Wednesday, April 30, 2003

The Libertarian Question, Cont'd

Having said that, I do take issue with Kurtz on one point. Alluding to Senator Santorum's remarks, he writes,
    Unlike Sen. Santorum, I would rather accept some disruption in family stability than go back to the days when homosexuality itself was deeply tabooed. The increase in freedom and fairness is worth it.
I disagree with the concept of freedom which Kurtz implicitly holds here. He believes that the loss of the taboo of homosexuality is generally good, in that it has led to an increase in freedom. Clearly, Kurtz's view of freedom is a "freedom of indifference" as moral theologian Servais Pinckaers (and following him, George Weigel) puts it, as opposed to a "freedom for excellence."

Modernity tends to view freedom exclusively as freedom from (external) coercion; it has lost the older understanding of freedom as freedom for excellence, for virtue, etc.

The relevance is clear for those with a Christian worldview: one can be free from coercion, but still in bondage... to concupiscence and sin.

In my mind, this is one of the major defects in much modern political discourse, whether on the right or left. Whether or not the term "sin" is used ("vice" is a very acceptable alternative), the fact remains that a democratic society can be "free" in one sense, but not in another (more important) sense.

Other than this, however, I do believe that Kurtz's piece is excellent and well-worth a good read.

No comments: