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Homelessness in America

Homelessness is not something that was created over night; it has existed for a long time; often we choose not to see the homeless, or bother with them, so we look the other way. Homelessness is not prejudice toward race, creed, or religion–it has no boundaries; all homeless people should not be stereotyped as being drug abusers or the mentally ill that have been released from mental hospitals. Homelessness is not a disease that a person can catch from bodily contact, but it certainly has afflicted many Americans. We need to find the cause of homelessness before we can find a solution. More money for more programs is the typical response, but we should look at what has already been instituted and reevaluate them.

Homelessness could affect you or me at any time if we live from week to week, or check to check. Jonathan Perkins says the homeless were not “people like you and me” (666) who simply had fallen on hard times. Contrary to Perkins’ statement, some of the homeless are people like you and me; as Linda Weltner illustrates in her essay, “How She…

Morality, Law, and Politics

I can imagine a perfect world. A world where morality is of upmost importance in our dealings with each other, where morals are critically examined, and debated with reason as well as passion. This world would be a pinnacle of human achievement. A pinnacle that we are nowhere near. Why is this? Well, in today’s society, morals are often associated with obeying the law, and since laws are legislated by politicians, they are subject to politics. Laws are not right in and of themselves, and morals are not a matter of a majority’s opinion. Some matters that are in the domain of charity are done through politics, often citing morality as a reason. Where exactly does charity fit in with morals? With politics? In this paper I will explore the meaning of morality, its justification, and its scope as it pertains to our lives. I will also spend some time explaining how politics, laws, and charity relate to morality, and how politics often assume charitable roles.

Before diving head first into the issues surrounding morals and morality, it is important to have a clear idea of exactly what morals and morality are. First, morals are a set of rules that tell us which actions are permissible and which actions should be denounced by all people. These rules are not a matter of pure personal opinion, feeling or taste. Jan Narveson states in Moral Matters: “[w]hen you have an opinion about morals, it isn’t just an opinion about what you, in particular, are to do. For it is also an opinion about what everybody else should do” (MM, 12). Second, these are rules that govern over everybody, not a single individual, or group, or society. If morals did not apply to everybody, what would be the point of acting morally? Most people might act morally, an…

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…y want to do is not only be charitable ourselves, but also to encourage charity from others. This would promote the image of your society as not only a just society, but a kind one as well.

Morality is about rules, rules that everybody agrees to abide by because it is in their interest. I have presented here some reasons why one isn’t necessarily morally compelled to obey the law. I have explained why politics and morals, and politics and charity cannot mix. Unfortunately, these are merely a few reasons why a real moral society has not been realized. Morality is very complex, subject to many differing points of view. While understanding the issues presented here hopefully contributes to better moral practices, there are still many issues facing proper morality.

Works Cited

MM: Narveson, Jan. Moral Matters. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1993.

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