5 votes

Some Hard Truths For Libertarians

In some recent threads I have seen people flailing about to define some rational basis for their views about what is moral. They hold to a general moral worldview about how people ought to behave, in line with traditional precepts, and in particular to justify their libertarian creed. But when pressed, they have very poor and incoherent reasons why this ought to be. They are attempting to affirm an objective morality in a way consistent with a purely naturalistic world, where we are just animals.

I would submit it is not possible to do so coherently, and you have to take your pick. Keep the naturalism and abandon the objective morality; keep the objective moral demands, and abandon the naturalism; or, hold to both but be incoherent.

The third option is probably the most feasible and what most will choose. Well, have at it! On a naturalistic view, there's nothing wrong with irrationalism, self deception, and incoherence, so long as it gets the job done. Hopefully it will be more politically effective than a hard nosed realism like the cultural and economic elites hold. Somehow, I doubt it.

Usually after being pressed a few times, the confused person ends up making a lame appeal to the animal world for an 'evolved sense of right and wrong' where human beings simply know what's right naturally. While all of recorded history, experience, and modern biology refute all this, it is the best they have.

You really have to self deceive hard to think the animal world is an example of libertarianism at work.

Primates groups have a variety of instinctive behaviors. None are individualistic or morally fair or respect the rights of individuals. Among primates, the group is run by the violence of the strongest members and challengers are fought down, killed or exiled. Reproductive access is regulated by power. Rape and violence prevail. There is no law, or rights, no appeal to objective rules.

Human ideas about individual worth, when and where such ideas arose in a culture (rarely enough), were always rooted in the belief in a soul or some sort of equality before a judging God. Whether that view is false or not, it is the only objective basis for belief in the individual objective worth or 'rights' of a person.

They may linger on after such belief has dissipated, but that is just sentimental twaddle. Anyone who takes the implications of naturalism to heart will realize values are totally subjective, standards are individually defined, and social outcomes will just be the consequence of which groups have the power or the loudest megaphone to brainwash others.

Whoever understands social manipulation best and has the strongest motivation to control, the most skill, intelligence, organization, and ruthlessness, wins. And that's who is running the show now, and they're getting better and better at it. You better hope there's some higher tribunal than 'nature,' or else you are gonna lose.

And really you ought to lose, if nature is the highest tribunal. Why would you think you have any rights against the stronger and better able to compete than you? Human society is just a staging ground for the struggle for reproductive success with other means than raw violence. It's a more sophisticated and picturesque continuation of 'nature' - reproductive competition - sublimated into culture and morality and law and business and all these other avenues of competition for resources. But violence always lurks just in the background to enforce the will of those with the power if the other methods fail.

This is the world on naturalism. It has its beauty if you can stand it.

On a naturalistic view, the person is just an animal. A short lived, predictable, mediocre copy of the other 7 or 8 or 9 billion, among whom very few stand out, and all ruled at bottom by base instincts and selfish motives, all competing for the same limited resources.

We might have cultural paradigms imposed on us by tradition, where we work together to advance our interests. But none of those rules are objectively binding, and they can be thrown overboard if they cease to serve some individual or group. In fact, anyone can intelligently choose to chuck such ideas overboard once he realizes they aren't objectively true. Why not do so?

In a world where nothing is true, we are back to pre-civilization: Our interests and our immediate family are first, and beyond that we can trust nothing. No person, no institution. And that is exactly where we're heading.

On naturalism, if some people advocate views about their individual rights, they are just making a plea for their private interests under the guise of moral demand that others to 'play fair.' Brow beating superior individuals into a guilt mode so they won't pursue their own interests aggressively.

On naturalism, morality and culture are just ways to get others to put their own interests aside for 'the group' or for weaker parties. Equality before the law is just as unnatural as equality of outcomes, and both are absurd as moral dictates. They might be useful temporarily for individuals, classes or factions to advance their material interests, but int he long run they are means, not ends.

Nothing is right or wrong on this view of reality, as survival is its own justification, and whatever culture system or rules or morality advance the material interests of the ruling group, that is right. That's how we got here, and that's where we are going.

If you insist and cling to some universal morality, absent God and the soul, you are just fooling yourself because you can't swallow the harsh pill.

Me personally, I'm cool with either one. I can live with either one, whichever turns out to be true. At least for now, in my life I am just obsessed with accuracy and rigor wherever it leads.

