What's The Highest Virtue That Society Should Strive Fpr?

I think I'd choose liberty.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Security. The main reason people band together is security.

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    • Mm. Even at the cost of liberty?

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    • Depends. Individual freedom at the cost of national security is stupid, because when the nation goes down, you go down.

    • Gotcha, thanks.

Most Helpful Guys

  • Prudence. The quality or fact of being wise in practical affairs, as by providing for the future and showing caution with regard to practical matters; discretion.

    To quote Edmund Burke: “Prudence is not only the first in rank of the virtues political and moral, but she is the director, the regulator, the standard of them all. Metaphysics cannot live without definition; but prudence is cautious how she defines. Our courts cannot be more fearful in suffering fictitious cases to be brought before them for eliciting their determination on a point of law, than prudent moralists are in putting extreme and hazardous cases of conscience upon emergencies not existing.”

    Prudence, in both the life of the individual and the life of a society allows that society know in what degree all other virtues are necessary and in what proportion they need to be exercised. It restrains also the vices of imperfect beings.

    In that connection, as regards liberty, Burke again points up the problem with making it the central virtue. "The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please. We ought see what it will please them to do before we risk congratulations."

    It is the fallacy of Enlightenment rationalism that if liberty was maximized, that social harmony would follow. It is counterintuitive on its face. "Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty."

    Liberty is a construct that depends upon all sorts of other virtues. In an economic context, it depends on contract law, anti-fraud laws, and much else. In a social contract, it depends upon trust between individuals and a respect for other beings as of inherent worth their own right.

    Prudence is the virtue that balances and harmonizes the other virtues and makes a cohesive society possible. Without it, any other virtue, taken to its extreme, easily becomes a vice.

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    • As always thanks for the well written response. I think this was the most disconcerting quote to me though, ""The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please. We ought see what it will please them to do before we risk congratulations."" Can you explain what that means to you?

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    • It’s a laughing face, my apologies. I grew up in the internet world more or less.

      Yes it’s the whole notion of my right to swing my fist around until it reaches your nose. That simple concept I think covers most all ills.

    • No need to apologize. Just never forget that you are talking to a guy who is in the "gum my dinner" demographic. Cheers!

  • Liberty combined with values and conscience in my case. I don't think freedom is a sufficient condition on its own, but a free society of conscience and values is where I think human suffering will be minimized.

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    • People against liberty often say a free society is "dogs eats dog", "strong exploit the weak", that sort of thing. And that's only maybe somewhat true if the strong lack values. If the strong have values, they don't exploit the weak. They protect the weak.

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    • @goaded Abortion is a tricky one. I'm rather anti-abortion in nature (I even persuaded one of my friends to have her child) and pro-choice in law at the same time. The problem I find with criminalizing abortion is perverse incentives -- which I could go into in detail. But I question the goal. What's the goal?

      What about the pregnant woman who has no desire or love for her child, might eat all the wrong things, smoke, drink, etc? We could try to criminalize every possible thing she might do which isn't beneficial to the child, maybe even put her in a straitjacket until she gives birth as a most extreme example. But then what?

      So I see the goal as teaching her to be a loving and responsible parent -- to want the child. And that's something far beyond the realm of law as I see it.

    • @goaded Kind of tying to that McDonalds analogy, I might be a bit idealistic in wanting to explore values to dissuade people from the most counter-productive and unhealthy behaviors absent law. But there's a realist in me which sees that as maybe the only possible option, that we might not be able to criminalize away these unwanted behaviors with the effects we hoped to achieve. I'd rather focus on instilling people with the right sort of goals and desires to pursue goals which are beneficial to them, and to society as whole, rather than try to outlaw every possible thing which could hinder them from doing that.

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What Girls Said 4

  • Protectiveness - when we seek to protect each other - people are happier and children thrive and become kind and intelligent and ambitious adults.

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    • Hard to say, protection from what? That sounds like a good way to make weak adults who can't deal with conflict.

    • I mean being emotionally sensitive to the welfare of others or being practically helpful.

    • Cool, thanks.

  • every word can be twisted. so i'll leave it at-truth

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  • Integrity

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  • Um, I dunno... We should strive for all virtues. Of course some tend to work opposite to others, which I think is actually a good thing.

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What Guys Said 25

  • To ensure the highest standard of living to the most amount of people while making sure not to trample the rights of anyone along the way.

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  • Truth. Because you cannot have liberty or justice without truth.

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    • Interesting.

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    • Mm. I just find that to be a weird way to word it. Do you think "the desire for truth" is an appropriate way to summarize the value you think should be highest?

