Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Should the government be neutral in matters of conscience by jerry Essay

Should the government be neutral in matters of conscience by jerry mills - Essay Example The importance and relevance of neutral government The main idea of the article lies in the fact that there should be strict separation between the church and secular laws in order to eliminate unjustified oppression on people’s conscience and provide all the conditions for personal liberty and human natural rights realization. Law making and church should act in accordance with each other to help people understand what is right and what is wrong in our world (Mills). If the church imposes definite things and the laws does not even try to disprove them, such situation prevents people from good understanding what is good and evil and can’t help form right principles with the youth. Jerry Mills presents several arguments to support his point of view, which are mainly based on previous works by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson (Mills). According to Madison, neutral government should strive for establishing common morality. At the same time the social system is supposed t o provide such human rights as individualism, opportunity and stability (Mills). In his draft ‘Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments’, Madison provided quite well-reasoned explanation for the necessity of division between state and church power: religious liberty is considered to be a part and parcel of human natural rights and it should be completely free of civil legislature; religions are not in need for any civil support: there are a lot of historical examples when religion arised in response to certain opposition, not support of legal laws (Mills). In order to demonstrate horrible consequences, which church and state relationship caused, Thomas Jefferson described Virginian law about Quakers, which stated that in case Quakers refused to take an oath of adherence to the Crown, they were exiled from the state, imprisoned or even sentenced to execution (Mills). The author’s ultimate goal is to create a civil system, which would allow for moral pluralism without domination of leading factions. There are two ways how governments could deal with factions: the first method suggests that government removes the reasons, which evoked the fraction existence by making people believe in one thing; the second method is associated with neutral government, which is supposed to control the effects of factions’ activities (Mills). Such social regime implies government tolerance of citizens’ adverse interests and views. According to Mills, the main task of ‘sufficiently neutral’ government is supposed to be the promotion of democracy, control and restriction of dominating factions’ invasion into other communities (Mills). Conclusions The main question of the article is about the role and influence of government in human life. Even in our modern democratic world, there is no common consent about the extent to which government could or should intervene in social activities without putting any restrictions on human freethinking. We assume the Mills’ arguments against church and state consolidation are relevant and support his point of view about importance of establishing ‘sufficiently neutral’ government, which would interfere into social and personal life of citizens to acceptable extent and

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