I have the luxury of taking the possibility of theism seriously, with all its implications, because for the past decade I have rationally accepted the harder conclusions that atheism demands. I am free to weigh all the arguments, without worrying that I'm gonna be out of step with the smart set, or that I would have to abandon all objective values. I can accept either.

I can accept all the implications of naturalism if it is true. You amateur atheists can't do either. You want your cake and to eat it too. You want to be bright little atheists and at the same time pretend you have some intellectual ground to stand on with "rights" and your other mundane, run of the mill beliefs that are just the residue and lingering fog of a theistic worldview where god and the immortal soul existed. You are nourished intellectually on the shadow of a dead God.

Its really the most pathetic anti-intellectual combination imaginable.

Pick your evil. God, or nature, with all the implications they carry with them. You don't get to be cafeteria atheists who pick and choose which beliefs you like from each, without regard for their logical implications. You don't get to get rid of the 'man in the sky' and the soul and still make moral demands of other animals you are in evolutionary competition with.

If you want to keep humanity and morality, as being unconditionally bound to moral absolutes, you are stuck with God. If not, you need to accept that your moral demands of others are empty bluffs to get others to act the way you want them to.

To be honest, you would need to couch your political beliefs not in moralistic terms but in terms of self interest, group interest. And to be at all effective, you would need to strategize accordingly. Figure out how to manipulate the politically inert herd of shallow, thoughtless voters to think and vote in line with your interests.

You have to become your enemies, in effect, and become the elite that teaches the average person what to think. Say goodbye to truth, say goodbye to 'telling it like it is.' If your libertarian principles have any hope in such a world, it will be in training the befuddled masses in some new dumbed-down, secular religion to respect property and rights and not think too deep into it.

If they actually think about it, they will realize its a cruel world, there is no god, they can't trust anyone to advance their interests but themselves, and they should throw in with whatever political party or group that will get them the most material benefit and economic security in their life time and get their children and immediate family the best economic prospects.

That's what they have learned, that's what they are doing, and it's what they ought to do on a naturalistic view.

If you want them to behave anything like civilized humans, you better at least trick them into believing there is something more than nature. Even if naturalism was true, you have every reason, as libertarians, to pray to non-God that the average person doesn't realize it.

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See, there you go.

Not only did I read your article twice, I quote in other replies we've exchanged.

But I'm sure you know more about what I do than I.

You just got it like that.

I accept that you went back

I accept that you went back and read it after your first reply, but after reading your first reply I just assumed you didn't read tthe post, out of charity. It was very clear that only libertarians who held naturalism alongside a moralistic form of libertarianism were being challenged, so your statement that "not every libertarian is a naturalist" was just nonsensical.

You then complained that my title was misleading, further confirming you either didn't read the post or at least that you failed to comprehend it so badly that assuming you hadn't read it was the kinder interpretation. I'm sorry, you just aren't able to follow a standard formulated argument.

Really?

Your whole rant, with specificity, equates Libertarians with Naturalism. You made no distinction. None.

Show me where.

Its clear from the whole post

Its clear from the whole post who I'm talking to. What, did you think I wasn't aware that ALL libertarians weren't a) moralistic and b) naturalists? That's just stupid. The title, hard truths for libertarians, just recognizes that for many libertarians, these two views are held at the same time, and it is clear from the first paragraphs that I'm challenging the coherence of holding both.

If you just want to critique the title as not being 100% obvious without reading further on, fine. But to go back and forth 6 or 7 times is really not a good use of time when the actual discussion is what matters, not your preference for title format. Paece.

Some Hard Truths for Bill3.

You meant all Libertarians.

There is no distinction with you.

It's not just the title. I was looking to find where you would make a distinction when I first read your post and you never did.

Like I said, show me where. Cut and paste the line(s).

Anyone who isn't an utter

Anyone who isn't an utter fool or child in libertarianism would now there are a million kind of self proclaimed libertarians from Bill Maher to Bill3, with lots of clowns in between, like you. Buzz off.

some hard truths for BILL3


http://youtu.be/GcJxRqTs5nk

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Not really. I said primates

Not really. I said primates display a wide variety of instinctive behaviors. Different kinds of primates have different forms of evolved behavior, some more violent and hierarchical, others less so. All social animals have forms of bonding, reciprocity, even altruism.

None have individual rights, law, or appeal to objective rules.

