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A Guide to Imposing Your Morals on Others Without Feeling Guilty About It
Family Reporter ^ | 4/7/04 | Editor, Family Reporter (www.familyreporter.com)

Posted on 04/08/2004 10:01:03 AM PDT by Vitamin A

A Guide to Imposing Your Morals on Others Without Feeling Guilty About It

By: Editor, Family Reporter

"You can't impose your morals on other people!" These days you can't participate in a political debate without hearing that argument. Those who lack any religious convictions commonly pull out this popular but unreasoned slogan as a "trump card" to shut down any argument informed by Judeo-Christian principles. And far too often, those of us who hold to faith-based moral principles fail to appreciate the intellectual justification for our advocating that government enforce our view of morality. Too often we feel guilty for taking moral stances because we mistakenly think that promoting laws based upon our morals violates others' freedom. Well, I'm here to tell you that you and every other American can and should try to impose your morals on society, and this guide's purpose is to explain why you should do so without feeling any guilt about it.

Full Article Here


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: debate; liberalbs

1 posted on 04/08/2004 10:01:05 AM PDT by Vitamin A
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To: Vitamin A
That is certainly a different moral belief than most Americans have, but PETA has every right to advocate that moral belief and to attempt to change Americans' minds. And if a majority of Americans ever agree with them, they will be able to impose their animal-friendly morals on the rest of us because that is simply the cost of living in a democracy governed by majority rule.

Bad example. Democracies are not simply majority rule, they also involve protection of minority rights.

In a majority vegetarian society, banning meat would be a violation of a minority's rights. Just as a majority meat-eating society would be in the wrong to vote to force vegetarians to eat meat, as that would be a violation of minority rights.

Abortion is a different matter because abortion involves the destruction of a life (or potential life or whatever term you want to use). That's a clash of rights that may be resolved through the political process, whether or not moral issues are involved. It only becomes a matter of individual autonomy if one assumes the fetus has no standing.

There is a lot of confusion about democracy, and this article adds to that confusion. For instance, if a majority in Iraq elects an Islamofascist leader, that does not mean the leader has the right to abrogate minority rights in the constitution and establish a dictatorship.

Minority rights are very important, in fact essential to the functioning of any democracy or republic.

2 posted on 04/08/2004 10:08:00 AM PDT by Numbers Guy
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To: Vitamin A
read and print later
3 posted on 04/08/2004 10:08:00 AM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: All

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4 posted on 04/08/2004 10:10:07 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Vitamin A
What about those that don't like my morals? Should I still try to impose them?
5 posted on 04/08/2004 10:10:24 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: Vitamin A
the cost of living in a democracy governed by majority rule

That's why the Founders explicitly rejected the idiocy of "democracy" in favor of a Constitutional Republic.

The author of this twaddle wouldn't know history or intellectual rigor if they each simultaneously bit him on one butt-cheek.

6 posted on 04/08/2004 10:14:56 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: Numbers Guy
The example is a sound one, read more carefully. It says that if PETA is right about meat being MURDER, and they convinced a majority of Americans that was true, then they would have the right to ban meat eating because the majority can ban MURDER. This is the same thing we conservatives say about why abortion should be illegal--it is murdering a fetus. And the debate is over whether a fetus, or in this example an animal, has the right to life. And the answer to those moral questions have always been decided by our collective moral judgment, at least until the Supreme Court stepped in and took that moral judgment away from the states.

Yes, minority rights exist and are protected, but that is not an absolute that protects minority groups from having morals imposed upon them across the board. Protection of minority rights is an exception to the general rule of majority rule. And besides I think it will be difficult for you to find a fundamental vested right in meat-eating in the constitution.
7 posted on 04/08/2004 10:20:34 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Numbers Guy
Precisely. One of the fundamental errors committed by this author is to separate the use of force from any moral context (ironic, given the author's bleatings about "morality"). By this author's majoritarian standard, the 9-11 Massacre and the invasion of Afghanistan are morally equivalent -- the majority of the Taliban approved of the former and the majority of the American electorate approved of the latter.
8 posted on 04/08/2004 10:20:41 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: steve-b
I guess you don't realize how many aspects of your life are already governed by majority rule. You appear to be under the false belief that being in a Constitutional Republic shields you from majority rule.

