Based on the paper and its theme of “Human-Based Values” and the ideas expressed by Michael Austin in his introduction to the chapter “Law and Government,” anyone else can be moral: by considering their actions, weighing the consequences, and deciding whether they are doing more harm than good to themselves and other people. Despite what evangelists tell you, the threat of hell is not what stops most people from, say, going on a mass-murdering spree. Even if there was no hell, there are still bad consequences for bad behavior. Our society has laws that threaten criminals with fines, imprisonment and sometimes death.
And even if those laws didn’t exist, there would still be the threat of punishment from other sources. For instance, if you commit a murder, the victim’s family and friends might come looking for revenge. Nobody likes to be taken advantage of. The justice system just makes the whole process a little more orderly, which is a good thing. However, it seems like the threat of punishment and the promise of rewards is not really the only thing that keeps people from being bad.
With or without religion, people don’t like to be hurt, and they usually recognize that other people getting hurt is a similarly undesirable thing. Jesus didn’t invent the principle of treating others the way you would like to be treated; it was around for centuries before. When people are in danger of being mistreated, they seek out protection through cooperation and relationships. Society is simply a much larger extension of those relationships. With rare exceptions, people (atheists included) don’t really have the urge or desire to run out and kill or steal or otherwise harm other people. And honestly, when people say “If it weren’t for God holding me back, there would be nothing to stop me from being a criminal”, we worry about them.
If your grasp of right and wrong is so shaky that you can’t stop yourself from doing bad things, and you need someone threatening you with eternal punishment to keep you in line, then we wonder how safe you really are to be near. Since the demise of colonialism and the advent of democracy and elected governance, the role of government, or the ruling force, has undergone tremendous change. As humans and society in general tries to move towards a better world, the involvement and responsibilities of governments and administrations throughout the world are getting more diverse and challenging.
In the modern world, we can see that society is government itself and the society governs itself. The democracy form of governance which has been accepted by almost the entire world in the modern times. The first accepted form of leadership and governance was that of tribal leaders, followed by monarchy and democracy. The term society is quite a heavy, important and is almost synonymous to the terms mankind and human existence. Prominent sociological thinkers, scientists and philosophers like, Emile Durkheim, Max Webber and Karl Marx have studied the human behavior as a member of society.
The tribal leaders and monarchy which were earliest forms of government had basically evolved because men chose to follow come capable leaders. Layton 2 The democratic form was however a form of government where men chose to elect their own leaders. Both these forms were products of society and according to many sociologists, they came into being to sever the society by governing it.
Thus, government in today’s world plays a critical role in society because it is a product of the society. In the early times of tribal leaders and early monarchs, the government had a laissez-faire policy meaning that the government and the leading king were principally bestowed a role, wherein they undertook the duty of only defending their people and lands? However as the times progressed the duties that were to be executed by the governing parties became more and more complicated and difficult with each passing day.
The Greek, Roman, Harappan, Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations had governments that had a fantastic system of governance which helped them to cope with all possible problems even in everyday life. The oldest function of every ruler was to provide sufficient protection from foreign aggression to the people. The military duties have substantially increased as several new components such as external affairs, alliances, treaties and development of arms and related manpower have also come into being.
The military duties of the government are extremely important due to the fact that they insure the integrity of the nation and thus help civilization, economic activity and social components within, thrive. The second most important role of government in society is the provision of civic amenities.
Human habitation of a particular area or land requires some basic amenities such as sanitation, hygiene and a secure environment to live in. The proper role of government in education is the provision of education. Every society needs knowledge to think and food for thought is derived from this knowledge. An essential function that is to be fulfilled by the government is providing all levels of education to the people, right from small kindergarten schools to universities. Education is a profound need of any human society as it makes mankind rational, intellectually enriched and thoughtful.
Hence to complete all the elements of society, one of the most important role of government in society is providing adequate education. In order to prevent haywire and chaotic functioning in the society, it is essential to have some simple mechanisms and laws. Such laws may include, small unspoken norms such as standing in a line for the bus or can be of complex nature and may include complex tax laws. This function which is also known as judicial function, basically helps the society to function smoothly.
This judicial function also includes the role of government in business as in the modern era, as the growing volume of economic activity needs good mercantile laws for governance. The economic activities also need some infrastructure and support such as banks and foreign trade, which further increases the importance of the role of government in economy. Works Cited Layton 3 Austin, Michael, and Karen Austin. “Law And Government: What Is The Role Of Law And Government In Human Society? ” Reading the World: Ideas That Matter. New York: W. W. Norton, 2007. 151-53. Print. Edwords, Fred. “The Human Basis Of Laws And Ethics. ” American Humanist Association. American Humanist Association, 1985. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.