Humans are clearly one of the more predatory types prone to violence and exploitation via hierarchical organization. Humans are also the only group able to use cultural rules to control group behavior. But neither the rules nor the behaviors are objectively valid, they just happen to have survived the selective process of competition for reproductive success.

On naturalism, that is the only tribunal of right.

you are changing your tune

But fine, ok, if you are just arguing against objective values, I don't have any issues with that. I don't believe in objective values. All values are subjective, including moral values. However, choosing a particular set of moral values has consequences.

The axiom of self-ownership is a good example. It's a moral value that people choose and agree to accept. Or not. Each choice has consequences. Just as someone can choose to jump of a bridge, and experience the consequences.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

I'm not changing my tune at

I'm not changing my tune at all, as I said in the OP, primates have a variety of instinctive behaviors, but none are individualistic, or involve appeal to objective rules or anything like libertarianism.

Therefore, primate social behavior isn't any basis for arguing the morally objective binding nature of claims to any libertarian or anarchist principle.

It's what I've always said, and I wouldn't need to change my tune. But now that you understand, you seem to be in line with my view.

well all right then

What's next on your agenda? Are you gonna come up with some magical shape that we can use to move things around?

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

The agenda was always to prod

The agenda was always to prod people on here to develop intellectually coherent and defensible views. Although generally unsuccessful, it is interesting and entertaining. When people give up on making a valid case, they will often try out wit. In this case you failed, but you tried anyway, and that's worth something.

ROTFLMAO....

He's going to run for Vice God.

Wow, nicely done!

It's rare when I give BILL3 a +1 but here it is. I really enjoyed this and thought you were SPOT ON!

I think what BILL3 just described in detail is the saying:

"You WILL serve a master. Be sure to pick well."

The only problem is....you and Bill3

want to take that choice away from everyone and force them to serve your Master. That's not Liberty, that's Theocracy.

False.

Were both Bill3 and I not here, the statement would be true. It's an objectively true statement, independent of my presence/absence or of your opinions.

lol give it a rest. resorting

lol give it a rest. resorting to absurd accusations. in this very article that you didn't read i expressed my agnosticism toward which framework is ultimately true. i just laid out the implications that follow logically from each. which you did not respond to, because you're not able to.

Actually, I did read your article.

Especially, "If you insist and cling to some universal morality, absent God and the soul, you are just fooling yourself because you can't swallow the harsh pill."

Yeah, that statement reeks of your "expressed" agnosticism.

Sure, it's just the simple,

Sure, it's just the simple, pretty obvious conclusion of any sincere atheist. Many would consider it a point of pride to have become free from the belief in any objectively binding morality, and like the taste of the pill.

Nietzsche considered it a key measure of one's intellectual power to be able to dispense with relying on any absolute authority for good and evil, but to define them oneself, and to realize they have always been subjective.

You're clearly not at all familiar with moral subjectivism in philosophy. So you're likely not really familiar at all with actual atheism, without all the unexamined and unjustified moral claims held over from the morality of the religious era.

I would say most leading evolutionary biologists and the whole enterprise of evolutionary psychology in the sciences would accept the complete subjectivity of morality, and don't shed any tears over it. They have a pragmatic worldview, whereas most libertarians have a moralistic worldview, so they don't need to hold to moral truths.

It's the clowns on here who can't accept that their political beliefs aren't morally sanctioned by any higher law, who at the same time have no basis for any such higher law. It is this wishy washy, incoherent and unexplored amateur atheism I am objecting to.

I respect both serious atheists and theists, but someone who tries to have objective binding morality as a political argument, while being an atheist and naturalist, is just comical.

I just added this post to the other thread ...

... too:

You seem to be under the misunderstanding that if one group of people think one way and another group of people think another way that the sum total is equivalent to the subject matter being subjective rather than objective.

People agreeing or not agreeing with a concept has nothing to do with whether it is subjective or objective.

What determines whether it is subjective or objective is the STANDARD that the person uses to arrive at their conclusion.

That STANDARD (method of thought) is either an objective one or a subjective one. THAT is the test.

People who follow "law of the jungle" or "my god says so, praise Allah" are engaging in a SUBJECTIVE STANDARD (method of arriving at their conclusions).

The question on the table is: Do we use an objective standard or a subjective standard in evaluating issues of morality.

The "law of the jungle" advocates are using a subjective standard. We do not disagree there.

