On to the fifth major field of philosophy: Political Philosophy or Political Science, “The branch of knowledge concerned with politcal activity and behaviour.” (OED). The overarching questions of this enquiry are:
Is Utopia possible? What is the best form of government?
Some other questions that are relevant to this study include:
- How should societies be organized?
- What laws should civilizations legislate and enforce?
- Are people basically good or evil?
- How much do people need to be restrained?
- How much freedom should citizens have to do whatever they please?
- Should the government legislate, dictate, or restrain religion or religious practices?
Instead of answering particular questions this week, here is what I would like you to do. Describe your concept of the ideal state.
Start simple and build up the details. Begin by describing the form of government. Who would rule? How many people? How would they be organized? Explain whether your system is a known form of government—monarchy, dictatorship, democracy, republic, oligarchy, anarchy, etc.—or if you think you have invented a new form. Next, explain the role of the individual in this system. Then begin getting into specific results of your system. What would you do for education, laws, punishments, judicial system, etc? Would you legistlate your ethics—in other words, make laws enforcing your personal morality?
If that task seems too overwhelming, try this one instead:
Write a new Bill of Rights. List ten or so basic rights that you believe all people should have. Make a general rule, but then also (this is important!) explain how you would apply this general right to specific situations. In other words, suppose that you retained the “right to free speech.” How would you apply that to hate speech? Public or media profanity? Libel?
You get the idea.
Please add other thoughts as they come to you, including descriptions of utopias you may have encountered in movies or literature.
Do you think Utopia is possible?
What kind of government do you personally believe the Bible suggests or commands?