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152. Where’s The Line Between Politics And Morality?

When can we legislate an opinion? Who is to say that an opinion is a fact? The left has long called to bring the personal into politics, while also calling to keep politics away from people’s private decisions. These two things cannot exist together in one’s mind.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

-Plato

After a long Twitter discussion, I realized that this was the question at the heart of the debate. Is there a point that we can legislate morality? If so, what is that point? And, is there really an objective morality that can be applied in politics?

Abortion Politics

The discussion I found myself in was one about abortion, whether one can be personally opposed to it, but legislatively allow it. I think this principle is sound, but that it has limits. Here’s the tweet:

I’m personally pro-life but legislatively pro-choice. Does that make sense?

tweet by @Smallgovdude

Legislation and Politics

So, today we’ll take a look at this principle to see if there is a threshold that allows us to “legislate morality.” And, I want to look at the political situation to see what is and what isn’t appropriate to legislate. This is an important discussion if we are to have a functioning society.

Personal Beliefs

We can have beliefs about what is right and wrong, and we should. We ought to learn about the world and living properly in it. That is a virtuous and noble endeavor. And, I think that it is useful to engage in dialogue with others about the beliefs we hold. That is when it turns toward politics because politics is the way in which we learn how to live together.

Political Opinions

Our political opinions are those opinions about right and wrong, and how they ought to be enacted in society. Our beliefs on politics are not simply what is wrong or right. Instead, it’s whether or not that action should be punished, how it ought to be regulated, and who is required to follow those rules. This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and it is here that we begin to decide what is right and wrong for society.

When Politics and Personal Meet

When we start to go from our personal beliefs to the political ones, it can be hard to have that discussion. If we talk about banning something or punishing an action, there are others who will be affected, and they may take that personally. It’s important to be delicate but clear in these discussions so we can let people know we aren’t attacking them, but are trying to curb the effect of something that is wrong or harmful.

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219. Why a Political Philosophy Is Important | Natural Law by Lysander Spooner Conversation of Our Generation

Our society has a problem discussing politics and political ideas, and I think I know the issue. Our country has divided itself on many issues, but that's nothing new. However, nowadays few people have a political philosophy underpinning their beliefs. I think that is at the root of the issue. If we had firm foundations, it would be easier to hear opposing viewpoints. But, when we build our ideas on foundations of sand, we have to stop them from washing away. Read more here: https://conversationofourgeneration.com/2021/05/07/why-a-political-philosophy-is-important–natural-law-by-lysander-spooner/ What is Political Philosophy? Political philosophy is a grounding in how you view the world. Basically, it acts as a framework to which you can attach your ideas. From there, you can build an understanding of the world by attaching new information to the framework. It also gives you a set of first principles for discussing politics. Buy your copy of Natural Law by Lysander Spooner here>> What is Natural Law? Natural law is Aristotle's political philosophy, Locke's political philosophy, and the basis for many other great thinkers. Lysander Spooner's work, Natural Law, is a great way to learn more about how Natural Law operates in a political context. It's a short book, and I think anyone would benefit from reading it. People who do not understand Natural Law, would learn a lot about it, even if they don't believe it from this work. What is My Political Philosophy? I adhere to an understanding of Natural Law that the moral truths and political truths are discoverable like science. I also believe in a broad basis of liberty for all men, and think it should be a top priority in political discussions. Also, I have faith in the common people in many ways, as long as they aren't led to believe falsities by the powerful elites. I fall in line with thinkers like Aristotle, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Roger Scruton, and others. Whose political philosophy is reflected in the Declaration of Independence? The ideas reflected in the Declaration of Independence are the ideas I discussed above. The Declaration of Independence includes ideas from Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and others. It is a call to liberty and justice for all, and laid the groundwork for American self-governance. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 219. Why a Political Philosophy Is Important | Natural Law by Lysander Spooner
  2. 218. Political Division in America – What's Causing it, and How Do We Fix It?
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  6. 214. Finding Purpose As A Man In A Culture Hostile To Masculinity
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  10. 210. Political Action and the Call to "Do Something"

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