The "my-god-says-so" advocates are ALSO using a subjective standard, AND FURTHERMORE there is a THIRD group who reject both of those ideas and look to an OBJECTIVE STANDARD of arriving at conclusions of morality.

THAT is where we disagree.

If there is no higher judge

If there is no higher judge than two individuals, then no one gets to choose which standard is the proper standard. The standard I say is best (equality, or eugenics, or liberty) are value choices, and every human is free to define for himself which is the highest good.

Thus, there is no objectively true value or right in the absence of a higher judge.

Furthermore, if human beings actually are just animals, then the whole law of their becoming is the subjective struggle for advantage and interest. That would point strongly in the direction than morality and beliefs are socially constructed and naturally selected mechanisms for advancing individual and group interests.

You are still missing the point ...

... because there are not one, two, ten, or a million people who decide what is the proper standard. It makes no difference if you like your standard and I like mine. That is irrelevant.

Each person can decide what standard they want to use to arrive at their conclusions. However, whatever standard they choose will be either an objective one or a subjective one. There are no other possibilities.

Either a person chooses an objective standard to arrive at their conclusions, or they choose a subjective standard to arrive at their conclusions. They can choose different standards, and in fact people do. This is why people disagree.

But the problem is this: if a person chooses a subjective standard, then they have no basis to support their conclusion. Their conclusions are ONLY FOR THEM AND CANNOT APPLY TO ANYONE ELSE.

This is like me saying, "The best color is blue," and you reply, "No, red is better." Both of us are using a subjective standard to determine what is the best color. These are our PERSONAL PREFERENCES. We all have personal preferences, BUT that is not a valid standard for deciding what is MORALITY, because morality is a topic of how ALL people "should" act.

If we are going to go down the road of talking about how ALL people "should" act (not how they DO act, but how they SHOULD act), which is the subject of politics, then we MUST use an objective standard, not a subjective standard. Only an objective standard can apply to everyone (it is irrelevant if they agree with it, the standard itself is independent of whether anyone likes it or not).

Let's take theft as an example. Is theft morally right or wrong? The way to answer this is through an objective standard. A subjective standard results is me saying one thing and you saying something else, and then we fight. ONLY an objective standard can apply to everybody.

Theft is a violation of property rights. Therefore, you would think that a thief does not respect property rights. But the only reason he steals is because he wants that property for himself. He does not want someone else stealing it from him. So, he does not respect YOUR property rights, but he will fight you if you don't respect HIS property rights.

This is a self-contradictory position because it is a subjective standard ("I want whatever I want.")

If we say "law of the jungle" is valid, then there are no property rights because anybody can take from anybody else. Even the weak can steal from the strong when the strong is not looking.

But if we say "Do not steal" then what happens? MOST people do not steal, which secures MOST property rights. When the inevitable happens and someone violates that principle, then the rest of us gang up on him and hold him accountable.

That's how it works in the real world. The base, fundamental rights have been respected in one form or another by most people throughout history. It is the exception here and there that become the problem, and we have to figure out what to do with those people.

The standard in this case is objective because it does not rely on what you want or what I want. It is not approved by some outside authority. It is humans acting together for their own long-term best interests, and the standard must be objective and it MUST APPLY TO ALL.

This is really axiomatic, because any attempt to refute it will result in the person trying to refute it claiming that THEY are using an objective standard to do so.

Everybody ultimately wants objective standards. This is why religious folks claim their god lays down objective laws. It is why statist folks claim their god (government) lays down objective laws (equal justice for all, and all that crap).

EVERYBODY claims they have an objective standard. It is obvious, then, that objective standards are what we all want.

SOME people CLAIM they have an objective standard when they really do not, and SOME of us challenge such assertions.

I'm out for now. Have a good night.

Happy New Year.

Sorry this is incoherent

Sorry this is incoherent nonsense.

You're using objective and subjective in a different sense than me. You're saying some people have an objective basis (for example, equality for all) and others have a subjective basis (what's best for me).

You're then giving your opinion that objective standards are superior, which is itself your subjective opinion not at all binding on me. It is your personal preference, and not binding on anyone else.

Finally, your preference for universal rules over particularist standards doesn't argue for libertarianism. It could just as well argue for socialism or any other universal standard, as long as it applies to everyone and doesn't involve double standards.

The correct meaning of objective versus subjective is whether something is true regardless of anyone's view of it. The earth is objectively not flat even if everyone thought it was flat.

