Liberty,equality, justice: what is the most fundamental societal value?

This discussion follows a more open ended discussion where we explored quite widely what might constitute a "good society".

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  • GuanKong

    The most fundamental societal value has to be JUSTICE. Justice means more than just fairness and impartiality. It encompasses respect and recognition of rights, principles, rules, and dignity. Without justice we can't speak of liberty or equality.

    April 4, 2013

  • Peh

    Yes, and when I mean compassionate love, it is selfless love, with no expectation of reward, either to boost one's own ego...or to some, a belief to accumulate merits for a better future life or afterlife in heaven.. : )

    Of course, this is just human high ideals notwithstanding, as mortal being, I must admit even my fatherly love towards my own kids is a form of conditional love.. Conditional that they respect me as a fatherly, at times authority figure.. despite my imperfection haha ; )

    Well, I can't make it this round, but it is nice conversation and look forward to join u guys one day..

    March 2, 2013

  • Peh

    @kit. Yes, agreed with compassionate love n empathy are more of a moral, societal perspective n hence difficult for legislative purpose. It's easier to inculcate from a family, social n religious organisations than by legal means. Hence, this is generally champion by the likes of Confucian, religious and the humanist advocates.. Implementation wise, moral education n family values in upbringing are key to that. Public Media plays a major and at times more effective role than legal. One thing needs to bear in mind s each of this values is not mutually exclusive. Yes, as u said, it boils down to priority when it comes to the crux, all else being equal... I m not sure a general legislative rule on a generic basis is better? Or leave it to the judge to decide within the confine of the legislative powers based on the merits on a case-bt-case is better?

    March 2, 2013

  • ZS Y.

    Want to join this time but feeling dizzy today :(

    March 2, 2013

  • kit

    Ah, selfishness. [Selfless love] would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person’s need of you. I don’t have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person. (Ayn Rand)

    March 2, 2013

  • kit

    I'm looking at it from an implementation or legislative viewpoint. If equality is the most important, than it gets priority in legislation. But that would mean less liberty. Justice seems too broad or subjective. If you believe that equality is the priority, then justice means whatever is most equal. If you believe liberty is the priority, then justice means whatever supports the most freedom. Empathy, love can't be legislated, so aren't relevant.

    March 2, 2013

  • Peh

    Empathy and Compassionate Love I believe are fundamental to societal value and our humanity. This values are instinctive and touches across cultures, languages and religions against our other instinctive opposite of Selfish to sustain in this brutal world based on the survival of the fittest. These two will also lead to mutual respect for differences as long as all shared the common good of humanity : To Live and Let Live.

    At the societal level, the rest Liberty, equality and justice are important as long as it serve the common good of humanity and society. Each has its own shortfall of defining what is good liberty, equality and justice... Food for thoughts on these values:

    Liberty: Individual vs Societal consensual of Liberty?

    Equality: Equality versus Equity and how economic rewards should be distributed based on these values.

    March 1, 2013

    • Peh

      Justice: Is not doing onto Others what You don't want other doing onto you - the basis? (in Biblical and Confucius Thoughts, I think) Is definition of justice based on religious faith (or so-called Truth in the name of God or the Divine), the ultimate Justice? Who then is the ultimate authority of Justice? Next then is the punishment /reward to enforce societal justice.

      Well, I really would like to join your guys this time.. Will just have to find the time and probably can decide tomorrow... Have a fun and enlightening discussion.

      March 1, 2013

  • Raymond H.

    liberty is a very powerful idea as in broad sense it encourage talents of anykind to flourish with no inhibition. in this sense, self actualisation can best achieved with maximum freedom. however, the best or the talents may enjoy the most of the rewards hence, equality comes in to play to moderate the delicate balance of sharing of opportunities, but only when liberty and equality are both incoraporated well into constitution and constantly revised by a panel of "wise men" :), that, justice will serve the best equality and liberty

    February 28, 2013

  • Raymond H.

    equality and liberty weigh in society when it is part of the constitution, laws to explicity support these values, prior to this, equality and liberty merely just talk but no action,

    February 27, 2013

  • Raymond H.

    if justice is continually revised to uphold equality, liberty, of course it becomes most fundamental societal value :)

    February 23, 2013

    • kit

      Surely equality and liberty are often in conflict?

      February 24, 2013

  • kit

    Coincidentally, a friend of mine just introduced me to John Rawls.

    "Each person possesses and inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason, justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory is the lack of a better one; analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice. Being first virtues of human activities, truth and justice are uncompromising." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rawls/

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/rawls/

    February 24, 2013

  • Richard L.

    Looking forward to this session. I hope we get a good turnout this time as it's a really juicy topic.

    February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i would argue empathy, tolerance and compassion instead.

    February 23, 2013

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