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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 01:48:01 PM »




Here's a site where a reader might be able to hypothesize what the “Christian Anarchist” position might be. Keeping in mind what I said earlier in this thread about literal meanings of terms vs. what people want things to mean… A simple quote from their site is pretty straight forward.

http://christiananarchists.org/

“In addition to persuading you to become an anarchist and to join our movement to abolish the Constitution and government of the United States, our home-study program is going to persuade you to commit to making America a Christian Theocracy once again. If we're wrong, we'll pay you $1,000.”

If anyone wants to know more about what kind of "Theocracy" they may be referring to go do a web search for the terms Christian Reconstruction and Theonomy.

There you can find a lot of info as to what this is all about via the writings of Gary North, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, and many other "reconstructionists" who support what is known as Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

A one stop shop for much of this stuff can be found here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm

 


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Seth King
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« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 03:04:19 PM »




Here's a site where a reader might be able to hypothesize what the “Christian Anarchist” position might be. Keeping in mind what I said earlier in this thread about literal meanings of terms vs. what people want things to mean… A simple quote from their site is pretty straight forward.

http://christiananarchists.org/

“In addition to persuading you to become an anarchist and to join our movement to abolish the Constitution and government of the United States, our home-study program is going to persuade you to commit to making America a Christian Theocracy once again. If we're wrong, we'll pay you $1,000.”

If anyone wants to know more about what kind of "Theocracy" they may be referring to go do a web search for the terms Christian Reconstruction and Theonomy.

There you can find a lot of info as to what this is all about via the writings of Gary North, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, and many other "reconstructionists" who support what is known as Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

A one stop shop for much of this stuff can be found here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm

 




I briefly skimmed the christian anarchist site but I didn't get into it too much. While that site may represent what one christian anarchist thinks, it is not necessarily the best representation of what all christian anarchists think.

It's like the term anarchy. A lot of people subscribe to that term, and yet there are wildly different interpretations of what exactly it means.







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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2010, 03:15:22 PM »


I absolutely agree, just remember, reality is not held hostage by interpretive differences. I didn't mean to suggest that ALL who call themselves Christian Anarchists MUST subscribe to the philosophy espoused on that one site. Nevertheless, my fundamental point in the whole topic is that the term Christian is pretty unambiguous (i.e. not usually contended as to what its meaning is). As such, if the Christian Bible requires individuals to acknowledge their subordination to a god-man, then they must necessarily acknowledge their status as subjects.

I didn't really think I was stating anything that anyone would disagree with. If someone does I'd love to hear their line of reasoning as to how they came to those conclusions.
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DaveG
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2010, 04:04:23 PM »

Hopefully I can provide my insight into this as a Christian who has come to adopt many Rothbardian / anarchist concepts into my political and economic world view.  As I mentioned in comments on the blog, the two most influential and world-view changing books I have ever read are 1) Bible  and 2) Ethics of Liberty by Rothbard. Let me state that I do not consider myself a Christian because I periodically attend a Christian church.  I am a Christian because I have made a personal commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ - and that fully impacts my life on a daily basis.  I do attend worship on a weekly basis, and I am actively involved as a volunteer worker in my church.

There are a long list of points and questions to address on this thread, and I'm obviously not going to be able to cover them all in one post.  I will start with a summary of how I see my faith and my political world view not just able to co-exist, but how I've come to believe that libertarianism (and taken to it's extreme, anarchism) is the political world view that is the most compatible with the Christian beliefs.

As a point of definition, when I say Christian - I speak of those who have made the conscious and willful decision to invite Christ into their life, and to follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. Just because one attends a church every Sunday morning does not make one a Christian any more than standing in your garage every Saturday morning makes you a car.  There is a vast difference between the relationship I have with Christ and a "religion".

Also, it is important to note that my world view is based upon the traditional story of human history shared by most Christian sects.  In VERY brief summary:
1) God created everything, including man
2) God defined a set of rules to be followed in order to be in right relationship with Him (don't eat from that tree)
3) Man chose (free will) not to abide by those rules and was therefore out of right relationship with God
4) God provides a set of rules to come back to close to right relationship with him
5) Man manages to screw those up too, and in the process adds a bunch more
6) God sends His Son as Savior for all who would choose Him.
7) Those who choose Christ are restored to right relationship with God.

