer is almost always NO. The State is almost never the right tool to fix any given social problem. And there are many reasons why this is the case. First, the State is unable to fix social problems like homosexuality. There is no amount of throwing people in jail that is going to make them stop being sexually evil. And even if the State could make them stop (e.g. by beheading, etc.), if it comes at the cost of completely corrupting the image of God in man by violence, how are we any better? We have cured one form of beastliness (sexual depravity) at the expense of descending into another form of beastliness (violent depravity). This point alone suffices to prove the libertarian position. "Everyone should own puppies and eat Skittles in order to fix <social problem X>" is irrational and absurd because owning a puppy and eating Skittles can't solve <social problem X>. Thus, in itself, this moots the entire idea that there can possibly be any moral duty for people to support owning puppies and eating Skittles. So, the entire statist enterprise is sunk on this point alone.

    But, second, the State not only can't fix most social problems, it almost always actively makes them worse. The drug war is a great example of this. Let's suppose that drugs are the single, greatest social issue. Let's suppose that each time somebody self-injects Morphine, this is worse than the entire Holocaust. It's an evil so great that practically any legal measure, no matter how extreme, is justified. We could publicly burn people for injecting Morphine, and it would be morally justified. That's what we're assuming, here. Now, given this great evil, the worst thing we could do is institute a public policy that results in more people injecting Morphine, right? Since that would be increasing the amount of Holocausts happening all over the country, every day. But this is precisely what the "War on Drugs" has done. As laws and punishments have increased, as government budgets have increased, drug usage has also increased pro rata (linear), or even more than linear. Vastly more people use drugs of all kinds today than used drugs prior to the "War on Drugs", both in absolute numbers and by proportion. If it were true that increased drug use is the worst possible social problem you can have, then the highest moral duty would be to stop the "War on Drugs" because it's only making things worse. The data on this and similar social issues is completely univocal. The more that a government tries to "ban" something, the more widespread its use becomes, precisely because its contraband status makes it even more of a boutique item, and access to it becomes a powerful symbol of status and prestige. There is no faster way to prove that you are very rich and powerful than to bring out a large supply of coke. And the more contraband it is, the more profoundly your access to it demonstrates how rich and powerful you must be.

    Third, the State is always ultimately just a camouflage for private interests. This is the "key that unlocks" the previous points. To the statist (who is invariably a collectivist), the perversity of human social behavior is a perpetual mystery. The more severely we punish people for doing something we want to prohibit, the more that people do it! And while the State can definitely drive unwanted behavior from the public space by deployment of medieval methods of punishment, what really happens is that the periphery of society is converted into a never-ending circus that is forever just out of reach of the State like a greased pig. How can the Universe be so maddeningly contradictory?! Why can't we, as a society, decide "behavior X shall be done no more" and have it be so?? And the answer is because the State is always just a camouflage for private interests. Until the modern era, this was at least partly understood -- the king was the State personified and, by making him so, the inherent conflict-of-interests between the State and other private interests was largely removed. You had just one, giant, completely open conflict-of-private-interest, and that was the king himself. Since the king and his officers are a highly visible target, it is much easier to step out of their way. If you're doing something the king wouldn't like, you knew when to hide it under the mattress because the king's officers were very visible when riding into town. It's not a perfect solution, but it's at least partly rational. But modern "democratic" States are wholly irrational. They are in absolute denial of the reality of private interests, and this is nowhere more obvious than in "lobbying", aka bribery. The Congress does not tell lobbyists what to do, lobbyists tell Congress what to do. So, you do not have elected representatives, you have a rubber-stamper whose job is to be told what to do by a lobbyist, and then rubber-stamp it. This is the essential core of what the State is, in itself. That is because a "State" does not actually exist, the State is just the people who make it up. Each of those people has all their own individual interests, and the "collective" of the State is just a fiction, a comforting bedtime story that we tell ourselves so we can feel that the world is "under control", when it is no such thing. It is this point that explains the previous two points and, until it is understood that there is no collective, and that the State is always ever only just a mask for the private interests behind it, those who are trying to understand social cause-and-effect are forever doomed to wander in confusion.

