"They're trying to force us to leave them alone"

Eugene Volokh writes:

Forcing their religious opinions on us: I must have blogged about this a while ago, but this trope keeps bugging me. "Those fundamentalist Christians are trying to force their religious opinions on us," the argument goes. But that's what most lawmaking is -- trying to turn one's opinions on moral or pragmatic subjects into law.

Gay rights activists are trying to force their opinions on us by making employers not discriminate based on sexual orientation, or by making taxpayers pay for various marriage-related benefits for same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples. Civil rights activists forced their opinions about race and sex discrimination on private employers, landlords, and business owners.

Nor are libertarians immune, unless they're anarchists (though even the anarchists are willing to force their opinions through the use of deadly force, even if not through legislation). After all, laws against breach of contract, theft, rape, murder, and the like also involve the defenders of those laws forcing their opinions on the rest of us.

There is a clear difference between using force in self-defense vs. using aggressive force, just as there is a difference between defensive killing and murder. I take Eugene's point that different moral choices drive public policy debates. However, I have to take issue with the last paragraph quoted above. To lump in libertarians with those on the right-left axis is a mischaracterization of what "to force" really means. Libertarians want to take away aggressive force from politics. They are not "forcing" moral opinions upon others, but rather want morality to be based on personal decisions - something that cannot happen without being given a choice.

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And I have to take issue

And I have to take issue with:

"They are not "forcing" morals upon others, but rather want moralily to be based on personal decisions - something that cannot happen without being given a choice."

I agree that principled libertarians don't force anything on anyone, but you don't want the morality of rape or theft to be decided based on a personal decison that those actions are okay, do you?

And we both know that our

And we both know that our differences are a matter of terminology unlike the criticism I have of Eugene, which is one of concepts.

"To lump in libertarians

"To lump in libertarians with those on the right-left axis is a mischaracterization of what "to force" really means. Libertarians want to take away aggressive force from politics."

That's probably only true for a fairly small subset of libertarians. As a minarchist Radley Balko may want to reduce aggressive force in politics but he does not want to eliminate it and clearly is prepared to endorse the use of agressive political force to secure what he judges needs securing.