Yes, this does directly imply that I believe that Christ is the only way to right relationship with God. 

Christianity requires free will.  One cannot establish a relationship with Christ necessary through any other means.  It is a personal decision which must be made.  That's the critical point for me - God does not force this on us.  He gives us each individually the freedom to make our own choice.  He does inform us of the consequences of our decision (being in right relationship with him, or not), but he does not say "you must do this".  Overall, if you sit down and read the Bible from start to finish, you will find that God is quite the libertarian. Sure, there are many "rules" or "laws" defined there, but none of them are "you cannot" or "you must".  They are all dependent upon the individual's personal wish to either be in or out of right relationship with him.  Yes, there are consequences either way to that decision - just like any other. Granted because He is God, those consequences tend to be a bit more extreme in both quality and duration (hell for all eternity vs. heaven for the same eternity).  I just chalk that up to RHIP - Rank Has It's Privileges.   Wink

It's actually quite similar to how I operate my business.  If a client of mine wishes to be in right relationship with my firm (and thus have the ability to enjoy the benefits of our service), we have established the rule that they must pay their invoices within 30 days.  They can choose not to, of course - I'm not coming in and taking the money from their bank account.  However, if they choose not to, then they are out of right relationship and the benefits of our service are no longer available to them.

I do have a lot more I'd like to share, but it is now 1700 hours on Friday, and I have a wife and daughters who want to spend some family time.  I will return to continue this!
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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2010, 11:02:40 AM »

Quote
There are a long list of points and questions to address on this thread

Looking forward to it.
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DaveG
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« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2010, 08:09:07 AM »

I do have quite a bit more I'd like to write about on this subject, but I'm wondering if it serves us all better for me to wrap it up into a post (or series of posts) for the home page, rather than buried here in the forums?  I'm comfortable either way, but it took me a few minutes to find this thread, and then read all the way through the conversation - even when I was specifically looking for it to post on. 

I have no interest in abandoning this discussion - just considering where the best place to have it will be.  Thoughts?

Dave
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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2010, 11:11:54 AM »

Seems easy to find for me -and- went from a post about so-called Independence Day celebrations to what it is now. I would suggest that if your intent is to explain why you are a Christian and what that means to you (which is basically what your initial post in this thread was about), you have already done that.

I am not trying to sound rude here, but the basic point that was made earlier on in the thread is that anarchism (specifically) and Christianity (specifically) are a contradiction in terms when attempted to be combined into a singular anarcho-christian system.

You can describe how you "voluntarily" submit to your religion and its stated LORD(s), and that's just fine. As soon as you do though, it is no longer anarchism. I acknowledge that in such a case it is voluntary... No dispute there. The point made earlier in the thread had nothing to do with voluntaryism (in general); but that the term christian anarchy is an oxymoron.

If you disagree, my interest would [only] be in how you would propose to reform the root meaning of the terms within the english language.

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DaveG
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« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2010, 12:53:45 PM »

I fully disagree, yet no reform of root meanings is necessary.  Anarchism is such a vague term that is interpreted so many ways that it's possible to be fully compatible and fully conflicting with Christianity.  It very much depends on how an individual is defining the term.

It would appear that you subscribe to the anarchist viewpoint that under no circumstances can just authority exist.  Under that definition - then you are correct, the two are in direct conflict.  However, I will submit that such a viewpoint is also in direct conflict with the fundamental right of private property ownership.

Private property rights require the concept of just authority.  For to own property, I must have the authority to control other's use of said property.  Otherwise, ownership is a meaningless abstract concept.  For example, if you were to visit me at my home, you voluntarily submit to my authority over the appropriate use of my home (my property). You are, of course, free to leave my home at any time.  However, if you choose to remain, then you must submit to the rules I have defined for appropriate language, attire and actions (no running around naked, swearing like a sailor in front of my children). 