    For these and many other reasons, we must seek to restrict the activity of the State to that which (a) it can actually accomplish, (b) it can do without making things even worse and (c) aligns with the broad social interest of the people it is supposed to be serving, rather than the select, private interests who are the most skilled at manipulating the State using indirect means. And that means paring back the State as far as possible. We want the State to do as little damage as possible. And we want to use it only for those things for which nobody can think of any better way to do them than to have a State. I can imagine how to have garbage services provided privately. For this reason, I desire to have garbage services produced privately, rather than publicly. And so on, and so forth, for all public services for which we can think of how to produce them without the State. This is not really about "quality" or "cost" of the services themselves. A little bit, but not really. What it's really about is minimizing the State itself because, as the Founders understood, the State is like fire, a dangerous servant and a terrible master. If you want to use fire safely, you should minimize it, and contain it completely. The same goes for the State. If you want to use the State without being tyrannized by it, then you must minimize it, and completely contain it. And if you are unable to use the State safely and continue burning your society down over and over with it, then you really are no worse off to not have a State altogether. Mad Max world is no worse than 1984. If human nature is really so bad that, ungoverned, we will have Mad Max world but, governed, we end up with 1984 anyway, then I choose Mad Max world because at least I have a running chance. Under 1984, we're all shackled and everyone is guaranteed to be ground to powder.

    One closing point on "consent". I think the underlying issue is that social conservatives confuse right-libertarian and left-libertarian ideas about consent. In left-libertarianism, there is what we might call an "egalitarianism of consent"... all forms of consent are taken to be axiomatically equal to all other forms of consent. As a right-libertarian, I do not see things that way. A handshake on a legal business deal is not equal to a signature on a fraudulent form that a scammer has tricked someone into signing under false pretenses. Nor is it equal to real consent to engage in some kind of behavior that humans naturally find repulsive, particularly if it is done in the public space (e.g. open-air live sex acts, defecation, etc.) "I own this field and I am not violating anyone's property-rights by taking a $#@! on it in full view of all the houses across the street" is not a valid NAP argument. In some sense, we all intuitively understand how this is violating the consent of the homeowners across the street, none of whom signed up to be subjected to such disgusting visuals upon merely opening their curtains. So, the idea that aggression can occur without physical contact or physical violence is a key to understanding the NAP itself and rejecting strawmen of it. In addition, not all forms of "consent" are equal. There are gradations of consent, and there are types of consent that we all understand to be bedrock forms of consent (e.g. a business-agreement or a transaction), whereas, there are other types of consent that are much weaker or even invalid despite the apparent consent of all involved. Many laws protecting minors are founded in this understanding... young people are much more gullible and can be walked into the snare of a "consensual" situation much more easily than adults. We feel no pangs of conscience in prohibiting such agreements precisely because we are not "consent-egalitarians" ... not all forms of consent are equal to all other forms of consent or "consent".

    Social conservative authoritarians (e.g. the neoCONs) love to broad-brush and strawman libertarian thinking for the simple reason that they have no good answer to it. So, rather than being disconcerted by these objections, libertarians should be heartened and emboldened, and dig even deeper into the underlying debate. This form of social conservatism really does need to die and its death is long overdue...
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  16. #14
    Christian populism is anti-Christian. Originally, Christian's (and some Jews) tried and ultimately failed to form a government that protected Christian's right to exist. Now fake Christians are banding together to seize the power of the State to help them fight the trannies and commies.

    Trannies and commies didn't ruin this country, God did. Pimpin' His Name for virtue signaling is only pissing him off more.

    National repentance is what is needed. Who in power is even close to calling for this?

    Too dark anyway. I'm staying by the campfire til morning.

    John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
    When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble?
    When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Amos 3:6

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by wizardwatson View Post
    Christian populism is anti-Christian. Originally, Christian's (and some Jews) tried and ultimately failed to form a government that protected Christian's right to exist. Now fake Christians are banding together to seize the power of the State to help them fight the trannies and commies.

    Trannies and commies didn't ruin this country, God did. Pimpin' His Name for virtue signaling is only pissing him off more.

    National repentance is what is needed. Who in power is even close to calling for this?

    Too dark anyway. I'm staying by the campfire til morning.

