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Modern Liberalism and Civic Health

Modern Liberalism and Civic Health - Potter Hing Potter...

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Potter Hing Potter Tyler Rayne/Dr. Yenor Political Science 141 Human Situation 29 th , April, 2011 The Modern Liberal Order & Civic Health It is safe to conclude that in today’s society of the United States, people value their rights of individuality. After all, it is the principle that we are instilled with from our youth as our parents constantly promoted us to be our own selves. From there, education shows us how to apply our individuality. Finally, in society we apply our learned habits; we make choices to react based upon our own moral convictions and continue to learn of the social rights and responsibilities that follow. It is through the principles of separation of Church and State, personal privacy and civil equality, that our rights of free association and authentic individuality enhance civic health. From John Stuart Mill, he submits that the basic principle, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This simply translates to; treat other people as you would want them to treat yourself. Under this principle, Mill states that we cannot legitimately restrict the liberties of any individual just to secure that person’s interests. We accept this ‘harm’ principle because it is good for individuals, good for society and because nobody else knows what is best for the individual other than themselves. In the application of the Church and State, Mill would support a separation because it would allow people the liberty of free association without religious persecution or prejudicial harm. Mill says that “The principle of freedom cannot require that he should be free to not be free. It is not freedom to be allowed to alienate his freedom” (Mill, 101).
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Potter As we practice this ‘harm’ principle, it contributes to the benefit of civic health by allowing people to expand on their individuality and build their own character. Just as trees benefit from the nutrients in the soil, and expand their branches upwards, humans also must be nurtured with nutritious principles that allow them to expand their personality and abilities. In contradiction, Friedrich Nietzsche submits that governments must retain a connection with the Church, as doing otherwise would undermine civic health with a lack of moral structure. Nietzsche proclaims that “if religion disappears the state will unavoidably lose its ancient Isis veil and cease to excite reverence” (Nietzsche, 173). Because the majority of society is made up of the common “last man,” who wait for every material comforts to be given; we should strive for a higher purpose: the “superman.” The “last man” is the happy man, who rests with
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