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The Forum > Article Comments > Prosperity and rights, but no morals > Comments

Prosperity and rights, but no morals : Comments

By Mirko Bagaric, published 30/5/2006

Leaving people to die; not coming to the aid of those in distress - what happened to the common good?

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It's funny really that US style Christian sects led the way to individual freedom and responsibility are now they are at the fore front of a back lash against it.
It was I think an over reaction against what they believed was a godless socialist movement in the early part of last century. Good socialist however have always placed great stead on individual rights and obligations. Whether right or left in their political leading, the problem is as cities grow larger enforcing social norms through peer pressure become impossible. However we still see that in small towns, and thatís why I love living in 400 odd kms from a capital city. When people ask me how I am they actually want to hear the answer.
Posted by Kenny, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 9:17:40 AM
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Kenny,

*WARNING* 'Bible verse coming up'

13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature[a]; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."[b] 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Gal 5:13

Mirko said:

"This disappointing trend will continue until the concept of the common good replaces the notion of individual rights as the basic moral currency."

The problem is, without a divine 'prod' to show us 'this' is the way- walk ye in it, we end up with a Dr Jayant Patell, someone who clearly felt that the only person he had to answer to was......himself.
Our natural inclination is to look after number 1.

The idea of the common good, is something we generally see in communities like the bush, where each person knows that unless they pitch in when their neighbour is down, he might not be inclined to pitch in when 'we' are down.

Cities have taken this sense of interdependance away from us. Community spirit is broken down. While we do have community organizations where we might, if we are lucky, see such a mutual helpfulness, generally when ur house burns down its left to the insurance company to fix.

I see Churches which are living as Christ would have them, maintaining the attitude of picking up the downtrodden, but interestingly, they don't do it for reasons people in the bush do, (as alluded to above) as in helping others or they won't help you, no.. they do it because (*Bible Verse warning*) 'The love of Christ constrains us' .. we are motivated not by the fear that we won't be helped, but by the love which Christ places in our hearts.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 9:50:51 AM
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My heart sank when I read this

>>Remarkably the jury of public opinion is still out on the propriety of such conduct.<<

Surely we haven't sunk that low yet? To walk past someone who is dying, simply so that we might be "given a heroís welcome" in our home town is one of the most appalling acts imaginable. The fact that stopping to help would in no way increase the danger to themselves, merely deprive them of subsequent bragging rights, makes it even more despicable.

And the jury is still out on this? Say it isn't so.

Mr Bagaric is right to point to the human rights movement as the tipping point of all this self-indulgence. When we place those rights over our obligation to be a part of society, and not simply bend the more gullible and well-meaning elements of society to our own ends, the result is very ugly indeed

We are "camped near the base of the moral mountain" all right. And digging furiously.
Posted by Pericles, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 10:17:39 AM
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This bears further comment.....

Why do people in society 'change' in their thinking from regarding human life as FARRRR more important than individual (and most important) PERSONAL glory ?

At risk of inviting 'that old axe of yours' comments from those more familiar with my major themes, I want to outline again, what has been observed by philosophers such as Francis Schaeffer, J.W. Montgomery
that our values are ultimately shaped by the influence of Philosophy, via Art, Education and the Media.

The values described in the article, are those of the existential school, particularly exemplified in the writings of Neitzche and Sartre.

When God dies in the conscience of man, Mans inner life lives, but the life he now lives, is the one he chooses. Not answerable to anyone but his own values, and if unlucky the Law, and given a finite life span, which then...will he choose ?

Let life be 'intense'.... let me know I exist... let me FEEEL life.... its exileration, its exultation, its pleasures, its triumphs.... ah yes.. exist-entialism.

Yes dear Pericles, we are indeed digging, but perhaps not all are digging for the same gold... some look for fools gold.

For the record, if I had heard those screams, I would have tried to assist... I hope those who called the News but not the police have many sleepless nights.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 11:39:27 AM
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An impassioned plea for community fairness and justice - but from one who also "pragmatically" advocates the legitimate use of torture?

http://www.theage.com.au/news/Opinion/A-case-for-torture/2005/05/16/1116095904947.html

Mirko, you can't have it both ways! This brand of utilitarianism creates a cultural and political atmosphere where the individual not only is dispossessed of his/her human "rights" but where the whole community loses its collective moral conscience.
Posted by Yuri, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:48:00 PM
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Well its the way our society's gone. Even those who are claiming to be Christian in the new wave of fundamentalism...... believe their property and prosperity to be inalienable because "the lord provided it to me" rather than considering their own labor or the effects of our tax system or economy. The breakdown of our society and family relations is caused in big part by the vain drives and greed of a self-indulgent older generation and we would do well to see their natural attrition accelerated. Through a property boom, handouts to property investors, etc, our whole society has become me, me me and if someone else has missed out, well they didn't try hard enough or "God rewarded me with what I have" or whatever. When religion becomes industry cossetted by arcane tax exemptions, and charity, well who does bother giving. Who does bother doing anything. The left will be useless to question the problem, unless its Iraq, aboriginals or some other fashionable issue all else is forgotten. The middle class left will avoid economic questions as it will hurt the benefits they get from negative gearing, margin lending, using trusts etc...... When our government wants to do more for those who have more, we take from the bottom to give to the top. Many families have kids but don't want excessive responsibility or burden because of their increased materialist desires (I've worked hard I need the latest car, I want a plasma tv....so much greed and vainglorious drivel from our rich) While conservatives complain about a perceived overinflated sense of entitlement on the part of welfare recipients, what about the sense of entitlement of our middle and upper classes, and their connections to the corridors of power?
Posted by Inner-Sydney based transsexual, indigent outcast progeny of merchant family, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 1:40:22 PM
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