Think about it. You can't hire a prostitute because the majority says so. You can't marry your sister because the majority says so. You can't be a deadbeat dad and fail to pay child support because the majority says so. You can't sell cocaine because the majority says so. And on and on and on. Yes there are a few select areas where you are immune to majority rule, like choosing whom to worship and owning a gun, etc. But being in a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC means you are subject to majority rule with some narrow exceptions where you are shielded from majority rule as outlined in the Bill of Rights.
9 posted on 04/08/2004 10:24:29 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: steve-b
I didn't know that Afghanistan and the USA were the same country and had co-equal authority to decide moral matters.
10 posted on 04/08/2004 10:25:41 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
The example is a sound one, read more carefully. It says that if PETA is right about meat being MURDER, and they convinced a majority of Americans that was true, then they would have the right to ban meat eating because the majority can ban MURDER.

Nope, the example is still bogus, because the author does not require that majority rule shall be limited to cases where this is an issue. Indeed, the author rejects the very notion of principled limits to an extent that makes Bill Clinton look like George Washington.

Protection of minority rights is an exception to the general rule of majority rule.

On the contrary -- in a free republic, "majority rule" is the exception to the general rule of individual liberty.

And besides I think it will be difficult for you to find a fundamental vested right in meat-eating in the constitution.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

11 posted on 04/08/2004 10:27:20 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: Vitamin A
Well, then, you're beginning to understand the fundamental fallacy of the author's rationalization. There is hope for you yet.
12 posted on 04/08/2004 10:28:15 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: Vitamin A
But being in a DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC means you are subject to majority rule with some narrow exceptions

That is indeed how things worked in the various "democratic republics" such as the DDR.

13 posted on 04/08/2004 10:29:26 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: steve-b
Not only that, but by the author's standard, those Muslim Arab countries that virtually ban the practice of any other religion are perfectly within their rights, since presumably a majority of their populations agree that the worship of any god other than Allah is immoral.
14 posted on 04/08/2004 10:29:51 AM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: steve-b
I guess you didn't read the whole article because near the end he uses an example of certain rights that can't be violated by majority rule, such as choosing one's own religious observance.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Sweet! I guess I have a right to smoke pot and use cocaine because the constitution doesn't say otherwise! It is that same screwy logic that allows liberal judges to read all kinds of "rights" into the constitution.
15 posted on 04/08/2004 10:31:29 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: steve-b
A GOOD LESSON FOR THE FUTURE: READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE BEFORE YOU PICK OUT ONE SENTENCE OR PARAGRAPH AND START RANTING ABOUT IT. YOU'LL FIND THAT THE AUTHOR ADDRESSES MINORITY RIGHTS USING THE EXAMPLE OF RELIGIOUS WORSHIP NEAR THE END OF THE ARTICLE.
16 posted on 04/08/2004 10:42:38 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
First: Look for a key called "CAPS LOCK". It's probably at the far left side of the middle row. Press it, *once*.

Now that you can write normally again, perhaps you can quote the portion of the article where the author expresses the opinion that it would be morally wrong to compel people to follow the religious preferences of the majority.

17 posted on 04/08/2004 10:52:59 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: steve-b
"But the Constitution . . . prohibits government from forcing religious observance in a way that violates our freedom of conscience."
18 posted on 04/08/2004 10:57:53 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
BUMP
19 posted on 04/08/2004 10:59:46 AM PDT by kitkat
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To: Vitamin A
Er, nope. The author simply reports this as a neutral statement with no indication of either approval or disapproval.
20 posted on 04/08/2004 11:03:33 AM PDT by steve-b
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To: Vitamin A
I ask them in return, should government impose their amorality then? It is just as imposing. Very convenient of them to define us out of the debate.
21 posted on 04/08/2004 11:04:50 AM PDT by King Black Robe
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To: steve-b
Then I guess you also missed this part:

" "Okay," says the more intellectually honest liberal, "I'll concede that just because a moral happens to be advocated by religious groups doesn't disqualify it from being enforced by government. But there has to be some reason for enforcing a moral other than just that "God says it's wrong," because even religious people disagree about who and what God is and what He/She/It says is right and wrong." Finally our atheistic liberal friend is starting to advocate a more sound position. He'll probably be disappointed to learn, however, that as luck or divine design would have it, religious morals are almost always aimed at preventing some negative impact on society in addition to "saving your soul." For example, one cannot reasonably disagree that if the world practiced Judeo-Christian morals concerning sex (including more Jews and Christians themselves), we would not have nearly as big a problem as we do today with sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy, out of wedlock births, or broken homes."

