The Good Society?

Just a short thought:

What is it that makes society good? Freedom, or Virtue?

If Freedom, freedom from what, and for what?

If Virtue, which Virtues, and as judged by whom?

I feel one of the many problems in talking about society anymore is that we always come back to issues of deconstruction and decentralization. Virtue presents itself as a healthy word, but is patriotism a virtue or a vice? I’d say it strongly leans towards vice, rather than virtue.

Other considerations are, what makes a virtue a virtue, and what inclines this to be optimal for society.

If we talk about freedom it often carries connotations of turning everything that has come before and any opposition into oppression through propaganda.

If we say freedom is the basis of a good society, at some point we have to recognize that all freedoms have limitations and a purely good society requires structure and law.

I suppose the nature of the question can fall in neither of these camps, but is altogether somewhere else. I will reflect more on this later, gotta run off to RCIA, see you all soon. Chime in with thoughts.


2 thoughts on “The Good Society?

  1. Hey Eli,

    I think the question `what makes society good` is to vast a question to be limited to a choice between Freedom, Virtue, or any other words.

    I think one fundamental thing to touch on though is equality, especially socio-economic equality. I would go so far as to say that, when looking at public policy, the primary question in our mind should not be `what does this do for wealth` but `what does this do for wealth equality?`.

    How about humility? The willingness of the societies elite to put the needs of others, especially the poor, ahead of their own?

    I’m not sure whether any of these things, though, whether freedom, virtue, or equality make a good society, or if they are rather the result of a good society.

    These thoughts are rather disjoint, for that I apologize. Hopefully there is something interesting in them though.

  2. Equality is an interesting starting point, and I think conceptually it works, but realistically, we see China, the Russian revolutions and other states and equality becomes a dubious starting point also.

    What makes a good society? I am not sure, but I am sure the question demands our attention especially as Christians concerned with the future of what empires we shall inhabit.

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