George H. Smith explains how some leading Christian theologians justified the death penalty for heretics and blasphemers.
George H. Smith
George H. Smith was formerly Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Humane Studies, a lecturer on American History for Cato Summer Seminars, and Executive Editor of Knowledge Products. Smith's fourth and most recent book, The System of Liberty, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2013.
Smith summarizes the arguments of delegates as to whether the slave trade should be prohibited in the Constitution.
George H. Smith explains the similarities between medieval heresy and our modern notion of treason against the state.
Smith explains some features of the slave trade and the constitutional provision that it would not be banned in America for at least 20 years.
Augustine argued that religious persecution was justified when done in the interest of the salvation of those persecuted.
Smith discusses some controversies over slavery during the framing of the Constitution, especially the three-fifths clause.
Smith discusses some major controversies provoked by the debate over ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
Smith discusses some early justifications of slavery and how they repudiated natural rights.
Smith discusses Spooner’s secular theory of natural law and his belief that no legislation is valid unless it conforms to natural law.
With his 250th essay, Smith interrupts his series on abolitionism to offer some reflections on writing essays.
Smith details the scholarly debate between Lysander Spooner and Wendell Phillips over the constitutionality of slavery.
George H. Smith begins his series on the historical relationship between religious skepticism and libertarianism.
Nassau William Senior was an important British economist who contributed to theories of utility, political economy, and value.
George H. Smith discusses what Bernard Mandeville meant in saying that private vices produce public benefits, and how Francis Hutcheson criticized that theory.
The Philosophic Radicals, including Jeremy Bentham, were British reformers generally supporting Benthian utilitarianism and democratic change.
Franz Oppenheimer, a German sociologist, wrote a comprehensive explanation of the history of the state as a history of conquest.
George H. Smith discusses Bernard Mandeville’s defense of legal prostitution and other vices.
Bernard Mandeville’s controversial essays and allegories raised questions about justice and socially or morally virtuous actions.