Comment: How about the dictionary definition:

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How about the dictionary definition:

on·to·log·i·cal   [on-tl-oj-i-kuhl] Show IPA
of or pertaining to ontology, the branch of metaphysics that studies the nature of existence or being as such; metaphysical: Some of the U.S. founders held an ontological belief in natural rights.

This is the meaning I had in mind. "The nature of existence or being" captures the idea best I think. The questions who am I? why am I here? etc. all come under the heading of ontological questions. That is why I describe ontological freedom as being personal, real and permanent.

Insofar as "developing a more secular approach to discussing liberty with others" yes, that is something that is necessary and why political liberty is useful for doing that. As I said it is a legal fiction like "equality" that serves a useful purpose. However for those of us who have an ontological position that guides our thinking when judging intellectual arguments we must be prepared to disclose our presuppositions at some point if our interlocutor appears to be open to it.

Ron Paul has created a very specific political platform based upon the political liberty afforded him in the founding documents of the United States. It has therefore a limited objective that is to create the political conditions in which personal ontological liberty can be, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is why he emphasises that the preeminent role of government is to protect these natural rights. The founding fathers understood this because they had come out of conditions in Europe where different ontological beliefs had led to wars and oppression. Nevertheless all of these beliefs were spiritual in nature and indeed largely so called Christian beliefs.

Unfortunately, as Dr. Paul has observed in his farewell speech, this political liberty led to the pursuit of purely materialistic goals and the acceptance of materialist ontological beliefs such as evolution and socialism. As I noted above this led to beliefs in false ideas of financial, material and sexual liberty and the consequent growth in government to support them and enforce them. The ultimate enabler of this growth of government was the introduction of elastic money via the Federal Reserve System with its potential for easy credit and the acquisition of a theretofore unimagined cornucopia of delights and conveniences appealing to the very desires that bind us and at the same time leading the people into debt slavery.

Dr. Paul has proposed certain monetary changes that will roll back the political gains made by the materialist philosophy but the important thing for us to remember is that the introduction of ontological beliefs into the political arena is what led to this situation in the first place. In a sense America is back where the founding fathers were as they wrestled with the problem of containing the conflict between differing ontological beliefs.

If we are going to live in peace together then this distinction must be made between political liberty and ontological liberty. Political liberty, properly understood can be agreed upon by everyone while the latter, freely debated, must be protected by the law. Each person must be allowed to pursue their own path towards discovering who they are and why they are here and all the actions that arise from that discovery. This must be free of any government interference whatsoever which includes the public education system. Governments must make no laws taking sides in the debate about ontological issues. This is surely the meaning of the First Amendment.

When you think about it this is a big task and it has only just begun. I am not sure that I have made the distinctions as clear as I might have done but I do believe that Ron Paul has contributed mightily to the advancement of the political liberty movement and if we stick to the political platform he has crafted then in time the result will be what we want to see in society.

Thanks for the stimulating discussion. It has made me think about things in a different way.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)