    John 9:4 “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
    Not necessarily disagreeing, but what makes this post not just another instance of the same kind of virtue-signaling? Anti-virtue-signaling can become just another variety of virtue-signaling...
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Not necessarily disagreeing, but what makes this post not just another instance of the same kind of virtue-signaling? Anti-virtue-signaling can become just another variety of virtue-signaling...
    For that matter, the forum as a whole, right? Why just my post?

    I define "virtue-signaling" as self-identifying with something that is not actually part of your character. So what I'm doing is pointing out that most of these so-called Christians aren't actually Christians. For instance, Donald Trump and most of Americans. They don't actually believe or follow it, but they feel like they are betraying a sense of identity and culture if they disavow it.

    The standard for being a Christian is pretty lenient in terms of where you are morally (i.e. sancitification) but it's pretty cut and dry in terms of how you should talk and behave if you are actually professing faith. In my experience, most people who go to church and claim a Christian faith do not meet the biblical Christ-based standard.

    Is this answer sufficient?
    When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble?
    When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Amos 3:6



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by wizardwatson View Post
    For that matter, the forum as a whole, right? Why just my post?

    I define "virtue-signaling" as self-identifying with something that is not actually part of your character. So what I'm doing is pointing out that most of these so-called Christians aren't actually Christians. For instance, Donald Trump and most of Americans. They don't actually believe or follow it, but they feel like they are betraying a sense of identity and culture if they disavow it.

    The standard for being a Christian is pretty lenient in terms of where you are morally (i.e. sancitification) but it's pretty cut and dry in terms of how you should talk and behave if you are actually professing faith. In my experience, most people who go to church and claim a Christian faith do not meet the biblical Christ-based standard.

    Is this answer sufficient?
    Not really, no, but I'm not going to press the matter. I think that this idea that there is some kind of cut-and-dried external litmus test, other than those given to us in 1 Cor. 12:3, 1 John 4:2,3, etc. is misleading. I don't know that Trump is a false professor. I don't know that he's a true professor, either, but that's not the same thing as knowing he's a false professor. I have not heard him remark on matters of 1 Cor. 12:3 or 1 John 4:2,3, so I don't see how anybody can "remote diagnose" Trump's soul from the armchair.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Not really, no, but I'm not going to press the matter. I think that this idea that there is some kind of cut-and-dried external litmus test, other than those given to us in 1 Cor. 12:3, 1 John 4:2,3, etc. is misleading. I don't know that Trump is a false professor. I don't know that he's a true professor, either, but that's not the same thing as knowing he's a false professor. I have not heard him remark on matters of 1 Cor. 12:3 or 1 John 4:2,3, so I don't see how anybody can "remote diagnose" Trump's soul from the armchair.
    Here let me help with the "does Trump claim to be Christian" question:

    [FROM MY GROK OUTPUT]


    David Neal Watson Jr
    @wizardwatson
    Hello again, Grok. Can you give me a list of instances where Donald Trump has either professed a belief in Christianity or has alluded to such a belief by identifying with Christian supporters?
    Grok

    @grok
    Yes, here are some instances where Donald Trump has professed a belief in Christianity or has alluded to such a belief by identifying with Christian supporters:

    In an interview with Religion News Service in 2020, Trump stated that he no longer identifies as a Presbyterian and now sees himself as a non-denominational Christian.
    In a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania in July 2024, Trump said, "I stand with you, the Christians, the evangelicals, the people of faith. I stand with you."
    In a tweet on July 4, 2024, Trump said, "I believe in Jesus Christ. He is my Savior. He is the Son of God."
    In a speech at Liberty University in 2016, Trump said, "Christianity is under tremendous siege. And we're going to protect Christianity. I can say that. I don't have to be politically correct."
    In a tweet in 2019, Trump said, "I am proud to be a Christian and to have such incredible support from the Christian community."
    In a rally in 2016, Trump said, "We're going to protect Christianity. We're going to protect our religious liberties. We're going to protect our second amendment."
    In an interview with The Christian Post in 2016, Trump said, "I'm a believer. I'm a Christian. I'm a Presbyterian."
    In a tweet in 2019, Trump said, "I will always protect and defend the Christian community. I will always fight for the religious liberties of Christians."
    In a speech in 2016, Trump said, "We're going to protect Christianity. We're going to protect our values. We're going to protect our way of life."
    In an interview with CBN News in 2016, Trump said, "I'm a Christian. I'm a Presbyterian. I'm a believer."
    I would say you yourself are untrained if you think my saying "you ain't Christian" means that I'm "remote diagnosing" anyone's soul. Not being Christian does not mean you are hellbound anymore than a false Christian, per se. In general, American's have a severely warped Calvinist-inspired concept of hell that is not biblical.

