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Libertarians Legislate their Morality



Libertarians often criticize conservatives for legislating morality. These libertarians claim they merely protect individual rights through a neutral government, whereas conservatives base their policies on their moral views. Libertarians think the government should be neutral on moral issues. This neutrality is fraudulent. Libertarianism is grounded in moral principles, and libertarians seek to order society around those principles.


Conservatives legislate their morality by supporting policies that promote their view of the common good. Belief in a transcendent moral order is fundamental to conservatism. Conservatives believe the family, church, and government are good institutions that should be defended. Their policies come from their political worldview, which is rooted in a moral worldview.


Libertarians argue that conservative policies infringe on individual rights, and thus conservatives violate basic principles of liberty. According to libertarians, an individual should be free to do whatever he wants as long as he does not infringe on someone's rights. They say the problem is not that conservatives seek to preserve the good things in society. The problem is that conservatives use their common good policies to constrain individuals instead of letting them live freely. Therefore, libertarians assert that conservatives are wrong to enforce laws built from their moral and political worldview.