Christian Faith and the State: A Primer (Part 1–Christian Anarchism; or “Every State is a Babylon”)

The secular libertarian theory I've been unpacking raises an important question: what is the legitimate role of the state?  Minarchists offer up a very narrow definition of proper state function: states are responsible for curbing aggression and protecting individual liberty. Anarchists assert that states have no legitimate role to play; states are little more than… Continue reading Christian Faith and the State: A Primer (Part 1–Christian Anarchism; or “Every State is a Babylon”)

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Libertarianism 10: Edmund Opitz and Christian Libertarianism

Today I am transitioning from my focus on libertarianism to consider the narrower topic that I've been researching over the last year: Christian libertarianism.  Libertarian philosophy has gained a foothold in contemporary Christian circles.  The Libertarian Christian Institute today maintains a regular online presence, publishing a blog, an academic journal, and a regular podcast devoted to… Continue reading Libertarianism 10: Edmund Opitz and Christian Libertarianism

Libertarianism 8: The Trouble With Children

Libertarianism and Self-Ownership Today I'm going to talk about children. What does a post about children have to do with libertarian philosophy? As I hope to show here, children pose a special problem for libertarians (and, more broadly, for other liberalisms). Murray Rothbard's discussion of children's rights in his book The Ethics of Liberty well illustrates… Continue reading Libertarianism 8: The Trouble With Children

Libertarianism 7: Reflective Equilibrium–a sidebar on thinking about ethics

I began Christian Ethics Bites several years ago for practical reasons.  My professional life at my university had come to revolve around teaching and administration, work that while important  had come to crowd out my own research and writing.  I wanted to create something that would allow me to write regularly about the ideas that interest me.… Continue reading Libertarianism 7: Reflective Equilibrium–a sidebar on thinking about ethics

Libertarianism 6: State? We Don’t Need No Stinking State.

This post is the latest in my ongoing series on libertarianism.  Previous posts are linked to here: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4, Post 5 Over the last several posts I have focused attention on minarchism: a libertarian philosophy that asserts that only a minimal state can be justified.  In today's blog post I… Continue reading Libertarianism 6: State? We Don’t Need No Stinking State.

Libertarianism 5: Robert Nozick on the Minimalist State

This post is part of an ongoing series on the topic of Christian libertarianism.  Previous posts in this series can be accessed via these hyperlinks: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, Post 4 In this week's post I'm going to present a summary of Robert Nozick's libertarian case for a minimalist state, developed in his… Continue reading Libertarianism 5: Robert Nozick on the Minimalist State

Libertarianism 4: Minarchism Revisited (or “No, John Locke is not a Libertarian”)

This is the fourth post in my ongoing series on Christian libertarianism.  Previous posts can be found by clicking on the following links: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3. My last post on minarchism elicited some comments from some of my libertarian friends. I'm going to begin this post by flagging one comment in particular,… Continue reading Libertarianism 4: Minarchism Revisited (or “No, John Locke is not a Libertarian”)

Libertarianism 3: The Self-Defeating Nature of Minarchism

This post is part of my ongoing series on Christian libertarianism.  Earlier posts in this series can be found here and here.  In earlier posts I have focused my attention on some basic features of libertarian thought.  The impression these posts might give is that libertarianism is monolithic, with self-identifying libertarians sharing wide agreement on… Continue reading Libertarianism 3: The Self-Defeating Nature of Minarchism