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Civic Responsibility V. Moral Obligation

Evak
Posts: 1
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12/2/2015 12:42:32 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I really just need help from all of you.

Do we as a society have a civic responsibility to our community? I need both sides of the argument.

and do we as a society have a moral obligation to help our community? Again, I need both sides.

I am having trouble finding people who are against either topic. I sit on the fence on both and I need people who are a hard "Yes" or a hard "No" on either topic and please explain!

Thank you!
TBR
Posts: 9,991
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12/2/2015 12:48:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 12:42:32 AM, Evak wrote:
I really just need help from all of you.

Do we as a society have a civic responsibility to our community? I need both sides of the argument.

and do we as a society have a moral obligation to help our community? Again, I need both sides.

I am having trouble finding people who are against either topic. I sit on the fence on both and I need people who are a hard "Yes" or a hard "No" on either topic and please explain!

Thank you!

Spend some time reading on determinism. This will give you the into to the con argument for moral responsibility.
YYW
Posts: 36,282
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12/2/2015 1:08:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 12:42:32 AM, Evak wrote:
I really just need help from all of you.

Do we as a society have a civic responsibility to our community? I need both sides of the argument.

and do we as a society have a moral obligation to help our community? Again, I need both sides.

I am having trouble finding people who are against either topic. I sit on the fence on both and I need people who are a hard "Yes" or a hard "No" on either topic and please explain!

Thank you!

There are essentially two schools of thought at opposite ends of the spectrum, and varying degrees in support in the middle.

Imagine it like this:

[Complete obligation to individual]==========<balanced obligation to individual and society>==========[complete obligation to society]

Most people reasonably fall between the two poles.

On the far left end of this spectrum (do not confuse this spectrum with a the difference between the political left and right, because it's not the same thing), you've got people who are going to make arguments that individuals are the foundational social unit --meaning that society is built on and composed of individuals. You can call them "individualists."

On the far right end of this spectrum (again, not to be confused with the political right), you've got people who believe that society is properly regarded as a "whole," rather than just the sum of its parts. These people are the "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" types. They're collectivists, in contrast with individualists.

So, the issue is to what extent every person owes a duty (moral, ethical, or whatever) to his fellow man.

Individualistic societies, if they recognize any duties at all, will generally believe that the duties people owe each other are minimal; often no more than what is minimally adequate to ensure equal liberty among individuals. Said another way, the duties that individualistic societies are going to recognize are going to be only those which are necessary to ensure equal individual rights to life, liberty, and property. These rights are often "negative" rights, meaning that they do not require affirmative action on the part of another. They only require that would-be offenders refrain from acting in ways which intrude on another's enjoyment of equal and commensurate rights. So, in such a society, I have a civic duty not to intrude on your property or take your money because it's yours, for example. Similarly, money I earn, then, serves my interests and only my interests. I have complete control over it. If I see you dying of starvation, I have no obligation to do anything. I simply see you, and move on. Here, the only incentive to work is to make money. You have the freedom to make as much as you want, but you're also free to starve.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, collectivist societies, will recognize all possible duties that individual people could conceivably owe to another to ensure political, social, and economic equality. (This is what communism, at least in theory, aspires to do.) These rights are necessarily "positive" because they explicitly and unavoidably require that each and every person engage in affirmative acts to ensure material, economic and social equality. In such a society, I have a duty to give you my money and my property to ensure that you also have money and property whether I earned my money and property or not. The affirmative act is the transfer, or the non-possession (read: surrender) of money and property. Depending on how far on the spectrum we're going to go, I may not have to give you all my money and property, but the reality is that money and property were never "mine" because even though in, for example, a capitalist society I might have earned compensation for my labor, for example, I am not entitled to the product of my labor. In the alternative, my labor in that instance serves "the greater collective good." So, no dying on the street. Here, the government is likely going to ensure that all people are working to maximal efficiency.

A balance between these two poles exists, for example--though this is not the only example--in "mixed economies" which endeavor to harmonize the benefits of both systems and minimize the harms of both systems. In such instances, I will work and I will keep some of my money, but I'll pay some of it to the Government in taxes to keep things running smoothly, and to keep the economy conducive to my continued ability to make money. The money is mine, and if I see you on the sidewalk starving, I might buy you a sandwich, or a government program might help you find a job so you're not on the street. So, you're free to make a whole lot of money, but you don't really have to starve if you're unable to do that.
Tsar of DDO
Wylted
Posts: 21,167
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12/2/2015 1:09:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/2/2015 12:42:32 AM, Evak wrote:
I really just need help from all of you.

Do we as a society have a civic responsibility to our community? I need both sides of the argument.

and do we as a society have a moral obligation to help our community? Again, I need both sides.

I am having trouble finding people who are against either topic. I sit on the fence on both and I need people who are a hard "Yes" or a hard "No" on either topic and please explain!

Thank you!

I'm against both propositions
BlackFlags
Posts: 904
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12/2/2015 1:19:13 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I argued against civil responsibility once on Edeb8 and three times here. Except two of those times we called it "social obligation"

Moral obligation essentially ties into the concept of civil responsibility, but civil responsibility narrows the scope of burden to only include helping fellow members of one's nation. I am also against this.

It would be nice if people would just stop acting self righteous. The world would be a much better place.