morality In many threads this topic has come up many times. Your morality is not my morality, you can't tell me what morals to have or what to believe. What exactly are morals? Dictionary.com defines moral as: [*]Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: moral scrutiny; a moral quandary. [*]Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior: a moral lesson. [*]Conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior; virtuous: a moral life. [*]Arising from conscience or the sense of right and wrong: a moral obligation. [*]Having psychological rather than physical or tangible effects: a moral victory; moral support. [*]Based on strong likelihood or firm conviction, rather than on the actual evidence: a moral certainty. For the purposes of this thread, these are the definitions I will use. So, the questions I will pose in this thread is: What place do morals have in government? Who decides what morals are good or bad? Who decides what morals are ok for elected officials to incorporate in their public service? Is it right or fair to subject people to ones' system of morals? Is it possible to have a fair, just society in which no one is subject to the morals of others if they contradict ones morals? Lots of questions I know but, I think you can't really discuss one thoroughly without touching the others. Personally, I believe morals have a very important part in society and thusly, in the governing body. I don't feel morals are based in religion. I think religious people tend to be identified by their morals and, as a consequence, their morals are identified by their religion. I think morals just are. There are some things that are wrong, no matter what your religion is, no matter what you might think or believe. Some morals are absolutes. Murder is wrong. I think we can all agree to that one right? Now I'm being very specific. I'm talking murder as the unlawful taking of innocent life. This is not including execution or the killing of someone who unlawfully endangers you or your family and property. It does include wreckless accidental killing but not purely accidental killing. **** is wrong. No matter what label you give it or the circumstances in which it happened, forcing someone into having sex with you against their will and taking something very personal from them is about the most horrid personal violation someone can be subject to. Can we agree to that? Theft is wrong. Taking something that does not belong to you because you want it. I don't think this is ever justified. I think it can be understood in extreme and urgent cases of need (food for hunger for example). Otherwise, theft is wrong. So the list could go on but I'll stop there. There are somethings that are right or wrong, regardless of where you grow up or what your culture says. This is not saying something may or may not be legal. This thread is not about debating the legality of any of these things or of other things relating to morality. This thread is strictly about whether something is right or wrong, not legal or illegal. That is another thread. So, without waxing all scholarly and making this a 15 page post, I'll just post my opinions and answers to these questions and open it up for discussion. Please keep discussion civil and respectful. We're duscussing morals, not something that can or needs to be proven. Much of what is expressed in here will be opinion. If you want your opinion respected, extend that courtesy to others. Even if you don't care about your opinion, others care about theirs. Respect the opinions and beliefs of others or don't post. What place do morals have in government? If the government is to govern, it should be just, lawful and moral. We've outlawed murder, theft and ****. Those are all issues of right and wrong, which makes them moral issues. It's my opinion that the government has a reponsibility and obligation to govern in a morally upright fashion first and to serve the people second. The will of the masses is not always the right way to go. Who decides what morals are good or bad? This gets into legislating morality and imposing it on others. Who decides what is morally right or morally wrong? I don't think any of us can. I think those are already determined. We are given a trait that tells us right from wrong. Religious people call it the light of Christ or the companionship of the holy ghost or conscience. Non-religious usually call it their conscience. What is right and wrong was determined long before any of us were here, long before any of our great-great-grandparents were here. If you are not a believer in God and creation. You believe morality evolved as man did. That humans as sentient beings are capable of choosing something to be right or wrong. If this were the case, it's easy to see how ones set of morals can and usually are mutually exclusive from another's. Since there is no one source for what is right or wrong, no one can tell another what is right or wrong. In that sense, morality cannot be legislated justly because no one set of morals will be identical to another. Close enough to agree on many things, but not all things. In this way, someone's morality will always be imposed on those who do not share it. If this was the way it was, I would not want that. If you are a believer in God and creation, you know what is right and wrong has existed long before the creation. It is given to each of us to know right from wrong, from the time Eve partook of the tree of good and evil and convinced Adam to do likewise, man has had the ability to know good from evil. In this way, morality can be legislated fairly because it comes from the same source. It is why we all agree ****, murder, theft are wrong. In this sense, the only people who are against the legislation of morality are the ones who would want to violate it. This is why most religious people are adamantly against abortion, homosexuality and *** marriage. Because it violates some of our deepest held morals and standards. People who are not religious sometimes have a hard time understanding how we can be so narrowsighted and bigoted but, from the eyes of a religious person, we are simply upholding our morals and standards. Who decides what morals are ok for elected officials to incorporate in their public service? We do. We elect the people who serve. The people who are in office are there because enough people thought they should be there. If someone is elected to office, by default, they are there because it was the will of the people. This is why I don't agree with the relentless bashing of some of our government officials. If we don't want someone there, we take them out of office, it's that simple. If we can't, then obviously enough people don't want them out. So, if we elect someone to office, we give them authority to govern in accordance with their conscience and morals. Is it right or fair to subject people to ones' system of morals? From my point of view, yes. It's also impossible to not do. If you put a person in office who's religious and whose decisions are influenced by their morals and beliefs, the people will be subject to those morals. Some will agree and some won't. If you put a non-religious person in office who does not govern in accordance with their beliefs and morals, some of the population will still be having morals they do not agree with imposed on them because the will of the majority will be followed and some of those choices will be contrary to the morals of some. It is impossible to rule a people and not have morals imposed on people who don't agree with them. Is it possible to have a fair, just society in which no one is subject to the morals of others if they contradict ones morals? In my opinion, no. A just and fair society cannot exist without morals, without rulers who govern with high morals and standards. In my opinion, our society is not just and fair because our government does not govern with high morals and standards. It has bent itself too far to the will of the people; which is nice for some because it allows them to do as they want, legally with no reprocussions. For others, it is a sign and reminder of what happens in every society and nation before it collapses from within and is finally destroyed from without. I would not and do not want to live in a society where the will of the people was obeyed at every turn. There needs to be a line drawn and that line needs to be unbending, even if it offends and inconveniences some people. Feel free to comment on my thoughts and/or add discussion of your own. However, I would as again that you remain respectful of the opinions of people in here. If you make a statement of fact, please support it. If it is your belief or opinion, make it known that it is such. Have at it.