God should always be excluded from political arguments
Published: Sunday, April 17, 2011
Updated: Sunday, April 17, 2011 23:04
God-given and inalienable rights are the core of most modern-day political debates. They have been a staple in political discussions for centuries. From John Locke, to arguments between today's liberals and conservatives, what is and is not a right is a highly contentious arena full of political clout.
Not only is God not necessary in determining these inalienable rights, God should be discouraged from ever entering the political arena.
Devoutly religious happenstances aside, using God as a platform on which to stand should be frowned upon in intelligent discussion.
Not only are there numerous gods from various religions, there are also many interpretations of said gods' laws.
One example in particular is just how "socialist" the Bible is. There are arguments ranging from either side of the political spectrum.
From contending that it is a book which commands individualism and voluntary charity, to arguments stating that "Christianity means nothing if it does not mean socialism."
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," sums up my feelings on the path to heaven for fellow Christians.
Ultimately, my last point serves to show that religious interpretation is at the behest of our own personal biases, and when determining earthly, human rights, a path of logic is the preferable one.
I'm not arguing that your world view cannot or should not be shaped by religious beliefs; however, making a case for God-given inalienable rights is a convoluted mess which could eventually reframe a debate on universal health care to whether or not it is God's will to establish a welfare state.
This is assuming that both participants believe in a higher power.
In this case, universal health care is fundamentally a red herring, and the real debate is God's will. While universal health care is the end being debated, the issue is being subverted by religious biases.
The pros and cons of the actual issue at hand are not fully disclosed, and in many cases, are eventually ignored.
The proper way to decide man's rights are through general observation of man's actions. To oversimplify, man's acts. To try and disprove that theory is in and of itself an action.
As described by famed intellectual Murray Rothbard, "The distinctive and crucial feature in the study of man is the concept of action. Human action is defined simply as purposeful behavior."
Rothbard argues that these actions are distinguishable from movements of inorganic matter and involuntary human responses to certain stimuli, such as reflexes.
He says these actions can be meaningfully interpreted by other men, and are carried out by the actor with a particular end in sight. It is from these first few steps in logic that we may derive human rights.
Praxeology, the study of human action, does not assert anything about man's goals; simply that he has them.
It does not place any judgements on subjective characteristics of action such as "moral," "altruistic" or "righteous."
It is different from psychology or the philosophy of ethics because praxeology does not ask "why" a man chooses his ends or whether or not he should pursue said ends.
Thus, using praxeology and logic to determine human rights has far-reaching implications.
Most modern governments operate under the assumption that it is not violating the rights of the people, and are, in fact, implicitly working for the will of the people.
To put it simply, governments supposedly serve the people. At least ideally, anyway.
Using praxeology as a guide for determining the role of government is superior to that of religious bias.
This is because it does not weigh itself down, at least not as heavily, in open and ambiguous interpretations.
Praxeology focuses not on how things "should be," but rather, how things "are."
That is always the best road to follow in the long-run when determining human rights and by extension, the role of government.