What does a good citizen do? That question could be answered in various ways, depending on how one understand the individual and society.
A good citizen is defined by individuals based on certain values they hold. Do they hold liberty as the ultimate social value or is society itself of ultimate value and concern. The latter are more socialistic in thier view politically.
The political ideal for the socialist is equality of property versus an elitist view that supports capital and investments and individual initiative.
Religion has been useful to serve the ends of socialist's agendas. But religion itself is a question of value. Does one believe that the world was "caused"? Is God personal or an abstraction? Should someone act in faith without evidence? Or should one base their decisions on reason alone?
Is society the basis of values, or is there a moral theist view about society?
Are individual's free, or determined and how hard is the determination? What determines an individual, genetics, or environment? Can someone be held accountable to actions that are beyond his control because of a genetic predisposition or environmental conditioning? What is justice, then?
Is justice or morality relative, or are they absolute? Multiculturalism would uphold a relativistic view, but international law, human rights activists, and the Founding Fathers believed that all people were created with certain inalienable rights, the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Is happiness the only ultimate value, or are there a "world of values" in a pluralistic view?
Where people answer these questions will determine their commitments and behavior in certain situations.
Humans are thinkers, whether they think so or not. They are always being influenced by the things they read, hear or see. And in free societies, we allow most any information to be sorted by the individual's free determination. But, the value question comes in, as to what sort of information is productive? Should there be an evaluation of what is productive based on what society wants the outcome to be? And organist view of society would believe so, as would the socialist and moral theist.
But, if one thinks of society as a social contract, one will come to different conclusions than one who thinks of society as an organism, itself. The individual will be of uptmost importance because he, the individual cannot be dissolved into his function in society alone. He is a human being, who has his own desires, purposes and goals, which should never be stolen.
A social contract view of society affirms individuals making an agreement about their affliation with society in a certain culture. This is what makes for liberty, in regards to choices about one's life commitments, and values. "Big Brother' does not determine what one should or should not to in the speicific choices of vocation or mate selection. And this is what has made America great because the individual is motivated by his own goals, for his own life. He owns his life, no one owns it for
Life cannot be lived fully without the freedom to choose and be in the world as one comes to understand the world. And as one understands that many in the world do not have the choice or right of individuality, and live in fear of torture or torment from government or religion, one comes to value the American ideals of individuality and liberty.
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