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Monday, April 16, 2012

Whose Responsibility is it Really?

I'm really trying to get to the bottom of my feelings in regard to the presidential election.  I have posted a question or two on Facebook and have received some really good answers from friends.

One friend sent me a couple of links to figure out where I stand politically.  You take a quiz, and it sorts you out.  I think I prefer this quiz, though.

I have to say I answered about five questions and was baffled by the stupidity of the questions on the first quiz...

"Some people should not be allowed to reproduce."

What?  Who should get to decide that one?  Yikes!  I'm sure I'd be on LOTS of peoples lists. 

"Access to healthcare is a right."

Hmm.  Interesting.

"Government should do something about the increasing violence in video games."


I just don't get this quiz.  I guess I figure if people are governing themselves responsibly, we shouldn't need government to do all of this for us.  For example, why do we need someone to step in and regulate pollution?  Umm...because we're too careless or it's not a high enough priority for us as individuals or we are selfish or....The list could go on and on and on.  Really, though, when it comes right down to it, if we were truly responsible people and cared for others as well as ourselves, wouldn't this be taken care of?

If I feel violent video games are bad, shouldn't I take some responsibility over what I can control in that area of my life?  If I don't like them, then maybe I should stay away from them.

I don't know.  I guess I just felt most of these questions exist as a result of people acting irresponsibly.  Maybe I'm simplifying this far too much, but if me or my company is dumping disgusting stuff into a river, wouldn't I know that that's not good for anyone and find a way to stop doing it and find another way to do what I need to without causing so much damage?

I'm having a hard time getting to the end of the first quiz.  It's making me crazy.  Why would anyone want to be president?  If these are the kinds of things they're dealing with, then it just sounds like glorified babysitting.  No thank you!


Alyson said...

One of the keys to the liberal mindset, that I can see, is the lack of natural consequences. It really seems to me that they seek (especially through social legislation) to get rid of results that naturally follow from our actions. Pregnant and you don't want to be? Get an abortion! You don't have a job but you want money? Let's get you some welfare checks. You don't want to be bothered with brushing and flossing? Let's make a law that fluoridates your water! Etc. etc. etc. I agree with you, "if people are governing themselves responsibly, we shouldn't need government to do all of this for us." I absolutely chafe at the thought of being forced to do something, even something that is for the greater good. I guess that strong desire to choose is innate.

lia london, author and writing coach said...

I think you're absolutely right about those questions. People need to act responsibly. On the company polluting one, though, I do think there needs to be regulation because many companies don't want to invest the money it takes to be "clean", and their irresponsibility literally poisons their communities. I saw it happening in Guatemala where there was no regulation about pollution. In a six month span, I watched a lake die--all the lilies, the frogs, and lest we think that's just pretty environmentalist stuff--the fish, too. Which was bad for the fishermen who depended on the lake for their livelihood. Sometimes we can't bank on people being responsible. It's why we have speed limits.

Josh Alder said...

I take issue with Alyson's comments. I'm certainly of the "liberal mindset" in relation to most members of the church and I believe that first and foremost, people should do the very best to take care of themselves.

Unfortunately, that's not always possible... and the "tough toenails" attitude of many conservatives is, in my opinion, not very Christ-like.

Most moderates and liberals believe that abortion, for example, should be safe, legal and rare. What does that mean? That means that it's not illegal, lest we have desperate women literally killing themselves with coat hangers or trying to find other unsafe means to end their pregnancies. It also means that we don't merely assume that all abortions are simply a selfish means by which to terminate a pregnancy. There's child abuse, rape, incest and circumstances where a woman's life is literally in danger. Plus, there's the very valid argument that a woman deserves to be 100% in control of her body. Most women do not choose abortion lightly or easily... most do so with sadness and regret. It's not just a "Meh... I don't feel like being pregnant. Off to the abortion clinic I go!"

Welfare programs help so many people, especially those with children who would go hungry without. Do some people abuse the system? Of course. But it also helps many people. I have known literally scores of people who have benefited from welfare and unemployment for a time until they were able to get back on their feet. It can truly be a lifesaver and though it's not perfect, it does help many people.

As for the flouridation of water... are you kidding me? Why oppose something so simple and so effective... something has been proven to prevent tooth decay? I applaud you if you brush and floss everyday. I know people who have the means to do so, and don't. I also know people who don't teach their children to brush and floss. Why shouldn't we use modern science to help others? What's so wrong with that?

And, if you "chafe at the thought of being forced to do something," do you also feel that tithing and fast offerings are unnecessary since they're "for the greater good?" Because, you know, there are a LOT of people who benefit from tithing and fast offerings who *probably* could get their act together and provide for themselves. Luckily, in the church, we don't judge people when they've fallen on hard times or have circumstances that are difficult, even IF they aren't giving their full effort. We do it out of love and charity... and to show them Christ-like love.

For me... the "liberal mindset" recognizes that there are good people and bad people. Some people will make the best out of this life... some won't. Some people will make great choices, raise fantastic children and capitalize on every opportunity. Some won't... or simply can't. But, serving the greater good (or trying to serve others) is never a bad thing.

Diane said...

I agree with much of what you have said, and Alyson. But, I do think companies need to have pollution regulations. They really have helped air and water quality. Just like changing child work laws and such really were and are for the greater good. For me, however, I usually vote for morals. There are so many issues, I find it easy to choose what issues are most important to me. I pretty much vote based on abortion. I am anti-abortion. Legal clinics are not necessarily safe or clean. And when people are using abortion for birth control or sex selection, that is just evil and not for the greater good of any population. Besides, 70% of women who had decided an abortion is best change their minds after seeing an ultra-sound. That says a lot about what women really want.

Josh Alder said...

I think it's short-sighted to vote based on just one issue. It makes it really easy to be swayed my an otherwise poor candidate who will just take your side of one or two hot topics, like abortion. It's fine to be passionate, but also understand that a president is never the lone voice in legislation.

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