Why I am a libertarian


A person can not consistently argue for personal liberties and at the same time be opposed to economic liberty.

[F]or those who can not reconcile the idea that someone who advocates free market capitalism also supports decriminalizing cannabis, consider this – both are expressions of the rights of individuals to live their lives as they see fit. No one else owns your life or what you do with it. That applies equally to the drugs you take and to the productive labour you choose to engage in – and the subsequent disposal of all wealth thus produced.

Read more here.

Alcohol is a Class C controlled drug analogue

Wine drinkers may be imbibing illicit drug

Drinkers of wine, sherry and port may be unknowingly breaking the law and consuming small doses of the party drug fantasy, an illegal class B drug.

The revelation has brought calls for wine to be tested to see if there are traces of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), or its precursor gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) – the active ingredient in fantasy.

The Ministry of Health has only just been made aware of the issue and is working through how to deal with it.

But alcohol is already a Class C controlled drug analogue.

The substance at the top is 1,4-butanediol (“Fantasy”), a class B controlled drug.

The substance at the bottom is ethanol (“Alcohol”).

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 states that

controlled drug analogue means any substance … that has a structure substantially similar to that of any controlled drug …

I shall drink

I remember that a certain man whom I once comforted on the loss of his son said to me, “Wait and see, Martin, you will become a great man.” I have often thought of these words, for, as I have said, such utterances have something of a prophetic quality. Be of good courage, therefore, and cast these dreadful thoughts out of your mind. Whenever the devil pesters you with these [anxious and despondent] thoughts, at once seek out the company of men, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some other form of merriment. Sometimes it is necessary to drink a little more, play, jest, or even commit some sin in defiance and contempt of the devil in order not to give him an opportunity to make us scrupulous about trifles. We shall be overcome if we worry too much about falling into some sin.

Accordingly if the devil should say, “Do not drink,” you should reply to him, “On this very account, because you forbid it, I shall drink, and what is more, I shall drink a generous amount.” Thus one must always do the opposite of that which Satan prohibits. What do you think is my reason for drinking wine undiluted, talking freely, and eating more often if it is not to torment and vex the devil who made up his mind to torment and vex me? Would that I could commit some token sin simply for the sake of mocking the devil, so that he might understand that I acknowledge no sin and am conscious of no sin. When the devil attacks and torments us, we must completely set aside the whole Decalogue.

— Martin Luther, letter to Jerome Weller, 1530.

[Cross-posted to SOLO.]

Vote Sean Fitzpatrick – Ohariu 2011

I’m standing as the ALCP candidate for the Mana Electorate in this years’s General Election. Expect an official announcement soon.

Meanwhile, friend and fellow freedom fighter Sean Fitzpatrick has officially announced his candidacy for the Ohariu electorate.

Sean Fitzpatrick to be Libertarianz Candidate in Ohariu
Friday, 30 September 2011, 4:52 pm
Press Release: Libertarianz Party

Sean Fitzpatrick to Stand as Libertarianz Candidate in Ohariu

Libertarianz Deputy Leader, Sean Fitzpatrick, has officially announced his candidacy for the Ohariu electorate in this year’s general election.

As an alternative to power lusting professional politicians, Mr. Fitzpatrick will be contesting the electorate this November to serve the interests of individual voters themselves rather than serve the interests of a political party.

“While the authoritarian Greens are willing to back anti free speech campaigner Chuck Chauvel and the ‘cling to power at all cost’ Nats are willing to support Peter ‘I need Ohariu more than it needs me’ Dunne, Libertarianz wants to give voters a real alternative,” Fitzpatrick says.

“I am the only candidate who believes individuals are best qualified to run their own lives. Every other candidate either thinks people are too dumb to make their own decisions or simply views them as a tool to wrangle a political career.”

“Many people are struggling to find work and the national debt is worsening by the day. It is becoming increasingly urgent for politicians to get out of the way of the people who are the real source of economic growth: ordinary, hard working kiwis. These are the folk who care a lot more about their bank balance, their health care, their kid’s education and their own future prospects than any pack of politicians ever could.”

Mr. Fitzpatrick was the Libertarianz candidate in the Mana by-election in 2010. A professional martial arts instructor, he runs a highly successful full time school in Wellington.

For more information, see www.libertarianz.org.nz or contact:

Sean Fitzpatrick
Libertarianz Deputy Leader
Ohariu Candidate
Phone: 021 1699 281
Email: sean.fitzpatrick@libertarianz.org.nz
Website: http://seanfitzpatrickonline.com

Libertarianz: More Freedom, Less Government

Go, Sean!

Blessed are the Canaanites

Matt Flannagan and I have much in common, meta-ethically speaking.

Matt, like me, accepts a divine command theory of ethics whereby an act is morally obligatory if, and only if, a loving and just God commands it, and an act is morally wrong if, and only if, a loving and just God forbids it. We agree that given that the wrongness of an action consists in its being forbidden by God, and given that God does not issue commands to himself, it follows that he has no duties; and hence, God is under no obligation not to kill anyone and is free (i.e., morally unconstrained) to do as he pleases.

Matt’s Ph.D. is in theology.

Mine is in philosophy.

The present work belongs to a tradition in meta-ethics most closely associated with the work of J L Mackie. In his Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong [Mackie (1977)], Mackie argued for the claim that there are no objective values. [Mackie (1977), p. 15.] Mackie had in mind, particularly, objective moral values.

