Libertarianism And Conservatis Essay, Research Paper
Libertarian and Conservatism
What do Valium, Codeine, alcohol, cigarettes, prostitution and AK-47 s have in common? The fact that the availability of each is restricted by law. What do cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and LSD have in common? The fact that they are absolutely prohibited by law. Ironically, all of these things are relatively easy to find, purchase, and use. These are just a few reasons why the suggestion made by Welfare State Liberals that we should implement stronger gun-control laws is not plausible. The people who should not have access to firearms are also probably the people who will be the most determined to get them. The Columbine shooting illustrated this. I hate to sound clich , but where there is a will there is a way.
The Columbine shooting was without doubt a very tragic incident. The fact that some of our youth feel the need to go to such extreme measures to feel recognized is not only disturbing, but also reflective of our societal values. We need to solve the problem at its source. Why did these kids feel the need to harm others? What in their surroundings drove them to such lengths just to be noticed and feel important? On this issue, I have to agree with the Communitarians. We need to concentrate on instilling certain proper values to our youth. However, I disagree with the methods that Communitarians think we should use to accomplish this.
For the most part, Communitarians think that the answer to any societal problem we have is religion. For them, the reason that we have so many single parents, crack-babies and violent teens is the ever-growing lack of religion in the public arena. In their opinion, the general public is in serious need of some good old-fashioned values, and religion is the way to give those values back. Although I agree that many people are without important values (as in the case of the Columbine shooting), I don t think that forcing religion on people is either necessary, or well thought out.
There is a reason for the separation of church and state. Just as there is a reason that dinosaurs are extinct, and people don t drive Model T Fords to work anymore. Our society is evolving, just as everything naturally does. If the majority of our citizens didn t agree with this thorough of a separation, it wouldn t exist now in the first place.
Our country was founded on individualism, freedom, and the ability to decide what is right for yourself and your family. In a society that claims to be so free and committed to individualism, how can we justify forcibly exposing a Buddhist child to a Christian prayer every morning in school? Or forcing an atheist adult into religious observance of any kind? If we are going to call our country a melting-pot, let s not be hypocrites.
Religion is not the only way, nor the absolutely correct way, to teach children ethics and values. Children do not need superstitious beliefs blended into their regular lessons every day to learn values. If their parents choose to teach these beliefs at home, that is their personal choice and freedom.
What we need to emphasize in schools is critical thinking and positive reasoning. Instead of reading a child the story of God telling Moses to write down that it is wrong to commit murder, we should illustrate the point that murder is wrong by making them think about it. Ask a child if they would like it if someone killed their mommy, and I guarantee the answer will be no. That simple question, with the right instruction, would lead a child to the realization that killing someone might be taking someone s mommy away, and therefore would be wrong. I realize that this is a rather harsh lesson for a child, but it is just an example. This simple method could apply to many valuable lessons that children should be taught.
Teaching spiritual beliefs to our youth might be a time-honored tradition, but history has shown us that just because something is time-honored tradition doesn t make it right. As the people in our society evolve, so must our public practices.