Thursday, February 4, 2010

SOCIETAL VALUES AND THE LAW



As I sat on the phone chit chatting with a very good friend of mine about societal values and law, she and I came to an abrupt halt within our conversation, when I asked the question, “To what extent do we separate religious and/or bias values from neutral values that can be added into the discussion on developing law?” This is a very unique question on almost every debate that would be within the realm of domestic policy. For example, if one were to focus on gay rights, oftentimes the right would shout homosexuality is against God, even though there may be some homosexuals that may be agnostic, atheist, or a different type of Christian. Perhaps some homosexuals believe that their God accepts them. This can also be recognized in the debate on abortion. Usually conservatives are quick to say abortion is too against God. Yes, both sides have an exclusive right to have their voices heard; however, where do we as a civil society draw the line between what is to be considered neutral and what is to be considered a “self value”. Self value meaning a belief that should be limited to just the person who believes. In modern day this would play out like the following: Rhetoric on God being against homosexuals would have no value in the overall debate on gay marriage. Why, because all gays don’t believe the same way. Some may believe in God but not in the way in which how others who are against them do. Therefore the suitable response to “self valued” beliefs would be: your stance can only be limited to those of like belief. I say this because it isn’t fair to exclude certain civil liberties from those who may not believe the same way as others, and therefore, the philosophy behind “societal values” would have to be examined to a much higher magnitude in order to ensure that the eventual law and/or conclusion is fair to all parties. By doing so we ensure the process of democracy and give everyone their fair shares in the discussion. This exact same technique can also be applied to abortion, because there are differing views even within that discussion. There are many different standards of morality also if one were to examine it on a much deeper philosophical level, but these things should be acknowledged to say the least. Neutral values would be beliefs that everyone readily share and are practical for participation within the discussion. For example, mostly everyone would be against murder; also the rationale behind being against murder is easily accessible and understood thus making it logical stance.

Overall, in order to ensure a proper orchestration and implementation of law via the process of democracy we must make sure that everyone’s voice is heard and examined in a highly intellectualized manner. Stances that are not of logic cannot be included; stances that attempt to take civil liberty away from others due to their color, creed, or sexual orientation must also be excluded from the debate. Sadly, one would think Congress actually operates in this manner but the truth is that they don’t. Congress on a daily basis fails to recognize the differing life styles and beliefs of people in America when they’re making law and instead only vote in reference to their personal core beliefs. The constitution guarantees everyone a voice in this land, and that basic right must be rebirthed. The only way in which to bring forth the rebirth of our right to be heard, we must push through a process upon which legislators may use to prevent certain people voices from being disregarded. Congress will have to give extensive viable reasons on why they voted the way they did and this must be mandated. With the presence of too many interest groups and other entities that seem to have more control than the average citizen with a voice, there is a dire need of some form of regulation on the legislative process. By only allowing intellectual stances to be included in the debates and within the writing of law, we can prevent many forms of injustice and errors within the law

With that being said, I ask again folks, to what extent do we separate religious and/or bias values from neutral values that can be added into the discussion on developing law? There has to be a mechanism put in place that will properly define what law is and why we have it. There must also be a broader discussion on how to implement the needs of everyone in an effective manner so that people don’t feel wronged. If we are to be a land where everyone is allegedly heard then this must be done. Although it is said that we have such a process already, the harsh reality is that we don’t! Therefore, I personally move to bring forth a directive that will effectively regulate all actions of congress in stricter terms. What the legislative process needs is efficiency; this cannot be achieved with that which we currently have. To what extent do we separate religious and/or bias values from neutral values that can be added into the discussion on developing law? Most laws that came about and were based out of religious belief failed miserably, i.e. prohibition, which was pushed with religious rhetoric. Do you agree with my plan or do you have a different plan? Or do you feel the system is fine as is?

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