“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”Matthew 7:12
Imagine a tolerant society. Imagine a place where people will not be judged by the color of their skin, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Experts will claim that Americans are more tolerant and accepting of people’s differences than ever in 2020. Is this true? It would be highly doubful considering LGBT acceptance is at an all time low. Race relations are being set back 60 years despite all the “tolerance” and “diversity”. Political affiliation seems no different than gang affiliation these days to the point of people assaulting one another due to what they wear. A basic lack of respect of one’s fellow man is lost in today’s society. What is the source of this dilemna? That depends on who is asking the question and who answers it because opinions may vary. One thing is certain and must be discussed. There is a lack of respect for one’s fellow man and the law is attempting to step in by using censorship and cancel culture to curb bad behavior. Therefore, the theme of debate will focus on the fact that censorship and anti-discrimination laws cannot replace good morals in terms of creating a better society. To begin, respect for oneself and one’s fellow man must be discussed briefly.
Find joy in simplicity, self-respect, and indifference to what lies between virtue and vice. Love the human race. Follow the divine.Marcus Aurelius
Respect is lost on society. Why is that the case? One reason to consider is that people today lack a basic sense of self-respect. In modern times, it seems as though people will perform more degrading acts for even a momentary instance of fame. Why is this the case? Society has programmed generations to believe that there is such a thing as fast money, fame, and acceptance. Buying the right product, hanging out with the right people, and having the right opinions based on mainstream media influence seem more important to the average American than building the effort to create a better personality based on earned accomplishment and commitment. No one wants to do things the hard way, but the easy way requires a lack of self respect to the point of degeneracy.
The reason self-respect is so important to a society is because all respect starts with self respect. A person or society that doesn’t have the self-respect to draw a line in the sand and establish boundaries cannot possibly understand having respect for others. Self respect is the foundation for all other forms of respect towards your fellow man.
Self respect in this society has been replaced with a generic cookie cutter bastardization of it known as self-esteem. The difference between these two concepts is very simple. Self respect comes from a place of knowing your worth because you’ve earned the right to value your existence through hard work and accomplishment.
Self esteem, on the other hand, is the misguided notion of believing that you are great just the way you are and no further Improvement is necessary. Many would describe this as the Dunning-Kruger effect since most people who ascribe to the self-esteem movement thought they were better than they really are despite an overall lack of personal accomplishment in any area of life. They believe themselves to be great due to immutable characteristics that had nothing to do with their personal character such as race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The self-esteem movement has largely been a proven failure throughout the time it was implemented and still continues to fail to this day.
With a basic understanding of self respect, people tend to understand very quickly that showing respect to others can benefit humans as social animals. Since humanity is an interdependent species as opposed to independent species, we will have to get along with one another. The opposite of which would end up resembling a prison of sorts where no one trusts anyone and everything is corrupt. The basic ability to show respect to your fellow man is something most people understand would create mutual benefit. That trust has been eroded it over time due to numerous factors.
Race, gender, sexual orientation, and political affiliations have been used as excuses to divide people. Now what one may see is an “othering” of those around them. An “Us vs Them” mindset has arisen in the United States as well as other countries in Western civilization. This balkanization erodes the basic concept of respect for others and human decency that took generations to form into being. Such division makes a nation weak and at the mercy of lawmakers. If there is no cultural means of respect, then what is left? If there is no common tradition among the people, what is left to replace it? What will curb bad behavior.? The government has an answer.
Whenever there is a problem within a specific social order or culture, the government has a bad habit of stepping in and having a one size fits all answer: Censorship. If there’s an idea big government doesn’t like, they will never genuinely engage the idea. They use the media to shame and silence it so that no one will want to touch any idea that goes contrary to mainstream media thinking. Nothing said here is new, but it constantly bears repeating due to people’s ability to easily forget it when in panic mode.
The biggest problem with censorship is that it has failed every single time it was implemented. Hiding something from people never works out the way it is intended especially if the information can potentially hurt them. Replacing values with laws cannot work since values are based on foundations of family, community, and shared trust. Laws are simply rules written on paper that can be erased. People never grew up with laws or weren’t raised with them. They were raised with culture. Behind culture there is a motivation to live up to them. Something higher to aspire to such as Heaven or Nirvana. Values can make a society better than it was or maintain what makes a society great. Laws are simply in place to preserve said values, not to replace them.
If censorship can possibly replace respect for the self and for others, then one must be willing to demonstrate where it has succeeded. What society has prospered from laws without values? How has censorship made people better? Any law that respects human rights has its origins in cultural values. Without respect for human life and freedom, a law simply enforces control.