Monday, August 29, 2016

AUTHORITY AS MORAL COMMITMENT



Authority must be committed to and guided by the moral law.  All of its  dignity and force derive from its being exercised within the context  of the moral order.  Immoral authority has no claim to respect and obedience.

To do what is right and to avoid doing what is wrong, to exercise one’s right without forgetting to fulfill his/her obligations, to enjoy one’s freedom without hindering others for doing the same, to live in honesty and integrity and thus shun graft and corrupt practices  -- all these are not merely in accord with ethical norms but also with moral principles.  And fortunate as well as blessed are the people who are within the coverage of such a morally qualified public authority.

Contrary to the convenient belief or but wishful thinking of the unethical  and amoral public officials, when they live a life of virtue and not of vice – this is not only necessary and beneficial here and now, but also hereafter and beyond.  Reason:  Private   citizens as well as public officials are certainly not but brute animals that come and go, that live and die – period.  There is, there must be something else hereafter.

Public authority must recognize, respect and promote essential human and basic moral values in accord with reason, ethics, and morals.

Again and again, it has to be expressed and insisted upon as an objective truth that the observance of what is right, proper and moral, brings about social order, peace and development, while their disregard causes exactly the opposite – misery, discontent and even revolt at times.

The above cited reminder if not exactly an admonition, directly or indirectly finds its basis on the following:  Man has human values because of his reason.  Man has moral values because of his faith.  Without the observance – or with deliberate defiance – of such reasonable and believable values, man himself becomes the eventual loser as always.

Public authority must enact just laws that correspond to the dignity of human persons and the demands of what is objectively right or wrong.

Unjust laws are not only contrary to right reason but also derogatory to the human person gifted with an intelligence to know what is proper or improper.  Such unjust legislations also undermine the dignity intrinsically appended to one’s person.  So is it that when public authority dare enact unjust laws, sooner or later they are besieged and denounced – if not in fact eventually done away with – by the people themselves if they dared look down if not trampled upon.  Without such legislated injustice, there would be neither public resentment nor dissent – such as in terms of civil disobedience which could even escalate into downright revolt.

It can be rightfully said that man instinctively feels and/or knows when he is unjustly treated by others – by the public authority in particular.  And unless, he is altogether passive if not cowering in fear, man stands, speaks and acts.