Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Libertarianism and the Restored Gospel

Before I go anywhere, I should introduce myself. I am a public school social studies teacher in central Montana, a lifelong active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and a 2008 convert to Libertarianism and the Austrian School of Economics. I served a mission in Chile, Concepción South from 2002-2004, received my Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008, and completed coursework for my teaching certification from Montana State University in 2010.

The purpose of this blog is mostly to give me a place to rant and vent. As a Social Studies teacher, I have the opportunity to explain the brilliant, simple truth of Liberty to my students on a daily basis, however, with the end of the school year within arm's reach, I will need a place to vent, lest my rantings become so obtrusive that they prevent me from having any kind of social life. Hopefully, I can convince some people along the way that Mormons don't have to (and shouldn't, in my opinion) vote for Mitt Romney.

But in this first post, I want to explain why Libertarianism and the Restored Gospel are nearly perfectly in sync. The Restored Gospel teaches us that God's plan for this life was for us to use our agency, our ability to choose, to progress. When we make moral choices, the natural consequences of those actions make us more free. When we immoral choices, our agency is reduced as a natural consequence of our poor decision.

Libertarians believe that individuals are perfectly free. They can act as they please, so long as their actions do not infringe upon the natural rights of others. (The next post will be a discussion on rights.) Of course, libertarians recognize that actions have consequences, often unintended consequences. Libertarians realize that the freedom to fail is absolutely essential, as it puts a natural brake on immoral behavior. In a nutshell, the Libertarian principal of individual supremacy is equal to the Gospel's doctrine of agency.

Next Post: What is a Right and where do Rights come from?

Disclaimer: My opinions have been influenced by loads of smart people, however, they are not necessarily pronouncements on official doctrine of the Church.

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