    • The relentless pursuit of truth should be the highest virtue yes. Its weirdly worded because I had, and currently still have, stitches in my hand so typing was a bit difficult, couldn't really articulate what I was trying to get at.

  • is that your own personal liberty or everyones liberty?

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    • The assurance of individual liberty guarantees liberty for all.

      What virtue do you propose to be highest?

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    • Yup, have a good day.

    • you too ;)

  • I think as far as the US goes we should take care of our own above all else take care of our vets and all of our citizens keep them safe covered by healthcare in some form stop sending jobs to other countries stop giving foreign aid instead use that money to grow our economy and let our country truly thrive like it should.

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    • Ok... I think you're saying the highest virtue is nationalism? I'm not entirely sure, you listed quite a few things but I was wondering about what you think should be the highest virtue.

    • Highest moral standards for the American people yes it is

    • Cool thanks.

  • Knowledge and reason. We need to educate people to make better decisions. If people knew more, they could make better decisions when electing knowing more about politics.

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  • The highest virtue one can attain is helping your fellow man in times of need, being stout through good and bad, and unconditionally loving of things that you don't believe in sometimes

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  • Basic, agree upon western human rights being maintained consistently.

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  • Awesomeness, possibly Badassery

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    • So if I'm understanding you correctly you think badassery should be the highest value?

    • Yes which is why the Ideal Government would be made of Space Pirate Cowboy Wizards whose goal is to pillage the slave mine government of mars.
      I've had like 3 hours sleep I'm not really up to my usual snuff today

  • To dab on your haters.

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  • Truth.

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    • Care to elaborate?

    • Well, I feel like currently there's a lot of dishonesty when it comes to the world's current problems, or that we just don't know how to solve them, and certain crimes are never brought to light.

    • Cool, thanks.

  • Accountability for Corruption.

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    • So simply accountability?

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    • Sure? Those who supported segregation of schools also thought they were justified. I'm not sure I'm understanding your point. People believe all sorts of silly things.

    • My point is you're correct, but conflict creates a perception of being oppressed, when the factors in stem from the in group clause.

  • You beat me to it.

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  • Justice

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  • Honor.

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  • Humanity

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  • Moral values and just basic human decency

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    • That's quite a broad range of values. IF you had to narrow it down to one value which would you choose?

    • Its broad but its all the same thing. Being a good human is very simple thing to do and its easy to differentiate between good behaviour and bad behaviour.

      If i had to narrow it down... trust. As in, not being a backstabbing cunt. Being someone, friends and family can rely on. If you get what i mean

    • Even then you're still mentioning multiple values, trust, reliability, civility, kindness, etc. To me it sounds like personal responsibility may be a broader term that encompases many of those values. Do you think that is an appropriate summation? Maybe "morality" would be a good single value as well. Actually, that's probably the best way to summarize it... I don't know, sorry for being scatterbrained, just got home.

  • Modesty/simplicity

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  • A reasonable level of equality

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    • Interesting, I'm presuming by equality you're thinking about parity. Is that accurate?

    • Yes indeed
      A little is good enough it is actually healthy for social dynamics but only a little
      Too much is a huge problem

    • Cool, thanks.

  • Civilization

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    • Care to elaborate? Not sure what that means.

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    • In many ways, yes. When I answered, I had in my mind the "mission to civilize" from Aaron Sorkin's "Newsroom"

    • Gotcha, when you said "civilization" my first thought was a sort of expansionist ideology so I was just looking to clarify. Thanks.

  • Stop thr hate and social and economic divisions

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  • Free food, and housing.

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    • So if I understand correctly you think the highest virtue should be charity?

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    • Its unconventional, but I would not use taxes to pay for this, I would just re organise your society, so that I can allocate the resources I need to to start construction and reach targets from year to year. You guys are screwed because you actually believe everything has to have a value, its not true, freedom and dignity are human rights,

    • Freedom is liberty. Freedom to fail is also freedom.
      If you don't want to take my money then no worries. If you're forcing me to do charity then I do have a problem.

  • Love & Peace

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  • kindness

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  • Humanity

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    • What about it?

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    • Canineity isn't a thing. You asked about what virtue society should strive for. I highly doubt by society, you somehow mean animals or animal inclusive, if you did you need to clarify as such before posting. That said, the virtue I chose is "humanity" which is considered a virtue. That is my choice. You can either be an adult and accept it, or you can try and defend your old position.

    • My old position that the term isn’t well defined and I’d like to hear your explanation of what you mean? Alrighty I’ll still hold it.

      That said it appears that this discussion won’t be productive so I’ll just end it here. Have a good day man.

  • Less greed.
    But greed is the motor of Capitalism.

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