[lit-ideas] Re: Ye Olde Dialectic

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2005 13:38:51 -0400

Phil: I don't think government can solve most or even many of the problems individuals face.

Eric: The question nagging at me is "How can we know that until we demand that government try to do so?" Ever since the Dark Ages, churches have filled gaps in social responsibility, but we don't really know what governments can or cannot do until they try.

Phil: Rather, it is up to individuals to take responsibility for their own well-being along with the well-being of their neighbour. It is the strength of being religious that allows one to extend the notion of the neighbour to include all human beings.

Eric: But wouldn't a well-developed sense of civic virtue do the same on the local level? "This raving alcoholic tramp is my fellow citizen" should work as well as "this raving alcoholic tramp is also a child of God." The difference seems to be scope--citizens versus all humans.

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