22 posted on 04/08/2004 11:06:03 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
This is the same thing we conservatives say about why abortion should be illegal--it is murdering a fetus.

Which is precisely why you cannot get a liberal to agree that a fetus is a human being. That admission would be the first step to enlightenment or accepting guilt.

23 posted on 04/08/2004 11:07:20 AM PDT by JimRed (Fight election fraud! Volunteer as a local poll watcher, challenger or district official.)
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To: All
http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/social_issues/morality.htm

Greg Koukl of Stand To Reason has written an article entitled "How to Force Your Morality" that does a way better job of dealing with this issue.
24 posted on 04/08/2004 11:09:03 AM PDT by RUCKUS INC. ("Bartender can I get another round of Daisy Cutters and MOABS for my boys in the turbans...")
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To: Vitamin A
Because the majority of us are almost always right in our collective moral judgment

An utterly foolish, and false, assumption.

25 posted on 04/08/2004 11:09:12 AM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: Sloth
I agree!!!
26 posted on 04/08/2004 11:10:39 AM PDT by RUCKUS INC. ("Bartender can I get another round of Daisy Cutters and MOABS for my boys in the turbans...")
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To: Sloth
Then I guess Sloth and Ruckus are very comfortable with the current trend of a few unelected elitist judges deciding these issues from us instead of the majority.
27 posted on 04/08/2004 11:12:19 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
Why do you say that?
28 posted on 04/08/2004 11:15:19 AM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: Sloth
Because you voiced such strong opposition to the notion that the majority is almost always right in its collective moral judgment. If you believe that is wrong, then you must be relieved that judges, rather than the majority, are making the laws today.
29 posted on 04/08/2004 11:21:23 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Numbers Guy
There is equally a lot of confusion about morality and the founders take on it. They were not neutral on the issue. They wanted to create a fertile ground where morality could grow and prosper. That's why they were so concerned about protecting the free expression of religion while denying any right to enforce a particular one. But the left has successfully redefined "free expression" into meaning coercion. Under the left's definition, if you say the name "God" you are coercive, but if you teach school children that homosexuality is jim-dandy, you are not coercive.
30 posted on 04/08/2004 11:29:32 AM PDT by King Black Robe
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To: Vitamin A
Very poor reasoning. My recognition that tyranny of the majority is evil does not preclude that judicial tyranny is even more evil.
31 posted on 04/08/2004 11:34:25 AM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: King Black Robe
Just a couple days ago I read an article about how the Supreme Court declined hearing a case where a boy had gotten in trouble for handing out "Jesus" pencils at school. Can you believe we are litigating such nonsense. What a coercive act! How dare he?! And in a PUBLIC school! Government coercion!
32 posted on 04/08/2004 11:50:16 AM PDT by Vitamin A (Family values news & activism: www.familyreporter.com)
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To: Vitamin A
Exactly!
33 posted on 04/08/2004 12:20:13 PM PDT by King Black Robe
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To: steve-b
John Adams: We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other

Samuel Adams: A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.

Frederic Bastiat: When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law.

Edmund Burke; Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.

Edmund Burke: There never was a bad man that had ability for good service.

Alexis de Tocqueville: ... liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

One example: nudity laws. Why do we have them? If one person wants to be naked in public, what should that matter to anyone else? It doesn't "hurt" them. ahhhhh....but it hurts their sense of morals. It would break down the general morals of society. THAT would be harmful, not helpful to liberty. And it would violate the liberty of the majority that does not wish to have an immoral public environment.

34 posted on 04/08/2004 3:38:18 PM PDT by King Black Robe
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