If you value gaining a better understanding of yourself and the world, and of the life that is best for you, then philosophy is most likely worth a few hours of your time. Philosophy is concerned with the justification of our most basic beliefs and the analysis of the concepts making up these beliefs. Some of these beliefs are highly relevant not just to how we understand ourselves and the world around us, but also to how we should act in this world. Philosophy pursues questions rather than answers.
What is the justification of the government’s authority? The government may have the power and the force to rule its people, but not every ruler or use of force is legitimate. So, what makes the government be in power? This issue is considered a fundamental one. If the government isn’t legitimate than all other issues about the proper rule of government and our relationship to it do not arise. Thomas Hobbes, writer of the book Leviathan, imagined what life would be like if we didn’t have a government (state of nature).
Without a government to maintain order and regulate human interactions, this will be an all for all situations. Each person would do whatever he or she would or could get away with. Hobbes concluded that human life without government would be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. ” As most like me do agree that what Thomas Hobbes said is pretty much true but do the government have to be in our personal lives? Yes, the government does have to be a part of our personal lives.
Take colleges students whom depend on the government to pay for their school. With the high costs of school and technology that makes it impossible to attend any college or university to fulfill their mission requires the support of the local, state, and federal government. In the painting titled “Government Bureau” by George Tooker, it appears as if the government itself. The government is nameless, forbidding, impersonal powers whom control our lives. The government reduces us to faceless and empty people.
Notice in the painting that the people that are assisting the people (the government) have the same faces. Most people recognize that it is necessary to our well-being that government is a part of our lives even though it is a negative aspect. What is justice? Is it between freedom and control? We all cherish the individual freedoms that have just a little bit of but too much freedom would lead to a social chaos. Yet the government is necessary, but too much government control can lead to an unacceptable level of tyranny.
Is the major responsibility of the government is to serve us by extending our individual liberties but allowing us to live our individual lives? Or is limiting our freedom to produce the best results of ourselves and society the responsibility of the government? The Declaration of Independence states that we do have freedom but at the same time we do not have freedom. How can we be free if the government have complete control over just about everything? Do you think we are free or do you think we are mental slaves?
The government is necessary but is everything the government doing is necessary? If we define freedom in terms of externalities, it would be difficult to say we are free. Perhaps impossible. But the great ones have not defined freedom in terms of “systems and regulations, laws and principles” they have talked of internal freedom. Christ was imprisoned and executed. Was he free? Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years. Was he free? “The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. ” – Eric Hoffer – By Aaliyah Hutchinson.