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Six Ideas to Keep Us Human (Part 2) Edmund Opitz, author of The Libertarian Theology of Freedom and Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies. This essay was originally published in the December 1972 issue of The Freeman, and continues from his previous article.

Part One of this essay presents a diagnosis of the present malaise in terms of a loss of contact with six vital ideas. The ideas which keep us human may be summarized as follows:

  1. Free Will. Man’s gift of free will makes him a responsible being.
  2. Rationality. Man is a reasoning being who, by taking thought, gains valid truths about himself and the universe.
  3. Self-responsibility. Each person is the custodian of his own energy and talents, charged with the lifetime task of bringing himself to completion.
  4. Beauty. Man confronts beauty in the very nature of things, and reproduces this vision in art.
  5. Goodness. Man has a moral sense, enabling and requiring him to choose between good and evil.
  6. The Sacred. Man participates in an order which transcends nature and society.

It is no secret that a great many philosophers and scientists deny free will and affirm determinism; it is also a fact that no one can really bring himself around to believing that he is an automaton. A philosopher who announces himself as a determinist presumes to offer us a conclusion he has arrived at after observation, after marshalling the relevant evidence, after reflection, and as the end result of a chain of reasoning. Each of these steps reflects the action of a free being, and these free actions can never be pieced together so as to contrive an unfree result. Man’s will is free; it is so free that it can deny this freedom!

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The Freedom to be an Idiot

A very nice summary of one of the powerful arguments against the state and for freedom: [youtube] Many many years ago, John Milton made similar arguments regarding the censorship of blasphemous speech and bad doctrine.

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