the first Paternalist

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imagine you’re in a position of power, perhaps a policy maker. you’re frustrated by your constituents’ unwillingness to make what you believe to be righteous, virtuous choices: they don’t read the classics, their lawns aren’t trim, they rarely update their blogs, and they give very little to the poor. due to your position of power you feel it your duty to take matters into your own hands. you proceed to enact policy forcing your constituents to make these healthy choices.

you hire public servants to show up and mow lawns. you install living room cameras to observe nightly study of  the classics. you appoint a blogger czar, and you garnish the wages of everyone “who can handle it” and give it to the poor. in order to pay for the new policies you print off more money, even if it means diminished purchasing power of everyone’s savings.

the people are now virtuous.

are you justified?

this brings us to our first and perhaps foremost principle: paternalism. is it right to coerce others, so long as the cause is just? to force others to make righteous choices? although we would no longer need to use the word choice

based on my interpretation, the War in Heaven answers this question for us. satan’s proposal was to bring salvation to every soul, even if it meant denying man his agency. Jesus sought to give man his agency, even if it meant losing some by the wayside, and any other ugly consequence that would result (war, immorality, inequality). statisticians may note that satan’s plan would be more effective, i. e. fewer casualties. quite a pragmatic solution if you ask me. but such were not the stats God sought. His end was to see who would choose Him and His way, of their own free will and choice. Forcing them to do so would prove nothing. Jesus could and would use love and persuasion as His weapons of choice. any salvation gained would be sincere.

why doesn’t the LDS church push legislation forcing people to be baptized by the proper authority? not only is baptism the right decision, it would make the people happier, right? what could possibly be wrong with that?

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~ by mormonbastiard on June 19, 2009.

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