    Christ references the Queen of Sheba, the Ninevites, and the Sodomites as "rising up to condemn this generation" in the last days (i.e. the 2nd resurrection). Do you think the Queen of Sheba was a Christian? Yet, clearly she and other non-Christians will not be in eternal hell in the world to come unless Jesus was a liar.

    God does not condemn the Gentiles, but rather says that He will be exalted among them in the end (ps 46:10). In fact, they will be judged less severely than those who profess His Name but do not do so sincerely.

    The standard for Christians is Christ. And Christ said to judge a tree by its fruits. And when dealing with Christians who don't act Christian you do as Christ did to the Laodiceans and you tell them to repent. When a Christian brother sins, you are commanded to wash their feet and bring them back to the table. If they refuse to acknowledge the sin you warn them, and if they will not listen you separate yourself from them. This is not a "judgement" this is a commandment from Christ. And if all this fails and we treat them "as a pagan or a tax collector" (like Trump) it doesn't mean anything in terms of their hearts and souls. This is God's business.

    This idea that "all Christians are equal" and no one can judge a Christian if you are also a Christian is satanic bull$#@!. We are SUPPOSED TO ONLY judge other Christians. And we are not all equal. As Paul said, "No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval." There ain't no religious 'equity' in the church.

    So yes, there is a litmus test, it is Christ, the Word of God and I will use it without hesitation against all faith-professing persons who are clearly in need of rebuke and repentance.
    Last edited by wizardwatson; 07-11-2024 at 03:15 PM.
    When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble?
    When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Amos 3:6

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by wizardwatson View Post
    Here let me help with the "does Trump claim to be Christian" question:

    [FROM MY GROK OUTPUT]
    Thank you for acknowledging this is AI-generated. Unfortunately, due to unreliability of LLMs, every single fact-claim of an LLM must be manually checked before being believed. I've had LLMs invent entire scientific papers and journals that have never existed. AI hallucination is real.

    I would say you yourself are untrained if you think my saying "you ain't Christian" means that I'm "remote diagnosing" anyone's soul. Not being Christian does not mean you are hellbound anymore than a false Christian, per se. In general, American's have a severely warped Calvinist-inspired concept of hell that is not biblical.
    <snip discussion of hell>

    Well, we've gone far afield of the topic of the thread. Suffice it to say that you and I will not agree on any of these topics. Hell is real. It's exactly what it is described to be: burning, forever, in unimaginable torment, unendurable agony.

    So yes, there is a litmus test, it is Christ, the Word of God and I will use it without hesitation against all faith-professing persons who are clearly in need of rebuke and repentance.
    Well be careful where you point that thing. Spiritual ricochet is real, Luke 6:37, 38, esp. v. 38.
    Jer. 11:18-20. "The Kingdom of God has come upon you." -- Matthew 12:28

  23. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by ClaytonB View Post
    Thank you for acknowledging this is AI-generated. Unfortunately, due to unreliability of LLMs, every single fact-claim of an LLM must be manually checked before being believed. I've had LLMs invent entire scientific papers and journals that have never existed. AI hallucination is real.



    <snip discussion of hell>

    Well, we've gone far afield of the topic of the thread. Suffice it to say that you and I will not agree on any of these topics. Hell is real. It's exactly what it is described to be: burning, forever, in unimaginable torment, unendurable agony.



    Well be careful where you point that thing. Spiritual ricochet is real, Luke 6:37, 38, esp. v. 38.
    Thanks for saving me time, I guess.
    When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble?
    When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it? Amos 3:6



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