The Pope’s Four Big Mistakes About Libertarianism — article published

My article, co-written with María Marty, was published in PanAm Post:

The opening:

“Pope Francis has given us several glimpses of his position on liberalism. His are criticisms are direct and sometimes crude. And while the Pontiff got some points sort-of right, his message revealed mostly a lack of knowledge—or an intentional denial—of the principled and historical achievements of libertarian individualism.

“Here are four big, big mistakes. …

It was also published in Spanish as Los Cuatro Errores del Papa Francisco Sobre el Liberalismo. A Portuguese translation is forthcoming. The whole article:

The Pope’s Four Big Mistakes About Libertarianism.

5 thoughts on “The Pope’s Four Big Mistakes About Libertarianism — article published

  • May 12, 2017 at 12:43 pm
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    “And who should decide good or bad— e.g., whether it would be good or bad for you to marry and if so whom? ”

    While it’s a minor bullet point, I believe that this is the heart of the matter. The Catholic Church has always wanted to position themselves as the arbiter of good and evil, in all things. Individualism–the idea that there is NO arbiter, that each person can and in fact must decide for themselves–is viewed as a major threat. And they’re right. If people are left to decide for themselves, they’ll see that the arbitrary nature of Catholic dogma–and the things the Church as taken upon itself without even the flimsy justification of theology–renders the Church demonstrably incompetent at the task of providing a moral framework for their lives. That’s ignoring the sexual abuse that’s rampant in the Church hierarchy; these serve as two independent lines of evidence.

    This is one reason I left the Church. I could never get past the idea that while they paid lip service to free will being a gift from God, they treated it, without exception, as a vile monstrosity to be extirpated from human existence. Their official stance can be summed up as “Yes, you have free will–but you’d damned well not use it!” To make matters worse, they demand ritual humiliation. The “sacrament” of reconciliation involves telling the priest your deepest sins, specifically to demonstrate how worthless and pathetic you are. Once you’ve completely destroyed your own image of yourself, “the grace of God fills you”–in other words, you’re supposed to thank the priest for forgiving errors that quite often are only errors because of the arbitrary and nonsensical code HE imposed upon you! It’s all for the same purpose: to give the Church power over you.

  • May 12, 2017 at 4:13 pm
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    Sexual abuse rampant in the Church is not Catholic dogma, and what sins in the confessional are arbitrart and nonsensical out of interest?

  • May 14, 2017 at 6:58 am
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    I highly recommend this excellent article on the Pope’s mistakes regarding Libertarianism written by Stephen Hicks and Maria Marty. As an atheist, I’ve made a long study of the Catholic Church and its history and find it to be the fountainhead of totalitarianism and statism in the West, owing to it being primarily philosophically based on Platonism. The following Papal quotes demonstrate the Church’s hostility to the autonomy, independence and thus happiness of the individual — who Plato considered a mere cell on the body of the state.

    (*) Pope Leo VIII, Immortale Dei (November 1, 1885):

    “The unrestrained freedom of thinking and of openly making known one’s thoughts is not inherent in the rights of citizens and is by no means worthy of favor and support.”

    (*) Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura (December 8, 1864):

    “Which false and perverse opinions [of democracy and individual freedom] are on that ground the more to be detested, because they chiefly tend to this, that that salutary influence be impeded and
    (even) removed, which the Catholic Church, according to the institution and command of her Divine Author, should freely exercise even to the end of the world — not only over private individuals, but
    over nations, peoples, and their sovereign princes; and (tend also) to take away that mutual fellowship and concord of counsels between Church and State which has ever proved itself propitious and salutary, both for religious and civil interests…

    From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor,
    Gregory XVI, an “insanity,”2 viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that
    a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.”

    (*) The Syllabus of Errors Condemned by Pope Pius IX (December 8, 1864) lists several statements that the Pope called erroneous. Here are a few statements condemned by Pope Pius IX:

    15. Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.

    24. The Church has not the power of using force, nor has she any temporal power, direct or indirect.

    77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.

  • May 16, 2017 at 6:15 pm
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    From the start I suspected he was an anti-intellectual. He’s worse, he’s a man with no plan, a pope of false hope. Never a word from him about the the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world.

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