If you work from the "no just authority all all" position, you must also believe that it is impossible for someone to be an employee and an anarchist at the same time - that they are a contradiction in terms.  For the employee voluntarily submits to his employer's authority, and in return receives compensation.  This arrangement is quite similar to my faith.  I voluntarily submit to Christ, and in return I receive compensation (eternal life in Heaven).

I am very much a Rothbardian anarchist.  I come to the anarchist viewpoint through the logical extension of a libertarian viewpoint. I guess you could consider me an anarcho-capitalist.  Anarchism when concerned with governments (institutions established by a few which require non-voluntary submission to an unjust authority) yet fully accepting truly just authority is fully compatible with Christianity, and as I stated elsewhere is the most compatible political belief. 

In my reading of the Bible, I find God to be fully non-tyrannical.  As I stated above - He provides steps by which a man my be in right relationship with Him.  The fact that He created mankind with free will stands as proof that he endorses self ownership and self governance - two core concepts to anarcho-capitalism. 
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Seth King
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« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2010, 01:25:50 PM »

I do have quite a bit more I'd like to write about on this subject, but I'm wondering if it serves us all better for me to wrap it up into a post (or series of posts) for the home page, rather than buried here in the forums?  I'm comfortable either way, but it took me a few minutes to find this thread, and then read all the way through the conversation - even when I was specifically looking for it to post on. 

I have no interest in abandoning this discussion - just considering where the best place to have it will be.  Thoughts?

Dave

I say post in both!  Grin
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When are you moving to New Hampshire?
Intuition
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2010, 03:42:04 AM »

If God as a ruler violates the tenets of anarchism, then do the laws of physics not also violate said tenets? I only ask because in the Christian's mind, IMO, God isn't anthropomorphized into a human-like "ruler" that would violate the anarchist's belief that human rulers are immoral. Rather, God is seen simply as a reality of the universe (or beyond, I suppose, to be more precise).

Just a random thought from a guy who currently considers himself a pantheist.
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DaveG
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2010, 07:46:58 AM »

That's an excellent point, Intuition!  Submission to the authority of nature and to nature's God fundamentally do fall outside the basic tenants of anarchism.  I hadn't really thought about it from that point of view - since there are many laws of nature that are mandatory to abide by.  I've never seen it questioned if being a physicist and an anarchist are a contradiction in terms. Wink

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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2010, 07:59:47 PM »

FYI - I have been travelling since last week and will be until next week but am working on a reply as quickly as I am able.
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DaveG
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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2010, 06:57:56 AM »

Sounds good FB!  Save travels for you!  Hopefully it's vacation rather than work?
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FormerlyBrainwashed
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« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2010, 10:35:19 AM »

I must first point out that I have no fundamental qualm with people choosing whatever belief system they wish, so long as it does not infringe on my right to the same. That being said, I am unwilling to  agree to any sort of notion that the true nature of [a thing] in reality is merely subjective in terms of which viewpoint one is going to take as we seek to identify what the reality of [a thing] is.

All this to say that I do not have an interest in merely “subscribing” to a “viewpoint.” My interest is in understanding truth. Reality is not at all dependant on human understanding. Granted, we are only talking about the meaning of a word which was created by a man… Nevertheless, I think that for the sake of philosophical consistency it is important to recognize the terms that we are to use as what they are and not just what we want them to be. This all [could] be an exercise in semantics just as well, although I personally do not believe that to be the case.

I do not agree that the term anarchism is vague, but I wouldn’t dispute the fact that many people recognize the term to mean different things. In either case, I will acquiesce for the sake of the discussion and grant that you believe there are many meanings for the term. When I use it, I mean to say “no-rule.” In the context of this discussion then, I have stated that living in accordance with Christian law, and moreover, with the dictates of characters such as so-called apostles and the king of kings and lord of lords, is antithetical to “no-rule.” Although you have pointed out that you voluntarily entered into the covenant that you have with the rulers of your religions, and that’s fine. My point is that once the conscious decision is made to “submit,” then such a state of existence is no longer compatible with anarchism as it is defined via its literal meaning. The initial act of voluntarily submitting to such rule has no bearing (IMO) on the end result.

