Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Virtue, and Freedom: You can’t have one without the other (part 1)

The Original Design

A truly free society would not have a government, but our founding fathers, were forced to settle necessarily for a government which protects inalienable rights so an individual can be as free as is possible in a fallen world. This was the original design. The most limited government possible to protect the rights God has given to every man. The minimal amount of laws so that the individuals inalienable rights are protected.

Thomas Paine Wrote:

“Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

The republic founded by our fathers of old had minimal laws toward the individual which would restrain the vices that represent a threat to said rights. But even this form of government was as Paine puts it “in its best state a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one”.

According to Paine, governments are instituted to restrain vices. The implication in this statement is that there exist vices to be restrained. Transgressing against a law results in new layers of law which further restrict ones freedom . This example can be seen clearly in the life of a criminal who eventually breaks laws, until he is imprisoned by them. Even in prison, were freedom is so limited, further law breaking will eventuate in isolation, an even smaller cell with zero freedom. In the natural world, the size of our prison is determined by our submission to the existing law. The general idea however, was minimal government, maximum freedom. But, there is always a catch. There exists a requisite for such a free society. This requisite, was virtue. This I believe is what Benjamin Frankly meant when he said “We have founded for you a republic, if you can keep it”

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