Paradoxes of Liberty

Are market freedom and human freedom the same thing? I say no. If markets were unrestrained, everything would be for sale including you and me. 

Does market freedom promote human freedom? It depends. Addiction, for example, is often good for business. But clearly, addiction undermines personal autonomy. A society where addiction flourishes is not a truly free one. Markets can create their own kind of dependency. This form of dependency is all the more dangerous for its power of invisibility.

Brief Dialog on Gays and Religious Liberty

A-I don’t quite understand how it’s an infringement of religious liberty. 

B- They think they’re being forced to do something they regard as sinful or criminal.

A- Are they being asked to participate in gay sex? No. That’s what puzzles me. They’re being asked to, say, take picutres of a gay wedding or bake a cake for one. There’s nothing criminal in taking pictures or in baking cakes.

B- I guess they would look at it like taking pictures of a murder or baking a cake that says “Congratulations” for the Brinks job guys. 

A- But being gay, or “homosexual behavior”, as they say, doesn’t really hurt anyone. Murder and theft do. I mean, suppose it’s true that those who engage in “homosexual behavior” go to Hell. Does anyone else have to go there with them? 

B- I guess that’s where the religion comes in. There’s no evidence that “homosexual behavior” causes physical harm. I know that might sound outrageous. 

A-What about AIDS?

B-The harm is caused by a virus. The behavior doesn’t create the virus. If the behavior caused the sickness – AIDS – there would be no immunity among the promiscuous. But there is. [E.g. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/27/aids.features%5D Anyway religionists should not rely on this type of argument. Their concern is afterall, for the soul, which is where Hell comes in.

A-I’m confused. 

B-Let’s take a break. 

C- Mr A, can we go back to where you said that they are being *asked* to take photos of a gay wedding or bake a gay wedding cake?

 A- Okay.

C-  The truth is, they’re not being *asked*. They’re being *forced* to do it. What happens if they refuse? 

A- I don’t know. I don’t think that’s been established yet, legally I mean. But I see your point. 

C- And Mr B, I think you lost the thread there.

B- Yeah. Mr A had asked me about Hell, if non-participants would have to go to Hell with people “guilty” of “homosexual behavior.” The issue he was focusing on was “Is anyone else harmed?” I don’t think anyone else is physically harmed by “homosexual behavior” in which they are not involved. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s the behavior that causes the sickness. There are plenty of people with AIDS who never engaged in gay sex, and plenty of people who engaged in all kinds of sex who are AIDS free. I can’t answer him about Hell. So I guess I’m agnostic on that part of it.