You used the example of “just authority” and private property ownership. My response is that I believe that the only thing that man truly “owns” is his own person. Since the body is the vessel of the individual mind, and since they (the body and the mind) come into the world combined as one “being” in their natural state with nothing else attached… All else that is produced, acquired, etc., are not natural property of the individual. Such property ownership is assumed because of original appropriation or voluntary exchange between individuals as value for value. Nevertheless, since nothing that is originally appropriated comes from elements that naturally belong to the individual (again, except their own being), then all else is merely acknowledged to be property; however such acknowledgement are mere conventions. Such conventions are agreements and therefore not representative of anyone’s natural state of existence in terms of natural property ownership beyond their own personal being.

None of this is meant to suggest that such conventions do not exist. Only that the concept of property ownership is a concept and not a rule, or, not law-like as are laws of the universe. As such, no one technically owns anything in the same manner as they own themselves except as is generally agreed to by individuals for the sake of continuity within a given society/community of people who wish to coexist.

I am not suggesting that such things as original appropriation and developing new [things] via invention (i.e. the creative mind) are of no consequence; rather I am suggesting that it is important to always remember the natural state of existence of human beings in terms of what we come into the world with, and what we exit the world with. Heck, even Christianity supports this.

“Just Authority”

Taking “dominion” over something is much different than establishing any legitimate authority over others who may wish to interact with the person or thing thus dominated. You say that I must “submit” to whatever authority you have established for yourself in your home if I were to visit. I say that if I were to visit you in your home, I am not submitting to authority, rather I have a choice of whether or not to agree or disagree with whatever so-called rules you have devised for the object that you have exercised dominion over (in this example, your home). No matter what choice I make, it will be based on what value I place on the establishment (again, agreements between men) of mutual respect of that which is designated as property via original appropriation or voluntary exchange.

One may like to call this “just authority” but since any property one acquires along the way via dominion, original appropriation, or manipulation of matter that is external to their own person (i.e. not naturally theirs); I find it very difficult to attach any sort of inherent “authority” over terms that boil down to “agreements” when the onion is appropriately peeled away.

It naturally follows that in the case of the employer/employee relationship; the two have established agreements that equate to a mutual exchange of ‘value for value.’ I do not regard voluntary value for value exchanges between individuals to be authoritative in nature because again, if we are going to invoke “fundamentals,” then one must acknowledge that fundamentally, the only [thing] an individual has complete (natural) ownership of is himself. The process of bartering goods or services in mutually agreed upon terms (employer offering a wage for labor offered by the employee) are just that… Agreements.

Quote
If God as a ruler violates the tenets of anarchism, then do the laws of physics not also violate said tenets? I only ask because in the Christian's mind, IMO, God isn't anthropomorphized into a human-like "ruler" that would violate the anarchist's belief that human rulers are immoral. Rather, God is seen simply as a reality of the universe (or beyond, I suppose, to be more precise).

I have not debated the existence of [a god] whatsoever. I have specifically debated Christianity as a system that requires subordination of its followers to the will of its lords; which necessarily abandons the basic meaning of “no-rule.” The argument above presupposes the validity of a very specific system; a system that I do not borrow from in my argument.

I would consider anything that is [naturally] law-like, such as laws of the universe (i.e. nature)… To be immutable whether they are yet understood, or not.

« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 01:03:53 PM by FormerlyBrainwashed » Logged
JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2010, 10:30:14 AM »

I'm bringing this thread back to life!!

I am not a Christian, and I personally view the idea of accepting a god as leader just because someone says I need to or else I'll be punished is a lot like accepting the righteousness of political rulers because they say they are benevolent. I often wonder how (literally the thought process) people were able to throw off their FAITH in government without doing the same in the religious realm.

Once I get past this initial confusion of how someone figures out one of these things but not the other, I realize that Christians, once converted to libertarianism, will fall into the Rothbardian camp more easily than others. Rothbard's use of natural rights to explain things fits very well with Christians, who can claim that god gave them those rights.

This is useful information when it comes to converting people to our side, because there are a lot of religious conservatives, and conservatives can be converted to libertarianism (which also has a lot of religious people), who might then love Rothbard's use of rights.
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"I like to eat. Instead of a monarch I propose we have a Chef be final arbiter in matters. We'll call it anarcho-chefism."
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