Well, a number of Enlightenment thinkers thought otherwise and I agree with them. Humans are more inclined towards self-preservation and advancement over anything else. I think human nature has the capacity for the above things, but its inclination towards sin is what will take over for society at large if there is no governing force to keep it in check. This is part of Hobbes' foundation for his version of the Social Contract. Unlimited liberty to do anything will result in selfishness, barbarism, and basically all around chaos. As part of the Social Contract, the Government must agree to protect important rights of the people and give them equal freedoms. However, the people's part is that they must come together and agree that not all rights are truly "unlimited" and that a truly free society can't have unlimited freedoms for everyone because of the issue mentioned earlier. They must agree to have limitations on various freedoms and liberties, and both sides need to be in agreement as to what those limitations should be. The people then agree to give that over to the Government to arbitrate as an external authority (or as Hobbes put it a "coercive power"). Without said body that can adequately enforce these things and arbitrate disputes on these matters, and if the people do not respect the power that the authority has to do what it is meant to do in its part of the social contract, it all falls apart. Our responsibility is to come to an agreement on how we should limit ourselves and to agree that the government has the authority to act as a mediator and of course a coercive power to ensure that the limitations to liberties that we might simply like to have but are either not fundamental rights or will cause society as a whole to fall apart if we allowed them free reign. Individual liberty tempered by personal responsibility is the end of the bargain the People must hold up. If they do not, it is up to the Government to step in regarding those situations if they would cause too much disruption to society as a whole or violate fundamental rights.
'Cause you can't have freedom without chains, right?
You're treating people as though they need a leash...Fair enough. I agree. Everyone does when put to it, even if they'll say otherwise. It's funny, I just finished watching episode III, and I rolled my eyes when Obi-Wan says "only a Sith deals in absolutes", which is itself an absolute. It's same when people say we need freedom without limits. If you say "What about murdering someone", you'll get "Well, no. That's wrong". Unless the other person has mental issues, or is just plain evil/Sith. In which case you should back away slowly.
Problem is, you're handing the other end of the leash to other people
, and seem to have no issues with that.
Succinctly, for myself I don't think the government, made up of humans, rife with corruption, and capricious as the seven winds, should get to be the moral authority of America. Nor the media, nor the pundits, ETC.
I do have an issue with equating discrimination as equal to murder, or theft, but I won't get into that.
What I don't get is...if I drove up to an auto shop that said "No Christians, discounts to liberal atheists!" I'd simply drive across the street to another auto shop and get on with my life. I would not cry "discrimination", I would not immediately report a heinous crime to the media so that everyone and their grandpa might join me in hating them, and I would not launch a crusade against them.
Because, hey, they have a right to be a jerk. This is America, not the middle east. You're not going to, or at least you shouldn't, get persecuted for your beliefs. Even if I don't like them. As long as you aren't hurting someone (and it is not my belief that bruised feelings count), I won't try and stop you. I won't pay for your life, but I won't go out of my way to try and harm you either.
And as I don't know them personally, or heck, know them from Adam, I'd reaaaaaaally have to try to care less about their opinion.
Like sit down, and really think about it, and come to the decision that I cared a little less about their opinion than five minutes ago.
I might get my feelings hurt if I walked by a business that said "Christians are idiots, haters welcome!" but, you know, I'd go buy some chicken nuggets, or maybe a Coke, and get over it. I might mention it in conversation at family gatherings, that we might all commiserate and then collectively get over it.
When I worked at The mart of Wal, the one time I ate in the lunch room (having promised a co-worker I'd meet him for a game of Smash Bros), the topic of said lunch period was, ironically, how judgmental Christians were, and how such jerks they could be.
It went on to how pastors were hypocrites, and got paid too much. The coworker I had met for lunch joined in, and said he'd broken friendships with people because they planned to be pastors. Even one of my bosses joined in, and said people couldn't tell someone how to believe in God.
And...I went on with my life and my job. Made friends (even with said boss), played Smash and in general shared in the bad time that is being part of the untrained labor force.
I never even considered reporting "discriminatory attitudes", because people should be allowed to have their opinion. Even a hurtful one. I did, however, take to eating lunch in my car. Which sort of illustrates my point.