So for morality to be objective would require it be grounded somewhere besides the goals or interests or individually defined 'good' of any individual or group of people.

I can disagree with any value or 'good' you choose to be the highest. And I can say my interests are the bottom line for me, and no other good is higher. Or I can say my highest good is for everyone to be equal, or for my country to be on top.

No opinion can be objectively right or wrong on naturalism.

"Primate groups have a

"Primate groups have a variety of instinctive behaviors. None are individualistic or morally fair or respect the rights of individuals. Among primates, the group is run by the violence of the strongest members and challengers are fought down, killed or exiled. Reproductive access is regulated by power. Rape and violence prevail. There is no law, or rights, no appeal to objective rules."

I think this is why humans have law over animals just like our Creator has law over us. We know better than animals just like He knows better over both. Only problem is we are screwing up just as much as the animals.

All by design of course. It won't last all that long.

Sure but if your anchor for

Sure but if your anchor for objective standards (God) does not exist, then there is no 'Good,' only a 'Good for me.'

Way wrong and WAY too long explanation as usual

All you needed to say was Deontologism vs Consequentialism, discuss.

In fact they are both important. And both are simplified attempts to close in on ethics.

The truth is that there is a definable human ethic, but not a completely predictable one. Neither a deontological perspective nor a consequentialist persecptive is sufficient.

You can know a lot from history or logical induction and deduction but just like you can't know the true price of a thing without free people acting in a free market you can't know what human ethics are without free people acting in a free market.

What is more important? Life or property? You can come up with all sorts of approximations and exceptions, and it is good to consider them. But in border cases you may not ever know until faced with the question.

Does that mean there is no right answer?

No. It just means you didn't have enough information to understand it prior. Having experienced it you might have a better idea about differing situations. You might be able to express it to others.

Example: Life is important to us, now anyways. Most people value it more than property. But in the future it is not unreasonable to expect we may make weekly brain backups as a matter of course. Most people will still not want to die, of course but as time goes by newer generations will learn to value life less, may even play games where death is a possible outcome.

So mystical concerns it is not unreasonable for someone if faced with dying to protect a prized possession or losing the possession might choose to protect the property.

Ethics evolve along with us, they are a product of us.

That doesn't mean they aren't real or definable.

So yes there is natural law and yes you have natural rights. I can describe them. I can point to societies that don't honor them as see social decay. They are in decay partly because they are a matrix that is hostile to humanity and human ethics.

The NAP is a good shorthand for natural law. Societies with laws that violate the NAP will decay at a rate that correlates with the variance from the NAP, because they are asking men to behave as animals. A fight of all on all for control over resources. If forced to people will behave this way but it is alien to their humanity.

Asserting that it's long and

Asserting that it's long and wrong is not a sound argument. Deontology et al has nothing to do with the validity of any set of objective moral claims. It is an in-house squabble over which (rules, or consequences) are the grounding for right and wrong.

The counter claim to either set of ethics would be that morality is illusory and interests are the grounding for behavior. That is the view hold by most naturalists.

The rest of your response was just belabored incoherence. Values are subjective and determined by the individual, who is the only arbiter of any right or wrong. As intelligent animals, we continue the individual and group conflict for our interests with all sorts of interesting cultural and intellectual tools. But we are not bound to any objective rules just because some intellectual with mis matching socks thinks we should. History demonstrates that quite obviously, and is evolutionary psychology has gone a long ways toward providing a naturalistic framework for understanding political and cultural norms, including legal norms, as serving evolutionary interests.

If naturalism is not the whole picture, then different conclusions would follow, and there might be objectively binding standards beyond self interest. But not otherwise.

And I responded to you with this ...

... post:

Animals do not have the mental capacity to think in terms of law, rights, or objective rules. Only humans do. That being the case, only humans have the ability to purposely plan how society would best function.

This is the whole point of political discussion. Whether one sides with totalitarianism or anarcho-capitalism, the topic is what is best for the individuals who make up "society." Only humans can relate abstract concepts to concrete actions.

Should a society of humans exist in such a way that the physically strongest control the weakest (i.e. law of the jungle)? Should the numerical majority control the minority (i.e. democracy)? Why should any one or group have control over others in the first place (i.e. statism)?

There are only two ways to answer those types of questions: subjectively or objectively. Throughout history, those questions have been answered subjectively. The guy who outlasted the others in battle unilaterally declared he had the right (law of the jungle). When the general populace finally had enough, some propagandist came up with the concept of "divine right of kings," and later "right of the majority" (democracy).

