"Morality cannot exist one minute without freedom...
Only a free man can possibly be moral.
Unless a good deed is voluntary,
it has no moral significance."
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Liberty, 1930
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Think my grandfather was a good thinker.
 -- Dennice Bateman, Jacksonville, OR     
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    Moral values are usually twisted by "laws".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    This is the crux of liberty. Liberty depends on voluntary goodness. Which begs the question, 'what is good?' ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    It is moral for government (the people's representative) to preserve the life, liberty, property, rights and authority of its individual sovereigns, anything else is ultimately an immoral loss of peace, freedom and liberty. Whenever a government attempts to legislate morals outside its lawful prevue, liberty is lost. Charity, love, religion (Atheism to Zen) etc. can not be morally or lawfully legislated.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Most good deeds are not vouluntary, they are done under the Goden Rule. We expect that the good we do to others will be done in return to us. We see it in our every day life when folks hold the door for us when we enter a bldg. Those who fail to voluteer usually find themselves living in a pretty miserable world or nut a house.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    It is not within the government's ability to legislate morality. It was on the grounds of morality that some of the most evil despots have gained and retained power. Americans forget their history; they forget that during the foundations of our nation we had two distinct courts of law: (1) equity, and (2) justice. Most of the "broken system" we have today is a result of the combining of these two courts of law. Justice's job is to apportion the punishment to the crime, to the extent that the injured person will be "made whole." There is still a faint aspect of this notion still left in the courts; wherein a person can sue for a "diminished value claim" of their vehicle, if they were involved in an accident that was not their "fault." This idea that the law would make the injured party "whole," and return all "lost equity" to that injured party, is where most Americans get hung up on legislating morality. I do not have the ability of punishing my next door neighbor for cheating on his wife, because of issues pertaining to morality; however, the wife has a right by law to be made whole if her husband's cheating resulted in her financial depravity, sexually transmitted disease, or any other possible extent where she could have lost "equity" at the law. In other words, if his cheating caused an infringement upon his wife’s life, liberty, or property (pursuit of happiness), then the government could be involved. The action of adultery, as a moral action, is not punishable by law.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    This quote on morality deserves three stars as morality is both evil and good and has little to do with Freedom - it is used to suppress and to liberate.
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Nice, Logan, well explained. Waffler, what you only do good to get something in return? Goodness with ulterior motives is deceptive and selfish (i.e. you owe me because I did something nice for you). To be giving and generous without thought of reward is noble and is the essence of charity. That is virtue, and why doing good out of fear of hell is nothing but being a big phony. But that is what a lot of religious believers do and why they say that without religion no one would do any good for any one -- why should they? Such a shallow view of life is certainly a corruption of Christian 'morals.' When I hold the door open for someone, I don't give it a second thought -- just like when someone doesn't open a door for me -- no one owes me any charity. Kindness is its own reward, and vices are their own punishment, and to expect charity is indeed a vice.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    wow Waffler, I'm sorry. My heart goes out to you. That explains a lot about your absolute stance on mob rule. To issue service, an item, etc. with an expectation of a return or anything is a trade, not a gift. Weather or not you believe in Jesus as the Christ, his gift was free with no return possible or expected. All of the Christian and other groups I witnessed, month after month, for over 2 years helping Katrina relief was done without any expectations of a return or benefit. The labor of love was the benefit. Waffler's sentiment reminds me of Matthew 7:22, 23: where Jesus said: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, ye never knew me, ye that work iniquity." Christ would have the moral that voluntarily give, not the immoral the give with an expected return. The quote and Christ's statement harmonize with the ancient 'Law of the Harvest'.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike I believe I am simply stating a truism. The Golden Rule works both ways. Most of us expect to be treated in the same courteous, respectful, and kind way in which we treat others. Thus there is an expectation of positive results from our kindness Since we expect a positive result or return we do not entirely do it voluntarily or selflessly. This is a learned behavior, children do not know this rule. This subject is discussed in detail in books conerning "Evolutionary Psychology" of which I read a smattering of one. It is a very interesting subject. Mike the only reason I picked on you is because in Fridays quote about police you also went a little over board. The quote simply said that we should be careful that cops are porperty fulfilling their duties. It was not a diatribe against cops. So while right thinking people are vigilante against crime they should be vigilante against bad cops also.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    I still think we feel people who slam doors in others faces or talk to loud in public in other words being less than courteous, respectful and kind are a little bit loose upstairs.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, I respectfully disagree, and like Mike, I can see how your comments above put your other comments into context. At least in my family, circle of friends and colleagues, maybe 2% share your expectations (i.e the "why don't they do something about this" mentality). I would not assume that we all 'expect' kindness. That is what makes kindness a gift. As a result I do not think you will appreciate a gift as much as those that do not expect it. The Golden Rule is a 'rule' not a law -- it's an age-old guideline that has stood the test of time, and whenever 'authorities' have tried to enforce it, tyranny has followed. I do believe it is in our nature to be giving and charitable (aspects of love). Here in NYC where New Yorkers are often thought of as cold and ambivalent by 'outsiders,' all you have to do is remember 9-11 and how the people dropped everything to help one another. It happens everyday here in little ways. Certainly we have our moods, and maybe I don't have time to hold the door for every person coming in the building (there are thousands) or giving every homeless person a buck (I choose who and when), but I don't expect to be treated any better -- and I don't hold it against someone who doesn't give me something for nothing. That is why I DO honor and respect those that give of themselves without a second thought and why I consider those that kiss ass to get on peoples' good side phonies and hucksters -- 2008 presidential candidates come to mind.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- warren, olathe      
    Archer the idea is not that we do something for a stranger in hopes that someday that strange will do something for us, but holy cow lo and behold some different stranger did something for us. I disagree with you and I believe among my well behaved family and friends we anticipate a certain civility in public places and we are prepared to give like wise.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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