Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Do too many civil liberties tear societies apart? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    In my humble opinion, the biggest problem the UK has today is a population that is becoming increasingly fragmented. I’m not talking about race relations or even religion, I’m talking about the way in which we pursue our own individualism at the expense of wider society.

    In my mind, there is such a focus on civil liberty that we have totally undermined almost every form of authority. The Police are treated with contempt and scrutinised over every tiny incident, we have elected politicians too scared to clamp down on anything in case they are seen as “too hardline” and we have people suing the army because going into battle undermines their “human rights”.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, civil liberties are important to protect individuals from the state and, perhaps more importantly nowadays, commercial entities. However, have we gone too far? Surely, if we focus so much on individual rights, we undermine the very nature of society, that is, a group of people working together for the common good?

    There is a quote that probably came from some awful film, but it goes “your rights end where the next person's begin”. I often think that this has been forgotten.

    Agree? Disagree? Do we need more "rights"?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    What is this 'common good' and who decides what it is?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by tlozoot)
    What is this 'common good' and who decides what it is?
    No one decides what it is, it is simply what benefits the most people.

    The problem is, whilst civil liberties were introduced to "benefit the most number of people", they have progressively undermined the society that created them.

    In my mind, all animals, including humans, are inherently selfish - selfishness is everywhere in nature. However, society forces us to act in non-selfish ways, sometimes forced to by law. However, whilst we give up some of our individualism in the process, it benefits us in the sense that we are provided safety and security.

    Individualism and society are poles apart in many respects, and to cater for the human mind whilst ensuring our safety, both are needed. However, I feel that the balance is starting to tip towards individualism and, as such, socieity suffers.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Obviously "too" many liberties will do so by definition but I do agree that hedonism needs to be combated.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Obviously "too" many liberties will do so by definition but I do agree that hedonism needs to be combated.
    I quite like 'hedonism', personally. I don't think the fact I can go out and shag a guy or that my girl friends get to wear bikinis on the beach is really destroying civilisation that much. Puritans who try and make everyone act they way they do, on the other hand...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gremlins)
    I quite like 'hedonism', personally. I don't think the fact I can go out and shag a guy or that my girl friends get to wear bikinis on the beach is really destroying civilisation that much. Puritans who try and make everyone act they way they do, on the other hand...
    I assumed he was talking about hedonism in the philosophical sense, not so much in the way it is used by the media.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gremlins)
    I quite like 'hedonism', personally. I don't think the fact I can go out and shag a guy or that my girl friends get to wear bikinis on the beach is really destroying civilisation that much. Puritans who try and make everyone act they way they do, on the other hand...
    Ever read Durkheim? Societies must regulate selfishness to promote social fratenity. Your anarchist commune would fall apart if everone was a hedonist.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Ever read Durkheim? Societies must regulate selfishness to promote social fratenity. Your anarchist commune would fall apart if everone was a hedonist.
    Selfishness and 'hedonism' are not the same thing.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gremlins)
    Selfishness and 'hedonism' are not the same thing.
    No but hedonism is inherently selfish.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    No but hedonism is inherently selfish.
    The pursuit of personal pleasure above all else... yup, sounds pretty selfish to me.
    Offline

    13
    (Original post by Socmyoligy)
    In my humble opinion, the biggest problem the UK has today is a population that is becoming increasingly fragmented. I’m not talking about race relations or even religion, I’m talking about the way in which we pursue our own individualism at the expense of wider society.

    In my mind, there is such a focus on civil liberty that we have totally undermined almost every form of authority. The Police are treated with contempt and scrutinised over every tiny incident, we have elected politicians too scared to clamp down on anything in case they are seen as “too hardline” and we have people suing the army because going into battle undermines their “human rights”.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, civil liberties are important to protect individuals from the state and, perhaps more importantly nowadays, commercial entities. However, have we gone too far? Surely, if we focus so much on individual rights, we undermine the very nature of society, that is, a group of people working together for the common good?

    There is a quote that probably came from some awful film, but it goes “your rights end where the next person's begin”. I often think that this has been forgotten.

    Agree? Disagree? Do we need more "rights"?
    Part of the problem here is that the alleged 'common good' too often turns out to be the 'good' for some more than others. Authority is hardly being undermined, states have never been larger and more structuring of their associated societies, and populations in liberal western states are relatively depoliticised, look at how few people bother to vote.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Socmyoligy)
    No one decides what it is, it is simply what benefits the most people.

    The problem is, whilst civil liberties were introduced to "benefit the most number of people", they have progressively undermined the society that created them.

    In my mind, all animals, including humans, are inherently selfish - selfishness is everywhere in nature. However, society forces us to act in non-selfish ways, sometimes forced to by law. However, whilst we give up some of our individualism in the process, it benefits us in the sense that we are provided safety and security.

    Individualism and society are poles apart in many respects, and to cater for the human mind whilst ensuring our safety, both are needed. However, I feel that the balance is starting to tip towards individualism and, as such, socieity suffers.
    Then that is hardly a 'common good'.
    Offline

    2
    This argument will go nowhere. Individualists will claim that people have a right to be fragmented, and state action to prevent that, especially through curbing of civil liberties and rights, would be tyranny.

    Furthermore, show me a common good that is actually common and I'll show you a good that doesn't exist.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Op, your objections aren't about liberties themselves so much as about stupid administrative practices. Its perfectly possible to respect rights without the police always being treated like criminals - that isn't about "rights", its simply being moronic.

    I find it amusing that Conservatives moan about a decline in "civil liberties", and then moan about the existence of "Human Rights"; failing to notice that they are exactly the same thing.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is one of those strange organisations where if it achieves its long term objectives, then there will be no further use for it - i.e. equalities and human rights will have become so "embedded" in what we do that it will be self-policing and there won't be any need for it to be around.

    It's like with community development workers - which one of my mates is one. She says that people like her are ultimately looking to put themselves out of a job by building self-sustaining communities that eventually no longer need them.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think a society which does not respect individualism and civil liberties is inherently unstable and malignant. Inconveniencing the police every once and a while is a small price.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I find it amusing that Conservatives moan about a decline in "civil liberties", and then moan about the existence of "Human Rights"; failing to notice that they are exactly the same thing.
    Regardless of the Conservative position, I don't think they are the same thing. Apparently "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control" according to the UNDHR, but I think you'd be hard pressed to call any of these things civil liberties.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Regardless of the Conservative position, I don't think they are the same thing. Apparently "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control" according to the UNDHR, but I think you'd be hard pressed to call any of these things civil liberties.
    You are completely right, I wasn't clear - civil liberties implies something negative, "rights" implies something positive or negative.

    What I'm trying to say is that there are areas where they overlap and where there is no difference; yet people use semantics to hide what is really going on. There is a modern mental association with "civil liberties" as being good and "rights", including negative rights being "bad".

    A good example of this is privacy: people bemoan a lack of "civil liberties" when privacy is intruded on, but if they don't like it when someone's privacy is protected they blame "human rights culture".
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The main problem isn't two many "civil liberties" but the cultural position of the nation.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    The main problem isn't two many "civil liberties" but the cultural position of the nation.
    You mean the cultural position doesn't suit your prejudices?
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.