Throughout history, those who did not go along with these statist views have often turned to a different subjective standard: their own subjective belief in a non-provable supernatural entity. They have made the claim that their god dictates what is moral. But ask a simple question, "Can you prove this god of yours exists in the first place?" and the gig is up. It becomes obvious that their view is really nothing but their own subjective standard. This becomes especially clear when they argue with each other over what their non-existent god says, and when they are confronted with new information that contradicts their previous subjective beliefs.

The fact that people -- and cultures of people -- throughout history have not agreed on objective standards only proves that they have not agreed, not that objective standards cannot be discovered.

Subjectivity is what has existed throughout human history. But the fact that primitive people had primitive ideas does not mean it must continue to be that way.

In order to identify objective standards of morality that can be applied to how society "should" exist (this is the subject of politics, after all), one only need contemplate the abstract concept of what would happen within society if we were to universally implement any particular idea.

For example, a right to health care would necessarily include the demand upon health care professionals to work as slaves to benefit others. If it is a right to HAVE health care, this would be the result, whereas if it is a right to PURSUE health care, then those medical professionals must agree voluntarily to provide it.

Life, liberty, and property are the only fundamental rights necessary for a well-functioning society. Anyone who disagrees with these rights as fundamental is a person who wants to control others.

And then the question becomes: What gives you the right to that control?

The libertarian Non-Initiation Principle gets at the heart of the issue with its very simple statement.

Your claim that only two possibilities in human thought can possibly exist -- either Subjective Belief #1 ("Might makes right") or Subjective Belief #2 ("My non-provable, non-existent god says so) -- is absurd on its face.

Libertarians have already identified the three fundamental rights, and have identified the principle that states the concept elegantly.

Maybe you should start reading up on libertarian philosophy before you troll on a libertarian forum.

If you haven't noticed,

If you haven't noticed, what's best for "society" isn't what motivates political behavior. It's what benefits those with power that determines what political structures prevail. Liberty and economic prosperity might for a time coincide with the interests of those in power, but that has been the exception rather than the rule.

Perhaps a small handful of intellectuals wonder night and day about what would be best for society, but they don't have any influence or currency in the academic strongholds. Why should they? What's best for society only has merit if human beings have objective worth as individuals and deserve to have their interests taken into account.

Political science is about social control to maintain the environment best suited to those in power, who are our economic and cultural elite. Whatever scraps of liberty they allow the public to have are based on what profits them, and how much "democracy" they have to permit to exist as a show and as an outlet for popular discontent. But they're doing a good job overall maintaining social control without any revolutionary flare ups.

It just so happens that now some degree of freedom and shared prosperity coincides with the interests of those in power. But in a future world where resources are less plentiful and the world is more crowded, and masses of laborers are not necessary, a different set of interests will prevail and will not necessarily coincide with broad prosperity and political freedom.

The people in power certainly have no deep moral qualms about individual rights, worth, or the best interests of all society. Even if some obscure intellectuals do, they pose no thread to those in power. Incoherent fringe ideologies have no sway and are not even feared as socially disruptive.

The common voter is in no danger of being swept up in the intellectual libertarianism on display here, not because its incoherent but because he doesn't even have the brain power to consider it.

Anyone who still actually believes in individual rights or worth, while accepting naturalism, is just being incoherent and that's why he or she has no influence.

The modicum of good behavior and social conscience the average person has had in centuries past was based on a very simple conception of society, social institutions, and other human beings having some objective worth and being worthy of respect.

Now that the common people are also being trained to believe that there are no objective standards of right and wrong, we will have some interesting times ahead for sure.

Well ...

... you said, "If you haven't noticed, what's best for "society" isn't what motivates political behavior. It's what benefits those with power that determines what political structures prevail."

Right. We agree.

But that is also irrelevant to the topic.

Clearly, the politicians have a standard for arriving at their conclusions about what they "should" do. That standard is a SUBJECTIVE one that is akin to "divine right of kings."

As I stated above in a different post, whether or not a moral conclusion is objective or subjective is based on the STANDARD USED to arrive at the conclusion.

"I can kick that guy's ass, so I have the right to take his stuff" is a subjective STANDARD.

"That guy is violating the rules my god declared, so I have the right to take his stuff" is ALSO a subjective STANDARD.

I reject subjective standards.