One of my first exposures to overtly atheistic reasoning was in some required reading for my 7th grade English class. In the forewords and epilogues of Anthem, a short novel by Ayn Rand, I encountered a primer on Objectivism. The appeal of a worldview that was not based on any notion of the supernatural and which loudly proclaimed that I was morally obligated to not do anything I didn’t want to do was substantial for a teenage boy who really did not enjoy yardwork. For a little while, I lived in a frame of mind that would have leapt at the name “libertarian” on hearing it described. Fortunately, I got better.
For the uninitiated, libertarianism might be thought of as the political outgrowth of Rand’s Objectivism, though it’s actually based on older modes of thought. It is a political philosophy that places personal liberty as paramount, standing in opposition to all forces that would limit or circumscribe that freedom. At least, that’s what its claimants would like us to think it is. And that is the last charitable thing I will say about it or them.