Mackie’s thesis figures prominently in the present work. I call this thesis moral anti-realism, and state it as the claim that there are no moral facts. I do not argue for moral anti-realism directly. Instead, I argue for a more cautious, epistemic variant of moral anti-realism which I call moral eliminativism—the claim that it is reasonable to believe that there are no moral facts. (Frequently, however, I lapse back into a more straightforward, non-epistemic manner of speaking—omitting the “it is reasonable to believe that” qualifier—for the sake of economy. Below, I use the symbols *{} as shorthand to denote this epistemic qualifier and its scope.)

The central argument of the present work is this.

(1*) *{God does not exist}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.


(ME) *{There are no moral facts}.

There is an important preliminary point to be made regarding this argument. Moral eliminativism is merely the conclusion. The bulk of the work, and the interest, lie in establishing (2*). My real purpose in this dissertation is to draw attention to the fact that the following form an inconsistent triad

(1*) *{God does not exist}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.

(MR*) *{There are moral facts}.

and to argue for (2*). I then assume (1*) simply for the sake of constructing an argument. I might equally well have assumed (MR*), and constructed a very different argument, one which would amount to a moral argument for the existence of God.

(MR*) *{There are moral facts}.

(2*) If *{God does not exist}, then *{there are no moral facts}.


(3*) *{God exists}.

Thus, I hope that my argument will have almost as much appeal to theists as to moral anti-realists. Nonetheless, in this dissertation I play the devil’s advocate, and argue for and from an anti-realist perspective.

The argument for (2*) proceeds in three stages. In Part 1, I establish the general conditions which must obtain before belief in moral facts (or any sort of facts) is reasonable. In Part 2, I establish what sort of facts would count as moral facts. In Part 3, I bring the findings of Parts 1 and 2 together with one further consideration to show that belief in bona fide moral facts is reasonable only if belief in the existence of God is reasonable.

God is the source of morality. Not many atheists realise this. I was an atheist once. When I realised that God is the source of morality, I became a nihilist. But nihilism is no way to live. It is only a way to die.

Which brings us to where Matt and I part company. Matt is an apologist for the God of the Old Testament. But the God of the Old Testament is an amoral monster.

I’m a Christian. But I do not love—let alone love with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind—the (hopefully fictitious) cosmic fiend portrayed in the Old Testament.

I guess that makes me a neo-Marcionite. (See here.)

Open your eyes!

In spite of these creations a venom settles in the blood
with fangs that will not rest till they’ve engulfed everything
the sky and humans all alike.
Dispersing vile scripture as abundant as the night.
This poison takes but a single drop to thrive.

The vipers waltz in time to slay the conscience back to blind
slowly digesting and conspiring with mortal threads.
This evil’s woven firm its lies into our heads.
A single cry will silence all but a single pierce will bring to fall.
Despite all odds we must confront what our deepest fears have presented us.

You’ve got the truth before you and yet your eyes are shut.
How can you speak when the serpent’s got your tongue?

This clarity can’t be denied but before us stands the initial face of phases.
Our fears will flee, our strength will hide.

The serpent goes by many names and wears many a disguise.
Open your eyes or let this poison slowly seep and consume you whole.
Don’t let the serpent catch your tongue and drown your soul.

This blindness is an ailment incurable by any means
but tearing the seams from the eyes
to bow down to the King of all mankind.

Behold untainted sight.
The truth is inscribed in the veins under the eyes.
Release from the clutch of the serpentine to behold untainted sight.

You’ve got the truth before you and yet your eyes are shut.
How can you speak when the serpent’s got your tongue?

Open your eyes!

Tainted love

Police warn on tainted E pills

A batch of Ecstasy pills that caused users to react so aggressively they had to be sedated may have contained a new drug that has caused similar reactions in the United States and Britain.

Staff at Middlemore Hospital’s emergency department were shocked by the violent seizures and hallucinations in people thought to have taken pills known as “red rockets”.

They reported users to be so aggressive that some required sedation – behaviour not normally consistent with Ecstasy.

… National Poisons Centre toxicologist Dr Leo Schep , said symptoms such as hallucinations were similar to those caused by a new synthetic stimulant drug … methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) … has been linked to episodes of violence and paranoia …

I don’t think so. I know people who report having taken MDPV on a daily basis for a year or more. Apparently, it’s quite the antidepressant du jour. That said, there’s no denying MDPV has a very bad reputation. This is not a drug for taking, this is a drug for laying down and avoiding.

Because police have not seized any of the pills, tests cannot be done to determine their content.

“I’m not saying it definitely is, but based on the symptoms that have been reported … it strongly suggests the possibility …”

I have no idea what fuels Red Rockets. Neither do the police, neither does the NZ Herald, and neither does Dr Leo Schep. Until we have test results from two or more independent laboratories, how about a nice big cup of STFU?


Why? Because sensationalism and disinformation are potent weapons in the propaganda War on Drugs™. The police and the NZ Herald are prominent aggressors. They’re on the wrong side.

Blessed are the peacemakers. (NIV)

(For what it’s worth, those on the ground have suggested AMT or 2C-X as possible ingredients.)

Give me Liberty, or give me Death!