Separation of church and state is a founding pillar for the United States of America government. Basis behind this concept is a rejection of a virtuous governing body. This idea stems from revolt against religiously intolerant British kings that subjected their citizens to differing treatment depending on their religion. Original colonialists came so that their personal values could be preserved, which would eventually define Americanism. Allowing our citizens control over their own lives meant they were free to decide their own moral codes. This really is an amazing thing. A government that doesn’t oppress its people toward certain ways of life was pretty revolutionary. Despite this, many religious Americans have fought to join church and state. The reason is to instill a moral code of conduct for this nation founded in their Christianity. This comes from the dream that we can govern morality absolutely. Utilitarianism tells us that ethics codes can be established for what is right. This methodology states people can make moral judgements for the greater good. But what is the greater good? Is saving your beloved son a greater good than a train full of strangers? Every single individual has a different perception of what constitutes the greater good. Therein lies the problem. Utilitarianistic judgement over a group of people is unjust because it will suppress individual values. True fairness comes from the ability for individuals to freely determine themselves, including their morality. Whenever a governing body tries to make judgement on the value system of its people, it simultaneously is disrespecting the freedom of its people’s beliefs.
It’s romantic; really. Government implementing a set of laws...
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...ased on their values, allowing their own personal utilitarianism to prevail. Whether placing more stock in personal relation or numerical systematization is inconsequential to anyone but the chooser. The right to judge their decision and its subsequent results rests only upon the shoulders of the button pusher. Utilitarianism’s critical problem spawns not from its principles, but from its practice. Practicing governing utilitarianism means practicing suppression of the individual right to personal beliefs. Even though it would be amazing, no, perfect to have a defined moral system, it is simply unrealistic in our imperfect world. Governing utilitarianism’s success is limited only to the great threshold of human imperfection. As long as every single person is unique, there can never be an absolute morality without an obstruction of humankind’s greatest right, liberty.
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