So I’ve been reading a short collection of works called “Rothbard vs. The Philosophers” (available for free on Mises.org) and one of the sections is on relativism versus absolutism. I was surprised to note that Mises had many relativistic leanings and was not surprised to see Rothbard’s critic of those. I personally agree with Rothbard and am an absolutist. I think most libertarians are now, though on that I am unsure. As a Christian, I must also be an absolutist. As I believe in a God grounded in absolutes. Like Rothbard, I also believe that there are absolute ethical principles laid out in the nature of Man, unlike Rothbard I feel that these were put into man by a deity.
One of the issues I have with fellow Christians is that while we may all be absolutists, people rarely examine what the absolute principles are and how they can be included in our lives. Yet this is vitally important to living out our Christian lives. Without understanding the absolute principals instilled in us by Christ, how can we coherently and accurately live out Christ in us? I think this is how you get Christians who advocated for Hitler, or on a much lesser note, advocate for aggressive, interventionist war in general. While we may believe in absolutes and disregard relativism, we Christians often live as if we agree with relativism. We don’t steal, yet we tax. We don’t murder yet we bomb “terrorists” who have never left their villages in the middle east. We don’t covet, yet we commend wealth restructuring. We don’t make idols, yet we erect States as gods over us.
These issues aren’t issues of the heart as I think the intentions are generally okay. These are issues of the mind. We fail to see the connection between the absolute principles of God or nature, and our indirect actions through our idol the State.