Saturday, March 24, 2012

Why a government attempting to do good is so dangerous

The government has a tangible role with those who do evil (punishing them) and an intangible role with those who do good (praising them). A government that has decided that praising the good of others is insufficient and must itself also do good has forgotten its very nature.

Good is done through people. People do good to one another either out of love or out of duty. Love does not make demands. Government actions are only demands. Government can only produce duty, not love. It is by its nature inherently coercive. If you don't pay your taxes, you are incarcerated.

Even when government uses carrots instead of sticks to discourage evil, those are only incentives to reduce one's duty to pay taxes, not to increase one's love. The closest government can get to doing good is to create a duty for people to do good.

Government not only can create duty, it is its very nature to create duty. That is what government does.  When that duty is applied to doing good, government has then (1) made it impossible for people to do that particular good out of love, and (2) made not doing that particular good into an act of evil.

Therefore, by its compulsory nature, the power of government attempting to do good is the power to strip good of love and to make not doing good one particular way into an act of doing evil that it can punish. That is why a government attempting to do good is so dangerous.  A key problem with government attempting to do good is it can make doing other forms of good into evil.

A government attempting to do good also undermines its own fundamental role of praising good. We only praise that which is done out of love, not that which is done out of duty. When a government decides it must recede from creating a duty for good so that people can do good themselves out of love, the government shows it has previously overstepped its proper role.

We need to elect people who understand that with respect to doing good, they are not there to create a duty for others to do good, but simply to recognize good done by others and serve them by praising them accordingly.

Updated 2/22/2013, 12/31/2013.

1 comment:

Jesse Gardner said...

"Government is an institution of justice, not of grace, community or creativity." —David Noebel

When government begins to take on anything other than enforcing justice, it loses its ability to do the same. That's why we strive for a limited government, because who will protect us from the government so entangled in our lives that it's the one doling out injustice?